Courier sports staff
---- — OTTUMWA — Despite carrying a double-digit lead into the second half, the Ottumwa girls basketball team could not hold off the charge of junior Kelsey Yarrow and the visiting Ankeny Hawkettes on Tuesday night. Yarrow scored 22 points, hit 12 of 13 free throws attempts and hit several clutch shots in the fourth quarter as Ankeny rallied from an 11-point halftime deficit to beat Ottumwa, 48-46, in the Bulldogs’ first game of the season at Evans Middle School Gymnasium.
Yarrow hit three field goals during a fourth-quarter run that brought Ankeny from a 35-32 deficit into a lead that grew as large as seven at 45-38. Hayli Beeson hit a pair of 3-pointers in the final minute as OHS tried to make a late run, but Beeson’s last trey banked in right at the buzzer with Ottumwa still behind 48-43.
Ankeny (1-1) finally returns home on Friday to face West Des Moines Valley for its first girls basketball game since the school district separated for the creation of Ankeny Centennial. The Hawkettes first girls basketball game since the split was a 75-30 loss to top-ranked (5A) Des Moines East last Tuesday.
Ottumwa, meanwhile, fell to 0-2 in two games the Bulldogs had chances to win. Last Tuesday, a 49-43 loss at Fairfield came in a game in which OHS missed 21 of 28 free throw attempts. On Tuesday against Ankeny, the Bulldogs went cold from the field in the fourth quarter with just basket coming in a seven-minute stretch.
Ottumwa will have to wait a week yet again after having seven days between the season-opener at Fairfield and Tuesday’s home opener against Ankeny. The Bulldogs will be back at Evans Middle School Gym to face another Southeast Iowa Conference contender in Washington next Tuesday night at approximately 7:45 p.m.