Turnovers and scoring droughts haunted the Ottumwa boys basketball team in its home opener, as the Bulldogs fell to Cedar Rapids Xavier 63-33 Tuesday at Evans Middle School.
Carter Burns led Ottumwa with 12 points and Andrew Altfillisch added 7, including a leaning one-hander off the backboard from way beyond the 3-point line in the final seconds of the third quarter.
After a doing a solid job of handling the full-court press in the first quarter, Ottumwa got a little sloppy with the basketball — the boys finished with 19 turnovers, a number that Coach Chris Gravett said needs to go down if his team wants to compete against quality teams.
“Our turnovers have to be around 10,” Gravett said after that game.
“We rushed it,” Burns said.
The coach also said this team has little room for error, which means they can’t afford to miss open looks or take bad shots.
“When you get an open shot you have to make it,” he said. “A bad shot is like a turnover.
Gravett, however, was pleased with how much more aggressive his team played compared to their season opener against Southeast Polk.
Ottumwa’s offense got off to a positive start. Burns scored inside off a terrific feed by Austin Walker early in the first quarter. Bulldog Kyle Keck kept the momentum going by knocking down a 3-pointer from the left baseline. But Xavier went on a small run and led 15-6 at the end of the quarter.
Xavier’s Calvin Winker knocked down a 3-pointer that rolled around the rim and fell through the net in the opening moments of the second quarter that gave his team a double-digit advantage. Altfillisch responded with a difficult one-hand floater from the left baseline. A few minutes later, Altfillisch finished a fast break with a layup. Then Burns, showed off his range by knocking down a long jumper.
Unfortunately, the Bulldogs offensive production was not enough to overcome Xavier’s solid offensive execution and the Ottumwa’s own turnover woes. The Saints pressure defense rankled the Bulldogs as the boys made some errant passes.
“We are young, inexperienced,” coach Chris Gravett said. “We know those mistakes our going to happen.”
The coach, however, said his players needed to make sure these mistakes don’t become commonplace.
“The younger guys have to work to fix them,” he said. “It must become a habit.”
“We just need to slow down our execution,” Keck said.
The Bulldogs trailed 27-15 at halftime.
Ottumwa looked primed to make a run at the start of the third quarter. Burns found a wide open Keck near the basket for a lay-up to start the half. Moments later, Burns scored on a stick back, which narrowed the gap to 27-19. But Saint Trey Sampson, who scored a game-high 18; quickly squelched any hopes Ottumwa had of making a comeback. Sampson scored a couple of buckets inside, drilled a 3-pointer and relentlessly pestered Ottumwa on defense, forcing the Bulldogs to turn the ball over on a couple of occasions.
The Saints, with Sampson at the helm, built a 37-19 lead. Altfillisch nailed a one-handed 3-pointer in the final seconds of the third quarter to cut Xavier’s lead to 42-26.
Saint Adam McDermott drilled a couple of 3-pointers in the fourth that further extended Xavier’s lead. The Saints went on to pick up the 30-point victory.
Ottumwa (0-2) plays Des Moines Lincoln Friday at Evans Middle School in its first CIML Metro Conference game.
Cedar Rapids Xavier 63, Ottumwa 33
Xavi 15 12 15 21 — 63
Ottu 6 9 11 7 — 33
XAVI (63) — Trey Sampson 18, John Peters 2, Adam McDermott 13, Corbin Woods 6, Quinton Scholer 2, Patrick Mullin 2, Reggie Schulte 4, Robert Thinnes 6, Quinton Scholer 2, Calvin Winker 8. Totals 19FG .
3-point goals — 4 (Adam McDermott 3). Fouled out — None.
OTTU(33) — Kyle Keck 6, Carter Burns 12, Andrew Altfillisch 7, Austin Walker 3, Curtis Schneckloth 2, Chris Peden 2, Brok Hopwood. Totals 8-19FG 5-11FT 33.
3-point goals — 2-9(Keck, A. Altfillisch). Fouled out — None. Rebounds — 20 (Carter Burns 7). Assists — 2 (Walker, Keck). Steals — 3. Blocks — 7 (Burns 3). Total fouls — 10. Turnovers — 19.