Courier sports staff
Rally from a double-digit deficit to score their first win — that’s the kind of season-changing spark the Ottumwa boys basketball appeared to be headed toward on Friday night in Indianola.
Down by as many as 12 points, Ottumwa made a second-half charge and got as close as three early in the fourth quarter. A 3-pointer on the ensuing possession by the Indians, however, blunted the rally and helped lift Indianola to their first win with a 51-44 CIML Metro victory over the Bulldogs.
“We really got some good things out of our 3-2 zone in the second half and slowed the game down,” Ottumwa head boys basketball coach Chris Gravett said. “We really had to fight to be within 12 points at halftime. It just seemed like we ran out of gas.”
The Bulldogs had to deal with tremendous size by the Indians throughout the night. Ottumwa struggled to adjust early, as Indianola opened a 19-9 lead through one quarter.
“Indianola is huge. They have 6-8 kids inside and big guards,” Gravett said. “It’s tough to deal with 6-5, 300-pound guys like that.”
Carter Burns stepped up for the Bulldogs, scoring a game-high 16 points as several Ottumwa players battled foul trouble. Andrew Altfillisch added 12 as Ottumwa outscored the Indians 13-6 in the third quarter to pull within five heading into the final quarter.
Junior Trey Kuehl led the way for the victorious Indians, scoring 13 points, including the run-stopping 3-pointer that put Indianola up 42-36. Cort Singleton, one of the Indians’ big men, added 10.
Ottumwa (0-6, 0-3) has one more week to get their first victory of the season before the long holiday break. The first of two chances next week comes at home as the Bulldogs host Des Moines East on Tuesday night.
“I keep looking at our guys and I know they are down, and they want to win really badly,” Gravett said. “We have eight guys with no varsity experienced. We’re really young. We’ll get there. We’re just not there yet.”
Indianola 51, Ottumwa 44
OTT 9 12 13 10 — 44
IND 19 14 6 12 — 51
Ottumwa (44) — Carter Burns 16, Andrew Altfillisch 12, Brok Hopwood 5, Austin Walker 4, Charlie Altfillisch 3, Kyle Keck 3, Chris Peden 1. Totals 16 FG 8-8 44.
3-point goals — 4 (Keck, A. Altfillisch, C. Altfillish, Burns). Fouled out — Peden, C. Altfillisch. Total fouls — 23.