OTTUMWA — The Ottumwa basketball failed to stop an offensive juggernaut who goes by the name of Sabonis Smith in the Bulldogs 71-40 loss to Des Moines Lincoln Friday at Evans Middle School Gymnasium.
Smith poured in a game-high 28 points and drilled six 3-pointers to help the Rails pick up the win. Lincoln used its athletic ability to implement a highly effective fast break attack that maintained its rapid pace throughout.
Ottumwa's offensive struggles against West Des Moines Valley carried over into the Bulldogs' game against Lincoln. The Rails, with Smith acting as it's lodestar, got off to a blistering start, outscoring Ottumwa 19-4 in the first quarter. Smith sparked Lincoln's offensive attack by knocking down a pair of 3-pointers.
Ottumwa's offense showed signs of life in the second quarter. Sam Moreland snaked his way through the lane and scored amongst the trees and Carter Burns drilled a 3-pointer. The Rails, however, continued to produce offensively, and, by halftime, Ottumwa faced a mountainous 38-16 deficit.
The Bulldogs turned in a solid third quarter defined by hard-nosed defense and some high percentage baskets by Andrew Altfillisch, Nic Young and others. On one play, Altfillisch penentrated inside the lane and found Curtis Schneckloth open on the left baseline and the senior calmly knocked down the shot. Despite Ottumwa's solid play, the Bulldogs still trailed 49-29 going into the final quarter.
Ottumwa couldn't maintain their crisp play in the fourth, as the Bulldogs were dogged by turnovers. Meanwhile, Lincoln continued to generate offense regularly on its way to picking up the victory.
Young paced Ottumwa with 12 points and Brok Hopwood added six. The Bulldogs (1-12, 1-7) play Des Moines Hoover Tuesday at Evans Middle School Gymnasium.
To follow Andy Heintz's Twitter feed, go to @CourierAndy