By ANDY HEINTZ
Courier Sports Writer
OTTUMWA — The Ottumwa boys basketball team was overwhelmed by a talented Des Moines Hoover squad 61-24 Tuesday at Evans Middle School Gymnasium.
The Huskies used their lightning speed coupled with unselfish passing to quickly build a big lead against an overmatched Bulldog squad.
Jalen Strunk posted a team-high five points for Ottumwa and Matt Moreland and Andrew Altfillisch each scored four. Meanwhile, Nate Lee spearheaded Hoover’s offensive attack with 17 points and Chris King added 15.
Conspicuously, Ottumwa’s star post players Nic Young and Carter Burns combined for only four points.
“They just need to finish,” Ottumwa coach Kevin Kanaskie said. “Offensively, we missed six layups to start the game. I think we’re getting them the ball where they can be successful, but they just have to make the shots.”
The Bulldogs got off to an abysmal start offensively and trailed 19-1 by the end of the first quarter.
Things didn’t get much better for the boys in the second quarter. King knifed his way into the lane and converted on a layup while drawing contact from Matt Moreland. He sank his free-throw to put Hoover in front 27-5. Later, King drilled a 3-pointer that upped the Huskies’ lead to 31-5. Hoover went into halftime with a seemingly insurmountable 35-7 lead.
The Bulldogs managed to play a little better in the second half. Burns scored on a nice move inside and Nic Young connected on a hook shot in the third quarter. Moments later, Aaron Roane made a difficult shot off the glass. Unfortunately, the Huskies’ offense continued to generate enough offense to keep Ottumwa from ever mounting any sort of comeback.
Jalen Strunk sparked the Bulldog offense by drilling a 3-pointer in the fourth.
“When he gets in there, he really wants to play hard,” Kanaskie said about Strunk.
Unfortunately, the trey wasn’t enough to reverse the momentum of the game in Ottumwa’s favor and the Huskies went on to pick up the easy win.
Ottumwa (1-13) plays Keokuk at 7:45 p.m. Thursday at Evans Middle School Gymnasium.
DES MOINES HOOVER 61, OTTUMWA 24
Hoov 19 16 17 9 — 61
Ottu 1 6 10 7 — 24
Ottumwa (24) —Sam Moreland 4, Jalen Strunk 5, Andrew Altfillisch 4, Brok Hopood 3, Carter Burns 2, Nic Young 2, Matt Walker 2, Aaron Roane 2. Totals 6-26 FG 11-12 FT 24.
3-point goals — 1-9 (Strunk). Fouled out — None. Rebounds — 12 (Matt Moreland 3). Assists — 3 (M. Moreland, S. Moreland, Altfillisch). Steals — 1 (Hopwood). Blocks — None.