OTTUMWA — Trae Swartz scored a team-leading 24 points while Kie Glosser added 19 as the Ottumwa boys basketball team secured a winning record for the first time in 15 years with a tough 46-40 CIML Metro Conference road win at Des Moines Roosevelt on Friday.
Ottumwa finishes the regular season with a 12-9 record, the most wins for the program since the Bulldogs won 19 games under Mike Holmes on the way to finishing fourth in the Class 4A boys state basketball tournament.
Swartz had five of Ottumwa’s first 10 points as the Bulldogs turned the tables on the Roughriders after having a six-game winning streak snapped at home by Roosevelt, who knocked off the red-hot Bulldogs last Thursday 46-43. Matt Graeve added five points in the first half, helping the Bulldogs open a 20-14 lead at the half.
Swartz reached 21 points on a 3-pointer to end the third quarter, giving Ottumwa a 39-29 lead. The Bulldogs were able to hold on in the final minutes to avoid sustaining a losing record in conference play. Ottumwa finishes 5-5 in the Metro, tied for third place with Des Moines Hoover, while securing a winning overall record in the Neil Hartz’s first year as head coach.
Up next for Ottumwa will be a Class 4A substate first round contest at Evans Middle School Gymnasium on Monday, Feb. 24 against Burlington at 7 p.m. The winner will head to Iowa City West for the substate semifinals on Friday, Feb. 28.