DES MOINES — There’s no where to go but up — hopefully.

Whether or not the bottom has been hit by the Ottumwa boys basketball team is anybody’s guess, but it wasn’t pretty at the Lincoln Roundhouse on Friday night.

The Railsplitters (2-11, 2-5) earned just their second win of the season in a 53-42 victory over Ottumwa in CIML Metro play.

Ottumwa (6-7, 2-5) has now dropped below .500 and has lost five out of its last six games.

The loss is equally distressing because in the last three games Ottumwa has surrendered 90 points in one contest, scored just 27 in the next and once again couldn’t find the rim against the ’Rails on Friday.

“We have to shoot the basketball better. We don’t hit shots,” said Ottumwa head coach Chris Gravett.

Lincoln lost to Ottumwa 66-58 at Evans Middle School in a game last month where the Railsplitters played a man-to-man defense. Lincoln came out in a triangle-in-two on Ottumwa’s guards and sagged in the middle on the Bulldogs’ big man — Ben Ryder.

It worked.

Ottumwa’s leading scorer, Michael Wetrich, scored just five points and Ryder — the team’s second-leading scorer, netted just eight points. Ryder was saddled with early foul trouble in the first half.

“They make that one guard make shots and if he doesn’t make any, we’re in trouble,” said Gravett.

Adam Goodvin had a stellar night as he drained three long-range shots from beyond the arc and finished with a team-leading 13 points. Sophomore Ben Kramer added 12 points in the losing effort.

The score was just 6-3 in Ottumwa’s favor after one quarter of play but a 22-point second quarter gave the Railsplitters a 25-15 lead at the break.

Ottumwa started out the season 5-2 after a 63-60 win over Indianola right before the Christmas break. That seems like a long time ago for Bulldog fans.

“Right now leadership is bigger than anything. We need to keep fighting. We’re going to knock down shots. We just have to have our confidence up because the season isn’t even close to being over,” said Gravett.

Ottumwa plays at Urbandale on Tuesday.

Des Moines Lincoln 53, Ottumwa 42

OTT 6 9 13 14 — 42

DML 3 22 12 16 — 53

OTTUMWA (42) — Adam Goodvin 13, Ben Kramer 12, Ben Ryder 8, Michael Wetrich 5, Erik Thorgaard 2, J.C. Salter 2. Totals 14 10-14 42.

3-point goals — 4 (Goodvin 3, Kramer). Fouled out — None. Total fouls — 16.

DES MOINES LINCOLN (53) — Lul Chak 14, Zach Steffen 13, Brandon Chelleen 12, Dillan Egr 8. Totals 19 10-20 .

3-point goals — 5 (Steffen 3, Egr 2). Fouled out — None. Total fouls — 14.


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