OSKALOOSA — New season, new coach, new team. Oskaloosa started the season with a bang on Tuesday as they pulled away in the second half to beat Davis County 65-41.
The victory marks the first for first year head coach TC Cunningham and the first win for the Indians since last year’s opener against Centerville, snapping a 20-game losing streak in the process.
Oskaloosa set the tone early, winning the opening tip to Presley Blommers to pulled up and drained a three just seconds into the game. Aubree Blanco then got a quick layup and forced a Davis County timeout just 35 seconds into the game.
Both teams ramped up their half-court defense in the first half as most of the scoring came in transition and at the free throw line. Oskaloosa would take a 26-20 lead into the break.
The third quarter is where the game changed as the Indians would outscore the Mustangs 25-10.
This is where Blommers, Blanco and Amanda Fry took over the game.
Blommers would make a great dive and dish to Blanco for the layup before coming back with a layup of her own to extend the lead to eight. Blanco then knocked down a three from the elbow before making a great defensive play with multiple blocks.
Blommers commanded the court well as a sophomore guard. She ended with 14 points, seven assists, three rebounds and three steals.
Blanco had a near perfect night for the Indians, finishing with 16 points while making all seven of her shots including a pair of threes to go along with four rebounds and five blocks.
Her fellow big, Fay, also took advantage of a smaller Davis County squad, racking up a double-double off the bench with 12 points, 14 rebounds and six blocks.
The big quarter left Oskaloosa ahead 51-30 heading into the fourth, allowing Cunningham to empty the bench late on their way to victory.
“I was really pleased with our effort,” Cunningham said. “I thought we came out the gates ready to play. First game this year I knew we would be nervous. It was a good win for us, now we just need to keep building and moving forward.”
Macy Hill and Briley Lough shared top scoring honors for the Mustangs with nine points apiece. Sophia Young matched Isabelle Settles with six points while leading Davis County with six steals and four assists.
Oskaloosa (1-0) will hit the road on Friday at 6:15 p.m. when they open conference play at Dallas Center-Grimes (2-1). Davis County (1-3) opens South Central Conference play at home against Centerville on Friday night.