DES MOINES – Making her start on the varsity high school hardwood, Zoey Jones helped the Ottumwa High School girls basketball team break through with the first win of the season.
Jones scored 11 points, including seven in the first half with a tiebreaking 3-pointer that kicked off a 21-0 run for the Bulldogs. Anne Guest led the way in scoring with 19 points for Ottumwa in a 51-32 CIML Metro conference road win at Des Moines Lincoln on Friday.
"We spent so much this week on finishing through contact," Ottumwa head girls basketball coach Joe VandenBerg said. "We're a different team than we were last year. We have to work from the inside out. We started to play some really, physical basketball."
Addison Ransom added 12 points for the Bulldogs in another quality effort for the junior. The team's second-leading scorer is playing through some pain after suffering an injury during the holiday break.
"Addison kind of banged up her knee in a scrimmage," VandenBerg said. "She's about 95 percent, but she says she's good to go. I believe her."
Ottumwa led 10-6 early in the second quarter before a pair of 3-pointers helped Lincoln pull even at 12-12. Jones immediately answered with a 3-pointer to put the Bulldogs on top for good as the Railsplitters would not score again until a 7-0 run late in the third quarter.
"We talked about putting pressure on the ball," VandenBerg said. "If you don't get that pressure, it makes it easy on the other team. When you put that pressure on, it gets in their head and disrupts there offense."
Ottumwa (1-6, 1-1 CIML Metro) returns home Monday to host Burlington.
"I'm so proud of these girls," VandenBerg said. "They've been working so hard in practice. It's a great group of kids."