FORT MADISON — For the Ottumwa High School girls basketball team to look flawless in a scrimmage is one thing.
The Bulldogs picked up where they left off now that the games actually count.
Lily Anderson scored a game-high 20 points to lead three players in double figures, and the 14th-ranked (Class 5A) Bulldogs scored the first 17 points of the second quarter in a 66-30 rout of Fort Madison at the Hound Dome in both teams' season opener Tuesday.
Crisp passing? Check. Tenacious defense? Check. Finishing around the basket? Check. It was all there on display for the Bulldogs.
"This is a good way to start our season. We found people really well and made the extra pass," Ottumwa coach Kevin Patterson said. "We drove better and we kicked out."
The Bulldogs are capable of getting at least four players in double figures in a given game. Patterson has no set goal, but the three who did on this night — Anderson, Morgan Greiner and Grace Bookin-Nosbisch, who each scored 10 — earned their points.
"It's got to come within the offense. We have to be fluid," Patterson said. "With the way Fort Madison played defense tonight, it gave us a lot of 1-on-1 matchups against our posts, and we took advantage of that."
The Bulldogs used an 8-0 run in the first quarter to establish the inside game with Anderson, then the defense triggered the rout in the second quarter. Ottumwa limited Fort Madison to several one-and-done possessions throughout the contest, but the Bulldogs were active defensively, as Kaylee Bix came up with a steal and layup to put the Bulldogs up 28-6 during the big second-quarter run.
Helen Altfillisch hit a pair of 3-pointers at the outset of the second quarter to get the perimeter offense jump-started.
"Helen shot with a lot of confidence, and we always want our guards to have their feet set and ready to shoot," Patterson said.
Grace and Alli Bookin-Nosbisch were a matchup handful for the Bloodhounds. As swing players, their passing was strong and their finishing skills were solid as well as they combined for 19 points.
"Everything they do they've earned through coming in during the summer and getting better," Patterson said of the sisters. "They have really good length, but now they have the vision to make passes."
The Bloodhounds made just four baskets in the first half, but had that many in the first four minutes of the third quarter. Maddie Rashid scored a team-high 13 points for Fort Madison, nine in the second half.
Still, the Bloodhounds couldn't keep pace with the Bulldogs' fast-paced style, as Grace Bookin-Nosbisch and Katie Nelson drained 3-pointers in the final minute of the quarter for a 61-23 lead.
The feeling after the season opener is a complete reversal for the Bulldogs, who dropped their first game last season against Southeast Polk, which triggered a slow start against quality competition. This year's schedule sets up more favorably for the Bulldogs, who haven't been ranked in almost a decade.
"It's been a long time, and I think it's OK that we're ranked," Patterson said. "I expect our players, as veteran as they are, to play the same way no matter if we're ranked or not. If we can give them a plan, and they execute it, we'll be OK."
Ottumwa visits Mount Pleasant Monday.
At Fort Madison
Lily Anderson 9 2-5 20, Katie Nelson 2 2-2 7, Morgan Greiner 5 0-0 10, Alli Bookin-Nosbisch 4 0-0 9, Grace Bookin-Nosbisch 4 1-2 10, Helen Altfillisch 2 0-0 6, Isabelle Mellin 0 0-0 0, Kaylee Bix 2 0-0 4, Chloe Schneckloth 0 0-0 0, Anne Guest 0 0-0 0, Vinyet Clua Nestanes 0 0-0 0, Josie Lemonds 0 0-0 0. Totals: 28 4-9 66.
FORT MADISON (30)
Anna Kester 0 2-2, Nadia Boeding 1 0-0 2, Maddie Rashid 6 0-2 13, Josie Pumphrey 1 0-0 2, Jillian Wiseman 1 0-0 3, Braxtyn McGhghy 2 0-0 6, Jassmine Bass 0 0-0 0, Dezire Kline 0 0-0 0, Kylee Cashman 0 0-0 0. Totals 12 2-4 30.
Score by quarters
Ottumwa 17 19 25 5 — 66
Fort Madison 6 5 12 7 — 30
Fouls: Ottumwa 5, Fort Madison 11. Fouled out: none. 3-point goals: Altfillisch 2, Nelson 2, A.Bookin-Nosbisch, G.Bookin-Nosbisch; McGhghy 2, Rashid, Wiseman.
Records: Ottumwa 1-0, Fort Madison 0-1.
Chad Drury can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, and on Twitter @ChadDrury.