The Oskaloosa boys and girls participated in their first doubleheader on the hardwood this season on the road against Fairfield. The boys picked up a big 64-52 win and the girls struggled to a 55-28 defeat.
The girls led off the double-dip with a very fresh young group leading the charge. No senior played in the game. That inexperience showed as the Indians committed 23 first half turnovers and scored only six points through the first two quarters. At the break, it was all Fairfield, 34-6.
Things got better as the game wore on, however, as the ball-handling improved with only four giveaways in the second half. The Indians would outscore the Trojans 22-21 in the last two quarters, the second straight game Osky would better their opponent down the stretch.
Sophomore Mary Nelson led the way in scoring for the Indians with 11 points. Junior Marleigh Denburger just missed on a double-double with nine points and 11 rebounds. Freshman Kaylee Johnson pulled down a team-high seven rebounds and snagged three steals.
“I like the fight in my girls,” Head Coach Jacie White said after the game. “We just have to find a way to fight earlier in games and stay in them.”
The boys would be tested for the entire first half. The first quarter showcased both teams’ defensive abilities as neither side was able to put a run together. Fairfield would have a small 12-9 lead after the first period. The second stanza would see the Indians put together more offense with great ball movement. Osky outscored the Trojans in the second 22-14 and had a 31-26 lead at the half.
In the second half, Osky would increase the lead with great defense and some solid offensive work. They would eventually cruise to the twelve-point win.
Senior Jarad Kruse did a lot of the work for Osky with a mammoth double-double, netting 21 points and 12 boards. He also added two assists and four steals. Junior Cole Henry also had double figures in points and rebounds as he put up 14 and 11 with a team-high five assists. Tanner DeKock would also have five assists. Highly touted sophomore Xavier Foster would score 16 points for the Indians.
“I thought we played well at times,” Head Coach Ryan Parker said. “But we need to clean up a few areas. Rebounding and effort need to improve and we will figure that out.”
“We are going to get everyone’s best shot every single night,” Parker continued. “We have to be ready every night and play at a high level. It’s different being the hunted instead of the hunter and we need to go through experiences like tonight.”
Both teams will be back in action on Friday night in their home openers. They will face Pella Christian to kick off Little Hawkeye Conference play. The girls will start things off at 6:15 PM at the Oskaloosa High School Gymnasium.
You can hear the live broadcast on 99.5 FM/740 AM KMZN and check out a live video stream on radiokmzn.com and MCG Channel 7 with the pregame show starting at 6 PM.