It wasn’t pretty down the stretch, but the Oskaloosa boys’ basketball team did just enough to hold off the hard-charging Garrett Sturtz and the Newton Cardinals on the road. The Indians outlasted the late push and won by a final score of 56-53. Earlier in the evening, the Osky girls showed some improvement but ultimately fell to Newton, 50-30.
The boys’ game started with Newton slowing the pace to try to limit Osky’s chance to get up and down the floor. The Indians were still much more efficient in the offensive half, outscoring the Cardinals in the first half, 33-18, with great balance across the stat sheet.
Sturtz would ignite a comeback for Newton, however, as he would score nearly every point for his team down the stretch. The senior would finish the game with 44 points and 9 rebounds in an impressive showing while his running mates were cold from the field.
The Cardinals’ comeback would get them within two after a steal and layup on the fastbreak, but Osky’s Cole Henry hit a huge shot fading away from the left block to give the Indians a two possession edge.
Henry led the way for Osky with 21 points and 9 rebounds. The rest of the Indian offense was inconsistent. Xavier Foster finished with 10 points, but was quiet for most of the second half. Same could be said for Spencer Tucker who ended up with just 7 points and no made field goals in the last two quarters. Jarad Kruse never really got it going in the game, finishing with 7 points as well, but hit a couple of shots in the second half as the Indians tried to secure the lead.
Again, it was Rian Yates sinking a couple of free throws to help ice the game for Oskaloosa, but shots at the charity stripe continue to haunt the Indians. The finished the game shooting just 7 for 14 on freebies.
A win is a win, however, and the victory moves Osky to 9-0 for the first time in boys’ basketball history. They are also 4-0 in the Little Hawkeye Conference as we head to the holiday break. Newton is now 4-2 and 2-2 in the LHC.
The girls’ game had its ups and downs for Osky, but it was a slow first quarter that really decided the contest.
The Indians fell behind 18-4 at the end of the first. They were only outscored by six points the final three quarters, but that obviously wasn’t enough to grab their first win of the year. The girls were led by Marleigh Denburger, who had 14 points, 4 boards, and two blocks.
Osky is now 0-8 on the year and 0-4 in the LHC, while Newton is 3-5 overall and 1-3 in conference play.
Oskaloosa should have a very competitive doubleheader out of the break on January 5th as they host Norwalk. The Warriors are still unbeaten on the boys’ side and that will set the table for a battle for the top spot in the Little Hawkeye Conference as we near the halfway mark of the season. The Norwalk girls are just 3-6 and are winless in league play.
That doubleheader can be heard on 99.5 FM and 740 AM KMZN and can be viewed with a live video stream on radiokmzn.com and MCG Channel 7 in Oskaloosa. The broadcast begins at 6 PM on Friday, January 5th.