Even as a heavy underdog, the Oskaloosa Indians girls’ basketball team would not be deterred as they came on out on top in a hard fought battle, 36-34.
Lead by their aggressive defense and patient offense, Osky never fell behind by more than five in the first half. Three point shooting kept the Indians afloat in the slowly paced first two quarters as they only were down by one entering the break, 17-16. Osky’s star junior Alexis Westercamp was held to only five points, but Katelyn Smith added six and Paige Howard kicked in five as well.
Suffocating defense led to Oskaloosa outscoring Washington 12-4 in the third quarter, as they took a seven-point advantage into the fourth and final stanza. Westercamp initiated the offense on the interior and Smith added two more huge threes in the second half. The Indians were up as many as nine in the fourth quarter. The Demons would not go quietly on their home court, however, as they forced several key Oskaloosa turnovers to chip away at the Indian lead. With roughly two minutes remaining, Washington’s aggressive offense forced Westercamp to foul out and miss the remainder of the contest. Short thereafter, the Demons would tie the game with two quick buckets in a matter of five seconds.
As 90 seconds ticked away, Oskaloosa and Washington traded empty possessions. Oskaloosa Head Coach Steve Kaisand called a wise timeout to allow to his girls to regroup. With 40 seconds on the clock, Westercamp’s replacement, freshman Marleigh Denburger, received a pass at the top of the key. The defense was draped all over her, but the freshmen showed poise to sink a contested 12-footer to give the Indian girls a two-point lead with 35 seconds remaining in the game.
Washington worked themselves open for two good looks but came up empty and the Indians held on for a 36-34 upset victory.
Westercamp led the Indians with 16 points and 9 boards. Katelyn Smith added 12 with four big makes from behind the arc. Paige Howard grabbed seven rebounds in addition to her five points. Denburger’s game-winner was her only bucket of the game.
Senior Addie Pacha led the Demons with 14 points.
The Oskaloosa Indians will move on for another tough road test against 12th ranked Fairfield on Saturday night. The Trojans are 15-6 on the year. Fairfield walloped Oskaloosa, 103-43, at home on November 30th in the only matchup between the teams this year. The season was in its infancy as it was only Osky’s second game the year.
You can hear the game live on 104.9 FM KBOE, the KBOE mobile app, and kboeradio.com. The pregame will begin around 6:45 PM for the 7 PM tip-off.