The Oskaloosa basketball teams were in action Tuesday night against two very good Pella Dutch squads. Although the Indians would play well all things considered, both teams were handed losses by their highly ranked rivals.
In the girls’ game, Oskaloosa knew they were behind the 8-ball, facing the #1 team in the state in Class 4A. Pella showed exactly why that was the case, as they throttled the Indians, 69-34.
Even with leading scorer Kiara Bradley sidelined with an ankle injury, the Lady Dutch found ways to score and get steals. Ciara Buchheit led the way with 22 points, 6 rebounds and 4 steals. Chloe Van Vliet and Emily Holterhaus each had 14. Pella had 22 steals as a team en route to forcing 33 Oskaloosa turnovers.
Osky got good games from Alexis Westercamp and Marleigh Denburger in the setback. Westercamp finished with 15 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, and 5 steals. Denburger joined her in double figures with 12 points to go along with 5 boards and 2 blocks.
The Osky girls won’t have much time to shake off this loss as they’ll be back in action on Friday against another number one team: Indianola, who tops the Class 5A rankings.
The boys’ team battled hard for Oskaloosa, but could not get over the hump, as Pella held off the Indians for a 55-54 win.
These two teams entered the game with the #1 and #2 offenses in all of Class 3A, as both teams average well over 70 points per game. This one turned out to be a defensive slugfest with fouls aplenty.
Pella’s Ryan Van Wyk scored a game-high 25 points for the Dutch. He was helped by Nick Finney, who had 13 points including a couple of huge threes. Donovan Holterhaus had 10 points and 13 boards.
For Oskaloosa, they kept battling to stay close, but Rian Yates missed a game-tying attempt from three as time wound down. Jack Moore collected the rebound and made a layup as time expired.
Moore led Oskaloosa with 14 points, despite being limited in minutes due to foul trouble. Jarad Kruse also made an impact while battling fouls, as he had 11 points and 4 rebounds. Cole Henry nearly missed a double-double with 8 points and 10 rebounds to go along with 4 assists. Yates finished with 8 points. Xavier Foster had 3 points, 6 rebounds, but really made an impact defensively, blocking 4 shots and affecting other numerous offensive possessions for Pella.
The Dutch are still in the conversation at the top of the Little Hawkeye Conference with an 8-1 overall record and a 4-1 conference mark. Oskaloosa dropped to 6-4 overall and 1-4 in the Little Hawkeye. It will now be an uphill battle for the Indians if they want to grab a share of the conference title.
Osky will have an opportunity to bounce back as they face Indianola, who is winless in Little Hawkeye play and 1-9 on the season.
The action on Friday night begins around 6:15, and you can watch a live HD video stream on radiokmzn.com and MCG in Oskaloosa. You can hear the action beginning at 6 PM on 99.5 FM/740 AM KMZN.