The Ottumwa High boys basketball team knew they needed scoring from more than just all-Metro forward Carter Burns Friday night if they wanted to beat Indianola and earn their first win of the season before winter break.
In just the second home game of the season for the Bulldogs, junior guard Brok Hopwood answered the call.
Hopwood knocked down seven 3-point shots and led all scorers with 25 points as OHS held on to beat the Indians 69-66 in front of a raucous crowd at Evans Middle School. Ottumwa goes into winter break with a 1-5 record, and a 1-2 mark in the CIML Metro Conference.
Hopwood got off to a hot start, scoring 14 of his points in the opening quarter and pacing OHS to a 22-14 lead after the first eight minutes. The scoring slowed in the second quarter, however, as the Indians roared back over the final four minutes to tie the game at 30 headed into halftime.
Neither team could gain an edge in the third quarter, although Burns, who was held to just four 1st-half points, began hitting his stride on the way to a 20-point night. Ottumwa held a slim 45-44 edge heading into the final stanza, and that lead seemed to be in jeopardy early in the fourth when both Burns and junior point guard Andrew Altfillisch went to the bench with four fouls.
Hopwood, though, would not let his team lose on this night. Indianola briefly held a lead, but Hopwood’s knifing drive between two defenders for a layup gave the Bulldogs a much-needed basket. Moments later, the Indians defense lost Hopwood in transition, and he drained his seventh 3-pointer to extend the OHS advantage. Burns and Altfillisch returned down the stretch to aid the cause, and Ottumwa hit enough of its free throws late to stave off a late Indianola rally.
Altfillisch finished the night with 11 points, giving Ottumwa three players in double figures for the first time since four Bulldogs hit double digits in the season opener. After the winter break, OHS opens 2014 with a game on January 3rd at conference rival Des Moines East.
GIRLS: Indianola 51, Ottumwa 41
In the words of Ottumwa High head coach Kevin Patterson, his team played its best game of the season, but it wasn’t quite enough as the Bulldog girls fell 51-41 to Class 4A #13 Indianola at Even Middle School on Friday. OHS enters winter break with a 1-6 record, 1-2 in the Metro Conference.
Megan Black led Ottumwa with 12 points, and hit a 3-pointer at the first-quarter buzzer to keep OHS within two of the Indians at 13-11. The Bulldogs struggled to score in the second and third quarters against a tough Indianola defense, however, and although Ottumwa rallied with a 13-point fourth quarter, the Indians hit nine of 14 free throws in the final stanza to ward off the comeback attempt.
Hayli Beeson added eight points and Rachel Zingg chipped in seven for the Bulldogs, who will open the 2014 portion of the season on the road January 3rd against Class 5A #5 Des Moines East.