By Sam Parsons
The Oskaloosa Indians and Pella Christian Eagles faced off for the second time this season in a Little Hawkeye Conference basketball doubleheader on Friday.
The girls game began with fireworks from both teams: the Eagles were knocking down jump shots in the first quarter with no answers to be found on the defensive end for Oskaloosa. Eagle sophomore Chloe Huisman, who entered the game with just 3 3-point field goals made all season, buried back-to-back triples and the rest of the offense was humming as the Eagles scored 19 points in the first quarter. The Indians would stay with them, though, step-for-step; sophomore center Dasia Foster got off to a blazing start in the paint and the Indians kept the deficit at one point entering the 2nd with the score at 19-18.
The Indians switched from man defense to a 2-3 zone and the new approach worked wonders. The Eagles immediately went cold from the field and while the Indians also regressed offensively, they were able to generate enough to move past the Eagles and take a 27-21 lead into halftime after limiting Pella Christian to just two points in the second quarter. From there, the Indians reignited their offense in the second half and left PC in their wake as they scored 26 more points, led by Foster as well as Presley Blommers, who each finished the night with 19 points; Foster’s 19 rebounds were also emblematic of the success the Indians were able to have at cleaning the glass as they wrapped up the game with a 53-43 win, giving them 5 wins in their last 7 games and 5 games in a row with 50+ points scored. The Indians moved to 8-7 on the season while the Eagles fell to 2-13.
But while the girls game saw the Indians win more convincingly than they had the first time around against the Eagles, the boys game saw it go the other way. After winning the first matchup 62-46 in December, Pella Christian’s boys were just as dominant in their showing on Friday night. Entering the game 8-4, the Eagles kicked off the second half of their conference schedule in strong fashion, opening up a 16-5 lead in the first quarter and controlling the game from start to finish. Though the Indians entered the game in high spirits with the return of freshman Max Roach from an ankle injury, they couldn’t translate it into a good night of offense as the Eagle defense was quick to close holes on the perimeter.
The Eagles were led in the game by senior Lincoln Vander Molen, who drained 5 3-pointers, but otherwise spread out their scoring in what was a night that was all about defense and rebounding to secure their 9th win. The Indians got 12 points out of junior Aidan Scholes, who added to his lead on the season as the top point scorer on the Indians. The final score was 54-37; the win brought the Eagles to 9-4 as the Indians dropped to 1-12.
Osky’s boys and girls will host Indianola (#6 boys, #11 girls) on Tuesday.