Indians Lose Heartbreaker to Panthers 66-63
by Matt Saville
Oskaloosa, Iowa – Osky boys basketball team came into the Tuesday night matchup with Knoxville knowing they had a great opportunity for a win if they played a full 32 minutes on both sides of the ball. The script was almost followed to a T in the first 16 minutes, but what followed in the next 16 they wish they could get back.
Osky came out guns blazing on the back of Spencer Medlin, all Medlin did was score 13 first quarter points and grab several rebounds to help the Indians to the fast start. Ryan Reiter connected on a 3 pointer and Caden Carter and Ryder Curtis made baskets to propel Osky to a 25-15 lead after the first quarter. Coach Tremmell called the first half some of the best basketball Osky has played this season and Osky did not disappoint in the second quarter.
Reiter hit a baseline jumper followed by Max Johnson’s short jumper and Osky was cruising. Up to this point in the game, Osky was doing a better job of taking care of the ball compared to the last several games. Osky started to get into some early foul trouble as Medlin took to the bench in the second, but several players stepped up and Osky maintained their lead. Carter hit a 3 pointer and Osky continued to play good solid defense. Ki-Jana DeJong hit a lay-up and Carter received a full court pass, finishing it off by laying it in. Reiter was just as impressive on the glass, grabbing rebound after rebound. This helped Osky go into the locker room at halftime ahead 44-30.
Coach Tremmell said that he and the other coach’s spoke to the boys about how Knoxville was going to come out and put up a fight, and that Osky couldn’t rest on what they done in the first half.
The third quarter found Osky seeing defensive pressure and it worked as it has in the past, as Osky turned the ball over again and again. The turnovers along with more foul trouble allowed Knoxville to climb back into the ball game. With the crowds from both sides all fired up, it was game on!! Knoxville got to within 47-41, but baskets by Johnson and Medlin helped Osky maintain their lead. Knoxville kept capitalizing on Osky’s miscues and was getting baskets from inside and timely 3 point shooting. The score after the third quarter was Osky 54-Knoxville 52.
With Osky having their two guards Carter and Johnson in foul trouble it made it challenging to try to break Knoxville’s press. Knoxville continued to make big baskets, and, at times, they seemed to be trying to give Osky the ball right back with turnovers of their own. Jordan Silvers hit a baseline jumper and DeJong drew a charge, which seemed to not only bring the crowd back alive but energized the boys. The lead stood at 57-52 Osky.
Knoxville answered with huge shots and took the lead. Osky did not back down as Johnson and Nate VanVeldhuizen hit two huge buckets to give the Indians the lead back. Knoxville buried a bomb from the outside and nailed two free throws to go up 66-63. Osky had three good looks at the basket for 3 pointers to try and tie it but it wasn’t meant to be, as the Indians fell 66-63.
Coach Tremmell said, “We know what teams are going to do against us and that’s bring ball pressure, we work on it and work on it and we just need to get better at taking care of the ball. We have a lot of hurt boys in that locker room and hopefully we can fix these things and move on.”
Osky was led by Reiter with a big double double 15 pts. and 18 rebounds, followed by Medlin with 16 pts. and 7 rebounds; Carter with 9 pts., 6 rebounds, and 2 assists; and Johnson with a good overall game 10 pts., a couple steals and an assist.
Osky will be back in action Friday night at Pella Christian.