Indians Bid For State Tournament Comes To An End

Oskaloosa Senior Iszac Schultz drives against Pella during Monday nights sub-state final in Knoxville.

by Jamie Brockman

Knoxville’s gymnasium was at capacity and then some for the highly anticipated Class 3A Substate final featuring Oskaloosa and Pella. The winner would advance to next week’s state tournament. Unfortunately for the Indians, the Dutch denied them their third straight trip to Wells Fargo Arena with a 62-51 win.

Oskaloosa had a quick start, engaging Foster early as he scored two quick baskets giving Oskaloosa a 4-0 lead just one minute into the contest. From there, the two teams swapped leads ending the first quarter with Pella holding a 15-14 lead.

Midway through the second quarter, Oskaloosa nailed back to back three-pointers from Flaherty and Foster, putting the Indians in front 24-20, which forced a Pella timeout with just over five minutes left in the half.

Pella quickly tied the game at 24-24 with a basket and two free throws. After drawing a foul, Foster put Osky back in front with two free throws, but seconds later, Schultz picked up his third foul, sending him to the bench for the rest of the half with 3:36 remaining.

With our best defender on the bench, Oskaloosa found momentum with a 5-0 run on back to back baskets from Foster and a free throw from Will Schultz, giving Osky a 31-26 lead. A questionable offensive foul called against Foster turned the momentum back to the Dutch with four straight points, but Foster hit the final basket of the half to give Oskaloosa a 33-30 lead heading into halftime.

The Indians extended their lead to 38-32 early in the third quarter but weren’t able to carry that momentum. Midway through, Pella switched up their defense to a 1-2-1 full-court press, and that changed everything.

Oskaloosa struggled to score against the press and was held to just five total points in the third quarter while the Dutch found their groove hitting back to back three’s to tie the game, then extended that to a 42-38 lead heading into the fourth quarter.

Pella stayed hot in the fourth quarter, and Oskaloosa continued to struggle against their press. The Dutch would outscore Osky 32-18 in the second half and punch their ticket to the state tournament with a 62-51 win, becoming the third Little Hawkeye Conference team to advance to state, joining Pella Christian (2A) and Norwalk (3A).

The loss ended an impressive four year run for Oskaloosa, with four straight trips to the sub-state final, and two trips to the state tournament, resulting in a runner up finish in 2018 and a state championship in 2019.

Foster ended his Oskaloosa career with 23 points, several rebounds, and three blocked shots and will move on to play for Iowa State University next year.

Iszac Schultz also ended his high school career with 12 points. The rest of the scoring came from four sophomores. Keaton Flaherty scored eight points before fouling out, Charlie North added four, David Nelson chipped in three, and Will Schultz had one point. Logan Shetterly led Pella with 29 points.

Afterward, Coach Ryan Parker said he was disappointed with the officiating, as he counted 23 fouls in the game called against Oskaloosa compared to just ten on Pella. Parker didn’t feel they were giving Foster any room to move as they were all over him the entire game.

Regarding the second half and struggled against Pella’s press, Parker said “The easiest thing to do when you’re uncomfortable is to shoot, and we were really bothered by their press, didn’t handle it well and took too many ill-advised shots, and we just didn’t handle the ball well. We just didn’t have a real true point guard this season and had to put guys in tough situations that they weren’t used to, including Iszac who halfway through the season was kind of forced to become a point guard which was a really tough situation for him.”

Parker added, “I told the guys in the locker room after the game I was proud of each and every one of them for what they did this season and how they handled all the adversity thrown at them with injuries, sicknesses and coaching changes due to my health issues midseason. These things were unavoidable, but unfair to them, and they handled them well.”

Regarding the young sophomore talent, Parker said, “These guys were also put in tough situations. Coming from Freshman basketball, forced to play big minutes at the varsity level, in the Little Hawkeye Conference night in and night out isn’t easy.” He added that in the last six seasons, Oskaloosa is 15-5 in the postseason, with four straight sub-state berths, two state tournaments, and a state championship, and that’s something to be very proud of. Parker also credited Pella saying, “They deserved it, they’ve had a great season, and despite the intense rivalry between us, I have a lot of respect for their coaches and program.”

Oskaloosa ends their season at 10-14 overall and will lose seven Seniors, including Foster, who has etched his name in the Oskaloosa record books for career and single-season blocked shots and rebounds and joined the 1000 point club this season. Iszac Schultz helped win last year’s state championship game with his defense and late free throws and was assigned to defend the opposing team’s best offensive player every game this season.

Noah Van Veldhuizen, narrowly missed a single-season school record for made three-pointers with 69. Colton Butler stuck with the program all four years despite having to wait until his senior year to get his shot. Reece Sarver, who joined the team this season, as well as Dalton Deney and Mason Barnhardt, who each came to practice ready to work every day despite not seeing many minutes in-game situations round out the seniors.

The future of Oskaloosa basketball will undoubtedly look much different without the seven-footer Foster; however, several talented sophomores do return, including Flaherty, North, Nelson, Will Schultz, Carson Genskow, and Darryl Fane, all of which saw varsity minutes this season.

Posted by on Mar 3 2020. Filed under Local News, School Activities. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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