Indians Survive Go-Hawk Rally To Advance To Championship Game

The Oskaloosa Indians celebrate earning their first ever shot at a state title in basketball.

The Oskaloosa Indians celebrate earning their first ever shot at a state title in basketball.

Des Moines, Iowa – The Oskaloosa Indians boys basketball team is celebrating their first-ever playoff berth in the champion game.

After their relatively easy win over Sergeant Bluff-Luton in the opening round, the cold shooting bug hit the team in their match-up over Waverly-Shell Rock Thursday night.

Two quick 3-point shots by Waverly-Shell Rock in the final minute of play made victory seem questionable. Tanner DeKock stepped to the charity stripe and nailed both free throws, sealing the deal for the Indians.

“This is insane,” said Oskaloosa junior Cole Henry just moments after their victory over Waverly-Shell Rock. “This is a dream come true. We’ve always really talked about this and how we’re going to do this, but to see the day has actually come, we’re just so hyped up about this. We can’t even believe it.”

The Indians will be facing Glenwood in the championship game on Friday, March 9, 2018, at Wells Fargo Arena.

Glenwood knocked out Little Hawkeye Conference foe Norwalk, advancing them to the semi-finals against Xavier.

The southwest Iowa school stunned the two-time defending champion in the semi-final match-up.

Henry mentioned Glenwood’s speed and aggressive play as critical components in their upcoming game. “I think if we stick to our roots and go with big on big… I think we can really tower over them with our size.”

“We should come out with a win as long as we stick to what we do,” said Henry.

A sore Jared Kruse was suffering from a chin that had been split open in the final minutes of the contest when he dove on the floor for a loose ball. “I busted my chin and going to need stitches. Plus I got the foul called on me, so it wasn’t a great series of events.”

Walking off the court and banged-up some didn’t dimish the excitement for Kruse. “It’s awesome. I feel that being ranked number one, I feel like a lot of expectations is that we would get here. We had to come and perform at the state tournament, and it’s kind of like that weight lifted off your shoulders that we made it. We’re going to go after it and play for it tomorrow.”

Oskaloosa Head Boys Basketball Coach Ryan Parker, in the media center, said that the idea hadn’t sunk in that the team was going to the championship game. “We’ll enjoy ourselves tonight, and the coaches will get together and put a good scouting report together.”

“In the end, this is why you play,” said Parker. “This is what it’s about.”

The Indians have struggled all season at the free-throw line. “A win’s a win,” said Parker. “We hit them just enough to win.”

Parker is also the Oskaloosa Activities Director. He said that all 800 tickets available at the school were sold for the previous two games. “It’s unbelievable right.”

Parker praised the fans that have traveled all year long to support the team, “not just the state tournament.”

Oskaloosa senior Jared Kruse lead the Indians in scoring with 16 total points. Sophmore Xavier Foster and junior Cole Henry each had 11 points.

Foster lead the Indians in rebounds with eight, while Kruse and Henry each had five total rebounds. Henry and junior Rian Yates each had three assists. Foster had three blocked shots, while Henry had one blocked shot in the contest.

For Waverly-Shell Rock, Luke Velky lead the Go-Hawks effort with 13 points. Jacob Bahe and Velky each had six rebounds.

You can watch the game on MCG Channel 61, or listen to the game on 96.7 KIIC, or 99.5 KMZN.

Tournament coverage made possible with support from:

Wyndell Campbell State Farm, Clow Valve Company, Penn Central Mall, Gardner Collier Jewelry, MidWestOne Bank, Legacy Real Estate, Mahaska Communication Group, Langkamp Funeral Chapel & Crematory, Kinetic Edge Physical Therapy, and Mahaska Health Partnership.

MidWestOne Insurance Services, Interiors by Val, Boyle & Henderson, Stam Greenhouse, EyeCare Partners, Mahaska Drug, and United Way.




Posted by on Mar 9 2018. 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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