By JIM GRIES
Herald sports editor
Oskaloosa celebrated its new No. 15 ranking in Class 4A by the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union the right way on Friday night as the Indians ran their record to 3-0 with a 45-36 triumph of Des Moines Hoover Friday night.
The teams had a bit of a struggle getting points early on as Oskaloosa led 3-0 in the first 3 minutes with Kena Veldhuizen, who finished the game with 21 points to lead all scorers, getting the three points.
Allie Christenson would get six straight points for a 9-1 Oskaloosa lead. The Huskies (1-2) missed seven of the first eight free throw attempts before finally getting their first field goal of the game at the 2:14 mark from Malaysia Duncan, who had a 3-pointer.
Des Moines Hoover ended the game going 7 for 20 from the charity stripe which proved to be very helpful for Oskaloosa to get out to the early lead and never gave it up.
“They struggled from the free-throw line and that allowed us to build up a lead and we were able to keep the lead going,” Oskaloosa coach Steve Kaisand said. “We knew it would be a tough game with Hoover coming from the CIML (Central Iowa Metro League). We knew they were big just looking at their heights. We knew it would come down to the end and who would make the plays at the end and that gave us a little bit of ability to get a little breathing room as the game went along.”
Taylor Crawford scored the final four points for the Indians in the opening period for a 13-6 lead at the end of the quarter.
A 3-pointer by Natalie Clark and a bucket by Nyakat Diew cut the margin to 13-11 midway in the second quarter, but a 3-ball from Taylor Richardson sparked a 10-0 run that effectively put an end of Des Moines Hoover’s chances of coming away with the win.
“We got some easy baskets in the second quarter and got them up and running a lot,” Kaisand said. “I thought they got tired a bit, but they were able to get some wind back in the third. We were still able to get some easy buckets.”
The Huskies pulled to within 39-34 with 3:09 remaining in the game, but the Indians were able to make their final six points from the line and hold off the Huskies to get the win.
Oskaloosa starts Little Hawkeye Conference action
Oskaloosa 45, Des Moines Hoover 36
H 6 8 9 13 — 36
O 13 10 9 13 — 45
DES MOINES HOOVER (36) — Natalie Clark 3 0-4 7, Malaysia Duncan 2 3-4 9, Mikayla Larson 3 0-0 6, Savana Robinson 1 0-0 2, Nyakat Diew 2 4-12 8, Nakeyih Harris 1 0-0 2, Artorria Jung 1 0-0 2. Totals 13 7-20 36.
3-point goals — 3 (Duncan 2, Clark). Fouled out — Larson, Diew. Total fouls — 22. Turnovers — 20.
OSKALOOSA (45) — Taylor Richardson 3 0-0 7, Kena Veldhuizen 7 7-10 21, Allie Christenson 2 4-4 8, Taylor Crawford 2 2-3 6, Kate Hasselman 0 3-5 3, Sarandyn Curtis 0 0-2 0, Chace Moyer 0 0-0 0, Peyton Zickefoose 0 0-0 0. Totals 14 16-24 45.
3-point goal — 1 (Richardson). Fouled out — Crawford. Total fouls — 16. Turnovers — 20.