OSKALOOSA — A little Saturday afternoon girls basketball didn’t disappoint as a couple of sharpshooting point guards did battle with Oskaloosa ultimately falling 63-59 to a visiting Knoxville squad.
The featured matchup was between Knoxville’s all-state guard Maggie Wilkins and Oskaloosa sophomore Presley Blommers as the two battled all afternoon.
The Panthers jumped ahead early and were crashing the glass, getting a handful of second chance points. Knoxville would rebound well all night, winning that battle 48-27 against Oskaloosa including 21 offensive rebounds.
Osky would put tighter a good late run to trail 15-12 after one quarter of play.
Wilkins struggled to find her shot in the quarter, but she was able to get to the free throw line for six points while Blommers found her range early with a pair of triples.
The Indians continued to scrap as they found themselves behind 31-23 at the half.
An 8-2 Osky run to start the quarter and a couple more threes from Blommers would give the Indians the lead briefly before the two would go back and forth the rest of the way with Jillian Jennings jumper before the buzzer cutting the deficit to 45-43 heading to the fourth.
The three-point shooting barrage continued between the two point guards. Blommers would splash catch and shoot threes while Wilkins was pulling up off of high ball screens.
With the Panthers leading by three with 1:23 left. Oskaloosa would elect to play the foul game.
Unfortunately for them, they were fouling Wilkins, who calmly knocked down a pair of free throws to extend Knoxville’s lead to 59-54 with 52.9 seconds left. Wilkins was great at the line all night, going 13-of-14.
Oskaloosa would foul again with Marley McKay splitting her free throws to make it a six-point game.
The Indians would come down and Macie Krier would cash in a three-pointer to once again make it a one-score game with 18.3 seconds.
Osky would foul again, sending Norah Pearson to the line. Pearson would split the pair, making it a four-point game.
Blommers quickly went the other way for a tough layup to cut the deficit to two with three seconds left and Wilkins going to the line where she would put the game on ice by knocking down both free throws to make it 63-59.
Wilkins finished with her second 30-plus point effort of the week, scoring 31 points with seven rebounds, two assists and two steals.
Her counterpart, Blommers, finished with 23 points while hitting seven rainbow threes for the Indians.
In their second game in less than 24 hours and after suffer a big defeat to a ranked DCG team, it was an impressive showing for Oskaloosa on tired legs and down a key player and rebounder in Amanda Fay.
Oskaloosa (1-2) will look to bounce back at North Mahaska (1-1) on Monday at 6 p.m. while Knoxville (3-0) opens up conference play at home against Clarke (2-2) on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.
*Oskaloosa stats were not available at time of print