The good news for both the Ottumwa High girls and boys basketball teams is that the next game is just around the corner.
After both Bulldog hoops squads struggled in lopsided road losses at West Des Moines Valley on Tuesday, OHS has its sights set on Friday night, when Des Moines Lincoln will visit Ottumwa for a pivotal CIML Metro Conference doubleheader.
The Ottumwa girls can draw on some recent history for inspiration. For starters, the Bulldogs already own a win over Lincoln, having beaten the Railsplitters on their home court back in December. OHS has also shown an ability to bounce back quickly from a difficult loss. Less than two weeks ago, Ottumwa lost in lopsided fashion on the road at Waukee, but bounced back four days later to earn a 14-point home win over Des Moines Roosevelt.
As for the Ottumwa boys, they’re hoping to accelerate their learning curve as they enter a critical stretch of the season. The addition of Nic Young to the lineup has given the Bulldogs some increased scoring opportunities inside, but the real improvement will come when all five players on the floor become comfortable playing together.
The game against Lincoln gives OHS a chance to get something back from the Railsplitters after the Bulldogs let one get away last month. Ottumwa rallied from an early 15-0 deficit in that contest, and briefly held a second-half lead before falling by ten points. If they can shake off the sting of the Valley loss and come out motivated on Friday, they’ll have a chance to pick up a much-needed win in front of the home crowd.
The girls game Friday night tips off at 6:15 at Evans Middle School, with the boys game following at 7:45. Both games will be broadcast on 1240 KBIZ.