By Ron Haramia
HAMLET - To say there was a girls basketball game last night at the Bobcat Den would not do the evening justice. In fact, the game, if you can call it that, may have been the least exciting of all the events that took place as fifth-ranked (Class 1A) Oregon-Davis steamrolled past Bowman Academy, 83-35, in its final tuneup before sectionals begin next week.
“We wanted to make sure we had a lot of people here - for Katie, for the team, for the last home game,” said Oregon-Davis head coach Terry Minix. “We wanted the crowd to get into it and they did.”
First of all, it was Senior Night and O-D’s three seniors - Katie Sauer, Jayden Worthington and Reece Danford - were recognized before the game. It was also Coaches vs. Cancer night so the Lady Bobcats were decked out in pink uniforms for the occasion. At halftime, a large group of elementary school girl hoopsters showed their skills during an extended break. Lastly, Sauer was chasing the 1,000-point mark for her career, needing 15 points to join Worthington and Mercedes Rhodes to hit the special mark this season, a rare occasion, but one O-D did back in 2014 (Jesse Averone, Ashley Campbell, Alisha McIntosh).
The senior guard was busy handing out assists (14), but did hit the significant milestone at the end of the third quarter and finished with 18 points (four 3s). Worthington was the game-high scorer with 23, followed by Rhodes with 22. Freshman reserve McKenna Chessor added nine, all on three-pointers, and sophomore Maddie Hudspeth chipped in seven points and pulled down 15 rebounds.
“Our kids played well,” Minix added. “We got off to a slow start, but once we started rolling, it was good.”
It’s hard to believe now, but the game was actually tied at 19 early in the second quarter before a 23-2 outburst led by 11 second-quarter points from Worthington. O-D then made four consecutive 3s - two by Sauer and one each from Rhodes and Chessor - early in the third quarter as the lead went over the 30-point mark.
Things got even more interesting in the fourth quarter as Bowman, which suited up only six players, had one get injured in the third frame, then one fouled out early in the fourth, forcing the Lady Eagles to play with just four players. With still four minutes to play, another Bowman player fouled out and the Lady Eagles played with just three.
“I know the feeling,” Minix said, as his squad last year had a couple of games where it played with less than five on the floor. “Jayden and Mercedes played their usual strong games, then our freshmen come in and knock some shots down. That’s what we’ve got to have. Lizzy (Johnson’s) been doing that and we wanted to get others into the flow. We want to be able to go to the bench so if we have someone hurt or in foul trouble, we don’t lose a beat. I think we’re getting better at that.”
Bowman senior Christian Haggard had a terrific game, scoring 22 of her team’s 35 points, including five in the fourth period when it was 3-on-5.
O-D received the bye in the Class 1A Culver Sectional and does not play until next Friday, Feb. 7, against the winner of the West Central-Culver contest in the first semifinal. Tip-off is set for 5:30 p.m. Central Time.
OREGON-DAVIS 83, BOWMAN ACADEMY 35
BOWMAN ACADEMY: Shamiyah Johnson 0 0-0 0, Shameka Johnson 1 0-0 2, Christian Haggard 9 2-3 22, Samaria Freeman 4 0-0 8, Micale Dixon 1 1-2 3, Beauti Santiago 0 0-0 0. TOTALS: 15 3-5 35.
O-D: Katie Sauer 7 0-0 18, Mercedes Rhodes 7 6-8 22, Jayden Worthington 10 3-7 23, Lizzy Johnson 2 0-0 4, Maddie Hudspeth 2 2-2 7, McKenna Chessor 3 0-0 9, Kylee Saylor 0 0-0 0, Lily Waldrop 0 0-0 0. TOTALS: 31 11-17 83.
Score by quarters
Bowman Acad. 14 23 29 35
Oregon-Davis 17 43 62 83
3-pointers: O-D 10 (Sauer 4, Chessor 3, Rhodes 2, Hudspeth), Bowman Academy 2 (Haggard 2). Fouls (fouled out): O-D 9 (none), Bowman Academy 16 (Santiago, Dixon)
Records: O-D 17-4, Bowman Academy 10-12