Girls basketball: No. 15 Ottumwa extends winning streak at Centerville

Feb. 2—CENTERVILLE — Camdyn Crouse matched Centerville junior Adriana Howard, scoring a game-high 22 points for 15th-ranked (5A) Ottumwa on Thursday in a 45-33 win over the Redettes at Lakeview Gymnasium.

The Bulldogs extended their winning streak to eight straight games, overcoming a dominant night in the post by Howard. The 6-1 forward grabbed 23 rebounds while scoring 22 points for a double-double that gave Centerville (2-16) a chance to pull off the upset.

Howard scored eight points in the first quarter, shooting 6-6 from the free throw line while grabbing four rebounds as Centerville scored nine straight points to open a 13-9 lead after one quarter. Howard would reach double figures in both points and rebounds in the first half, driving in for a lay-up off a steal midway through the second quarter giving Centerville a 15-13 lead.

That would be the last lead for the Redettes in the contest as Howard's lay-up would be the only points Centerville would score in the period. Crouse found Hunter Caldwell on the other end of the floor for a tying lay-up before scoring the next four points on a free throw off a steal by Caldwell and a 3-pointer late in the first half as Ottumwa built a 21-15 lead with an 8-0 run to close out the second quarter.

Ottumwa's defense would help the Bulldogs gradually stretch out the lead in the team's third road game of the week. Centerville committed 34 turnovers with Ottumwa collecting 17 steals, including four apiece from Nellie Morgan and Rylea Hinebaugh who battled through a shoulder injury initially suffered on Monday at Des Moines East.

No. 15 Ottumwa (13-2) heads to Des Moines Roosevelt on Friday in a game that could decide the Iowa Alliance Conference's south division title. With a win, Ottumwa could be in position to earn a top-two regional seed and a potential home postseason game when the 5A regional pairings are announced next Wednesday.

Centerville is back home on Monday to host Sigourney.

— Scott Jackson can be reached at Follow him on Twitter@CourierScott.