Bowser’s last second bucket lifts Bears over Bulldogs
by Dennis Sharkey
Since the Christmas break the Oskaloosa Bears have been on the wrong end of some tough losses, but Saturday night was different against the McLouth Bulldogs.
With the game tied at 59 and only 10 seconds left in the game senior Adam Bowser had the ball in his hands.
“The main thing in my head was to not turn it over,” Bowser said. “I didn’t want to give one of their better shooters a second shot.”
Bowser dribbled down the court and weaved his way through Bulldog defenders to the right key and banked a shot in to go up 61-59.
Some confusion ensued after Bowser’s shot because the game clock never started. Officials gathered and counted the basket and put five seconds on the clock.
After the game Head Coach Rod Stottlemire was lost for words.
“I’m just glad to win,” Stottlemire said. “It’s been a pretty hard go after Christmas and I’m just excited to get a win.”
The win over the Bulldogs not only ended a losing streak but also was revenge for the Bears who lost by 18 points on their home court the first game back from the winter break. Stottlemire said his team was more motivated to get a win rather than extracting revenge.
“Right now I don’t care who we beat,” he said. “We just needed to win a game.
“It’s got to help us,” he added. “We’ve been in a lot of games. We’ve been in three or four games like this where we got beat on a last second shot or in the last 10 seconds. We just needed to win one like this.”
After a tight first quarter the Bears had a modest three-point lead and pushed the lead to five at the half.
To start the second half the Bears went on a third quarter run and built the lead to 44-32 with 1:45 left in the quarter. The Bulldogs called a time out and went on a 6-2 run to close out the quarter down by eight points.
The Bulldogs’ defense woke up in the fourth quarter and shooters started to heat up.
With 1:45 left in the game Shawn Dailey hit a three-point basket to pull the Bulldogs within two at 59-57.
With only 38 seconds left in the game Dakota Cop was at the line with a one-and-one situation. Cop missed the front end but Dailey swept in and put the ball back in to tie the game at 59 with 34 seconds left.
With 19 seconds left Cop stole the ball from the Bears and was fouled and again put at the line with a one-and-one situation. Again Cop missed the front end but was fouled getting his own rebound and was fouled again with 10 seconds left. Cop missed the front end but this time Bowser grabbed the rebound.
Bowser led all scorers in the game with 26 points including 10 for 10 at the free throw line. Braden McGinnis had 16 points for the Bears with 10 of them also coming at the line.
Bowser said after the game that the Bulldog’s inability to hit free throws combined with his team’s high percentage of conversions was the difference in the game.
Although the team did well from the stripe, he said they still need to work.
“Free throws have been our big plague all season,” Bowser said. “We just can’t find a way to consistently knock them down at the stripe. We need to go to work Monday and work on that.”
The Bulldogs had two players in double figures with Dailey leading the way with 17 points followed by Carter Gish with 12 points.
The two teams battled for seventh place in the McLouth invitational. The Bears dropped their first game to eventual runner-up Bishop Seabury and then lost to Jefferson County North on Friday night.
The Bulldogs opened the tournament with a loss to eventual third place finisher Valley Falls before losing to Maranatha Academy on Friday night.
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