Fouls plague Flanagan’s Dutchgirls in opener

Will Johnson
Sports Editor

Opening their season Monday night against Fatima’s Lady Comets, Ryan Flanagan’s Owensville Dutchgirl basketball team looked to knock off the seventh-ranked team in Class 3 according to the Missouri Basketball Coaches Association (MBCA).

In spite of trailing by as many as 12 points in the first half, Owensville was able to overcome several players in foul trouble to stay within single digits throughout the entire second half.

Closing within two twice, OHS could not get any closer before dropping a hard-fought 56-53 game in varsity action against the visitors from Osage County.

“I’m really pleased with how we played tonight against the number seven team in Class 3,” Flanagan said. “I thought we hustled and communicated very well together tonight.”

Falling behind 3-0 in the opening seconds of the game, a Breanna Diestelkamp free throw got OHS on the board at the 7:23 mark of the first quarter.

Destinee Busenhart hit Owensville’s first field goal of the season trimming the Lady Comet lead to 4-3 with 6:55 for the opening period.

Buckets from Stephani Elliot, Anna Skornia and Diestelkamp left the Dutchgirls trailing Fatima 14-9 after one quarter.

As the second quarter wore on, fouls began to catch up to OHS.

Picking up two fouls in a 21-second span, Diestelkamp suddenly had three fouls and found herself on the bench the rest of the half.

Trailing 21-13 when the UMSL-bound senior checked out, Elliott, Skornia and Busenhart combined to double Owensville’s point total helping the Dutchgirls trail the Lady Comets 31-26 at halftime.

“When Breanna has to sit, someone else has to pick up the slack,” Flanagan said. “I thought the girls really did that tonight.”

Coming off the bench, Skornia paced the Dutchgirl offense with eight first half points.

When the half ended, a trio of Dutchgirls were saddled with three fouls including Busenhart, Elliot and Diestelkamp.

“I was really concerned about foul trouble tonight not having a deep bench,” Flanagan said.

That will be eased when senior Liana Miller returns next month from a knee injury that ended her junior season last winter.

Seemingly trading points with Fatima in the third quarter, Owensville found themselves trailing 44-38 with eight minutes of basketball left.

Down six with just over a minute left, Elliott splashed home a 3-ball from the top of the key cutting the Lady Comet lead in half to 52-49 with 1:08 remaining.

A Diestelkamp free throw reduced the deficit to 52-50 before a Karli Struemph free throw and a Katelyn Vanderfeltz bucket bumped Fatima’s lead back to 55-50.

Doing her best Elliott impersonation, Anna Finley dialed home a 3-ball with 13 ticks left pulling Owensville to within a bucket.

“I was nervous coming into the game against Owensville,” Fatima head coach Matt Baker said. “Watching them on film this week knowing everybody was back and that they played us tough last year made us not take them lightly.”

Seeing a potential game-tying shot by Katelyn Landolt blocked, the Dutchgirls came three points shy of a season-opening victory.

Diestelkamp led the Dutchgirls with a double double of 17 points and 11 rebounds.

Elliott also reached double digits with 12 points and Skornia made it a trio of Dutchgirls scoring in double figures with 10 points.

Busenhart scored all six of her points in the first half followed by five markers from Finley all in the fourth quarter.

Katelyn Landolt added three points in the third quarter to round out the Owensville scoring.

Lauren Brandt led Fatima and all scorers with a game-high 22 points.

Prior to the foul-filled varsity contest, both junior varsity girl’s basketball teams from Owensville and Fatima faced off.

Nursing a 10-9 lead after one quarter, the JV Dutchgirls went cold on offense while Fatima heated up outscoring them 40-11 going on to a 49-21 win in JV action.

Keira Hendrix paced the Dutchgirl offense with eight points followed closely by her sister Kyla with seven markers.

Cami Gray added three points and pulled down a game-high 10 rebounds with nine coming in the second quarter.

Leah Reed added a first-quarter bucket for two points along with a second-quarter free throw from Kayden Wood.