Slow start dooms Dutchgirls in district opener

Will Johnson

ROLLA — Splitting their previous two meetings during the regular season, Ryan Flanagan’s Owensville Dutchgirl basketball team took on Salem’s Lady Tigers Saturday morning for a third time to open the MSHSAA Class 4, District 11 Girls Basketball Tournament at Rolla High School.

Falling behind 11-2 at the 2:07 mark of the first quarter, OHS got as close as seven at 40-33 in the closing seconds of the third quarter before falling to Salem, 58-43.

“The girls played hard today, it just wasn’t enough,” Flanagan said.

Surrendering the first six points of the game, Owensville finally got on the board thanks to a Kate Angell basket at the 3:23 mark of the first quarter.

Down 11-2 over a minute later, an Anna Skornia free throw and a Breanna Diestelkamp basket in the final 1:40 of the quarter left OHS trailing 13-5 after eight minutes from Rolla.

Only able to trade points with Salem during the second quarter, the Dutchgirls went into halftime trailing the Lady Tigers 27-16.

Katelyn Landolt led the Dutchgirls with five points in the first half all scored in the second quarter.

Held to four first-half points, Diestelkamp caught fire on the offensive end in the third quarter.

Accounting for 10 of Owensville’s 17 third-quarter points, Diestelkamp’s last basket cut the Salem lead to 40-33 with :20 ticks left in the period.

Two quick Lady Tiger baskets in the span of the final eight seconds of the third quarter pushed Salem’s lead back into double digits at 44-33 going into the fourth quarter.

Just past the midway point of the fourth quarter, Kate Angell drilled a 3-pointer to once again cut Salem’s lead into single digits by a score of 48-39.

In spite of baskets from Kate Angell and Diestelkamp in the final minute, Owensville saw their season end with an overall record of 8-18.

“The last time we played Salem in the Sullivan Tournament, I think we we’re playing our best basketball,” Flanagan said. “Injuries to Liana Miller and Brooke Nowack caught up to us throughout the second half of the season. I’m proud of the way our girls kept fighting and playing. I’m looking forward to having all of them back next season.”

Diestelkamp and Salem’s Baylee Bilyeu led their respective teams in scoring sharing game-high honors with 18 points. Diestelkamp also added 13 rebounds, four steals and two blocked shots.

Kate Angell just missed double figures scoring seven of her nine points in the second half.

Anna Skornia added six points and seven rebounds for the Dutchgirls.

Madison Woolf (13) and Michaela Chilton (11) also reached double figures for Salem. Salem ended their season Monday night with 58-50 loss in the district semifinals to School of the Osage.