Demons put the Bulldogs on a leashWashington's full-court defense limits Ottumwa to just 22 points
Washington’s swarming defense was too much for Ottumwa on Saturday night, and the 10th-ranked Demons blew out the visiting Bulldogs 41-22.
“Obviously they struggled with our full-court pressure, to the point that we held them scoreless in the third quarter,” said Washington head coach Phil Long, whose team came up with 25 steals in the game. “We’re just so quick defensively and we can just swarm you with our athleticism. It makes it hard to get your offense set.”
Washington, which improved to 2-0, has given up just 29.5 points per game in its first two contests.
“It’s two games in a row where we’ve held our opponents under [40 points],” Long said. “We shoot for anything under 40, which gives us a chance to win. Until we find our offensive firepower, it’s crucial that we play good defense.”
Washington led 10-8 after one quarter of play, but outscored the Bulldogs 15-6 in the second quarter to open up a 25-14 lead at the intermission. Then the Demons held Ottumwa scoreless in the third frame, but were only able to push their lead to 30-14 heading into the fourth quarter.
Junior Grace Redlinger came off the Demon bench and matched her career high with 11 points. Senior Lauren Kimball and junior Stephanie Fishback added eight points apiece for Washington. Six other Demons also cracked the scoring column.
“I’m really pleased with our depth,” Long said. “I really think that I can play all of our kids and it will take its toll on the best of teams.”
The Demons went 16-for-24 from the free-throw line in the contest, which was an improvement over their 12-for-23 performance in the season opener at Eddyville-Blakesburg.
"We got to the line and made 16 out of 24, as opposed to them making three of seven," Long said. "So a lot of damage was done at the free-throw line."
Junior Megan Black scored nine points to lead Ottumwa (0-2), which shot an icy 20 percent from the field. Senior Olivia Roark added seven points for the Bulldogs.
Washington faces a stiff test this week, traveling to Mid-Prairie, which is ranked ninth in Class 3A, on Tuesday before hosting Williamsburg on Thursday and Solon on Saturday.
“We’ve got kind of a murderer’s row coming up,” Long said. “Mid-Prairie is ranked ninth in 3A and has everybody back. Then we’ve got Williamsburg, who we’ve struggled with every year for the last six years. And then you throw Solon in there. That’s a game we added to our schedule this year because I was looking for another tough 4A opponent that we might see further down the tournament trail. So we’ve got a tough week with not much practice time in between.”