Pioneers sweep Orabs in conference hoops clash
Okoboji hoops teams came away with a pair of victories Friday night during a Siouxland Conference road trip to Sheldon. The ninth-ranked (3A) Pioneer girls earned a 71-52 win and the boys picked up their first victory of the season with a 65-58 win over the Orabs.
Girls pick up first road win
The Okoboji girls played well at the beginning of both halves Friday evening in the Pioneers' 19-point victory over Sheldon. It was their first road win of the season.
"We were very happy to come out of here with a win," Okoboji coach John Adams said. "Sheldon played us very tough and had a really good game plan. We challenged the girls to guard harder in the third quarter and they responded."
According to Adams, the Orabs took an early 11-10 lead before a Mia Meyer three-pointer gave the Pioneers a lead they would not relinquish.
Okoboji stretched its lead to 21-14 after one quarter of play.
Sheldon bounced back in the second quarter, ending the half on a 5-0 run to make it a 31-27 Pioneer lead at intermission.
The two squads traded buckets at the start of the third quarter before the Pioneers clamped down on defense and extended the lead to 52-38 heading into the final stanza.
There, the Orabs nailed back-to-back three-pointers to trim the Okoboji lead to 53-45. However, the Pioneers answered with a 10-3 run to put the game away for good.
Magan Christopherson led Okoboji with 18 points. She also had six rebounds, four assists and three steals.
Kallyn Stumbo had 15 points, 10 rebounds, six assists, two steals and two blocks.
Camry Jones had 14 points, 10 rebounds, a steal and a block.
Meyer had 13 points on 5-6 shooting from the field and 3-3 from beyond the arc. Alexis Neilsen had 10 rebounds and two assists.
"Mia Meyer hit some huge shots for us in the first half when they were taking Kallyn and Magan away and helped us to that first-half lead," Adams said. "Sheldon did a very good job of making Kallyn and Magan work for their points, and I thought both of them did an equally good job of staying patient and not forcing things. Camry and Alexis continue to do impressive work on the glass, and we once again got great minutes and energy from our bench, including what I felt was Taylor Titterington’s best game of the year."
Sheldon was led by Brooklyn Grady's 15 points.
With the win, the Pioneers improved to 4-0 overall and 3-0 in conference play. They returned to action Tuesday at home against Rock Valley (3-0, 3-0). Okoboji will host MOC-Floyd Valley (2-0, 2-0) on Friday, Dec. 7, and Graettinger-Terril/Ruthven-Ayrshire (4-0, 1-0) on Monday, Dec. 10, before traveling to take on Sibley-Ocheyedan (0-3, 0-3) on Tuesday, Dec. 11.
Hot start lead to boys win
The Okoboji boys got out to a commanding 23-7 lead Friday and held off the Orabs in the second half to pick up their first victory of the season with a 65-58 road win over Sheldon.
"As a staff, we were very proud of the resiliency our guys displayed tonight and this first week of the season," Okoboji coach Ryan Stumbo said. "We talk a lot about how sports can provide great opportunities to develop important life skills, and we were very encouraged seeing how the game of basketball is helping our guys put these skills into practice. Instead of focusing on negative elements, these guys chose to confront our areas of improvement, stay true to who they are, and lean into our experience together this week to come even closer as a team and make some nice progress. Regardless of any outcome, that is what we were most proud of this game. We will need to continue to show this resiliency all year long and know we have a great group of guys that can do it."
Okoboji outscored Sheldon 15-9 in the second quarter to take a 38-16 lead at halftime, but the Orabs cut the Pioneers' lead to 16 with an 18-12 score in the third. They continued to cut the deficit in the fourth quarter, pulling within nine with a minute left in regulation, but the Pioneers held on for the seven-point victory.
Okoboji junior Jamison Helmers led the way with 25 points, three assists and two steals.
Senior Cris Halbur had 12 points, eight rebounds and two steals. Junior Kyle Martin had 11 points, six boards and three steals.
Junior Tyler Adams had nine rebounds, seven assists and a steal. Freshman Lucas Lorenzen had seven points, five rebounds and a steal for the Pioneers, who improved to 1-2 overall and 1-1 in conference play.
Sheldon was led by Mitchel Wolf's 15 points. Luke Van Beek had 14 points for the Orabs.
The Pioneers returned to action Tuesday at home against Rock Valley (1-0). Okoboji will host MOC-Floyd Valley (0-1, 0-1) on Friday, Dec. 7, and Graettinger-Terril/Ruthven-Ayrshire (2-0, 1-0) on Monday, Dec. 10, before traveling to take on Sibley-Ocheyedan (1-1, 1-1) on Tuesday, Dec. 11.