Ottumwa -- For the second straight Friday night, Indian Hills had an 11-point first-half lead against a ranked opponent disappear by halftime. This time, though, the Warriors held onto a second-half double-digit advantage and defeated third-ranked Southern Idaho, 96-82, as part of the Reed Overhead Doors Classic at the Hellyer Center.
The Warriors were able to bounce back after the disappointing overtime loss to No. 14 Western Nebraska the week before to drill Trinidad State the following day, and Friday they made it consecutive victories by beating a CSI team that had lost in the title game of the national tournament last March.
IHCC and Southern Idaho were locked in a tight battle midway through the second half. There were three ties and five lead changes in about 10 minutes of action before Iziah James put Indian Hills ahead for good at 61-60. Torrey Patton made a pair of free throws and Tyler Chisom scored inside to build the lead to 65-60. The Golden Eagles were never closer than four points after that.
Chisom sparked IHCC's second-half performance, when they outscored CSI 58-43, with 16 of his season-high 20 points coming in the final 20 minutes. Tomas Woldetensae was also a key figure in the Warriors' strong second half, netting 15 of his points. Woldetensae opened the scoring in the final period with a 3-pointer, made back-to-back buckets on a couple of dandy hook shots, then helped to finish off CSI with a pair of threes.
After finally securing the lead, Indian Hills was able to shake loose from the Golden Eagles, expanding the lead to 81-70 on a basket by James, who tallied 14 points. The Warriors also got 10 points from Nick Wagner, who knocked down a couple of treys in the first half and connected on two straight shots inside the lane in the second stanza, the first tying the score at 56-all and the second putting IHCC ahead 59-58.
Coreyoun Rushin came back with a field goal for CSI after Wagner's basket to give the visitors their final lead at 60-59. Rushin had five second-half buckets and a team-high 14 points.
The Warriors did not trail in the opening hald until David Walker dropped in a 3-pointer at the buzzer to send CSI to the lockerroom on top, 39-38. The biggest margin for Indian Hills in the period was 11 twice, after a Tyon Grant-Foster hoop and later on a three by Wagner.
CSI, which already owns a split against the Western Nebraska team that downed IHCC last weekend, is now 7-3. The Warriors upped their mark to 7-2. The teams will face off again on Dec. 29 when Indian Hills travels to Twin Falls, Idaho for a pair of games.
IHCC rounds out this weekend with a big test against top-rated Northwest Florida State Saturday night at 7:00. The Raiders stayed perfect on the season by beating State Fair, 87-78, Friday for their 10th straight win.
INDIAN HILLS 96, SOUTHERN IDAHO 82
Devontae Lane 2 3-3 7, Lance Singh 0 0-0 0, Billy Thomas 1 0-0 3, Iziah James 4 4-4 14, Nick Wagner 4 0-0 10, Tyon Grant-Foster 1 0-0 2, Tomas Woldetensae 7 2-2 20, Josh Nicholas 0 0-0 0, JD Muila 3 0-3 6, Anthony Bratton 3 1-2 7, Tyler Chisom 8 4-7 20, Torrey Patton 1 5-6 7 Team 34 19-27 96
Roberto Gittens 3 5-5 13, David Walker 5 0-0 12, Jaxon Edelmayer 4 0-1 9, N'Keil Nelson 4 3-3 12, Malik Porter 1 1-2 3, Coreyoun Rushin 7 0-2 14, Coleman Sparling 1 0-3 2, Brayden Parker 3 0-0 6, Thomas Miles 3 3-4 11, Andrea Lo Biondo 0 0-0 0, Kevin Legardy 0 0-0 0, Sano Gasana 0 0-0 0 Team 31 12-20 82
Halftime score: CSI 39, IHCC 38; Three-point field goals: IHCC 9 (Woldetensae 4, James 2, Wagner 2, Thomas 1); CSI 8 (Gittens 2, Walker 2, Miles 2, Edelmayer 1, Nelson 1)