Ottumwa -- A 17-point second-half lead nearly disappeared down the stretch, but Indian Hills was able to hold off John Wood CC for a 91-82 win on Saturday night at the Hellyer Center. The victory was the Warriors' 17th against four losses and their 11th in 12 games on their home court.
The visitors cut a 74-57 deficit to 84-81 with two minutes to play, then IHCC scored seven of the game's final eight points. Tyler Chisom's scoop shot made the score, 86-81, and after a free throw by JWCC's Terran Jackson, Tomas Woldetense drained a pull-up jumper for a six-point advantage. Devontae Lane hit two foul shots after the Warriors got a stop on the defensive end, and after another missed shot by the Blazers, Chisom added a final free throw.
Nick Wagner, who was coming off a tremendous shooting performance a week earlier when the sophomore guard nailed all five of his 3-point attempts against Northeast (Neb.), started hot against the Blazers. Wagner buried back-to-back threes to open up the scoring against John Wood, hit another triple in the first half and two more after halftime, posting a season-high 20 points to lead IHCC. Woldetensae added to his team-leading total with five 3-pointers in the opening period and wound up with 19 points.
The Warriors had 11 threes by halftime and three more in the second half allowed them to tie their season-best total of 14.
The intermission lead was 52-36 on the strength of those 11 3s.
The Blazers' scoring leader, Cory Miller Jr., dropped in a trio of 3-pointers in less than two minutes at the outset of the second half and John Wood eventually got the deficit to 10 when Miller scored on a fast-break dunk. The Warriors built the margin back to 17 on a Wagner three-ball. JWCC's Gentry Whiteman caught fire after that with four straight threes, one of which he was fouled on and made the free throw. Those 13 points by Whiteman and six by Chandler Bevans let the Blazers chop the lead down to four, after the four-point play by Whiteman, and then three after a bucket by Miller. But they couldn't get any closer.
Miller topped all scorers with 28 points and Whiteman added 18.
Indian Hills scored at least 91 points for the fifth consecutive game and reached double figures in 3-pointers for the 14th time in their 21 contests.
The Warriors, 2-0 in the ICCAC, now get ready for a big week with two key conference games: at home against Southeastern Wednesday night and at Iowa Western Saturday evening.
INDIAN HILLS 91, JOHN WOOD 82
INDIAN HILLS (17-4)
Devontae Lane 1 2-2 4, Lance Singh 0 4-4 4, Billy Thomas 2 0-0 6, Iziah James 2 0-0 6, Nick Wagner 7 1-1 20, Tyon Grant-Foster 3 2-4 8, Tomas Woldetensae 7 0-0 19, Josh Nicholas 0 1-2 1, Tajim Smith 0 0-2 0, JD Muila 2 1-2 5, Tyler Chisom 4 5-6 13, Torrey Patton 2 1-1 5 Team 30 17-25 91
JOHN WOOD (9-10)
Cory Miller Jr. 9 6-9 28, Chandler Bevans 5 4-4 15, Gentry Whiteman 6 1-1 18, Justin Bottorff 0 2-4 2, Nick Rumbo 1 0-0 3, Eric Easter 2 0-0 4, Terran Jackson 0 3-4 3, Carter Cramsey 1 0-0 2, Trey Jefferson 2 1-2 5, Evan Morrison 1 0-0 2 Team 27 17-24 82
Halftime score: Indian Hills 52, John Wood 36; Three-point field goals: IHCC 14 (Wagner 5, Woldetensae 5, Thomas 2, James 2), JWCC 11 (Whiteman 5, Miller 4, Rumbo 1, Bevans 1)