Osmond Tigers earn Lewis and Clark runner-up honors

The girls’ and boys’ championship games for the Lewis and Clark Basketball Tournaments both went down to the wire. The Ponca Indians fell just short, missing a three-point buzzer beater that would have sent the game to overtime against the Wynot Lady Blue Devils.

The boys’ final between Osmond and Winnebago required four extra minutes to determine who had the opportunity cut down the nets.

Osmond vs. Winnebago

LAUREL — The game was absolutely entertaining for the entire 36 minutes. Both squads featured special scorers and playmakers that electrified the crowd in Laurel. It’s said that basketball contests are made up of scoring runs, and Monday’s bout was the epitome of that idea.

The first quarter was a back-andforth battle. Winnebago demonstrated their balanced scoring attack with four players scoring multiple baskets in the opening quarter. On the Tiger side, senior Zach Huwaldt was leading the charge, hitting jumpers and finishing around the basket to lead Osmond with nine points in the opening quarter.

In the second quarter, the Tigers gained control. Down by four, Osmond implemented a switching man-to-man defense for the remainder of the second half. It proved to be effective atlimited driving opportunities and shutting down the Indian offense.

Freshman Spencer Hille added a boost for the Osmond scoring efforts, putting up seven points in the second, including a three-pointer from the left corner. Ryan Schmit was a steady performer throughout the first half, adding nine points to help Osmond take a 34-30 halftime lead.

Graysen Schultze battled foul trouble in the first half. Found guilty of three fouls, and dealing with an athletic Winnebago defense, Schultze had a difficult first half, only coming away with four points.

Coach Todd Schultze commented on that very stat, “If you would have told me that Graysen would only have four points in the first half and that we’d be AHEAD by four, I’d be thrilled!”

In the third quarter, Osmond took control of the game, going on a run to finish the period and increasing the lead to 11 points. Schultze added nine in the quarter; Schmit, five, and Huwaldt, a pair of twos to help the Tiger scoring efforts.

Osmond was right where they wanted to be to start the fourth quarter, but made some costly mistakes that would come back to haunt them. Winnebago scored on the opening possession, Osmond turned it over leading to another Indian basket, and on the following possession Osmond took a quick shot that wouldn’t find the bottom of the net.

Again, Winnebago capitalized; this time nailing a three-pointer and taking a big chunk out of the once comfortable Osmond lead. Coach Schulze called a timeout to reassess the situation, but the Tigers never seemed to get back on track, only scoring seven points in the period compared to the 18-point onslaught from Winnebago, getting scoring contributions from four different players in the fourth.

Up by two with 15 seconds left, the Tigers had a chance to rebound a missed Bago shot attempt, but the ball bounced off Spencer Hille’s hand and out of bounds, allowing the Indians another attempt to tie or take the lead. Sophomore Dyami Berridge came through in a big way for his team, hitting a contested pull-up jumper that would send the game to overtime.

In OT the Tigers failed to do what they had done all year in tight games, convert their free throws . Collectively Hille, Schultze, and Huwaldt went 1-for-6 at the line. Another rare occurrence took place, when Graysen Schultze had his pocket picked which was converted into a layup on the other end for Winnebago.

With .4 seconds left Osmond fouled a Winnebago player. However, their team thought the game was over and couple players rushed on the court, resulting in a technical foul.

The Tigers still weren’t entirely out of it, as the Bago player missed the front end of his 1-and-1. Graysen Schultze would step to the line to shoot two free throws and the Tigers would get the ball back in hopes to recreate a little of their magic from the semifinal. However, Schultze missed the pair of free throws, keeping Osmond down by four with no way of pulling off another miracle as the Tigers fell in the championship game 66-62.

Score by Quarter

Osmond 18 16 18 7 3 = 62

Winnebago 22 8 11 18 7 = 66

Osmond vs. Winside

OSMOND — Thursday night, Feb . 11, was parents’ night for the Tigers as they faced off against the winless Winside Wildcats. Osmond took care of business in the first three quarters despite the hot shooting of Winside’s Dean Kruger, hitting five threes in the contest.

Osmond held a commanding 46-13 lead when the fourth quarter began. The Wildcat’s Dax Behmer went off for all 11 of his points in the final quarter, leaving Osmond frustrated but still victorious. Despite being outscored by 11 points in the fourth, the Tigers would still come away with a 22-point home victory.

Score by Quarter

Osmond 16 13 21 0 = 50

Winside 3 7 18 0 = 28

Osmond vs. Wausa

WAUSA — Friday evening, Feb. 12, the Tigers would take a short drive to Wausa to take on the Vikings for the second time this season. In the previous bout, the Tigers dominated the Vikings, winning 70-38.

This time however, the Vikings had a different plan and played like a team with nothing to lose. Meanwhile, the Tigers were playing lifeless and unenthused in the first half.

Wausa’s Jaxon Claussen put up 15 points in the first two quarters, enough to tie the entire Tiger team. The Vikings took a 22-15 lead into the locker room, but things would quickly change in the third quarter.

Osmond looked like a different team coming out of the locker room, a team that had a mission to dominate the second half. They would do just that, outscoring the Vikings by 15 in the third quarter, erasing the deficit and claiming a 40-32 lead at the end of the third.

Six Tigers scored points in the third quarter, including a six-point flurry from Zach Reikofski and threepointers from both Ryan Schmit and Caden Wingert. Osmond kept their foot on the gas pedal in the fourth quarter, outscoring Wausa by seven in the final quarter, completing a 41-19 second half in favor of the Tigers.

Schultze got back on the right track at the free throw line, hitting eight of 11 attempts to help the senior finish with 24 points to go along with his nine rebounds and eight assists. Schmit finished with eight, both Huwaldt and Reikosfki with six and Stevin Hasler with five points.

Huwaldt also made his prescence known on the defensive end for the Tigers with two monster blocked shots, getting his hand on top of the ball and sending it straight down to the floor!

The victory moves the Tigers to 18-3 on the season with a final regular season contest at home on Friday night against the C2 12-9 Elkhorn Valley Falcons.

“Despite the heart breaker on Monday night, we took care of business Thursday and Friday and have positioned ourselves nicely to finish out the regular season with 19 wins and prepare for a challenging subdistrict,” commented Coach Todd Schulze.

Score by Quarter

Osmond 6 9 25 16 = 56

Wausa 6 16 10 9 = 41

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