Tigers finish season with loss in Lincoln
OSMOND -- It was a hard pill to swallow. The final buzzer sounded at Lincoln East High School. The score board read Osmond 49 – Southern Valley 50. Fans, players and coaches froze in shock, realizing their dream season was over.
The first-round defeat was not something the team or fans even considered to be a possibility as the Tigers entered the state tournament. The pain of defeat always stings, especially in the final game of the year, but the memories and success the Tigers enjoyed all throughout the season leaves plenty to be proud of.
Osmond entered as the No. 3 seed and took on the No. 6 seed Southern Valley Eagles. It was a highly competitive game with both teams battling back and forth in a tight ballgame.
The Tigers' offense got rolling in the first quarter with a Keaton Timmerman post up, catching the lob and getting the easy 2. Shortly after, Timmerman had the ball once again but felt double-team pressure and found Graysen Schultze on the right wing for a three-pointer.
Amidst those first couple buckets however, the Tigers committed multiple turnovers on their way to 10 in the first half! The second quarter saw Osmond slow down a little offensively, while the Eagles picked up their scoring; including a made basket with a couple seconds left in the half to give Southern Valley a two-point lead and momentum heading into the locker room.
During the third quarter, both teams played quality state-tournament basketball. Each team was scoring efficiently, getting steals and hitting difficult shots. The Eagles edged the Tigers by one in the third with much of their scoring coming from senior Clayton Berry, scoring 8 of his 20 points in the third quarter.
The final quarter picked up where the third left off, with each team battling, doing everything they could do to move on in the tournament and keep their season alive. Osmond trailed most of the period before tying the game late in the quarter.
Nearly the entire final minute of the game was played at a tie score. The Tigers had a chance to take the last shot of the game with around 40 seconds left. Southern Valley’s Berry fought through a screen, stole a pass and got fouled shortly after. Fortunately for the Tigers, he missed both free throw attempts and left Osmond with another opportunity to win the game before the fourth quarter ended.
The Tigers ran a play after inbounding the ball from the sideline with eight seconds left on the clock. The play resulted in an off-balance shot missed by the Tigers and a foul on an offensive rebound attempt. There were 3.6 seconds left on the clock as an Eagle stepped to the free throw line. The first attempt was missed, still giving Osmond hope they could win the game in overtime. Sadly, the second free throw attempt was made. Osmond was able to get a half-court shot up before the buzzer sounded but the shot would fall short and leave the Tigers standing in disbelief.
For Osmond it would put an end to another remarkable season. The Tigers finished with a 24-2 record and captured their third District Championship in three years. The junior varsity team was a force to be reckoned with as well throughout the basketball season, winning every contest but one. For these seniors, they experienced an overall record of 89 wins and 14 losses in their four years on the high school basketball team.
"I’ll remember these seniors for their remarkable leadership ability, unselfishness and passion for the game of basketball," said Coach Todd Schulze. "All five members were a joy to work with. They were absolutely vital in creating a culture that we are proud of. They competed with class, sportsmanship and a toughness I will never forget. As a coach, I am beyond grateful that I had the opportunity to coach these seniors for the past six years, including junior high. Many coaches don’t get that type of opportunity, and I’ve been fortunate enough to experience it early in my coaching career. I will miss these young men and everything they have done for our school and basketball program!"
Osmond 12 7 16 14 = 49
S. Valley 8 13 17 12 = 50