Wins have been hard to come by for the Osceola Chieftains boys’ basketball team so far this season. Osceola has been hit hard by injury and sickness but is not looking for excuses. They team seems to be getting healthier and is still hopeful that they can turn things around for a better second half of the season.
Osceola hosted the Baldwin-Woodville Blackhawks last week in a Middle Border conference contest and dropped a 10 point decision. Osceola had a one point lead at halftime but B-W got hot after the break and outscored the Chieftains by 11 to leave town with a 53-43 decision.
“This was a hard fought game by both teams,” Osceola Coach Tyler Olson said. “We started strong and built an early lead. Jacob Hall exiting the game with an ankle injury early on was a huge blow, but our players rallied and stepped up in his absence. Baldwin was able to shoot a high percentage from three (point range) and they were able to knock enough down in the second half to keep separation.”
St. Croix Central currently leads the MBC standings with a 6-0 record (10-1 overall). New Richmond is just on-half game back of SCC with a 6-1 conference mark. Prescott is in third with a 4-2 record followed by Somerset at 4-3.
Osceola held an 18-17 lead at intermission with junior Tyler Ulrich netting half of his 14 points in the first half. Garrett Slater chipped in with five points before the break. SCC had just 17 points in the first half with nine of them coming on 3-pointers. This was a sign of things to come for the second half.
St. Croix Central found the range from long distance in the second half as they netted five more treys after the break, three of them by junior Keegan Ofstie. Sophomore Collin Fritts added a pair of 3-pointers for the Panthers. Ofstie ended the night with a game high 17 points for B-W. Teammates Fritts, with 13, and Dylan Karau, with 11, also were in double figures for the Blackhawks. Baldwin-Woodville was hot from the charity stripe dropping in 12-of-14 attempts (86%). Ulrich led the Osceola scoring with 14 followed by Slater with 10.
Ulrich feels like the Chieftains are on the edge of putting some wins on the board. “In my opinion our record in the first half of the season does not reflect the true capabilities of our team,” he said. “Going forward we need to learn from our previous games. We have started strong against a number of teams and just need to uphold the intensity and drive to the end.”