It’s no secret that in recent years wins have been hard to come by for the Osceola Chieftain boys’ basketball team. The last time OHS had secured a pair of wins in the same week was on December 11, 2017 against Hayward in a non-conference game and the next night when they defeated Somerset in a Middle Border conference matchup. The last time that they had won back-to-back MBC contests was in January of 2016 when they took down Baldwin-Woodville on the 19th and finished the week with a win over Ellsworth on the 22nd.
Wins have been hard to come by for Osceola and that is why wins over the Prescott Cardinals and Amery Warriors last week is just what the doctor ordered for the boys’ basketball team. It may be a small step but it certainly was a positive step in the right direction.
Osceola opened their week with a 66-58 win over visiting Prescott, a team that has spent most of their recent years on the top of the heap of the MBC. The Chieftains opened up a 10 point lead over the Cardinals by halftime and completed the game with an eight point margin. Brayden Bradway and Tyler Ulrich took turns leading the OHS offense as Bradway netted 15 of his 19 points before the break with Ulrich scoring 14 of his 19 points after intermission. Bradway hit four treys to account for 12 of his points while Ulrich notched 11 points from the free throw line on 13 attempts.
“My role on this team has been increasing a little every game with doing my part on defense as well as offense,” Bradway said. “There are a couple of guys that have this role also and it is a very difficult task. I am very fortunate to be able to take the task up and execute it the way we need.”
Osceola coach Tyler Olson was happy with the total team effort for the complete game resulting in an important win for the Chiefs.
“This was a fun night for our boys as Prescott has certainly had our number for many years now,” Olson said. “After playing some good basketball in stretches the past few weeks, it was nice to put together a complete game and come out with a victory. Credit goes to our players for continuing to stay positive through a tough stretch of games to put together a performance like they did. Our shots fell early, we played a solid defensive game throughout, and we were able to finish the game out by making our free throws.”
Bradway and Ulrich’s 19 points each led all scorers. Chieftain Ashton Measner was also in double figures with a dozen.
For the first time in over five years Osceola notched a second MBC win in the same week when they defeated Amery 53-44. Although the Chieftains never trailed in the contest the Warriors kept it close until the final seconds of the game. OHS led by as many as 11 before intermission but AHS cut the deficit to five by the break. Amery actually tied the game at 33 with 13:08 to play on a hoop by Wyatt Luchtenburg but Osceola responded on their next possession with a 3-pointer by senior Jacob Hall. After the Warriors cut their deficit to 36-35 the Chieftains ran off eight straight points to up their lead to 44-35. Amery then got to within six twice but Osceola held off the Warriors for their second straight MBC win of the week.
“Amery has shown to be a real tough and scrappy team this season, and we really had to grind this game out in order to come out on top,” Olson noted. “It was not pretty, but we were happy to come away with the victory, especially after losing a tough one to Amery earlier this season. Ending the regular season now with two straight conference wins gives us some real positive momentum and confidence heading into the playoffs.”
Chieftain sophomore Garrett Slater led all scorers with 21 points. Measner added nine points for Osceola with Hall, Ulrich and Bradway each adding seven to the Chieftain cause.