The Amery Warrior girls basketball team has been a tough riddle for the Osceola Chieftains to solve in recent years. Osceola beat Amery 41-40 on Dec. 20, 2011, but since then the Warriors have had the Chieftains’ number. Coming into last week Amery had defeated Osceola 16 straight times, including a playoff win in 2014. The Chieftains were hoping to turn the tables this season but the Warriors were again too strong as they made it 17 straight wins with a 51-39 decision in a game played in Osceola.
The win for Amery keeps them in the hunt in the Middle Border conference as they own a 4-3 record (7-4 overall). New Richmond leads the MBC at 6-0, Prescott holds down the second spot with a 5-0 record while Somerset is tied with Amery for the third spot. Osceola is tied for sixth place with Ellsworth in the MBC with a 1-4 record (4-7 overall).
Osceola held their own for the most part against Amery but the Warriors’ experience in the paint was the main difference. Amery scored just over half of their team points from in close netting 26 of their 51 points from the paint. Osceola was able to hit for 14 points from close in. The other key factor in the game was from the charity stripe. Amery connected on 17-of-20 attempts (85%) while Osceola hit 10-of-15 (67%). Amery out-rebounded the Chieftains 34-24.
The game was tied at eight points apiece before Amery went on a 12-3 run to open up a 20-11 advantage. The warriors took a 31-20 lead into intermission but Osceola hung tough, cutting the lead to 32-25 before the Warriors went on another big run to open up a 45-28 lead. The Chieftains had another response getting back into the hunt 47-39 with 1:31 to play. The big play of the run was a four-point play by Emily Fox with an assist by Ellie Gillespie.
Freshman Hattie Fox led the Osceola scoring with 13 points including a pair of treys. Sister Emily Fox was next in line for the Chieftains with 11 points including one from behind the arc. Mallory Johnson added seven points to the Osceola total. Johnson and Hattie Fox led the team with six rebounds each.
“Hattie Fox continues to be consistent for us,” Osceola coach Mike Haase noted. “She leads us in scoring but she also gets a tough defensive assignment every night. In this game she had the tough task of guarding Ella Schmidt in the post.”
Amery Schmidt ended the night with 19 points total, including hitting 7-of-7 free throws. Teammate Mariah Waalen hit for 12 Warrior points.
Osceola will quickly put the sting of the Amery loss behind them and focus on this week in hopes of their next MBC win. Things won’t get any easier with Prescott coming to town on Jan. 23 followed by non-conference foe Unity on Jan. 27. The Chieftains remain focused on the task at hand
“I think what it will take to notch a few more MBC wins is talking more out on the court, shooting the ball more and being more aggressive on offense and trying to motivate each other,” Osceola junior Jordyn Wright said.