The long week for the Osceola boys basketball team ended on a good note.
Playing its third game in four nights and its second straight on the road, the Chieftains defeated Ellsworth 60-50, Jan. 7.
“I thought we controlled the pace of the game in the first half and that helped up build a 14-point halftime lead,” explained Osceola coach Tyler Olson. “We started the second half the same way with good energy and pace.
“After building up our lead, we relaxed and became too comfortable. We made some careless decisions with the basketball against Ellsworth’s full court pressure which allowed them to claw back within a few possessions.
“We survived their rally to pull out a win, but we will need to learn how to close out a game like this better for the future.”
Brayden Bradway led Osceola (2-3 conference, 5-4 overall) with 22 points, eight rebounds, two assists and three steals.
Garrett Slater tossed in 13 along with four rebounds and two assists. Tyler Ulrich posted a double-double of 12 points and 10 rebounds. Dylan Salewski chipped in five points and four rebounds.
Osceola shot 46.5% from the field and 60.7% from the free throw line.
“After a busy week, it was really important for us to end with two consecutive wins,” Olson said. “We are hoping to carry that momentum with us into next week.”
Ellsworth fell to 1-4 in conference action and 2-6 overall.
Osceola 40, Unity 35
Defense carried the Chieftains to the nonconference win Jan. 6.
“I thought we really got back to our defensive identity in this game,” Olson said. “Very proud of how our players locked in on that side of the court, especially in the second half.
“The defense really carried us in this game and kept us afloat until we were able to make just enough plays on the offensive side of the ball to pull out a victory.”
Brayden Bradway tossed in a team-high 19 for Osceola. Garrett Slater chipped in with seven, while Tyler Ulrich posted four.
“It was not the prettiest of wins, but I thought we showed growth in certain areas and handled adversity well,” Olson continued. “To get off to a slow start, stay the course, and find a way to grind out a win that we really needed to have was huge.”
Prescott 80, Osceola 46
The Cardinals showed why it is going to be in contention for the Middle Border Conference championship with the 34-point win Jan. 4.
“Prescott is obviously a very talented team and is highly ranked for a reason,” Olson explained. “They have the firepower to expand a lead in a hurry, and that is exactly what they did in the second half.
“I thought our players competed hard, especially in the first half. Prescott’s shot making ability was just too difficult to match all night.”
Dallas Wallin led three Cardinals in double figures with 25 points. He added nine rebounds and six assists. Jordan Malmlov tossed in 23 points along with three rebounds. Brady Block posted 13 points.
Prescott shot 47.5% from the field.
“The tough part about defending a team like Prescott is that they fill the court with five shooters at all times,” Olson concluded. “Even the times where we able to force the ball out of the hands of their primary scorers, their other players made us pay by hitting their open shots.”
Brayden Bradway had a team-high 19 for Osceola. Charlie Tronrud, Tyler Ulrich and Luke Haase scored six points each. Ulrich posted seven rebounds. Tronrud dished out four assists. Isaac Solano recorded four steals. The Chieftains shot 40.4% from the field and 50% from the free throw line.
(as of Jan. 10)
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