Ava Ulrich

Osceola’s Ava Ulrich defends the basket.

It could have been a win to remember for the Osceola girls basketball team. 

Down nine at halftime on the road to conference leader Baldwin-Woodville, the Chieftains had not just one, but four chances to take the lead in the final 90 seconds. 

Those chances ended up in missed shots and turnovers as the Blackhawks remained unbeaten in the Middle Border Conference with the 41-40 victory Jan. 7. 

“Our players did an amazing job of putting themselves in a position to win this game and take down one of the top teams in the conference, but it wasn’t meant to be,” explained Osceola coach Mike Haase. 

“In the second half, we played some very good defense, only allowing 15 points in the half to B-W and setting the stage for an apparent comeback. We slowly worked our way back into the game but could only muster up 24% shooting in the game. Our effort was amazing, but throughout the game we missed too many makeable shots.” 

Osceola shot 8-for-31 (25.8%) from two-point range and 5-for-22 (22.7%) from three-point range. Haase said a seven to eight minute scoring drought at the end of the first half didn’t help matters. B-W went into halftime with a 26-17 lead. 

Hattie Fox led Osceola (3-2 conference, 9-3 overall) with a game-high 21 points. She added six rebounds, two assists and four steals. Olivia Schiebel and Alexis See finished with five points each. Schiebel had four rebounds and three steals. Mallory Johnson chipped in with four points and nine rebounds. 

Brooke Klatt and Stella Kamm finished with nine points each for the Blackhawks (4-0, 9-2). 

The win snapped a seven-game winning streak for Osceola. 

Osceola 54, Unity 41

The game swung in Osceola’s way in the second half as the Chieftains outscored the Eagles by 10 to earn the nonconference win Jan. 4. 

“What started as an evenly matched game started to tip our way in the second half,” Haase said. “We lead by 20 at one point in the second half. Our kids made so many hustle plays in the second half. Not just one or two kids, but everyone on the court. Not just steals, and rebounds, but pass deflections, offensive rebounds, transition points. Pick any hustle stat on the scoresheet, and we had an advantage over Unity.”

Osceola finished with 15 offensive rebounds compared to Unity’s six. Steals went in Osceola’s favor 15-8. Assists went to the Chieftains by an 11-6 total. Points in transition went to Osceola by a 13-0 margin. 

“The heroes of this game for the Chieftains were Olivia Schiebel and Ava Ulrich,” Haase said. “These two juniors really seized the moment by hitting some big shots.” 

Schiebel finished with 14 points, including 4-for-9 from three-point range. She added three rebounds. Ulrich tossed in 11 points in only 17 minutes of action. 

Hattie Fox had a team-high 24 points for Osceola along with nine rebounds and seven steals. 

“With 30 seconds remaining in the first half, trailing 24-23, we were able to flip the script with a pair of Hattie Fox free throws, forcing Unity to a turnover, and Ava Ulrich hitting a runner in the lane just before the buzzer to give us a three-point lead at halftime, 27-24,” Haase said. 

Sidney Bader lead all scorers for Unity with 26 points. 

 

MIDDLE BORDER 

CONFERENCE STANDINGS

(as of Jan. 10)

ConfOverall

Baldwin-Woodville4-09-2

Prescott4-18-3

Ellsworth3-16-6

Altoona3-26-7

Osceola3-29-3

Amery1-43-7

Somerset1-44-8

St. Croix Central0-52-10

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