Osage opened district play on Saturday in a rematch of the district championship game from last year. Osage played Marshall in a morning game at Capital City High School. Either neither team liked the early morning start, or there was something odd about the shooting backgrounds because neither team scored until nearly five minutes were gone in the first quarter. We felt good about the shots we were getting, they just weren't going down. We got a bucket from Ella and one from Sara for our scoring. Fortunately our defense was very good and we were down only by one going into the second. The second quarter played out a bit more like a normal game as both teams either woke up completely or got used to the environment. We went on a bit of a run and forced them to call a timeout when we'd built up a few point lead. To their credit, they responded and hit some shots and forced us to call a timeout to try and break their momentum. We got scoring from four different girls in the second and that is when we are at our best. Sara led us with seven points, but when Alisa, Ella, and Paige R. also get buckets it makes our team much tougher to guard. Down five to start the third, I think we still felt okay about where we were. The third was definitely a turning point for us and it started with our team defense. In the third, our press bothered them a bit and got them out of rhythm and in the half court I thought that Syd, Paige L., and Reese did a nice job at the top of our zone harassing shooters. Another huge key was that we were giving up no second shots. Offensively, we got a big three in transition from Reese, scoring inside from Ella, and Sara added six points of her own. To go from down five to up one going to the fourth was a big boost to our confidence. It set up exactly what we expected from a four versus five seed game in districts. The fourth quarter would be one of the most exciting of the entire season. It was back and forth and the girls showed a ton of guts the way they kept coming back. It was never a huge lead, but many ties Marshall would go up by three only to have us knock down a shot or get to the free throw line and get back within one. Sara hit a three toward the beginning of the quarter after we had gotten an offensive rebound. Then later Syd hit a huge three to tie the game late. When down two, Ella took a 15 footer from the free throw line, crashed the boards and banked in her own rebound over the 6' 1" post from Marshall. Alisa had a huge block of a three pointer with us up one. We took a three point lead on two free throws from Sara and were up by three with under a minute left. Marshall game down and took a deep three that bounced out to the corner and the girl there took it and knocked down a tying three pointer. We brought the ball down with under 30 seconds left and wanted to go for one shot. Marshall tried to harass our ball handlers and with nine seconds left fouled Reese. She missed the front end, but Ella managed to out jump the big girl and tip the ball to Sara who put it back with seven seconds left to give us a two point lead. We executed very well at the end of the game. We had a foul to give and after everyone did exactly what they should and made them catch going away from their basket, Reese funneled the ball handler to the side and Paige R. fouled her with .5 left on the clock. Marshall set up a lob play, but Alisa jumped up and got the steal to seal the victory. This was a very good win for this group against a quality opponent. It got them to double digits in victories and got them to the semi-finals of the district tournament.
Scorers-Sara Wolf 22, Ella DeMott 9, Reese Good 5, Syd Riley 3, Paige Rowland 2, Alisa Boswell 2.
Rebounds-Sara 9, Alisa 6, Paige R. 3, Ella 3, Reese 3.
Assists-Sara 4, Reese 3, Paige L. 2.
Steals-Ella 6, Sara 3, Alisa 3.
Osage is 10-14 and plays #1 seed Boonville on 3/2 at 7:00pm at Capital City High School.