Osage’s Wolf hits major milestones for the Indians on the basketball court
Osage senior Sara Wolf has made a few shots over the course of her career as an Indian.
As a junior, she just happened to set a single season program record for 3-pointers with 66 and she is currently the best 3-point shooter in program history after breaking the record of 2017 graduate Kendal Miller with the 148th 3-pointer of her career in a game at Camdenton on December 14. Wolf is currently at 189 3-pointers, including 55 alone this season, and they likely had something to do with the senior scoring her 1,000th career point in the team’s first game of the Osage Tournament on January 18.
“Repetition in practice and the shooting drills we do,” Wolf pointed to as the key to her consistency. “Just getting those reps in and creating that muscle memory in my shot.”
She is not kidding.
Osage girls basketball coach Scott Rowland backed up that notion when he recalled the senior outlasting a scheduled shooting drill in practice. The idea is that a player shoots from a certain spot and once a bucket is made, a player cannot miss more than two in a row or else they have to move to the next spot. Wolf stayed put.
“The day we did that drill, she was at over 200 (shots) and had not left the first spot. We had to stop and could not wait for her any longer,” Rowland recalled. “I cannot imagine how many she would have made. She started with 15-footers, then 17 and then shooting 3-pointers the last 100 or so. It just boggles the mind.”
When Wolf hit her 1,000th point- a night where she needed 26 points to get there- she joined a club that includes just five players in the history of the program. The senior is currently at 1,072 points, just shy of 2015 graduate Izzy Morris who had 1,075 and is fifth all-time in scoring. There are two other members of the club she had the privilege of playing with in 2019 graduates Carson Wood and Kerrigan Gamm and Gamm is currently the top scorer in the history of the program with 1,386.
“‘K.G.,’ Carson and knowing there are only six of us, it is pretty cool,” Wolf said of joining the club.
Rowland certainly does not mind that continuity.
“It is because of those kids who came before her. I’m not saying she scored 1,000 points because Carson or Kerrigan did, but I cannot help but think that her watching them and seeing them be successful sparked something in her and she wanted to be successful,” he stated. “I doubt she ever set out to score 1,000 points, but she set out to be a good teammate and try and do as much as she could. It just so happens that one of the things was scoring 1,000 points.”
Making shots is one thing, but Wolf may just finish near the top in a number of other categories as well.
“What I think is amazing about her is at her size she is probably going to end up fifth or so in rebounds and top two or three in steals and assists,” Rowland said of the 5-foot-7 senior. “Every statistical category, she is just a good basketball player and that just makes things so much easier for us as coaches and players. We are super spoiled by all the good she does.”
That also includes the character she presents and although it may be Wolf’s name appearing in quite a few places on the stat sheet, Rowland said it is all about the team first for her. He pointed to a game against St. James on January 21 where the senior just scored three points in a loss, but finished with nine assists.
“A lot of times she leads by example and whether it is cross country, volleyball or basketball. It is just nice that there was not ever a moment of, ‘Wow, look at me,’ or anything like that,” the coach noted. “It was just all about, ‘That’s just what I do. I try and do my best to help the team win and if that means scoring baskets then I’ll do it or if it’s passing.’
“She just does what is needed and does not complain about anything or bemoan the fact of anything. She just does what she has to try and do.”
Accolades and milestones are certainly a nice bonus in the journey of any high school player and Wolf has certainly enjoyed the past four years, thankful to still be playing in the middle of a pandemic when other schools cannot. The journey is still ongoing and no matter where she finishes in the record books, she will always remember who put her up there and made the experience of playing for the Indians one she said she would not trade nor forget.
“My teammates are the one who get me the ball so I can shoot it and get those shots off. If it was not for them, I would not be able to get the 1,000 points or hit all my 3-pointers,” Wolf stated.
And with players like Wolf and others in the program, it is the kind of program Rowland has been glad to lead.
“I think it speaks volumes to the program and just how hard the kids work and how much they are willing to give her the ball. She is unselfish, but other kids are unselfish and look for her to score,” the coach said. “It does not bother them, she does not have an ego and I’m lucky to be part of a program with kids who do that kind of stuff. They’ve all been really good kids. I have not had an egocentric kid amongst them so it is kind of nice.”
Michael Losch is the Sports Editor at the Lake Sun. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 573-346-2132