Girls District Basketball Roundup: Osage, Versailles and Eldon
Wolf records a triple-double, Osage tops Versailles in district semifinals
At this time of year, when it is win or go home in the postseason, Osage’s Sara Wolf put together a game any program would like to have.
The senior recorded a triple-double with 21 points and 10 rebounds and assists in a 63-53 win over Versailles in the Class 4 District 10 semifinals Wednesday night and she also led her team with four steals. The win put the top-seeded Indians in a district championship game for the sixth time in seven years.
“In the most important game of the year, she stepped up and had a triple-double. It was truly a great night and one of the best games I’ve seen a player have,” Osage coach Scott Rowland said.
Turns out, her teammates did plenty to contribute, too.
Lauren Bartlett knocked down 14 points and collected seven rebounds, Reese Good finished with nine points and a trio of assists, Alisa Boswell had eight points and five rebounds and Sydney Riley had seven points and a trio of assists to her name as well.
“I was very impressed with how our team moved the ball and used several sides of the floor to get open looks for each other,” Rowland said.
As smoothly as things finished for Osage, it did not exactly start out that way as the offense tried to warm up and led the Tigers 12-7 after the first quarter and by 13 at halftime.
“We came out and had a great start. The kids played extremely hard the first half,” Versailles coach Tempary Gunter said. “We struggled with their press, unfortunately, and couldn’t get our offense going later in the game. We were also down in numbers and it is tough playing with seven kids. We tried our best and I think we stuck to our game plan for the most part. Osage is a good team and well-coached.”
Rowland felt this rematch between two Tri-County Conference sides would not be an easy one, either.
"We knew going in it would probably be a different type of game. Versailles was getting a good player back and district basketball was starting so both teams would be playing even more intensely than normal," he said.
The coach was proud to see his team respond to a tough shooting start and he felt the defense also improved as the game progressed. He knew the first few minutes out of halftime would be key, too.
"The first three minutes of the third are always a key for us and our team really put the game away in that time period," he said.
Versailles ends the season at 5-21 and Gunter noted she feels it doesn’t reflect how the season went.
“We were more focused on setting goals every game and practice. Meeting those goals were wins for us,” the first-year coach said. “I think the kids have done a great job setting the foundation for what we want in a program. I have asked a lot and they have continued to show up and give their best. This is the first time since the 2012-13 season, I believe, the girls program has won a district game so that was huge for them and a great note to end on. I am very excited to see how we can build on what we have created since we return everyone next year."
Osage (11-12) will meet No. 2 Eldon (8-15) for the championship Friday at 6 p.m. It will be the fourth meeting between these two sides this year and the Indians have won the previous three with the last game coming down to game-winning free throws by Wolf in the final seconds.
Eldon outlasts Buffalo in district semifinals
Eldon was tested Wednesday night in the Class 4 District 10 semifinals against Buffalo and the second-seeded Mustangs passed in a 62-52 win over the third seed.
“It was a tough, physical game. I was really proud of how the girls showed toughness during different times of adversity throughout the game,” Eldon coach Isaiah Rhine said as his team dealt with foul trouble, once trailed by as much as eight and at one point, had four freshmen and a sophomore on the court for a few minutes. “It was a complete team effort.”
Sydney halderman led Eldon with 25 points and six steals, Haley Henderson added 18 points to go with 11 rebounds and six steals in a double-double and Taylor Henderson had 11 points and eight rebounds. Halderman, Haley and Jaci Mueller played the entire game for the Mustangs.
"We came out after half and were able to continue getting stops and taking advantage in transition," Rhine noted. "I was really proud of our energy and toughness the whole game."
Eldon (8-15) will visit No. 1 Osage (11-12) for the title Friday at 6 p.m. The Mustangs narrowly lost the last meeting with their rival on late free throws that were followed up by a buzzer-beater from Henderson who put up a deep shot that clanked off the rim.
"We're excited for the opportunity to compete for a district championship Friday. It should be a great environment," Rhine said.
Michael Losch is the Sports Editor at the Lake Sun. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 573-346-2132