Osseo-Fairchild on winning streak, top rival Fall Creek
Is this the start of something good?
Osseo-Fairchild High School Head Girls Basketball Coach Tera Simpson sure hopes so after the Thunder routed rival Fall Creek 60-40 last week Friday, Jan. 13 at Fall Creek. The win was the Thunder's third straight since the Holidays. O-F is 8-6 overall and 5-3 in the Western Cloverbelt Conference.
One thing she does know, the last time O-F played their rivals back on Dec. 2, it was the start of something not-so-good as the Crickets beat them 55-46.
"That was a point in time where we were still figuring things out as a team as players were taking on new roles and trying to master them," Simpson said. "But even in the losses we've had we've still been very competitive so now that we're going through the league schedule a second time, we hope to do better and pull out some wins in those close games."
Win was all O-F senior Taylor Gunderson wanted to do against the Crickets as she played her role in leading the Thunder in scoring with 12 points. The balanced scoring table for Osseo-Fairchild was as follows: Madi Loonstra 11 points, Katie Skoug eight, Halle Colby and Eleice Dahl six points, Josi Tye and Taylor Hammer five, Rae Prudlick four and Addi Koxlien three.
"We just wanted to beat them," Gunderson said. "We wanted to shut everyone down and get the 'W' " .
O-F began shutting down FC (9-4 overall and 5-3 in the WCC) after the latter led 14-11 midway through the first half. The Thunder went on an 11-0 run and led 26-20 at halftime then truly rolled in the second half, outscoring the Crickets 34-20.
"We did a good job with our help-side defense," Simpson said. "We were able to pull over and stop their screen n' roll and our on- ball defense was very good. You could just see us work in our system with confidence and play together as a team."
FC had just one player in double figures in freshman center Jasmin Heuer with 13 points. teammate Kennedy Tumm finished with eight points, Jenna Anders had seven, Tori Marten finished with six points, and scoring two points each were Riley Nicks, McKenna Klawitter and Kambel Sell.
O-F also had a big win over Bloomer at home last week Tuesday, Jan. 10 by a 62-43 score. Trailing 31-26 at halftime, O-F outscored the Blackhawks 36-12 in the second half led by Gunderson's 16 points, Loonstra's 13, eight for Prudlick, seven for Colby, six for Dahl, five for Tye, three points for Hammer and two for Skoug.
Another winter storm cancelled a slate of girls' games Thursday, Jan. 19, thus freezing in place standings and status until next week. Both O-F and FC were tied in the WCC standings in third as No. 10 ranked Chippewa Falls McDonell is still in first at 8-0 and Cadott second at 7-1. Tri-County Area prep girls teams were able to get in games Monday and Tuesday of this week, Jan. 16 and 17. This included Fall Creek, which didn't spend much time dwelling on their loss to their rivals Osseo-Fairchild as they had another rival, Altoona, to deal with on the road on Monday. But thanks to some clutch free-throw shooting by Marten the Crickets were able to pull out a 38-35 win, their fifth it he last six contests. Also included was a 59-23 beatdown of Stanley-Boyd last week Tuesday, Jan. 10 at S-B. Fall Creek had three players in double figures as Marten and Anders both scored 14 points with Heuer chipping 12 points Other scorers for FC were Anna Dougherty and Klawitter both with five points, Sell with four, Nicks with four and Tumm one point.
Also playing earlier this week were Augusta and Eleva-Strum's girls teams. Augusta took on undefeated and No. 1 ranked Blair-Taylor (13-0) and lost 74-39. One highlight of the game was AHS senior Kennedy Korger scoring her 1000th point. She is only the sixth player in program history to do so. She finished with 16 points to lead the Beavers (8-7 overall and 5-4 in the conference) in scoring while the the Large Dairyland top scorer Lindsay Steinen led all scorers with 23. AHS started last week with a forfeit win over Gilmanton as that program, decided to finish the season on the JV level. They lost at Small Dairyland Conference leader Lincoln 68-47 on Friday, Jan. 13 as the Hornets had four players in double figures. On Monday the Beavers won at Eau Claire Immanuel Lutheran 54-47.
Eleva-Strum will be the only team that didn't play Thursday this week but still get a win, this one from Gilmanton. It puts the Cardinals at 4-10 overall and 2-7 in conference. It was much needed as E-S dropped a pair of recent league contests. Central lost 59-54 at home to Eau Claire Immanuel Lutheran on Friday, Jan. 13. The Redbirds held a slight 20-17 lead at halftime before the Lancers outscored them 42-34 in the second half led by Sheridan Noelander's 24 points. On Monday the Cardinals were dropped by Whitehall in another close contest 52-47.