by Bob San
SUN PRESS NEWSPAPERS
Osseo overcame a sluggish start to defeat visiting Mounds View 64-47 in Section 5 girls’ basketball Feb. 28.
The Orioles trailed 21-12 with 5 minutes left in the first half but went on a 10-0 run to grab a 22-21 halftime lead. Janay Morton sparked the rally with three baskets and Phillis Webb and Ayo Porte each added a bucket. Osseo carried the momentum into the second half and dominated.
“We started out the game rather flat, not a lot of energy on the defensive end,” Osseo coach John Rieser said. “We were getting good looks offensively so we knew if we got a few stops defensively, we would be fine. The nice rally we had at the end of the half helped our attitude going into the second half. At halftime we talked about“speeding “ the game up and working our transition game, which we did. We also talked about taking some pride in our defense and working harder on and off the ball. The kids responded well. Once we get going, we are tough to handle.”
Porte was especially effective in the second half as her strength was too much for the Mustangs to handle. She finished with a career-high 25 points in addition to playing her usual solid defense.
“Ayo Porte had her best game of the year on the offensive end,” Rieser said. “She has been a defensive stopper all year, but last night she really finished well. Janay Morton (16 points) and Phillis Webb (11 points) played their typical steady games. Belinda Barfknecht has been steady on both ends of the floor and Madi Malone continues her solid play. We like the contributions we are getting off the bench from Annie Schoeben, Catera Etheridge, Coutney Calkins and freshman Ari Jones. Their steady play has allowed us to play a little more up tempo for longer periods of time.”
Osseo played Centennial in the semifinal March 5. The winner advances to the final at 8 p.m. Friday, March 8, at Anoka against top-seeded Roseville or No. 5 Champlin Park.
Contact Bob San at email@example.com