by Bob San
SUN PRESS NEWSPAPERS
Centennial finally ended Osseo’s recent dominance in girls’ basketball last Friday when the Cougars held on to a 59-58 home win.
The Orioles have had the Cougars’ number in recent years as Osseo had edged out Centennial for conference and section titles in the past three seasons. The most recent contest was in last year’s section semifinal when Osseo edged the Cougars in a thriller and went on to win the section championship.
Centennial enters this season with a veteran line-up and is the heavy favorite to win the conference. But in last week’s game, the young Orioles battled back from a huge early deficit and made the Cougars sweat until the final seconds.
The Osseo dug themselves an 11-point halftime hole, but with solid team defensive and 12 second half points from sophomore guard Kiara Russell, they erased that before the halfway point of the second half. Osseo’s defense held Centennial leading scorer Daizjah Williams to only six second half points. After Russell dropped in a pair of free throws with 45 seconds remaining, the Cougars’ lead was cut to one with 45 seconds remaining.
Centennial missed the front end of a one-and-one, Osseo rebounded and raced the ball into the front court with 19 seconds remaining. However, their effort fell just short despite having multiple good looks at the hoop and having a last second shot that missed. Azaria Reed led Osseo with 17 points, Russell finished with 16 and Madi Malone had nine.
The Orioles fall to 4-2 in the conference, two games behind 6-0 Centennial. Osseo next visits Coon Rapids Thursday, Jan. 9
Contact Bob San an [email protected]