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Osborne girls fall just short

By CONOR NICHOLL

cnicholl@dailynews.net

OSBORNE -- Osborne High School girls' basketball coach Brad Roadhouse delivered a big smile when asked if his Bulldog squad wanted to break a long losing streak against Beloit. Osborne, ranked No. 4 in Class 1A, Division I, has lost eight straight to Class 3A Beloit dating back to 2007.

The Bulldogs discussed ending the skid, but came up short in a 56-51 loss to the Trojans on Tuesday night. It was the sixth time in the eight contests the margin was five points or fewer. However, Osborne will not see Beloit the rest of the winter -- and a win against the Trojans doesn't help the Bulldogs advance deep into March.

"It's been a long time," Roadhouse said. "The emphasis was, if we do lose this ballgame, this is not going to be the end of our season. You take from this and you learn from it, and you go on."

Osborne dropped to 5-1 while Beloit moved to 4-2 in the teams' first game back from holiday break. This Friday, Osborne faces Scandia-Pike Valley; the two are in the same sub-state. Osborne defeated Pike Valley 38-36 in sub-state last season.

"We have got to keep our heads up," Roadhouse said. "We have got a big game Friday."

The fourth quarter had five ties and stayed within three points until the final 10.2 seconds.

"Being a little bit bigger school, you should have an advantage, I think, but regardless, they always give us everything that we can handle," Beloit coach Dallas Cox said.

With 17 seconds remaining, senior Jessica Princ had an open 3 from the right wing that would have tied the game at 52, but missed.

"We had a good look at the basket right there at the end to tie the game and we just didn't come through," Roadhouse said. "You couldn't ask for much better of a look."

Osborne starts four seniors and junior Briley Pletcher, but doesn't have much depth. Senior Taylor Noel collected three fouls by the 5 minute, 15 second mark of the second quarter.

"We were kind of nervous, but we were going to work as hard as we could just like in the Ellis game," Pletcher said of a 52-27 win before holiday break. "But unfortunately it didn't go our way. It's not the end of the season. We'll just keep moving forward."

Roadhouse often substituted Noel for offensive possessions and brought sophomore Jessica Engler in on defense late in the quarter. Senior point guard Baylee Wolters collected her fourth foul with 4:29 left in the third quarter and sat the rest of the quarter.

"Some of the times we didn't do the things that we ought to have been," Roadhouse said.

Osborne, led by 25 points and six rebounds from senior Caitlyn Miller, trailed 12-10 after the first quarter and was tied 25 at intermission. Miller often used her size and strength to gain position down low.

"Caitlyn was able to dribble-drive a little bit and get to the basket," Roadhouse said.

Osborne led 37-36 entering the fourth quarter, but Beloit's depth helped the Trojans outrebound the Bulldogs.

"We did play a lot of girls," Cox said. "I think everybody contributed and everybody did some positive things. I think that might have helped at the end of the game. We might have been a little bit fresher."

Osborne held a plus-2 edge in the first quarter, then Beloit went plus-2, plus-4 and plus-3 on the glass in the final three quarters.

"We are not as deep in the bench," Pletcher said. "I know we all got kind of tired, but it was just tough rebounding."

Beloit, which tries to shoot between 20 and 30 foul shots a game, finished 9 of 15 from the free throw line in the first three quarters. In the fourth quarter, the Trojans went 12 of 18.

Osborne, which first led with 5:44 remaining in the third quarter, took a 41-38 lead with 5:27 left in the game on a trey by Noel. However, Beloit's foul shooting helped the Trojans retake the lead. Junior Shaylyn Krone hit eight foul shots in the fourth quarter and junior Kaley Broeckelman (16 points) made four.

"You just know in pressure situations that they are going to be all right," Cox said. "The pressure doesn't bother them, the pressure doesn't affect them. Usually you start out shooting bad on free throws, it just continues on. But second half was pretty good."

Beloit boys 68 Osborne 34

The Osborne boys trailed by 14 at the end of the first quarter. Then, the Bulldogs played with the Trojans, ranked No. 4 in Class 3A, even the rest of the contest. Osborne eventually took a 68-54 loss and dropped to 3-3.

Beloit (6-0) had four players in double figures, led by 17 from standout senior Payton Vetter. Junior Parkes Wolters paced the Bulldogs with 17 points.

"If we had taken care of the ball a little better in the first half - who knows?," Osborne coach Jamie Wolters said. "They are good, they have got shooters, drivers, they have got everything, posts. They are going to be tough to beat."