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Cardinals get first win in Osceola

OSCEOLA - Was this the same Prescott team that Osceola clobbered 77-40 in their first meeting this season on Prescott's home floor?

Other than having freshman Alyssa Krings on the varsity squad and Christina Brunner out with a knee injury, yeah pretty much the same.

Is this the same Osceola squad that won by such a big margin?

Personnel-wise yes. Mentally? We don't know.

Regardless, Prescott turned the tables on the Chieftains. Brittany Jilk's two free-throws with 0.4 seconds remaining iced Prescott's first win in Osceola since rejoining the Middle Border Conference in 2002, 53-48 Friday.

Coupled with a big 86-31 non-conference win last Tuesday at home over St. Paul Arlington, the Cardinals are playing some of their best basketball right now, win or lose.

"Even when we were struggling and lost four straight, our play was still good," Prescott head coach Tim Cerni said. "We just faced some good teams and didn't take advantage of the chances we had. Tonight, however, we did."

Also in MBC play from last week, Ellsworth was clobbered by No. 13 ranked Somerset 76-48.

Always be prepared

That first loss to Osceola actually spurred changes in the Cardinals that eventually bore fruit in the re-match.

"The girls need to prepare themselves better mentally than they did before," Cerni said. "They're alot tougher and more focused. That Osceola loss was a real eye-opener as far as game preparation was concerned and we learned a lot from it."

Such as not panicking at the first sign of trouble as they did in game one against Osceola. Prescott's girls rallied from a 7-0 deficit in the first quarter with an 10-0 run that put them ahead 21-13 in the second. Osceola came back to cut Prescott's lead to 27-26 at halftime, but PHS used solid shooting from the field to maintain their lead early in the third quarter at 32-26 and 34-29.

The Chiefs' press started to affect Prescott and it allowed them to go on a 13-3 run for a 41-37 lead early in the fourth quarter.

"Their press sped up the game faster than we wanted and as a result we began to make a lot of mistakes," Cerni said. "We also had opportunities for lay-ups and other easy baskets on offense we didn't take advantage of."

Despite trailing the home team, Prescott displayed their poise once again. They methodically worked their way back until tying the contest up 43-43 on a Kaycee Charette's jumper. Charette hit a key three-point shot to keep the situation even-steven at 46-46 and teammate Breanna Swan got the lead back with a clutch trifecta for a 49-46 advantage. The Cardinals made their free-throws in the final minutes to win the ballgame.

Prescott outscored Osceola 19-12 in the decisive fourth quarter and held the Chiefs to just 13 field goals.

"It was our defense that made the difference this time around," Cerni said. "We kept the score close so we could do enough on offense to win."

Charette led all scorers with 26 points but Prescott got key contributions from Swan with six points, Jilk seven points Kallie Krech with six points and Chloe Carlson with five points. Charette also had 13 rebounds and seven steals and was a perfect 5-for-5 from the free-throw line.

Add ons

Charette added on an additional 36 points to her week's totals in Prescott's 55-point pounding of Arlington.

Like the Osceola contest, Charette made her impact by adding on to her own single-game scoring record but so did her teammates. Chloe Carlson had a season-high 20 points and Krings finished with 12. Katie Simon scored six points.

"The kids got into the game fast. They stayed in their offense and took good shots," Cerni said.

Prescott shot 44 percent in field goals and it made 23 of 30 free-throws. By herself, Charette was 13-for-14 from the line while Krings went 4-for-6. Charette also had a double-double with 13 rebounds. Carlson and Brittany Jilk each had six rebounds. Charette had three assists as well.

Nakeera Ousley's 12 points led Arlington while teammate Sylvia Slaughter scored 11 points.'

Ring it up

Kelly Ring's game-high 26 points helped Somerset win big at Ellsworth Friday.

"She hit shots from all-over" EHS head coach J Fisk told the Red Wing Republican -Eagle.

Sam Huggett paced the Panthers with 13 points, while teammate Michelle Olson finished one rebound shy of a double-double with 11 points and nine rebounds. Shannon Campbell added 10 points and Chelsey Huppert grabbed nine rebounds for Ellsworth.