For the second consecutive season, the Lady Indians of Osage fell to Carl Junction in the Elite 8 at Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar. Last season the final score was 36-26 and this year the final ended at 55-41 in favor of Carl Junction. Once again, the size of Carl Junction was just too much for the Lady Indians to overcome down the stretch.
After the conclusion of the first quarter, Osage held their biggest lead of the contest at 16-12. Their pressure was effective and they forced Carl Junction to turn the ball over. Junior Carson Wood had 6 first-quarter points while fellow junior Kerrigan Gamm had 7. Shots were falling, forced turnovers were plentiful, and it appeared this year would be different. However, something happened and after scoring 19 first-quarter points, the Lady Indians averaged just 8.33 points per quarter over the final 3 periods.
To add insult to injury, Osage shot just 10-19 from the charity stripe and a dismal 3-13 from down town. Every time Osage would gain even the slightest bit of momentum, Carl Junction sophomore forward Kaitlin Scott seemed to score an easy bucket or use her impressive handles and penetrate the Osage zone defense before dishing out an assist. Osage was simply over sized and outmatched. Scott finished with a game-high 29 points while sophomore Taylor Hughes added 15. The two Carl Junction sophomores combined for 44 of the Bulldogs 55 points and appear to be well on their way to historic high-school careers.
For the Lady Indians, Carson Wood ended her junior campaign in style leading her team with 20 points. Kerrigan Gamm added 12 points, while senior Kenzi King added 6, and freshman Sara Wolf added a trey. Wolf appears to be poised for a big-time career over her next 3 years with the Lady Indians. That was the extent of scoring for the Lady Indians as they saw just four players hit the score column.
"I am incredibly proud of this group of girls and all they accomplished this year. Naturally, we wish our season were still going, but to make it this point for the second consecutive season, we can't hang our heads. We've also got to give credit to Carl Junction. That's a really tough team," said Osage Coach Scott Rowland.
Osage ends their season with a record of 22-7 and have now won back-to-back district titles under Coach Rowland. To look at the positives for the Lady Indians, they'll return their two best players in Gamm and Wood who bring back loads of big-game experience.
Although it stings now, this is certainly a special group who have one very bright future to look ahead to.
Roll Tribe, Roll!!!!