The New Richmond and Osceola boys played a tremendous basketball game tonight, with New Richmond winning 46-43 to claim the outright Middle Border Conference championship.
This was the final MBC boys game in the current NRHS gym and it was a fitting sendoff. An overflow crowd packed the old structure. Fans from both teams were loud and spirited. It was a chilling basketball atmosphere.
Osceola tried to take control of the game early, pouncing on the Tigers for a 9-2 lead in the first quarter.
A turning point was a shooting flurry by Tiger guard Riley Kannel at the start of the second quarter. Kannel hit three pointers on three straight possessions, turning a 10-7 Tiger deficit into a 16-10 lead. They were Kannel’s only points of the night, but they were heartbreakers for Osceola.
Jared Kidder played another complete game for the Tigers, leading the team with 11 rebounds and 10 points. Kannel and Justice Harvieux each scored nine points.
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This Friday the New Richmond and Osceola boys basketball teams clash for the outright Middle Border Conference championship. It is rare to have the conference race boil down to one game and this should be a classic.
The game should be a battle to the end. New Richmond has been playing outstanding defense all season and it showed in Tuesday’s 38-29 win over Amery. Osceola is an excellent offensive team, led by senior guard Tyler Pauley. Osceola has been doing a good job of developing supplemental offensive threats in recent games, especially guard Andrew Rohlman.
One of the factors that will weigh heavily in this game is New Richmond’s offense. The Tigers have been doing a serviceable job of creating shots in recent games, with many of the shots stemming from hard drives to the basket. The problem is, the Tigers are attacking the rim with such velocity, that their shots are often out of control. The coaches have been trying to remedy the shooting, because every point will count tonight.