LINCOLN - Osmond came in to the Nebraska Class D 1 State Boys Basketball Championships with a lot of momentum, a one-loss record and the spirit to improve on last year’s runner-up finish in D2.
Unfortunately, the Southern Valley Eagles didn’t get the memo and turned back the Tigers with a free throw with 3.8 seconds left to send Osmond home with a 24-2 record after a 50-49 win here at Lincoln East High School.
“It is disappointing to go home this way,” Osmond coach Todd Schulze said. “But when you get down here, you need to play your best or you go home – we didn’t play our best.”
If effort scored points, the Tigers would still be playing in the tournament, but points are not tallied by effort, but by baskets and Osmond had trouble finding the baskets/points at times before finally waiting too long to survive.
“Give them credit,” Schulze said. “They made plays down the stretch to advance – we just didn’t match them when we needed to.”
The score never got over a four-point advantage the entire game and with the count deadlocked at 49 after a couple of free throws from Keaton Timmerman and a little over a minute left in the game made it 49-49, the Tigers got a steal from Graysen Schulze with 52.6 seconds left.
Todd Schulze called timeout to set up a play.
After the set play failed, with the score still tied, the Tigers fouled.
The Eagles missed both free throws and with 31.5 seconds left, Osmond was back in the driver’s seat.
“Hey, we were right there with a chance to win the game,” Todd Schulze said. “We stayed right there with them regardless how poorly we were playing-we were right there.”
Earlier in the game, the Tigers led by four at the end of the opening eight minutes, 12-8.
The Eagles came back to even the game in the second quarter and take a lead by the intermission, 21-19.
Osmond responded in the third, but again, Southern Valley answered to head to the final stanza with a 38-35 lead.
“We kept coming at them,” Todd Schulze said. “We just couldn’t string together enough points to get away from them and move on.”
Although Schulze is disappointed in the outcome of the game, he is far from disappointed about his players.
“These guys have won more games than probably anyone over four years in the history of Osmond basketball,” he said. “They have had a lot of success, we just didn’t play our best tonight and that is as simple as it is. You have to down here.”
Timmerman paced the Tigers with a game-high 26 points in his final game for Osmond.
Schulze poured in 10 and Justus Maertins added eight.
Clayton Berry paced the Eagles with 20.
Southern Valley will move on to play Humphrey/Lindsay Holy Family at the Bob Devaney Sports Center Friday at 10:45 a.m.
The Bulldogs were a 71-53 winner over Fullerton as they move on to defend their D1 state title from last year.
SV 8 13 17 12 – 50
O 12 7 16 14 – 49
SOUTHERN VALLEY (20-5) Brody Yant 4 1-2 9; Jaden Quinn 0 3-6 3; Clayton Berry 8 4-10 20; Best Draden 1 2-2 5; Carter Bose 3 1-2 8; Beau Baily 2 0-0 5.
OSMOND (24-2): Ryan Schmit 2 0-0 5; Keaton Timmerman 8 10-13 26; Graysen Schultze 4 1-3 10; Justus Maertins 4 0-0 8.