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Centennial gets the best of Osseo

By MN Girls Basketball Hub, 01/03/14, 2:45PM CST


Cougars close out rival Orioles in battle for first place in Northwest Suburban

In the closing seconds Osseo had Centennial right where it wanted its Northwest Suburban Conference rival.

The Orioles were down one, but had the last shot to win.

Centennial's defense tightened up and forced a tough shot for Osseo's Madi Malone, who hit the side of the backboard as time ran out.

"This was a big win for us," Cougars' senior guard Deizjay Morris said. "This has been years in the making."

Centennial led by as many as 11 points in the first half and even had a 10-point lead in the second, but Osseo continued to claw its way back.

"Anything can happen in these games, and you have to give a lot of credit to Osseo," Cougars coach Greg Amundson said. "They didn't give up. They just kept on coming and we expect that from a well-coached team."

Morris was key for Centennial, scoring 24 points with aggressive drives to the basket. On the rare occasion when she missed, she was fierce in grabbing the rebound and putting it back up.

"She was great tonight," Amundson said. "She is a senior and has really stepped up for us."

The Cougars also had help from senior Jill Conrad, who again showed her consistency with 14 points.

Osseo was led by Azaria Reed and Kiara Russell, who had 17 and 16 points respectively.

Russell, a sophomore guard, hit a couple of big shots in the closing minutes, which slashed a seven-point Cougars lead to one.

After a timeout Centennial made sure that those two Reed and Russell not get the ball, or at the very least a clean look at a shot.

"I told the girls to play tough defense and not to foul," Amundson said. "They did exactly what I wanted them to do. Just very proud of the win tonight."

"You can't ask for much more, except for that last shot to go in," Osseo coach John Rieser said. "This is a tough place to come in and win, but I thought that we never gave up, especially after digging ourselves in a bit of a hole."

Osseo drops to 6-4 on the season and is now two games behind Centennial in the Northwest Suburban standings. Centennial improves to 7-2 and are unbeaten in conference play.

"The pressure is still on us," Morris said. "We want to keep pushing forward, but tonight, I am really happy for our team, especially our seniors who have been waiting for this a long time."

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