Osseo-Fairchild Girls Basketball Team on a roll, winners of seven straight

OSSEO - It was all about the handshakes.

During Christmas break, Osseo-Fairchild High School Girls Basketball player junior Madison Hugdahl, said he team bonded closer to together, making it a team with a series positive gestures.

"We're practicing some funky handshakes to do during the team line-ups and after baskets," Hugdahl said. "We were having a lot of fun and it just made work together closely and become a better team."

And after a slow start to the season the Thunder are truly Thundering, winners of a trifecta of games this week, 81-25 Thursday, Jan. 23 at home vs. Eau Claire Regis and big 85-81 overtime win at Eleva-Strum over a 10-4 Cardinal squad on Tuesday, Jan. 21 and 78-52 at Black River Falls on Monday, Jan. 20.

The Thunder are also 10-4 and winners of seven straight ballgames since that Holiday time off. They are also just a game behind West Cloverbelt Conference leaders Fall Creek and Chippewa Falls McDonell. FC lost last night at Altoona which puts the Crickets and Macks at 7-1 in the league while O-F is 6-2 and still has to play both teams upcoming on the schedule.

Head coach Tera Simpson said it took time to integrate a talented group of sophomores and freshmen with a team of five seniors along with Hugdahl but it was time well spent.

"This is such an easy team to coach," Simpson said. "There are no egos involved and everyone was patient while we found the right combinations on offense and defense to create a player rotation for us and defined roles too."

The back-n'-forth contest between Osseo-Fairchild and Eleva-Strum made for on of the most entertaining ballgames in the area this season. O-F led at halftime 41-39 after trailing for much of the first half. Freshman Eleice Dahl tied the game at 74-74 to help send it overtime and then outlasted the Cardinals on their home floor as four Central starters fouled out.

Brooke McCune and Makayla Steinke led O-F in scoring in the first half but it was Hugdahl's scoring inside that made the difference in the second half. She poured in 22 points after scoring just six in the first half.

"Our guards did a great job passing the ball to the post where I could catch it in space to score." Hugdahl said.

A lot of players scored for O-F. Hugdahl's teammates Makayla Steinke, Autumn Vollbrecht, Mariah Steinke and Dahl all were in double figures with 15, 11, 10 and 11 points respectively. Eight players scored for the Thunder and during their winning streak it's not uncommon to see as many as 11 players make a basket. Steinke nailed five of the team's seven three-point baskets.

"We're a very selfless team and we're to get the ball to different players who are good shooters," Simpson said.

The Thunder will look to continue its winning streak next week at Cadott Tuesday, Jan. 28 and at home vs.McDonell on Friday, Jan. 31.


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