The Osage boys basketball hosted Iberia for their home opener Dec. 4 and was served up with a 29-68 routing by the Rangers as a result, picking up their third loss in less than a week.
After losing four starters to graduation and with the only returning senior starter Adam Hill sidelined with a football injury, the Indians knew this season would be a season of rebuilding.
"We worked hard all summer to build team skills and we made a lot of progress," said head coach Bart Denbow. "This is a good group, but we're still working out some of the kinks. I believe we've got the makings of turning out a winning season."
Iberia took early control, grabbing a 5-11 lead after the first quarter, but Osage doubled their shots in the second stanza and entered the half down 15-28.
Still working out the offensive "kinks," Osage managed to add a dozen points in the third quarter, but turnovers and defensive holes allowed the Rangers to double their score.
The Indians scored their only basket to open the final period, but Iberia answered with the basket that that set the running clock into effect. The Rangers then closed ranks, shutting down Osage's offensive efforts and grabbing a 68-29 victory.
Junior guard Jordan Campbell led the scoring effort with 12 points, all from outside the three-point line and also picked up two steals to lead the team. Tristan Hensley added six points and led the team with four assists as well as going 2/2 from the free throw line.
Collin Samuelson was 2/5 at the basket, adding five points to the score.
Senior Freddy Wackenhut added four points and led the team with five rebounds. Taylor Margetts (SR, forward) added the final two points.
The Indians travelled to Richland on Friday for another non-conference match and brought home a 100-83 loss to the Bears.
"This was a tough one," said Denbow. "Definitely our best offensive effort so far, but we just ran into a buzz saw with Richland."
Senior Dylan Jeffries was the top producer for the Indians with 23 points and Hensley added 18 for his efforts.
Freddy Wackenhut connected for 15 points at the basket. Wackenhut also became the first Indian of the season to commit for college play, signing a letter of intent to play for Judson University in Chicago.
Samuelson added 11 points and Campbell followed with 10 of his own. Freshman guard Hayden Drace rounded out the scoring with four.
The Indians (1-4) is on the road this week, travelling to California on Tuesday and finishing at Camdenton on Friday for varsity and junior varsity action. The freshman squad played Camdenton on Monday and joined the bill last night in California. Results were not available at press time.
Next week the boys are back on friendly ground as they host Crocker and Cole Camp on Tuesday and Thursday for non-conference matches.