In the final week of regular season basketball, Osage and Eldon boys and girls met on Osage's home court. Both times, the Mustangs took home the victory and the bragging rights for another year.
On Tuesday, the boys suited up and with both teams struggling all season, both were desperate for this win.
Osage (4-19) was on a five-game losing streak, although came within one point of beating Warsaw the previous Friday. Eldon (7-14) experienced its own major skid despite a double-overtime heartbreaker against Hallsville the previous week.
Eldon broke their dry spell with a 55-35 win over the Indians.
Osage scored first, but Eldon quickly took over the Indians, holding them to only one more basket while putting up 18 virtually unanswered points in the first quarter.
While the Indians regained their composure in the second period, Eldon clung to the lead and were up 31-14 at halftime.
The second half was more of the same, although the Mustangs struggled to retain the lead. The Indians outscored Eldon in the third quarter by three points, but the Mustangs pulled out an eight-point run to end the game and secure the win.
Freddy Wackenhut led scoring for Osage with 19. Dylan Jeffries added nine points, followed by Wyatt Whitman with four. Collin Samuelson finished with two points and Hayden Drace chipped in for one.
For Eldon, Joseph Limbach led with 19 while Chris Hulsey added 13. Blake Randall chipped in for 10 points, Zac Shreve scored seven and Josh Jones finished with six.
On Friday, the Indians fell to Blair Oaks by a score of 72-45 and Eldon fell to Versailles by 73-67.
The ladies met at Osage on Thursday with similar results as the Lady Mustangs rallied to pull a 60-53 win over the Lady Indians.
Osage (9-15) has had and up-and-down season with many games coming down to the final minutes, while Eldon (18-5) has been a consistently strong contender all season long.
Eldon's leading scorer, Sara Rhine got into foul trouble early, racking up four in the first 10 minutes of play, but it was Osage's foul trouble that would end up costing them the game in the final frame.
The Lady Mustangs were aggressive from the outset, outscoring Osage in the first quarter 18-9. The Lady Indians hit their stride in the second period and pulled the score to within one point at the half.
Osage took the lead in the third quarter on an Isabel Morris shot and continued their offensive assault to take a 42-41 lead into the fourth quarter.
With Rhine steering clear of foul trouble, the Indians couldn't seem to stay away. Morris came out of the game with five and two other Lady Indians were playing with four ticks of their own.
Rhine started off the Eldon scoring in the final stanza to take back the lead and extend it to the 60-53 win over the Indians.
Morris led the Lady Indians with 21 points followed by Monica Cisar with 11. Kenzie Depee and Daisy Ralston both chipped in six points, with Amanda Blaeuer adding four and Taylor Davidson finishing with three.
Rhine and Treva Hankey both hit for 15 points for the Mustangs. Ashley Hogan added nine, Becca Lasson contributed eight and Jordyn Schmidt finished with five. Hannah Green rounded it out with two points.
The Lady Mustangs were on the road at Versailles Friday night, claiming a 66-52 victory over the Tigers.
Osage is at the Class 3 District 9 playoffs this week in Cuba. The boys are seeded fifth and faced fourth seed Dixon last night at 5 p.m. A win will put them against first seed Fatima on Thursday at 6 p.m.
The Lady Indians are seeded sixth and faced number three Fatima on Monday at 8 p.m. The winner of that game will face the winner of the Dixon/Bourbon game on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.
Eldon will travel to Columbia to take on Hickman on Friday before heading to the Class 4 District 10 tournament in Marshfield next week.
The boys are seeded at No. 5 and will take on fourth seed Salem at 6 p.m. Monday, Feb. 25. The winner will advance to face top seed Hillcrest at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 28.
The Lady Mustangs are seeded fourth and will face fifth seed Buffalo at 2 p.m. on Saturday. The winner of that match will advance to face top seed Marshfield on Tuesday at 6 p.m.