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Somerset girls basketball breaks out offense against Osceola

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sports New Richmond, 54017

New Richmond Wisconsin 127 South Knowles Avenue 54017

The offensive skills of the Somerset girls basketball team broke through against Osceola last Friday.

The Spartans scored 73 points, the most the team has scored in more than five years, in their 73-48 win over the Chieftains on Friday. The last time the Spartans scored more points was on Dec. 15, 2008, when the Spartans defeated Spooner 78-36.

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Team-wide contributions helped the Spartans roll up the large point total. Freshman guard Tori Martell continued to be one of the leading scorers in the Middle Border Conference, finishing with 22 points. The surprise came from freshman Haley Bassett, who made her biggest contribution thus far, scoring 15 points.

Sophomore Sam Flandrick scored eight points as the rest of the team all chipped in to the scoring column.

The strong play from the Spartans wasn’t just at the offensive end. They held Osceola to just seven points in the first half. By then, the Spartans had already built a lead of more than 20 points.

Spartan coach Kendrick Livers said he left his starters in for a large part of the first half because he wanted to get some separation from the Chieftains. The Spartans have had other games where they had the chance to pull significantly ahead but weren’t able to. He wanted to make sure Osceola wasn’t able to keep the game close.

This was a game where the Spartans used their quickness to their advantage. The Spartans made quick transitions from defense to offense and the quickness was also a key factor on offense.

“We did a really good job attacking the basket,” Livers said.

Osceola hasn’t won a game this season, but the Spartans didn’t go into the game feeling like they were favorites to get the win.

“Osceola has nice players in (Alexis) Boissy and (McKenzie) Burke,” Livers said. “We keep playing with a chip on our shoulders because we think we’re better than our record shows.”

The win raises the Spartans into a tie for fifth place in the MBC standings with a 2-6 record. The Spartans are 3-10 overall.

Last Tuesday, the Spartans played at Durand, where they suffered a 57-31 loss. Livers said there is a distinct separation in the MBC this season with the top three teams (Baldwin-Woodville, New Richmond and Durand) having an edge in skill and experience.

“The rest of us are just trying to make a difference,” Livers said.

The Spartans had difficulty stopping Durand leading scorer Morganne Gruber. Gruber stationed herself in the low post and used her power to create open shots. She finished with 18 points.

Madison Wall led the Spartans with 12 points at Durand and Ally Wittstock scored six points.

The Spartans have a tough assignment this week, facing conference leaders on back-to-back nights. The Spartans play at St. Croix Falls on Thursday, in a 6:30 start as part of a girls-boys varsity double-header. The Saints lead the West Lakeland Conference. On Friday the Spartans will host MBC leading Baldwin-Woodville at 7:30 p.m. The Spartans face another top opponent next Monday when they host Hayward, which is in second place in the Heart O’North Conference.

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