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Spartans beaten in final seconds

Somerset guard David Ortega (10) is shown working against defense from St. Croix Central's Will Soderberg during a recent game. Eric Andre / Contributor

You can't get much closer to winning.

The Somerset boys basketball team held a 13-point lead early in the second half. The Spartans and Osceola were deadlocked in the final seconds. But it was Osceola's Haakon Carlson who hit the spinning shot from in the lane with three seconds remaining to give the Chieftains a 46-44 win over the Spartans.

The loss dropped Somerset to 4-11 for the season. The Spartans resume their schedule this Friday with a game at Middle Border Conference leader Prescott.

Somerset's offense lived and died by the three-point shot against Osceola. The Spartans hit some shots from the perimeter in the first half, taking a 24-17 lead into halftime. That lead mushroomed to 30-17 when sophomore Ty Madden hit a pair of three-pointers to open the second half.

Somerset's players seemed to become fixated on getting the ball to Madden and Osceola's defenders quickly sensed that. Somerset's offense quickly went into gridlock.

Osceola capitalized quickly. The Chieftains reeled off 18 straight points to take a 35-30 lead. Somerset finally stopped the rally on a three-pointer from freshman Trae Kreibich.

Osceola built a six-point lead before the Spartans' young guns revived the offense. Kreibich hit a shot with 4:55 remaining. Madden was fouled while scoring on a fastbreak, and the free throw tied the score at 41-41 with 4:04 remaining.

The teams played the final four minutes cautiously. Osceola led 44-43 until Will Piletich hit 1-2 free throws to tie the game with 18 seconds remaining. Osceola held the ball for the final shot. The Spartans tried to stop Carlson's drive to the lane, but he spun away from pressure to make the short-range winning shot.

Madden led Somerset with 21 points in the game. Brennan Sheridan finished with seven points.

Dave Newman

Dave Newman has been the sports editor at the New Richmond News since 1988. He has covered the action in the Middle Border Conference, Dunn-St. Croix Conference and Big Rivers Conference for more than 30 years.

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