“Our defense has really picked up, and we’re starting to push the ball down the floor,” Medicine Bear said.
“They were pretty tight on us. Our coaches have been telling us we need to get to the hole, because that’s what our team does.”
Cody Arnold got 2 points back with free throws, but Hartshorne guard Brett Akins did the same on the opposite end. Wilburton turned over its next possession, then Osife sank two free throws to push the lead to 14.
Osife led his team with 14 points. Hartshorne as a team shot 19-for-29 at the foul line, while Wilburton shot 8-for-13.
“Our shots weren’t going down, so we had to find another way to score,” Osife said. “After that, driving was our only option to win this game.”
Hartshorne led by as many as 12 points in the first half, a steal by Medicine Bear leading to a fullcourt pass and a layup by Tyler Lindley for a 24-15 lead late in the second quarter. But Emanual Mercado answered with a layup, then Wilburton opened the third quarter with Jonathan Fite hitting a jump shot.
Cody Arnold’s layup made it a 3-point game, but Osife knocked down a jump shot. Osife then scored off an offensive rebound, drew a foul and sank the free throw to push the lead to 29-21.
Arnold answered again with a layup, but Lindley scored again for Hartshorne. Wilburton then went on a 9-0 run, beginning with Mikey Gauzdausky scoring on a fastbreak.
Hartshorne got called for traveling on its next possession, then Arnold went to the line and shot 1-for-2. Hartshorne couldn’t score on its next two possessions, then Arnold again got back to the line and shot 2-for-2 to make it 31-28 Hartshorne.
Arnold scored 24 for Wilburton.
“He’s been our leading scorer all year,” Wilburton coach Shawn Hooker said of Arnold. “He’s a tough kid. He’s learned how to play. I can’t say enough about him.”