By Kristi Nixon
GARNER — A red-hot shooting Lake Mills boys basketball team was not to be denied by Osage, handing the Green Devils two of only five losses this season, and this time meant more as the Class 2A eighth-ranked Bulldogs put an end to their 18-5 campaign with a 72-47 defeat at Garner-Hayfield-Ventura High School.
What it all boiled down to is Lake Mills made their shots, hitting for 59.6 percent from the field, and was 66.7 percent from beyond the three-point line to remain undefeated at 23-0.
“They made big shots, timely shots,” Osage head coach Mike Brahn said. “We did a nice job early and struggled to finish at the basket. Got the ball in the lane and some really nice looks and we struggled to finish with their size. They did a really nice job of rebounding the ball offensively, you know. We forced some misses early, but offensive rebounds and put-backs for them allowed them to get going that way.”
Lake Mills’ first basket came off of three offensive boards, which Brahn said, “That set the tone for the night.”
The Bulldogs out-rebounded the Green Devils, 40-18, with 12 offensive boards, several of which were put-backs.
Trailing 38-20 at halftime, Brahn and the Green Devils made some halftime adjustments, utilizing senior Drew Tusler for some cuts to the basket where he was freed up for a few uncontested shots. Tusler ended up leading Osage with 14 points after just six in the first half. Madden Uhlenhopp, who had eight by halftime including a steal for an impressive dunk, finished with 13 points and led the team with three steals.
“We tried to take advantage of those match-up things – they wanted to take away the three-point line,” Brahn said. “(We) tried to hit the guy rolling to the basket more and try some different passing angles to make that work to get that interior game there. We talked about being able to finish more and finishing through contact.”
The full story and more photos are available in the March 1 print and e-editions of the Enterprise Journal.