Blair Oaks uses team effort to get past Osage

WARDSVILLE — LeeAnn Polowy doesn’t have to score 43 points a night for Blair Oaks to be successful.

The Lady Falcons proved that Thursday.

Blair Oaks used a balanced scoring attack and got clutch shots at opportune times to claim a 53-37 win against School of the Osage — just two days after Polowy scored 43 points to break the school record.

“Everybody was making some shots,” Blair Oaks coach Leroy Bernskoetter said. “That’s probably the biggest thing. It wasn’t just one or two girls — it was a lot of them.

“This was a good team effort, a good team win.”

Polowy had a productive evening, putting up a game-high 14 points to go along with seven rebounds and three assists for the Lady Falcons (4-1).

But the Missouri State signee had some help.

Lauren Viessman added 14 points — seven in the fourth quarter — and Robyn Schroeder chipped in seven to help lead Blair Oaks, which shot 15-of-30 from the field.

“A lot of people stepped up and made some big shots,” Polowy said. “It’s great to see that because that means we’re getting better as a team.”

The senior guard made some big shots, too.

Blair Oaks had a 34-28 lead after the third quarter, but Polowy opened the final period with a three-point play and hit a 3-pointer with 6:12 left to give the Lady Falcons a 13-0 advantage.

They wouldn’t look back from there.

“Osage is a good team, so that’s a huge win for us,” Polowy said.

Blair Oaks did struggle in the early going, however.

Osage used its height advantage to jump out to an 8-0 lead with 5:20 left in the first quarter, but Lady Falcons were able to cut the deficit to three at the end of the period.

“There’s going to be games where it can be pretty quick, up and down,” Bernskeotter said. “It wasn’t like that because of their size.”

Both teams were cold to open up the second quarter.

Blair Oaks missed its first six shots until Chelsi Emerson hit a pair of free throws with 2:44 left in the period.

Things started to pick up from there.

Paige Siebeneck followed with a deep 3-pointer to give Blair Oaks a 13-11 lead and the Falcons finished the quarter on a 10-1 run to take an 18-12 lead into the second half.

“We always say that basketball is played with runs,” Polowy said. “They’re going to have a run, we’re going to have a run. They key is for our run to be longer and to contain theirs.”

Osage was 0-of-9 from the field in the second quarter and committed six turnovers.

“Defensively, I thought we did a nice job,” Bernskoetter said. “We made them get a little frustrated and it never allowed them to get into their flow.”

Viessman opened up the third quarter with a 3-pointer to give Blair Oaks a 23-14 lead, but Osage’s Monica Cisar recorded two steals, which led to back-to-back fast break points as the Lady Indians cut the deficit to three with 4:23 to remaining in the period.

Viessman answered with another 3-pointer and the Lady Falcons stayed in control the rest of the way.

“I was settling down and focusing on the shot,” said Viessman, who hit 8-of-12 free throws.

Cisar and Isabel Morris both scored nine points to lead Osage, which was 15-of-37 from the field, 2-of-3 from the free throw line, and claimed a 9-3 advantage on the offensive glass.

Blair Oaks was 16-of-20 from the charity stripe and forced 18 Lady Indian turnovers.

Osage claimed a 39-32 win against Blair Oaks in the junior varsity game.

Gabrielle Hill scored 10 points to lead the Lady Indians. Carli Buschjost put up a game-high 13 points to lead the Falcons.

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