HENDERSON — Five Heartland seniors played the final game of their careers on their home floor on Thursday night as the Huskies hosted the Osceola Bulldogs in girls non-conference action.
The Huskies got off to a quick start leading 15-3 in the first half, but Osceola would not go away and they kept things close before the Huskies closed the deal by the final score of 39-27.
The Heartland defense played havoc on the Bulldogs’ attack in the early going, forcing six first-quarter turnovers. The Huskies built a 13-3 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Osceola was cold from the floor as they were just 1-10 in the quarter and 5-21 in the first half.
While the Bulldogs struggled with turnovers, so too did Heartland as they also had six miscues over the first eight minutes, preventing them from putting the game on ice in the first half.
Osceola had an offensive surge fueled by junior Lauryn Gustafson as she scored six points on a pair of 3-point shots that helped the Bulldogs get back within 17-14 late in the second quarter. Gustafson led the Bulldogs with 19 points.
Just as quickly as the Bulldogs got back in striking distance, senior Ashton Kroeker took over for Heartland scoring six points in a row to push the lead to 25-13 at the half. Kroeker was the offensive star as she led the way with 13 and Sara Brune chipped in with 10.
Osceola tried to keep things close in the second half, and when they tried to speed up the tempo of the game, head coach Greg Veerhusen pulled the ball out to keep the Bulldogs from getting on a run.
After three it was 33-23 to the home team and the Bulldogs could not make up any ground as the Osceola girls missed their first five shots from the floor over the final eight minutes.
In the game the Bulldogs were 9-35 from the field and 3-10 from beyond the 3-point circle. At the charity stripe the Osceola girls hit 5-10. Osceola was charted with 14 turnovers.
Heartland finished 15-30 for an even 50 percent and that included 1-6 from the 3-point range. The Huskies were 6-13 at the charity stripe. Heartland ended the game with 15 turnovers.
Along with Kroeker, Dick and Brune Mattison Hiebner and Stephanie Stamp played their final game at Heartland High School.
Heartland (13-7) will cap the regular season half of their schedule tonight as they hit the road to take on Cedar Valley. The Huskies play their first game of Class D1-2 subdistricts on Tuesday night at Fillmore Central High School when they take on the BDS Eagles at 7:45 p.m.
Osceola (8-12) .................. 3 10 10 4—27
Heartland (13-7) ................... 13 12 8 6—39
O: B. Johnson 1, L. Gustafson 19, L. Schleif2, H. Walgren 5.
H: A. Kroeker 13, M. Dick 8, B. Carr 6, S. Brune 10, M. Hiebner 2.