YORK – At the half the Osceola Bulldog coaching staff had at least two issues it needed to address.
The offense was struggling to put the ball in the basket and turnovers were eliminating any chance they had against the No. 2 seed Giltner Hornets in the boys’second semifinal of the CRC Thursday night at the York City Auditorium.
Osceola put up a great fight to the finish, but the Hornets were able to hold off the Bulldogs by the final score of 44-42 to advance to tonight’s final.
Giltner (14-2) will take on BDS for the 2013 CRC championship at 7:30 p.m.
After trailing 25-8 in the first half and still down 28-17 at intermission Osceola came out in an attack mode and quickly whittled the Hornet lead to under 10 points as 6-5 junior Eric Hays scored six points in the quarter.
At the end of three quarters the Bulldogs were within 38-33 and got even closer when Chase Zelasney scored on a layin to make it 38-35.
The Bulldogs pulled even at 40-40 with 5:56 to play when Osceola senior Jake Zahm stole an errant pass and drove the length of the court for the bucket to make it 40-40 with 3:58 to play.
At the 2:56 mark Giltner’s Dustin Hastings fouled out with 19 points, but the Bulldogs could not put the ball in the basket and made four crucial turnovers over the final two minutes.
Giltner had a chance to make things easier on itself at the free throw line, but went 0-4 in the fourth quarter, allowing the Bulldogs to stay in contention.
In the early going the Bulldogs could do nothing right as they had 13 turnovers in the first half and were just 4-16 from the floor. Things were much better over the final two quarters as they were 9-15 and ended the game 13-31. Osceola was 2-5 from the 3-point arc and 14-17 at the free throw line.
Giltner led 14-6 at the first quarter break and was threatening to blow the game wide open with a 17-point second quarter lead, but the Bulldogs climbed back to within 11 before the half.
Giltner was 15-41 from the field and 5-14 from the 3-point circle, but just 9-19 from the free throw line.
Osceola (9-6) will take on High Plains for the consolation hardware at 4:30 this afternoon.
Osceola (9-6) ............... 6 11 16 9—42
Giltner (14-2) ................. 14 14 10 6—44
OHS: E. Hays 19, N. Hayes 5, J. Zahm 8, C. Zelasney 6, C. Ericson 2, L. Ericson 2.
GHS: R. Kleier 4, G. Poppen 2, D. Hastings 19, K. Hawthorne 7, J. Findley 7, J. Hastings 1, D. Hinrichs 4.