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Osage girls basketball team

The 2017-2018 Osage High School Girls Basketball team. (front from left) Melanie Bye, Brenna Jacobs, Mady Johnson, Gabriel Schwarting and Mia Knutsen. (standing) Libby Schwamman, Sydney Brandau, Dani Johnson and Riley Olson.

OSAGE | The senior trio on the Osage girls’ basketball team has a name.

“We used to have so many girls, and we’re the ‘Final Three,’ it’s just exciting,” senior Madi Johnson said.

The ‘Final Three’ includes Johnson, Brenna Jacobs and Gabby Schwarting. The girls have been playing together since fourth grade, but over the years, it’s narrowed down.

The three seniors play key roles on the team, and their chemistry is what drives their success.

“Brenna, she goes to the basket, drives to the basket, super athletic, excellent defensively, our best defensive player.” Head coach Chad Erickson said.

Jacobs forced a team-high of 93 turnovers, including 47 steals, she also managed the second-most rebounds with 111. Jacobs’ style is as described—the type to score points from driving to the basket. She was the second highest scorer on the team with a 43.4 field goal percentage, averaging 9.7 points per game.

While Jacobs laughs and jokes, “I’m just an extra, I just do whatever.” Johnson is quick to state just how big of a role Jacobs has on and off the court.

“No you’re not, you’re a guard,” Johnson says, turning to Brenna. “Brenna just holds our team together.”

And after a week of waiting for state volleyball’s completion, Johnson couldn’t wait for Jacobs and the rest of the volleyball team to get back.

“We started out a week ago and we didn’t have all the girls,” Johnson said. “Even without the volleyball girls, we looked pretty good. The first practice with the volleyball girls being back I was just like, ‘Wow, we’re really going to be really good this year.’”

Standing at 5-foot-10, Johnson is the tallest senior, and one of many taller girls on the team, next to her younger sister, Dani Johnson, who stands at six feet.

“Madi is our big girl,” Erickson said. “She plays inside a lot, she does a nice job scoring inside.”

Johnson held a team high of 115 rebounds last season, she was the third-best scorer, adding 8.5 points per game. Johnson is also a more vocal leader, whereas Schwarting leads by example.

“Then Gabby is our shooter,” Erickson said. “Gabby will play off Brenna and if she’s open Brenna does a nice job of getting her the ball.”

Schwarting was the top scorer on last year’s team, averaging 10.6 points per game. But it’s the fact that she made a team-high of 36 three-pointers that poses an extra threat to other teams, she has the ability to run up the score. And she’s determined to add more, working hard in the offseason to perfect her shooting.

“We’re going to come back fighting harder this time,” Schwarting said. “It helps if you’re doing a little extra shooting by yourself.”

As the countdown to game day begins, the Final Three keep in mind that this is their last shot. Last year, the Green Devils fell short in the Class 3A regional semifinal after a 35-32 loss to Clear Lake after making it to the state tournament the year before.

Now, it’s their final chance to make it back.

​Reach sports reporter Leah Vann at 641-421-0526.

Follow her on twitter at @GG_LeahVann


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