A year ago, the Kissimmee Osceola Kowboys and Windermere Wolverines were district rivals. This time around, not only are the schools no longer in the same district, they are no longer in the same region. While Windermere stayed in Region Two of Class 7A, Osceola was placed in Region 3 of the same classification.
It was Senior Night at Windermere and only one regular starter began the game. It didn’t look like it would matter who was on the floor early for Windermere as they jumped out to a quick 5-0 lead. The Kowboys responded with back-to-back threes to take a 6-5 lead. With just over four minutes left in the quarter and Windermere up 10-8, the Wolverines inserted their normal starting five and it immediately paid off. A quick 5-0 run highlighted by a bucket inside from 6’8 junior and Duke commit Sean Stewart put the Wolverines up 15-8 and forced an Osceola timeout. The stoppage in play didn’t help and after one quarter of play, Windermere looked in control up 24-16.
The break in between quarters seemed to take the wind out of Windermere. Turnovers, missed shots, and an inability to get out in transition plagued the Wolverines. Meanwhile, the Kowboys were slowly slicing the lead. With four minutes left in the quarter, Osceola was within four at 28-24. Windermere would never relinquish their lead in the second quarter but the Wolverines didn’t build on their advantage either. At the break, it was really anybody’s ball game as Osceola was down only three, 33-30.
Windermere opened up the third period with a quick 4-0 spurt but 6’0 Osceola junior Chris Combs fueled an 8-0 run for the Kowboys, either getting to the basket and scoring or pulling up and knocking down mid-range jump shots. With just two minutes gone by in the period, Osceola now had a lead. The Wolverines re-took the lead on their next possession. With 3:30 left in the third, Windermere was up 43-42 when Osceola drained a three to re-take the lead. This would start a Kowboy run of 6-1 to end the third quarter with Osceola on top by the score of 48-44.
Early in the final period, Windermere got to within two points but then Osceola put together a 5-0 run to go up by seven, 55-48 with five minutes left in the contest. Windermere responded with a 9-2 run to tie the score at 57-57 with just under three minutes to play. The Kowboys coolly and calmly responded with a three pointer on their end and, after a Windermere miss on its next possession, an Osceola basket off of an offensive rebound gave the Kowboys a 62-57 lead with 1:30 left in the game. Another Wolverine turnover led to an Osceola basket and now Windermere had a variety of issues: time was running out and they only had one team foul. Windermere had to foul quickly and often to stop the clock and put Osceola on the foul line to get the ball back. By the time that happened, less than twenty second remained in the contest. Osceola made their foul shots to increase their lead. Windermere’s rush to get up three-pointers was unsuccessful and Osceola wins a tough game on the road by the score of 66-57.
Chris Combs led the Kowboys with 15 points while senior brother Sean Combs added 11 points.
For Windermere, Stewart had 22 points and 10 rebounds while senior Chris Nurse tallied 11 points.