Boys basketball: Osakis impresses in playoff opener
Osakis boys basketball coach Matt Hoelscher was a little worried going into Thursday night’s Section 8AA-South opener against sixth-seeded Barnesville.
Hoelscher wanted three days of practice to prepare for a team the Silverstreaks hadn’t seen yet this season. A snow day that cancelled school on Monday shortened that down to two, and those two weren’t the greatest practices, according to the coach.
“I was not real confident going in,” Hoelscher said.
Turns out he had nothing to worry about. Barnesville (9-16) stuck around through the first few minutes but had no answer for Osakis (21-6) long term on a night when the Silverstreaks shot 65 percent (25-38). That led them to a 66-45 win and a spot in the section quarterfinals.
“I know that we can play at this level,” Hoelscher said. “I was just super impressed with how well they met the game plan on defense. They rebounded well. We passed well. We talked about the last few days how (Barnesville) was going to get up in your face, and you got to penetrate and we got to have guys cutting to the rim.”
That defense by the Trojans played right into the hands of Osakis’ sophomore guards, Daniel Sauvageau and Luke Imdieke. Hoelscher called those two some of the best one-on-one players around with their ability to penetrate and score or get guys involved.
Imdieke only scored two points, but he impacted the game greatly by getting in the lane and dropping off 10 assists to teammates. Many of those went to senior forward Josh Peterka, who had a game-high 19 points.
“I just try to take what the defense gives me,” Imdieke said. “If I get a layup, I’ll take the layup. If I get a jump shot, I get a jump shot. If I find a teammate open, I’m going to give it to him whenever I can. I saw tonight the defense collapsing and Josh right on the block.”
Crediting his guards with finding him was the first thing Peterka did when asked about his big night. He was part of a balanced effort for Osakis that saw Savageau finish with 18 points, Reid DeWenter put in 10 and junior Brandon Boogaard come off the bench to score nine. Imdieke almost had a double-double without the points after grabbing eight rebounds to his 10 assists.
“When we facilitate like that and get multiple guys in the scoring book, we’re tough,” Hoelscher said. “Luke is an animal. He plays great D. He’s a great facilitator.”
Osakis led 35-23 at the half and stretched it to a 20-point game for much of the final 18 minutes. Hoelscher credited their scout team for the way they pushed the varsity in practice and got them ready for this game.
“We took care of the ball,” Hoelscher said. “We played with confidence, played with toughness. I just can’t say enough of how proud I am of these guys.”
Third-seeded Osakis took care of business on a night when the rest of the section opened up a little bit after seventh-seeded Warroad (13-13) upset second-seeded Roseau (17-10). The Silverstreaks play Warroad this Saturday afternoon at 4:15 at Concordia College in Moorhead.
Osakis has not seen the Warriors this season, but the Silverstreaks had someone from the community already up at Lake of the Woods who volunteered to travel to Roseau to give coaches a scouting report from Thursday’s game.
Programs can get creative with things like that. They’ll watch as much film as they can get their hands on, ask other coaches they know who might have played an upcoming playoff opponent. But much of the focus Saturday will be on what Osakis does well itself.
“At some point, you just have to play,” Hoelscher said. “Everything that we’ve done this year has got us ready for this. Whether we see a 2-3 (zone), a 3-2, a 1-3-1 or man-to-man. We talk about how we defend ball screens, cutters, so everything is already put in. We tell the guys, ‘We prepared you all year, we have a plan for these guys and you just have to execute.’ ”
So far, everything the Silverstreaks have been doing has worked just fine. Osakis lost two 1,000-point career scorers in Zach Weir and John Boogaard and a do-everything-type player in Jacob Jones to graduation in 2017. With the win on Thursday, this new group matched last year’s win total of 21 victories.
“I feel like we’ve proven a lot,” Peterka said. “A lot of people underestimated us. They didn’t think we were going to come back because our two 1,000-point scorers were gone. We just kind of brought it and proved some people wrong.”
They aren’t done yet. Osakis has a day to prepare for the Warriors on Saturday. The Silverstreaks may not know a lot about Warroad, but they like the way they are playing themselves after a dominant win in the opener.
“I’m confident,” Imdieke said. “I think our chemistry is really good. We got that March chemistry like coach talks about. We feel good right now.”
OSAKIS 35 31 - 66
BARNESVILLE 23 22 - 55
OSAKIS TOTALS - FG - 25-38; Three-point FG - 5-13; FT - 11-18; Assists - 18; Blocks - 1; Rebounds - 26; Steals - 5; Turnovers - 10
OSAKIS - Luke Imdieke - 2 points, 10 assists, 8 rebounds, 3 steals; Jonathan Lara - 3 points, 2 assists; Daniel Savageau - 18 points, 3 assists, 6 rebounds, 1 steal; Josh Peterka - 19 points, 3 rebounds, 1 steal; Philip Mathews - 1 point; Kobie Lara - 5 points, 1 assist, 2 rebounds; Brandon Boogaard - 9 points, 1 assist, 1 block, 3 rebounds; Reid DeWenter - 10 points, 1 assist, 3 rebounds
BARNESVILLE SCORING - Logan Bang - 1; Adam Tonsfeldt - 5; Charle Aakre - 12; Brooks Martinson - 4; Hunter Zenzen - 11; Matthew Bredman - 3; Jason Henrickson - 6; Grant Inniger - 5