With five seconds left in the Section 8AA quarterfinal game at Moorhead High School Monday night, Osakis head coach Matt Hoelscher huddled around his team on the court for the last time this season.
“I told them that the odds are not in our favor,” Hoelscher said. “We knew that they weren’t going to play defense. We had to hope that they wouldn’t listen to their coach.”
Osakis (26-2) was trailing by four points to Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton (19-9). Junior guard Daniel Savageau took an inbound pass, dribbled up the the open court unguarded and chucked up a three-point heave that bounced off the rim. The Silverstreaks saw their magical season come to an end at the hands of the Rebels by a score of 59-55.
“It was a game where we had missed opportunities,” Hoelscher said. “Missed layups, missed free throws and some mistakes around the rim. (DGF) is a good team. They have five guys that can shoot. This game is all about matchups and we didn’t match up well against them.”
Osakis’ defensive struggles came early. DGF started the game on a 10-2 run. After Hoelscher called a timeout, Osakis went on a 9-0 run. From there, it was a back-and-forth battle in which Osakis came up just short.
“From the summer stuff, this season and all the memories made, it was a journey,” senior forward Brandon Boogaard said. “It wasn’t about where we are or how we finished. It would’ve been nice to win but for me it was more about being with the guys and having fun.”
Osakis earned the second seed in the South subsection. DGF finished third in the North. The Rebels went into Monday’s game on a nine-game winning streak, including a 69-53 win over subsection top seed Hawley (22-4) at home in early February.
“They came out in a zone and gave us some fits,” Hoelscher said. “They tried to take Daniel away. I thought DGF created the tempo and we didn’t match it at times.”
The Rebels could only keep Savageau away for so long. He had a game-high 26 points.
“If you ask him, I think he would say he had an off night.” Hoelscher said. “He missed some free throws and he wasn’t happy with himself. That’s the kind of player he is. He expects the most from himself. Still, 26 points is still a great night.”
The Osakis seniors didn’t expect their last game to be on Monday night. For Boogaard, the values he will take away from playing on this team is something he will carry with him for many years.
“I’m sure you’ve heard this before but this is more than a team. These guys are my family,” Boogaard said. “One of the thing the coaches do a really good job of is not coaching us to be good players, but coaching us to be good people. There are a lot of great people on this team. We lifted each other up instead of dragging each other down.”
The Silverstreaks finished with a 26-2 record – the best of any boys basketball team in Douglas County this season. Boogaard can look back on how impressive their run actually was.
“I’m extremely proud of this team,” Boogaard said. “(DGF) played really well and we played them well. All good things come to an end I guess.”
With senior teammate Jonathan Lara standing behind him, Boogaard gave his honest thoughts about how he thinks Osakis will fair next year after losing two starters.
“It’s not something I like to admit out loud, but I’m pretty sure they’ll be better than this team was,” Boogaard said as he and Lara shared a somber look. “I think they can go farther than we did and I think they have a legitimate chance to make a deeper run.”
DGF 28 31 - 59
OSAKIS 28 27 - 55
OSAKIS TEAM TOTALS- FG- 19-53; 3PA- 6-20; FT- 11-20; Rebounds- 37; Assists- 9; Blocks- 2; Steals- 2; Turnovers- 11;
OSAKIS- Jonathan Lara- 5 points, 1 assist, 2 rebounds; Luke Imdieke- 5 points, 3 assists, 2 rebounds; Kobie Lara- 5 points, 12 rebounds; Luke Staloch- 1 rebound; Bauer Klimek- 6 points; Carter Rost- 2 rebounds; Daniel Savageau- 26 points, 4 assists, 1 block, 12 rebounds, 1 steal; Brandon Boogaard- 8 points, 1 assist, 1 block, 6 rebounds, 1 steal;
DGF SCORING- Justin Wang- 2, Nathan Leitner- 12, Aiden Leach- 9, Jacob Strand- 14, Drew Coalwell- 11, Tanner Tahran- 9, Ian Mickelson- 2