Osakis boys basketball coach Matt Hoelscher knew Friday night’s game at Sauk Centre would be a tough match-up, which is why he was proud of the way his guys responded for the win.
The Mainstreeters feature senior big man Jacob Jennissen, who is a Division I recruit heading to Colorado State next year. The Silverstreaks were also down one of their top players with Luke Imdieke in Twin Cities for the Minnesota Vikings Showcase, a football all-star game for some of the best seniors in the state.
Osakis fell behind 32-27 at the half against the Mainstreeters before rallying for 48 second-half points and a 75-71 win.
“Great playoff atmosphere and test for our guys this early in the season,” Hoelscher said. “We started out slow and Sauk jumped on us early as we had good looks but couldn't make shots. We were able to weather the storm as Sauk had momentum right away, but we battled back as Bauer (Klimek) made some big baskets to keep us close.”
Klimek is a sophomore guard getting his first taste of having a prominent role on varsity this winter. He was huge in Imdieke’s absence, scoring 23 points on 9-of-18 shooting. The seniors stepped up around him as Daniel Savageau finished with 28 points, nine assists, six rebounds and four steals. Kobie Lara added 12 points, and Luke Staloch had 10 points and 10 rebounds.
“We had issues defensively trying to guard Jennissen as we focused a lot on him,” Hoelscher said. “To Sauk’s credit, their role players made plays and it forced our guys to extend our defense, which left us vulnerable in the post. We did a great job the second half by attacking the basket and drawing Jennissen away from the rim. That opened up Kobie and Luke Staloch for put backs and quick layups. Bauer again hit big shots and Daniel controlled the tempo and made his free throws.”
Jennissen finished with 21 points and 15 rebounds. Hoelscher liked the way another senior in guard Carter Grove made an impact without scoring much by how he played defense.
“He does so much for us on both ends of the floor even though it doesn't always show up in the stat sheet,” Hoelscher said. “His ability to play the whole game, along with Daniel while being down Luke, shows tremendous heart and leadership. It was great to see players put in big-game situations this early in the season to prepare us for March.”
The win puts the finishing touches on a 3-0 opening week for Osakis. Sauk Centre fell to 1-2 with a win at Foley and a loss at Benson.
“Beating Sauk on their home floor is a great confidence booster, and we hope that momentum will continue through the rest of the month,” Hoelscher said.
SAUK CENTRE 32 39 - 71
OSAKIS 27 48 - 75
OSAKIS TOTALS - FG - 27-61; Three-point FG - 5-22; FT - 16-23; Assists - 12; Rebounds - 27; Steals - 14; Turnovers - 4
OSAKIS - Kobie Lara - 12 points, 3 rebounds, 5 steals; Carter Grove - 2 points, 1 assist, 3 rebounds, 1 steal; Luke Staloch - 10 points, 1 assist, 10 rebounds, 1 steal; Bauer Klimek - 23 points, 1 assist, 4 rebounds, 3 steals; Daniel Savageau - 28 points, 9 assists, 6 rebounds, 4 steals; Brady Mages - 1 rebound