Long Prairie-Grey Eagle looked as if it could give the Osakis boys basketball team a run for its money on Thursday night. But after a dominating second half, the Silverstreaks returned to midseason form in their 62-42 win over the Thunder.
“Our defense was good tonight,” senior Kobie Lara said. “They were hitting some tough shots in the first half, but we kept putting pressure on them and turned it into a transition game. That led to a lot of easy buckets.”
The Silverstreaks (13-1) opened up a 9-5 lead early in the first half after a 7-0 run. However, the Thunder (3-10) closed the gap. LPGE made some tough shots to take its first lead with under seven minutes before the break.
“They got (Brandon) Fossland back. It was his second game back on the court, and he’s a guard that can hit from deep,” Osakis head coach Matt Hoelscher said. “He can penetrate, and he gets his teammates the ball, so we have to account for him. When we started over-helping, we left some of their other shooters open like (Lance) Larson and (Ian) Langford.”
The Thunder had success in the first in exploiting the size difference. Langford and Larson muscled their way to the basket on several possessions.
“They have some big, physical guys out there that are tough matchups for us offensively,” Hoelscher said. “It’s harder for us to get to the rim, so we have to rely on the three-point shot. When we switched to a zone, we made them go faster than we wanted to. That’s when we got out in our transition.”
Osakis ended the first half on an 8-0 run to take a 25-19 lead. The momentum carried into the beginning of the second half when the Silverstreaks expanded their lead to 38-21. Not only did they find their scoring, but the defense also kept the same intensity from the first 18 minutes.
“We take a lot of pride playing defense,” Lara said. “It’s the motor that keeps us going. It gets me going when I’m up top. I always want to get a steal to get quick points. It’s a collective effort.”
Daniel Savageau led the Silverstreaks with 22 points, including four three-pointers. Luke Staloch grabbed a team-high nine rebounds. Lara was a menace on the defensive end. He had three steals, and 14 deflections on LPGE passes.
“When the game changed for us, it started with Kobie,” Hoelscher said. “He got a lot of deflections in our zone trap. He struggled a bit offensively, but he brought it on defense tonight. When he gets deflections and tips that allow him or the other guys to get steals, the bench and the crowd get happy. That kind of play motivates our guys, and it’s contagious. He’s a spark plug, and he did a great job keeping us on track tonight.”
Osakis’s next game will be one of its most stringent tests in the regular season. Parkers Prairie (10-2) is looking to go further than the Section 6A title game this year after last year’s emotional loss to Henning in the championship game. The Panthers are reloaded for another postseason run, but will first host the Silverstreaks on Tuesday night.
“The last few games we played some teams that don’t have a lot of wins,” Hoelscher said. “I don’t know if we are playing down to the level of our competition or if we think we can walk out and beat a team by 20. We have to find ways to put complete games together because we have a goal. If we play like we did tonight, we aren’t going to beat Parkers or get to where we want to be.”
Hoelscher’s message to his team was loud and clear. The Silverstreaks know they can’t take stretches off if they want to compete with the best teams on their schedule.
“We know we didn’t play our best tonight, but it’s a win,” Lara said. “We can’t have those slow stretches in these next couple of games. There are some challenging teams ahead for us.”
LPGE 19 23 - 42
OSAKIS 25-37 - 62
OSAKIS TEAM TOTALS- 23-55 FGA, 7-26 3PA, 9-14 FTA, 13 assists, 27 rebounds, 14 steals, 9 fouls, 7 turnovers
OAKIS- Luke Imdieke 11 points, 4 assists, 2 rebounds, 3 steals; Kobie Lara 13 points, 4 rebounds, 3 steals; Carter Grove 1 assist; Luke Staloch 6 points, 1 assist, 9 rebounds; 1 steal; Bauer Klimek 2 points, 1 rebound, 1 steal; Tyson Lien 1 rebound; Carter Rost 2 rebounds, 2 steals; Daniel Savageau 22 points, 4 rebounds; Brady Mages 8 points, 4 rebounds