Osakis senior guard Daniel Savageau needed 23 points to reach 2,000 for his career heading into the Silverstreaks’ opening game of the Section 6AA Tournament on Thursday. He accomplished that in the first half.
Savageau has never shied away from the moment in his career, and he played with no hesitation in leading the Silverstreaks (25-2) to a 72-39 win over Long Prairie-Grey Eagle. The win sends them on to the section quarterfinals to face a 25-2 Pine City team on Saturday night in St. Cloud. Savageau shot 10-of-13 overall on his way to 26 points, five assists, three rebounds and four steals. He was 5-of-8 from three.
“It was a great first game as the guys had a lot of energy playing their last home game,” Osakis head coach Matt Hoelscher said. “It was a special night for the seniors, and the crowd made it even more memorable. Daniel got hot right away so we kept feeding him..I’m so happy for Daniel. He has worked numerous hours in the gym since he was young, and it has paid off. We are thankful we get another day to practice and play at least one more game.”
Leif Nomeland, a power forward/center for the Silverstreaks almost 10 years ago, is the only other player for Osakis to reach the 2,000-point mark. Nomeland holds the school’s career-scoring record with 2,054. That leaves Savageau just 51 points shy with a potential tournament run still in front of Osakis.
“The greatest mark (Daniel) will leave (on the program) is his selfless attitude and competitive edge,” Hoelscher said. “Since I've been here, I haven't seen anyone put more time in a gym than Daniel. He is at the YMCA shooting daily, playing one-on-one, ball handling, etc. He started that routine when he was in elementary school and continues it today. His impact on the younger players in our feeder program is remarkable. He does a great job interacting with them, and they all admire him.”
Hoelscher said the Thunder (9-18) sent multiple guys at Savageau once he got going, and that opened up shots for fellow senior guard Luke Imedie. Imdieke had 14 points and knocked down 3-of-6 shots from three. Carter Grove added eight points as Osakis shot 49% overall (27-55).
It all made for an easy night in the tournament opener. Now the Silverstreaks enter the portion of the playoffs where opponents get tougher with each win.
Pine City, located near the Wisconsin border between Minneapolis and Duluth, did everything it could with the schedule it played. The Dragons’ are on an eight-game winning streak, with their only losses coming against Proctor (9-18) on Dec. 27 and Mora (20-7) in a two-point game on Feb. 3. The strength of the 6AA field left them as a No. 7 seed despite their 25 wins.
“They play a five-out, dribble-drive (offense) where they shoot a lot of threes and like to get to the rim,” Hoelscher said. “They have multiple shooters on the floor at all times, so if we over help on penetration, we will give up good looks from the three-point line.”
Pine City beat opponents by an average of 21.7 points-per game this season. The Dragons are the highest-scoring team in the section at 75.7 points-per night. Osakis is second in 6AA at 69.9 points-per game, setting up what should be a good quarterfinal game at St. Cloud State University with a 5:45 p.m. tip on Saturday.
“They play nine guys and look to full-court press the entire game,” Hoelscher said. “They fly around on defense trying to make teams uncomfortable. They score a lot of points, so we have to be disciplined on defense and take care of the ball.”
OSAKIS 48 24 - 72
LPGE 13 26 - 39
OSAKIS TOTALS - FG - 27-55; Three-point FG - 10-25; FT - 8-13; Assists - 16; Blocks - 1; Rebounds - 26; Steals - 14; Turnovers - 8
OSAKIS - Kurth - 2 points; Anderson - 2 points, 1 assist, 1 rebound; Luke Imdieke - 14 points, 5 assists, 2 rebounds; Kobie Lara - 4 points, 1 assist, 5 rebounds, 1 steal; Carter Grove - 8 points, 1 assist, 2 steals; Luke Staloch - 4 points, 3 rebounds, 1 steal; Bauer Klimek - 6 points, 2 assists, 1 rebound, 3 steals; Lien - 1 assist, 1 rebound; Carter Rost - 3 rebounds, 1 steal; Muenzhuber - 2 rebounds; Daniel Savageau - 26 points, 5 assists, 3 rebounds, 4 steals; Watness - 2 points, 1 rebound; Brady Mages - 4 points, 1 block, 4 rebounds, 2 steals