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Boys' basketball: Hoelscher takes over young Osakis roster

Osakis' Ky Zimmel returns to the Silverstreak boys' basketball team after missing most of last season with an ACL injury. He is one of three seniors on the squad under new head coach Matt Hoelscher. (File photo)

Matt Hoelscher will be leading a young team this season in his first stint as a head coach for the Osakis boys' basketball team.

The Silverstreaks graduated their inside-outside threat from last season. Joe Roggenbuck was one of the best big men in the Prairie Conference and is entering his first season with the University of Minnesota-Morris men's team. Mitch Herzog added a strong shooting presence from beyond the three point line.

Osakis won't likely rely on just one player to try and replace that production. Kilar Zimmel is coming off an ACL injury that took away most of his junior season. He and fellow senior Doug Zimmel will be looked upon to lead the way.

"[Doug] will play anywhere from the point guard to small forward position," Hoelscher said. "[Kilar] would've been a player last year that would've seen a lot of court time if he was healthy. Juniors Drew Fearing, Lane Berberich, Hunter Scherr and Joey Kotek are expected to step up and see a lot of minutes for us."

It's a lineup that doesn't feature a lot of big bodies on the block. That will dictate how Osakis tries to do things both offensively and defensively.

"We don't have a lot of size so we're going to have to use our athleticism, court awareness and out-hustle people for rebounds and loose balls," Hoelscher said. "Hopefully we outwork our opponents, which will lead to some victories."

The Silverstreaks hope that leads to a better record than their 7-19 mark from last winter. Osakis went 5-11 in the Prairie Conference during that stretch.

Long Prairie-Grey Eagle was the top team in the league last season with a 15-1 conference record. Hoelscher sees the Thunder as one of the teams to beat again this year. Upsala and Browerville could also figure into who finishes atop the Prairie Conference.

Hoelscher feels LPGE will also figure into the mix in the Section 6AA field come tournament time. Melrose, Sauk Centre and defending champion Litchfield should also have something to say about who punches their ticket to state, as well.



SENIORS - Doug Zimmel, John Piekarski, Kilar Zimmel

JUNIORS - Drew Fearing, Joey Kotek, Hunter Scherr, Lane Berberich, Mitch Tersteeg, Trey Erie

SOPHOMORES - Jesse Sorenson, Brandon Giesler

COACHES - Head coach - Matt Hoelscher - first year; Assistant coaches - Lee VanNyhuis, Pat Stier

Eric Morken

Eric Morken is the sports and outdoor editor at the Echo Press and Osakis Review newspapers in Douglas County, MN. Follow him on Twitter at echo_sports.

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