Boys' basketball: Scherr's buzzer-beater beats Chargers
By: Eric Morken, Alexandria Echo Press
Maybe this was exactly the kind of win that the Osakis boys’ basketball team needed to gain some confidence.
The Silverstreaks have been able to stick with some teams in the first half this year before the opponent created some distance over the final 18 minutes. Osakis never let Brandon-Evansville do that on Tuesday night.
Instead, it was the Silverstreaks who created a double-digit lead early in the second half after taking a tie game into the break. Then after the Chargers stormed all the way back to take a late lead, Osakis proved to itself that it could put a game away in dramatic fashion for a 48-45 win.
“We talked about the last few games, momentum,” Osakis head coach Matt Hoelscher said. “How are we going to stop it? All of a sudden, we’re up 11 or 12 and they start coming back. We just couldn’t put them away. It’s nice for our guys to play in a game like this because they learn how to play.”
Junior guard Hunter Scherr played the role of hero on this night when it looked like the worst outcome for Brandon-Evansville at the end of regulations would be overtime. The Chargers were inbounding the ball with 2.4 seconds left in a tie game when John Piekarski tipped the pass that was intended for John Haseman streaking down court.
Scherr simply reacted from there. He grabbed the ball as it hung in the air near half court before taking a couple dribbles. He jumped off one leg and let go of a three-point shot that rolled around the rim and hit off the backboard before dropping through after the buzzer sounded.
“Before, when I was on the bench, I was thinking the whole time that it was going to come down to that,” Scherr said. “It flew by pretty fast. I was hoping it was dropping, but when it dropped it was probably one of the greatest moments ever.”
It was all set up by a big free throw from fellow junior guard Drew Fearing. He stepped to the line for a one-and-one with his team down 45-44 with around three seconds left. Fearing drained the first one to tie it before missing the second.
Brandon-Evansville immediately called a timeout after the rebound. The Silverstreaks knew they needed length to make it tough on the ensuing inbounds play. That’s why they called on the 6’3” Piekarski off the bench. He delivered with one of the bigger plays of the season for Osakis.
“It all starts with a chain of events, with Drew making that first big free throw,” Hoelscher said. “He misses that first one, it’s a whole different ballgame. He makes that, we get John Piekarski, sub him in and he gets the tip. That gives Hunter a chance, and it’s awesome. Those are the things that our guys need to get this program going.”
Scherr had a big second half as he scored seven quick points out of the break to help his team build a 37-26 lead. He and Kilar Zimmel finished with a team-high 12 points. Doug Zimmel and Lane Berberich each added eight points apiece.
For the Chargers, it was a frustrating outcome after they had battled all the way back to take a lead. Osakis still led 40-34 with six minutes left, but freshman Skyler Quinn scored six straight points in the closing minutes for Brandon-Evansville.
The last of those buckets came on a beautiful pass from Haseman. He got the ball in the middle of the paint. Osakis sent an immediate double team and Haseman found Quinn wide open below the basket for a bucket that gave the Chargers a one-point lead with 20 seconds left. In the end, Osakis just had one more play in them.
“It was a tough one to lose,” Chargers head coach John Holsten said. “They made a play. They deflected the inbounds pass, and Scherr made a good shot. It took a victory lap around the rim and fell in.”
It was the sixth loss in the last seven games for the Chargers, who have had trouble scoring during this stretch. They have averaged just 45.4 points per game over their last seven contests. Haseman and Blake Satterlie led them on Tuesday with 14 points. No other player had more than six.
For the Silverstreaks, it was their second win in the last three games. For a team that started 1-16, it’s a step in the right direction and a win Osakis hopes it can build on.
“To come in here and to play a team with a good player like Haseman and come out with a victory on the road,” Hoelscher said, “that says a lot about our guys and their character and their ability to grind a game out.”
OSAKIS 25 23 – 48
B-E 25 20 – 45
TOTALS – Osakis – FG – 17-31; Three-point FG – 6-10; FT – 8-13; Assists – 14; Steals – 8; Rebounds – 18; Turnovers – 10; B-E – FG – 18-42; FT – 2-5; Rebounds – 15; Steals – 6; Turnovers – 10
OSAKIS – Berberich – 8 points, 1 assist, 3 steals; K. Zimmel – 12 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal; Scherr – 12 points, 4 assists, 1 steal, 4 rebounds; Fearing – 8 points, 1 assist, 2 steals, 4 rebounds; Piekarski – 1 rebound; D. Zimmel – 8 points, 6 assists, 2 rebounds, 1 steal
B-E – Satterlie – 14 points, 1 rebound, 1 steal, 1 assist; Pat Schaffer – 6 points, 1 rebound, 2 steals, 2 assists; Billie Juul – 3 points, 2 rebounds, 1 steal, 3 assists; Haseman – 14 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists; John Huisman – 1 rebound, 1 assist; Jon Thoennes – 2 points, 1 rebound; Quinn – 6 points, 1 rebound, 2 steals, 2 assists