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Boys basketball: Osakis catches fire from three to drop the Chargers

Osakis senior Josh Peterka splits the defense of Brandon-Evansville's Darrin Wibstad (left) and Taylor Bitzan on Saturday afternoon in Osakis. Peterka had six points and was one of 10 Osakis players to score in a 74-46 win. (Eric Morken / Echo Press)1 / 4
Osakis senior forward Reid DeWenter looks for an open teammate on Saturday. DeWenter had four threes in the first half against Brandon-Evansville on his way to 17 points in the game. (Eric Morken / Echo Press)2 / 4
Osakis sophomore guard Daniel Savageau finds an open teammate on the wing during the first half on Saturday. Savageau had 17 points and nine assists to help his team to the win. (Eric Morken / Echo Press)3 / 4
Osakis' Carter Rost takes the contact from Brandon-Evansville senior James Strese late in the first half on Saturday. (Eric Morken / Echo Press)4 / 4

Osakis boys basketball coach Matt Hoelscher has said at times this season that his team can fall in love with the three-point shot a little too much sometimes.

On Saturday, that three-point shot loved them back. Osakis shot 64-percent from three (11-of-17) and 61 percent overall (26-42). That added up to an easy 74-46 win over Brandon-Evansville.  

“We got a lot of guys who we feel can shoot the basketball,” Hoelscher said. “If we get hot, we’re pretty dangerous offensively just because it pulls so many guys away from the rim. Then we can get guys like Luke (Imdieke) and Daniel (Savageau) attacking the basket. When we are shooting, we like our chances in any game.”

The Silverstreaks (7-5) never gave the Chargers (6-5) a chance to get comfortable. Ten of those threes Osakis hit came in the first half as the Silverstreaks built up a 43-17 lead by the half.

“I never want to take credit away from the other team,” Brandon-Evansville head coach Trent Hintermeister said. “They had guys hitting shots with a hand in their face or without a hand in their face. When you shoot 10-of-16 from three, you’re going to win a lot of games, especially if that 10-of-16 is in one half.”

Hintermeister said his team needs to be better ready to go from the get-go. Osakis features sophomore guards in Savageau and Imdieke, who are both quick with the ball and can beat teams with penetration and from the arc.

“They’re just gamers,” Hintermeister said of Imdieke and Savageau. “You got to be ready to go every game, but especially against guys like that. I just don’t think we were. After they made some shots, I think we had a couple guys who were maybe in disbelief that they kept making them, and we didn’t respond real well in the first half.”

Savageau was his usual self as he finished with 17 points and nine assists. Imdieke did a little bit of everything with eight points, four assists, five rebounds and five steals, but Osakis got contributions from all over the court.

Ten different players scored. Senior forward Reid DeWenter got going early and often on his way to 17 points. He knocked down four first-half threes.

“We loved the way he played,” Hoelscher said of DeWenter. “That’s kind of the thing he does is shoot well, and typically he does it well against zones. It was nice to see him shoot like this against a man team defensively. If you leave him open, he’s going to knock down shots.”

Sophomore forward Tanner Bitzan was the only Brandon-Evansville player in double figures with 18. His older brother, senior guard Taylor Bitzan, added nine points for the Chargers.

Osakis changed its focus after building the big lead by the break. The Silverstreaks only knocked down one more three in the second half, but they didn’t shoot many.

“Since we had that hot first half, we knew we couldn’t rely on that three pointer, so it was just attack,” Savageau said. “Then it was our defense. That’s what we’ve been focusing on these last few practices. We just kept the defense up, and that’s how we won this game.”

Hoelscher called it the best defensive performance Osakis has had all season.

“We gave up some points in the second half, but I thought the first half we did a great job at closing out, running out at shooters,” Hoelscher said. “We didn’t let them get easy shots. We stopped penetration, and then we rebounded. That’s something we haven’t collectively done for an entire half.”

The win was exactly how the Silverstreaks wanted to end a three-game week. Osakis had lost three of its last four games coming into Saturday, dropping a 63-48 game to Parkers Prairie (11-1) before falling by single digits to Minnewaska (8-4) and Sauk Centre (7-5).

“Those three teams, even though it was a loss, it builds character,” Hoelscher said. “We’re so close to beating teams like that, and Brandon-Evansville is a great team. They have athleticism and guys who can do a lot of stuff, so it just so happens it was our night. We shot well and played good ‘D’ and then they had an off night too, I think.”

Hintermeister did not want to call this a step back for the Chargers as much as he viewed it as one bad game.

The Chargers are still holding opponents to a Little-Eight-Conference-best 48.5 points per game defensively. Games like Saturday where Osakis knocked down 10 first-half threes has been the exception more than the rule against the Chargers. They will shift their focus quickly to get ready for Ashby on the road on Tuesday before Parkers Prairie comes to Brandon on Friday.

“What I continue to tell my guys is are you getting better at things you were bad at at the beginning of the year?” Hintermeister said. “The answer for us for most of those things is yes. It’s never good losing games, but losing to a hot-shooting team like this, you have to learn from it. I hope that we can, and I think that we can.”    

OSAKIS     43 31 - 74

B-E            17 29 - 46

OSAKIS TOTALS - FG - 26-42; Three-point FG - 11-17; FT - 11-13; Assists - 18; Rebounds - 21; Steals - 8; Turnovers - 12

OSAKIS - Luke Imdieke - 8 points, 4 assists, 5 rebounds, 5 steals; Jonathan Lara - 6 points, 2 assists, 4 rebounds, 1 steal; Riley Werven - 6 points, 1 assist, 1 rebound, 1 steal; Jay Manders - 5 points, 1 rebound; Daniel Savageau - 17 points, 9 assists, 1 rebound; Josh Peterka - 6 points, 1 rebound; Kobie Lara - 5 points, 2 rebounds; Brandon Boogaard - 2 points, 1 assist, 1 rebound; Carter Rost - 2 points, 1 assist, 3 rebounds, 1 steal; Reid DeWenter - 17 points, 2 rebounds

B-E SCORING - James Strese - 3; Nick Thorstad - 3; Marshall Riedel - 3; Taylor Bitzan - 9; Darrin Wibstad - 4; Keagan Schiele - 4; Jake Hintermeister - 2; Tanner Bitzan - 18

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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