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Osakis boys’ basketball establishing a culture

Osakis senior Lane Berberich scores the first two points of the game on a driving lay-up during the Silverstreaks’ season opener against Eden Valley-Watkins on November 26. Berberich had seven points to go along with a rebound, an assist and a steal. (Eric Morken/Echo Press)

The night before the season opener for the Osakis boys’ basketball team last week, players gathered for supper and some team bonding at head coach Matt Hoelscher’s house.

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The Silverstreaks are trying to build up the program in the second season under Hoelscher and part of that is establishing a positive culture. Everybody on the varsity team was invited and all but two who had other school commitments attended.

“We had a great showing,” Hoelscher said. “My kids loved it. I got three kids. They look up to these varsity guys, so it’s good for them too.”

Osakis is coming off a season that saw this team win just three games last winter. The goals this year are simply a matter of progression. Whether that means more wins remains to be seen.

The Silverstreaks struggled in the season opener on Tuesday night as Eden Valley-Watkins came in and handed them a 70-32 loss on their home court. The Eagles were simply a bigger and more athletic team and they used that to jump out to a 20-0 lead and never looked back.

“We got great looks right away, they just didn’t go down,” Hoelscher said. “That will change as we get more mature and we kind of get used to the style a little bit more.”

Part of how Osakis measures progress this year will be how the young players develop and how the upperclassmen help them get there. Four injuries to guys who would see a lot of minutes created openings for sophomore Haden Hendricks and freshman John Boogaard to start alongside three seniors in Hunter Scherr, Lane Berberich and Drew Fearing against the Eagles.

Freshman Zachary Weir also saw some quality minutes. It’s a matter of getting used to the varsity level for a lot of these guys, and they took advantage of it. Boogaard led Osakis with eight points and eight rebounds. Hendricks had five points, two rebounds and one steal and Weir finished with five points, an assist and two rebounds.

Those guys are all important to the future of this program and Hoelscher lauded the effort that they played with. He knows the best way to help them reach their potential in the future is to establish a strong culture of what it means to be a team.

“We want to preach togetherness, dedication and commitment to the program,” Hoelscher said. “We have five seniors, one junior and lot of sophomores and freshmen, so there’s a big gap in generations and friendships there. We’re trying to mold that together.”

Fearing, Berberich and Scherr, along with fellow seniors Joey Kotek and Kolten Adolphsen and junior Cody DeWenter, are guys Hoelscher will lean on to help create a positive atmosphere. He knows they have an opportunity to leave an impact on the team that goes deeper than just wins and losses.

“What we really preach to our older kids is to be role models for these young guys,” Hoelscher said. “Leave a legacy here with the program. Whether we get two wins this year, one win, 10 wins, it doesn’t matter. How are we making our program better? We preach a lot of leadership, so that team bonding stuff is a lot of that.”


EV-W 41 29 – 70

OSAKIS TOTALS – FG – 14-40; Three-point FG – 2-7; FT – 2-5; Rebounds – 22; Steals – 6; Turnovers – 23; Assists – 6

OSAKIS – Berberich – 7 points, 1 assist, 1 rebound, 1 steal; Weir – 5 points, 1 assist, 2 rebounds, 1 steal; Scherr – 2 points, 1 assist, 1 rebound, 1 steal; Hendricks – 5 points, 2 rebounds, 1 steal; Fearing – 2 points, 5 rebounds, 1 steal; DeWenter – 3 points, 1 assist, 1 rebound; Boogaard – 8 points, 8 rebounds, 1 steal

EV-W LEADERS – Streit – 25 points, 7 rebounds, 7 steals; Mattice – 23 points

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.

(320) 763-1229