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Lesson learned against Litchfield

Osakis sophomore Abby Stroup crosses over near halfcourt against the defense of Litchfield’s Kyndra Beavers on Saturday afternoon. Stroup had two points, an assist and a steal for the Silverstreaks. (Eric Morken/Echo Press)

The Osakis girls’ basketball team learned an early-season lesson on Saturday afternoon that head coach Pat Kalpin hopes resonates with these players for the rest of the season.

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The Silverstreaks have high expectations and one loss in the second game of the season does nothing to dampen those, but it’s the way that Osakis played for much of the game that was a concern for Kalpin. Osakis came out flat against a good Litchfield team in the home opener and it cost the Silverstreaks in a 48-47 game after they had taken care of Morris Area 59-34 in the season opener two days earlier.

“The energy level wasn’t where it should have been,” Kalpin said about the loss to Litchfield. “I have no explanation for that other than it just wasn’t there. They certainly worked harder than us and it was easy to tell.”

It’s something that has never been an issue with this group of girls before.

“Not at all,” Kalpin said. “That’s why it’s kind of surprising to me. I don’t know. I’m not going to make excuses for it because we do enough Saturday games over the year that it shouldn’t be a big issue. We’ll bounce back. It’s a long season. It’s a loss and maybe down the line it will hurt us section-seeding wise, but we want to be playing our best at the end of the year anyway. We’ll focus more on that than we will this right now.”

Osakis turned it on over the final seven minutes to make it a game down the stretch. The Silverstreaks used a 9-0 run with less than nine minutes left after trailing by 12.

That got them back in it and a travel call on Litchfield with less than 30 seconds left gave Osakis the ball back down by three. Kalpin called a timeout with 21.7 seconds left and set up a play to get a quick two with the intentions of fouling after that.

The play didn’t get off on the right foot as senior guard Annalise Savageau lost her dribble past the three-point line after fumbling the inbounds catch. Osakis ended up working the ball inside and getting a two from Johanna Boogaard as time expired instead of taking the three that they needed.

“We had a little trouble getting the ball in, but we ended up getting it to me,” Savageau said. “I kind of fumbled it and I wasn’t able to dribble so that lost time off the clock. We were going to get a quick two and then foul right away. We ran out of time, and we just did the wrong thing at the end by not shooting a three.”

Savageau had a team-high 17 points, while fellow senior Brooke Sorenson added 11. Mackenzie Staloch also had nine points on a night when only six players scored for the Silverstreaks.

Litchfield’s Hannah Norlin controlled the paint on both ends of the court. Osakis’ post players were held to just four points, all coming from Boogaard. Brittney Sadlemyer didn’t score in the contest, while Norlin led all scorers with 26.

Osakis was ultimately undone by a stretch of almost nine minutes coming out of the half. The Silverstreaks scored just two points during that time as the Dragons built a lead they never did relinquish.

“I thought we just kind of were passing, but we weren’t looking to do anything out of passing,” Kalpin said. “It’s almost like we were passing to the next girl and hoping she would do something. We’ve got to get more balance in scoring. We’ve got to get more points in the paint than the four points we got in the paint today…we got the girls who are capable of doing it. We just at times missed them and at times missed shots.”

Regardless of whether they won or lost, Osakis knew it would be testing itself early against two Section 6AA opponents in Morris Area and Litchfield. The Silverstreaks had five different players score at least seven points against Morris. Boogaard led the way with 14, while Savageau had 10 points and seven assists. The energy level wasn’t an issue at all against the Tigers.

“This was a great first game for us,” Kalpin said. “The girls came out with a lot of energy and sustained that throughout the game. It was fun to watch the girls compete at the level they did. With first games, you never know how you will perform. These girls left no doubt with the effort they gave tonight.”

That’s the kind of performance these players generally give. Going 1-1 through the first week is hardly a big cause for concern if the Silverstreaks simply take the lessons learned from the loss to the Dragons and use that to fuel them going forward.

“It should get them to focus,” Kalpin said. “I hope it does. It has to. These are good kids. They’ll be fine. It stings. I’m sure it hurts them and it should sting a little bit. But the good thing is we have 24 games left and a lot of practices left. We definitely can get better.”


LITCHFIELD 25 23 – 48

OSAKIS TOTALS – FG – 19-49; FT – 7-10; Three-point FG – 2-5; Assists – 13; Blocks – 2; Rebounds – 22; Steals – 7

OSAKIS – Staloch – 9 points, 3 assists, 2 rebounds, 1 steal; Abby Stroup – 2 points, 1 assist, 1 steal; Savageau – 17 points, 3 assists, 1 block, 5 rebounds, 3 steals; Sorenson – 11 points, 3 assists, 6 rebounds, 1 steal; Taylor Spychalla – 2 rebounds; Brittney Sadlemyer – 3 rebounds; Madi Forsell – 4 points, 3 assists, 1 rebound; Boogaard – 4 points, 1 block, 3 rebounds, 1 steal

MORRIS 15 19 – 34

OSAKIS 31 28 – 59

OSAKIS TOTALS – FG – 22-43; FT – 11-12; Three-point FG – 4-12; Assists – 17; Blocks – 6; Rebounds – 19; Steals – 11; Turnovers – 18

OSAKIS – Alexa Hoffarth – 2 points, 1 rebound, 2 steals; Staloch – 3 points, 1 assist, 3 rebounds, 2 steals; Stroup – 2 points, 3 assists; Savageau – 10 points, 7 assists, 2 blocks, 3 steals; Sorenson – 7 points, 4 assists, 1 block, 5 rebounds, 2 steals; Spychalla – 5 points; Sadlemyer – 8 points, 2 blocks, 2 rebounds, 1 steal; Forsell – 8 points, 3 rebounds, 1 steal; Boogaard – 14 points, 1 block, 5 rebounds

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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