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Boys roundup: Osakis bounces back as Jones breaks out, WCA wins thriller in Pelican Rapids Tournament title game

Brandon-Evansville pushes undefeated Lakeview on Thursday, while Minnewaska falls to Southwest Minnesota Christian despite 23 points from Ethan Quelle.

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Osakis junior Stewart Jones hangs in the air for a bucket against Browerville-Eagle Valley on Dec. 16, 2021. Jones combined for 40 points in two games during the Granite City Classic in St. Cloud on Dec. 29 and 30 as the Silverstreaks split games with Rockford and Providence Academy. Eric Morken / Alexandria Echo Press

Osakis boys basketball coach Matt Hoelscher was eager for an opportunity to see how his team would stack up against two good programs at the Breakdown Granite City Classic at St. John’s University on Dec. 29 and 30.

Rockford is one of the top teams in Class AA right now, and the Rockets (8-1) won a 75-60 game against the Silverstreaks (5-2) on Wednesday before Osakis bounced back and beat Providence Academy (3-4) in a 70-65 game on Thursday.

“Much better effort and outcome in today's game and we had more energy and were able to get out in transition as well,” Hoelscher said of the win over Providence Academy. “We had a hot start and jumped to an early lead, but then we allowed them to get back in by being over aggressive on defense and giving up easy shots, not rotating and getting hands in passing lanes, and then taking bad shots. We weathered the storm and got a double-digit lead in the second half but then we had uncharacteristic turnovers and let them cut it to one possession.”

The Osakis offense was good inside the arch against the Lions as the Silverstreaks shot 61% (24-of-39) from two. Stewart Jones had one of the best games of his career as the junior guard/forward scored 25 points on 12-of-14 shooting and grabbed 8 rebounds. Senior guard Bauer Klimek added 20 points, and senior center Brady Mages finished with 10.

“We made some free throws down the stretch, which sealed it for us,” Hoelscher said. “Jones had a great game as he provided energy with the several dunks he had, and he got us big rebounds as well. Great to see he is elevating his game in multiple capacities.”

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Jones had another big game in the tournament opener against Rockford by putting in 15 points and grabbing five steals. Osakis was within five points at halftime of that game, but Rockford put up 40 second-half points to create some distance in a game that Hoelscher said the Silverstreaks came into a little shorthanded.

“We had some guys play more minutes than usual,” Hoelscher said. “Some had to play out of position, and some guys had to play longer stretches while tired due to our limited bench personnel. You could tell it was our first game in a while as we missed some easy shots around the rim, got fatigued easier, and had trouble remembering assignments at times. When we got tired, we stopped moving on offense, which caused longer/lazy passes that ended up in transition points for them.”

The Silverstreaks stayed in the game through 18 minutes, but could not get the defensive stops they needed over the course of the whole game.

“Rockford is too good of a team to give second chances and leave guys open on rotations,” Hoelscher said. “I thought Isaac (Maddock) and Mekai (Hoelscher) did a nice job shooting from beyond the arc. Stewart was active on defense and was able to convert in transition. Bauer played a lot of point guard and got us into our sets and offense to calm us down when we needed it. Brady, Carter (Watnaas) and Chayce (Meyer) had some battles in the post and used their size and strength to impact shots at the rim, and Kyle (Mages) gave us some sparks on defense even though he was limited due to sickness.”

Osakis will take its 5-2 record into the new year before hosting Royalton on Jan. 4 with a 7:15 p.m. tip.

PROVIDENCE ACADEMY 30 35 - 65

OSAKIS 31 39 - 70

OSAKIS TOTALS - FG - 28-51; Three-point FG - 4-12; FT - 10-18; Assists - 15; Blocks - 2; Rebounds - 33; Steals - 7; Turnovers - 17

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OSAKIS - Stewart Jones - 25 points, 2 assists, 8 rebounds; Kyle Mages - 5 points, 3 assists, 3 rebounds; Bauer Klimek - 20 points, 5 assists, 1 block, 8 rebounds, 2 steals; Chayce Meyer - 2 points, 1 rebound; Carter Watnaas - 8 points, 1 assist, 1 block, 8 rebounds, 1 steal; Brady Mages - 10 points, 4 assists, 3 rebounds, 2 steals

OSAKIS 30 30 - 60

ROCKFORD 35 40 - 75

OSAKIS TOTALS - FG - 22-51; Three-point FG - 9-20; FT - 7-14; Assists - 6; Blocks - 2; Rebounds - 25; Steals - 9; Turnovers - 15

OSAKIS - Jones - 15 points, 3 rebounds, 5 steals; Isaac Maddock - 9 points, 1 assist, 4 rebounds; Kyle Mages - 3 points, 5 rebounds, 1 steal; Klimek - 12 points, 1 assist, 2 blocks; Meyer - 3 points, 2 rebounds; Mekai Hoelscher - 11 points, 2 assists, 1 steal; Watnaas - 2 points, 1 assist, 4 rebounds; Brady Mages - 5 points, 1 assist, 7 rebounds, 2 steals

Unbeaten Lakeview edges Chargers

Brandon-Evansville followed up a win over Cedar Mountain in the first game of the Lakeview Holiday Tournament in Cottonwood on Wednesday by pushing undefeated Lakeview a day later.

The Lakers (9-0) are beating teams by more than 20 points per game this season, and they had enough to hold off the Chargers (4-3) in a 61-49 final.

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Riley Perleberg

“Our boys played their hearts out,” B-E head coach Trent Hintermeister said. “I thought we played physical, hard-nosed basketball for 36 minutes and I couldn't be more proud of this team. This game is going to be one of those games we look back at in a month or so and are grateful for the opportunities we had to learn and grow as a team, and individually.”

Dezmond White had his second double-digit scoring effort of the tournament as the junior guard led the Chargers with 15 points. Titus Fuller added 13, and Riley Perleberg (7), Tyler Bitzan (5), Brady Perleberg (5) and Micah Fuller (4) finished off B-E’s scoring.

WCA wins Pelican Rapids championship

West Central Area won the Pelican Rapids Tournament title by edging Pelican Rapids in a 50-48 game on Thursday.

The Knights (7-1) held a 25-14 lead at the half and still led 46-37 with five minutes left. The Vikings (4-3) had one last run in them, but Cole Anderson made 3-of-4 free throws in the final minute to secure the win as a last-second three for Pelican Rapids missed. Ryder Staples had 15 points and 8 rebounds to help lead the way for the Knights.

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Ryder Staples

“What a great game,” WCA head coach Kraig Hunter said. "Hats off to Coach (John) Gullingsrud and the Vikings for the way they compete. The defense in this game by both teams was outstanding. The players on both teams played with intensity and both teams had to work for everything on the offensive end. We have a lot of respect for the Vikings. We tell our kids in games like these that every possession on both ends is important, and we were able to make enough plays throughout the 36 minutes to have the lead at the end."

The Vikings outrebounded the Knights 37-33 and forced 15 WCA turnovers. They turned the ball over only 11 times themselves, but WCA shot 44% compared to 33% for the Vikings.

“I felt our perimeter defense was so good tonight on their 3-point shooters,” Hunter said. “We held them to 2-of-19 from the 3-point line and 19-58 overall. Our kids had good awareness of their strengths and we did a great job containing them and contesting shots. While on our end, even though we turned it over versus their aggressive trapping defenses occasionally, I felt we did a good job attacking it and getting into the lane and finishing and getting into the lane and drawing fouls getting to the free throw line."

WCA 50, PELICAN RAPIDS 48

TOTALS - WCA - FG - 17-39; FT - 14-22; Rebounds - 33; Turnovers - 15; Pelican Rapids - FG - 19-58; FT - 8-12; Rebounds - 37; Turnovers - 11

WCA - Ryder Staples - 15 points, 8 rebounds, 2 steals; Cole Anderson - 11 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals; Bryce Kjesbo - 7 points, 7 rebounds, 2 steals; Cam Anderson - 7 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists; Jake Strunk - 5 points, 8 rebounds, 2 steals, 1 assist; Mitch Dewey - 5 points, 1 rebound, 1 steal; Isaac Kreft - 2 rebounds; Roman Mihailovschi - 1 steal

PELICAN RAPIDS SCORING - Hunter Williams - 15; Tim Guler - 14; Brayden Ecker - 7; Ian Fahje - 4; Peyton Blakeway - 4; Tanner Tollerud - 2; Luke Solie - 2

Lakers fall to Southwest Minnesota Christian

Minnewaska was within three points at halftime against Southwest Minnesota Christian on Thursday before the Eagles outscored the Lakers 33-20 in the second half for a 71-55 win.

Ethan Quelle had 23 points, 4 rebounds and 4 steals for Minnewaska.

Micha Schaap had a team-high 21 points to lead the Eagles to the win.

SOUTHWEST MN CHRISTIAN 38 33 - 71

MINNEWASKA 35 20 - 55

MINNEWASKA TOTALS - FG - 24-56; Three-point FG - 5-23; FT - 2-6

MINNEWASKA - Tate Reichmann - 4 points, 3 rebounds, 1 steal; Ethan Quelle - 23 points, 4 rebounds, 4 steals; Noah Danielson - 3 points; Jack Larson - 1 point, 1 rebound; Damon Uhde - 12 points, 7 assists, 7 rebounds, 5 steals; Andrew Mrnak - 1 rebound; Hunter Kostelecky - 10 points, 4 assists, 6 rebounds; PJ Johnson - 2 points, 1 rebound, 2 steals

Scores from Dec. 30, 2020

(Stats not yet available)

Ashby (5-1) 63, North Woods (7-1) 55

Related Topics: BASKETBALL
Eric Morken is a sports and outdoor editor at the Echo Press Newspaper in Alexandria, Minnesota, a property of the Forum News Service. Morken covers a variety of stories throughout the Douglas County area, as well as statewide outdoor issues.
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