Boys roundup: Osakis, WCA on the opposite ends of close games

Osakis rallied to take a second-half lead before Sauk Centre finished down the stretch, and West Central Area fought off a late charge from Wheaton-Herman-Norcross.

Mekai Hoelscher

Osakis head coach Matt Hoelscher said in talking about the Section 6-2A field earlier this year that Sauk Centre does not have a great record but that the Mainstreeters are a difficult team to play. The Silverstreaks experienced that first hand on Thursday.

Sauk Centre (8-7) was under .500 through much of the year, but moved over that mark by edging Osakis (11-4) in a 53-47 final. The Mainstreeters built a 28-20 lead at the half and then held off the Silverstreaks’ down the stretch to win a third straight game.

“Our first half didn't help us as we got in foul trouble, forcing us to go zone sooner than we wanted to and we struggled offensively getting good shots,” Hoelscher said. “It was very physical and we were not able to match their intensity at times. We did a better job in the second half and were able to gain momentum and take the lead, but they made a big three due to our lack of communication. Then we played timid when the game got tight. We did have open looks late in the game, but we didn't hit them and that's the difference in the game. They made their clutch shots down the stretch and we didn't.”

Bauer Klimek had 17 points for Osakis on 6-of-17 shooting, and Mekai Hoelscher and Brady Mages each added eight.

The Mainstreeters moved to 3-2 against section teams, while the Silverstreaks fell to 3-4. Osakis travels to Browerville on Friday night at 7:15.


OSAKIS 20 27 - 47

SAUK CENTRE 28 25 - 53

OSAKIS TOTALS - FG - 16-43; Three-point FG - 6-22; FT - 9-17; Assists - 5; Blocks - 5; Rebounds - 22; Steals - 1; Deflections - 5; Turnovers - 8

OSAKIS - Mekai Hoelscher - 8 points, 1 assist, 1 rebound, 1 steal; Kellen Anderson - 6 points, 1 assist, 2 rebounds; Stewart Jones - 1 point, 1 rebound; Kyle Mages - 3 points, 2 assists, 1 rebound; Bauer Klimek - 17 points, 5 rebounds; Drew Imdieke - 1 rebound; Carter Watnaas - 4 points, 1 assist, 3 blocks, 3 rebounds; Brady Mages - 8 points, 2 blocks, 8 rebounds

Knights fend off Warriors

West Central Area head coach Kraig Hunter wants defense to be the backbone of his program and his guys to be able to find ways to win when games aren’t going their way. Those two things came to light in a 47-42 win over Wheaton-Herman-Norcross on Thursday.

“The ball definitely didn't bounce our way in any aspect of the game, yet our kids played poised, played good defense, and made winning plays,” Hunter said. “In the second half, we took four charges and controlled the boards. We were able to come out of halftime and build a 10-point lead. Wheaton hit three 3s in the final two minutes, but we knocked down clutch free throws to seal the win. Tate Christenson was clutch from the line in the end like he has done many times before, going 6-of-6 in the final minutes.”

The Knights (9-4) shot just 16-of-47 overall, but held the Warriors (6-7) to 16-of-40. Both teams had 30 rebounds.
“Brady (Reeve) really did a good job on the boards,” Hunter said. “When you are having poor shooting nights, you just can't allow teams second-chance points and Brady controlled the boards, especially in the second half. We needed everyone's contributions in grind-out wins like this. Our bench play from Cam Anderson, (Xander) Bontjes, and (Jacob) Strunk was important. Xander kept us in the game in the first half with a couple of crucial buckets, and Jacob's five rebounds mostly on hustle plays are huge in games like this."

WCA 20 27 - 47


WHN 20 22 - 42

TOTALS - WCA - FG - 16-47; FT - 12-16; Rebounds - 30; Turnovers - 10; WHN - FG - 16-40; FT - 4-8; Rebounds - 30; Turnovers - 14

WCA - Grant Beuckens - 11 points; Cam Anderson - 8 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists; Tate Christenson - 8 points, 4 rebounds, 4 steals, 3 assists; Xander Bontjes - 5 points; Cole Anderson - 5 points, 2 rebounds, 2 steals; Ryder Staples - 4 points, 5 rebounds; Brady Reeve - 4 points, 10 rebounds; Jacob Strunk - 2 points, 5 rebounds, 1 steal

WHN SCORING - Clint Determan - 10; Grant Dawson - 10; Dylan Bainbridge - 9; Zach Braaten - 5; Andrew Walker-Hanneman - 4; Bryant Callenios - 2; Gunner Marinek - 2

Scores from Thursday, March 4

(Stats not yet available)

Alexandria (14-1) 66, Rocori (5-9) 47

Parkers Prairie (11-3) 74, Rothsay (7-8) 49


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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