Girls basketball: Osakis honors season-long improvement

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Osakis girls basketball team-award winners are (left to right) Madisen Johanson, MVP; Haylee Jern, Silverstreak Award; Grace Oeltjen, Defensive POY; and Hayleigh Niehoff, Most Improved. (Contributed photo)

Osakis girls basketball coach Pat Kalpin said before the 2019-20 season that he expected a nucleus of players he had back to form a team that was improved from the winter before.

That proved to be the case for the Silverstreaks as they jumped from a 5-20 record two years ago to 11-16 this year. Kalpin defined success with this team by much more than wins and losses and called this season an absolute joy to be a part of as the Silverstreaks made gains throughout the winter in multiple categories he was looking at.

“As a coach, I couldn’t be more proud of the improvement this team made throughout the season,” Kalpin said. “They were a great group to be a part of and a fun group to coach.”

This was still a relatively younger group with just four seniors on the roster, and one of those in forward Madisen Johanson was named this team’s MVP.


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Osakis All-Prairie Conference award winners are (left to right) Alexis Johanson, MVP; Madisen Johanson, Mara VanNyhuis, Grace Oeltjen, honorable mention; and Alexa Lien, honorable mention. (Contributed photo)

Johanson helped lead Osakis to a Prairie Conference championship and was one of three players to be named all-conference with fellow teammates Mara VanNyhuis and her younger sister, Alexis Johanson. Madison averaged 10.2 points and a team-best 7.8 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game.

Alexis, a sophomore guard, was named the MVP of the Prairie Conference. She averaged a team-best 14.1 points-per game and was second for the Silverstreaks with 5.8 rebounds a night. Alexis added an All-Section 6AA award to her resume after also leading the Silverstreaks in steals (36), assists (74) and three-point percentage (32.1).

Hayleigh Niehoff won Osakis’ Most Improved Award. The sophomore had 62 total points, 38 rebounds and 23 assists.

Oeltjen was named the Silverstreaks’ Defensive Player of the Year. She had 52 deflections and 25 steals, while also leading Osakis in overall field-goal percentage at 41.4% on her way to putting in 129 total points.

Senior forward Haylee Jern rounded out the team-award winners by earning the Silverstreak Award. Alexa Lien and Grace Oeltjen were both honorable-mention all-conference.

In addition to their work on the court, Madisen Johanson and Alexa Lien were also seniors who earned academic all-state awards.


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Osakis performance-award winners are (left to right) Alexis Johanson, top three-point percentage, assists, steals; Madisen Johanson, most rebounds; Grace Oeltjen, top field-goal percentage; and Mara VanNyhuis, top free-throw percentage. (Contributed photo)

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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