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15 made three-pointers gives Osakis big win over section foe Kimball Area

With five scorers in double figures, Osakis scored a season-high 74 points in a 23-point victory over Kimball Area.

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Osakis' Mara VanNyhuis attempts a three-point in a game on Feb. 8, 2022, against Kimball Area. Osakis scored a season-high 74 points and made 15 three-pointers in a 23-point win over Kimball.
Sam Stuve / Alexandria Echo Press

The Osakis girls basketball team earned a big win on Tuesday, beating the Kimball Area Cubs 74-51.

Kimball Area (15-6, 5-4 Section 6AA) is currently ranked fifth in Section 6AA in the QRF on MinnesotaScores.net, whilst Osakis (15-4, 4-0 Section 6AA) is down at 10 (out of 15).

Osakis made 15 three-pointers in Tuesday’s contest.

“Well, this year, we've been kind of struggling on shooting,” senior guard Mara VanNyhuis said. “So yesterday in practice, we were like, ‘Okay we need to start working on shooting and we’re going to start making shots.’ And this is what we need to do to come together as a team so we can make the games easier, so we can win more.”

Getting good looks from beyond the arc was all a part of Osakis’ game plan against Kimball.

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“We thought once the ball gets to a side, they really overplay that side,” Osakis head coach Pat Kalpin said about Kimball’s zone defense. “We thought we could look for the skip passes and hit those. That's what we worked on, those longer passes (on Monday) and skip passes. We talked about them and they did a nice job with that.”

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Osakis' Tessa Stanek looks for an open teammate in a game against Kimball Area on Feb. 8, 2022.
Sam Stuve / Alexandria Echo Press

This win is the Silverstreaks’ fourth in Section 6AA play, with the prior wins coming against Melrose, Royalton and Eden Valley-Watkins.

Wins like this can boost a team in section rankings, especially for a team like Osakis, who hadn’t played a top half team (based on QRF) in its section.

“It’s huge,” Kalpin said about the win. “Going into the game, we talked about they're sitting at five, we're sitting at 10. Here's an opportunity to move up in the QRF rankings. This should help us. We can play with those teams. And I don’t know why we’re 10 and they’re five, we have identical records (overall), but it is what it is.”

The Silverstreaks are now on a five-game winning streak and have won seven out of their last eight.

“I think it’s a really proud moment for our team,” VanNyhuis said about beating Kimball. “It just shows what we're capable of and what we're capable of doing towards the end of the season.”

Three of their last five wins have come by 20-plus points (23, 31, and 38).

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Osakis' Lexi Spychalla attacks the hoop in a game on Feb. 8, 2022, against Kimball Area.
Sam Stuve / Alexandria Echo Press

The Silverstreaks hit three-point shots early and often. They made 10 three-pointers before halftime and had a 46-25 lead at the half. Osakis held the 21-point lead at halftime despite committing 10 fouls, while Kimball committed just three.

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Osakis has been held to 45 points or less in a game this season on three occasions. Offense has been hard to come by at times, but the Silverstreaks adjusted and put up a season-high in points against Kimball.

“We really worked on spreading the court, throwing long passes and they executed really well,” Kalpin said. “I mean, that's basically what it comes down to. And we have some other things that we're going to try. But you know, when the three’s are going in, you keep staying with them, right?”

The Osakis offense had balance, with five players scoring in double figures and six players making a three-pointer.

“It wasn’t that we were sticking to one girl, it was a lot of kids that were making threes,” Kalpin said. “Every kid stepped up. That’s huge to me and it’s tough to defend.”

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Osakis' Alexis Johanson follows through on a three-pointer in a game against Kimball Area on Feb. 8, 2022. Johanson finished with a game-high 19 points in a 74-51 Osakis win.
Sam Stuve / Alexandria Echo Press

Senior guard Alexis Johanson led all scorers with 19 points and made five three-pointers. VanNyhuis and company noticed that the Cubs tried to make some defensive adjustments to take away the three-point shot for them in the second half.

“I think they tried to be more aggressive on tipping the balls, but our girls got the hang of it,” VanNyhuis said. “We worked through that, we passed it around and we still got open looks.”

Osakis outscored Kimball 28-26 in the second half.

“We were able to get some stuff inside certainly. We tried to drive a little bit, but we kind of stuck with our game plan,” Kalpin said. “We were just patient, we didn't force things a lot. We had some turnovers, like every team does, but I thought we executed really well on what we worked on. To me, that's a testament to the kids listening and trusting it and doing what we think is going to work.”

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Osakis Hayleigh Niehoff goes for a layup in a game on Feb. 8, 2022, against Kimball Area.
Sam Stuve / Alexandria Echo Press

The Silverstreaks have two more games scheduled against Section 6AA opponents, first against Holdingford (13-6, 6-2 Section 6AA) on Feb. 22 and the season finale against Sauk Centre (15-6, 6-0 Section 6AA) on Feb. 24.

Browerville-Eagle Valley (15-4) plays host to Osakis on Thursday.

“We showed what we can do,” Kalpin said about Tuesday’s win. “It's definitely going to help us. We got to keep this momentum going and play, but it's definitely going to help us moving forward if we can soak [it in] and continue playing like this.”

Kimball Area - 25 26 - 51

Osakis - 46 28 - 74

KIMBALL AREA SCORING - Ava Molitor, 14; Ellie Kuechle, 13; Kristen Hilbert, 9; Madelyn Hunt, 8 points; Lexi Myers, 4; Morgan Streit, 3

OSAKIS SCORING - Alexis Johanson, 19; Mara VanNyhuis, 14; Carlee Muenzhuber, 11; Tessa Stanek, 11; Hayleigh Niehoff, 10; Kiley Kranz, 4; Lexi Spychalla, 3; Madi Collins, 2

Sam Stuve covers a variety of sports in the Douglas County area. He also is assigned to do some news stories as well.
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