Boys basketball: Energy and balance lead Osakis to win over Paynesville Area
Osakis moved to 1-1 this season with a balanced offense and consistent energy from start to finish.
OSAKIS - The Osakis boys basketball team shook off the sting from its one-point loss in their season opener on Tuesday, Dec. 6, by taking care of Paynesville Area (2-1), 62-50 on Thursday, Dec. 8.
The Silverstreaks' energy and effort were clear from the tip-off. That was shown by example from senior Stewart Jones, among others.
“We knew we had to hustle in this one,” Jones said. “We knew that this team is really good at shooting, and they are quick. We wanted to make sure that they play at our pace.”
Jones had 14 points on the night, nine rebounds, four assists, two deflections, and two steals.
“Stewart has a lot of varsity of experience, and he was all over the floor in this game,” Osakis head coach Matt Hoelscher said. “He brings energy when he’s attacking the rim, when he’s getting rebounds and when he’s out in transition. He's the guy that can raise the roof, and we saw that in this one.”
Jones missed the end of the 2022 track and field season with a torn joint capsule and a sprained ACL that he had back in April.
Jones said that he began to be at full strength in the first couple weeks of the summer.
“My knee is feeling really good,” Jones said. “I just did the workouts that my physical trainer gave me, and I played it safe.”
In Thursday’s win, he was one of two players who had 14 points, along with senior Isaac Maddock.
“He's kind of like Mr. Cool Hand Luke,” Hoelscher said. “He doesn't show a lot of emotion, positive or negative, but he hits shots and works his tail off. He had an off shooting night, but he made some big shots in the second half that were huge for us. He's got a lot of confidence in himself, and that's great. We got to have that from our senior leadership."
Maddock had a team-high 18 points in the Silverstreaks' loss to Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa on Tuesday.
Junior Grant Mages finished with a double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds. Mages was efficient shooting as he made seven out of his eight shots and all six of his shot from inside the three-point line.
His brother, junior Kyle Mages, had eight points and five rebounds. Kyle missed most of the second half of the 2021-22 season with a knee injury but was back for the 2022 baseball and football season.
Now he’s back at full strength for the 2022-23 basketball season.
“They’re the same kind of player,” Hoelscher said of Kyle and Grant Mages. “They can handle the ball, they can post up, and they can shoot the mid-range. They can knock down some threes and defend all five positions. Having them out here together, running the floor, really turned up that game for us. Our transition game was great. We had a lot of effort.”
The Silverstreaks (1-1) shot efficiently from the field on the night as they made 28 out of its 55 shots.
“This was a great team effort,” Hoelscher said. “It was all spread out, and that's what we have to win this year.”
Then Silverstreaks were without junior Mekai Hoelscher (illness) in Thursday’s game, and they hope to have him back soon.
Junior Drew Imdieke scored two points and dished out three assists in the win.
Osakis got strong minutes off the bench from junior Blake Bouldin and senior Marcus Wolf.
“Marcus played phenomenally,” Coach Hoelscher said. “He’s another energy guy. He hustles on defense and gets rebounds. Blake Bouldin came in and gave us some good minutes defensively.”
As the season continues, coach Hoelscher expects the team to go deeper in its bench than it did on Thursday and for the bench players to continue providing good minutes.
“Every game is different,” Coach Hoelscher said. “I told these guys sometimes we’ll go eight, nine, ten guys deep, but sometimes we’ll only go six or seven. I thought we'd go a little bit deeper in this one, but we didn't have foul trouble, and our guys seemed pretty good with their conditioning. It's just kind of a gut feeling, and you hate it as a coach when you don't get more guys in, but hopefully, they understand. We talked to them and let them know that tomorrow could be a different game. We could get 14 guys, so we have to grind day by day.”
The Silverstreaks are back at home for its third home game of the week as it hosts St. John’s Prep (0-2) on Friday at 7:15 p.m.
Osakis is looking to use “position-less basketball” to its advantage this season.
“We’re a position-less team; we don’t have a true five,” Coach Hoelscher said. “We have a lot of guys who can play different positions. So when we face a team that’s taller or maybe slower, we have to use our speed. We've got to take better care of the basketball. We had some turnovers last game, and we had some bad ones in this one. When we get guys cutting and if we can find that open passing lane, that's going to be our biggest strength.”
PAYNESVILLE AREA - 26 24 - 50
OSAKIS - 30 32 - 62
OSAKIS TEAM STATS - FG - 28/55; 3-PT - 4/16; FT - 2/6; Assists - 16; Rebounds - 35; Steals - 4; Deflections - 8; Fouls - 11; Turnovers - 13
OSAKIS PLAYER STATS - Blake Bouldin - 2 points, 1 assist, 1 rebound; Stewart Jones - 14 points, 4 assists, 1 block, 9 rebounds, 2 deflections, 2 steals; Grant Mages - 16 points, 3 assists, 11 rebounds; 1 steal, 2 deflections; Kyle Mages - 8 points, 3 assists, 5 rebounds, 1 deflection; Isaac Maddock - 14 points, 2 assists, 3 rebounds, 2 deflections; Drew Imdieke - 2 points, 3 assists, 1 rebound; Marcus Wolf - 6 points, 5 rebounds, 1 steal