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Girls Basketball: Osakis falls to Kimball Area 48-43 in Section 6AA playoffs

Osakis rallied all the way back from 18 down to tie the game late, but Kimball Area made enough plays down the stretch to end a standout season for the Silverstreaks at 21-7.

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Tessa Stanek

ST. JOSEPH - The Kimball Area girl’s basketball team avenged a regular-season loss to the Osakis Silverstreaks by winning 48-43 in the Section 6AA playoffs on Saturday at St. John’s University. Osakis beat Kimball 74-51 on Feb. 8.

Kimball Area jumped out to a 22-4 lead late in the first half on Saturday.

“We really struggled early in the game to get shots to fall and taking care of the ball,” Osakis head coach Pat Kalpin said. “Kimball did a nice job defensively anticipating our next pass. Everything was contested and we had a hard time moving the ball quickly. We got down 22-4 late in the first half, but with a late, small run, we were able to cut the lead to 22-12 by halftime.”

Osakis outscored Kimball 31-16 in the second half, but it proved to be too little too late. Osakis was without senior guard Mara VanNyhuis who went down with an ankle injury in last Thursday’s playoff game against Rush City.

“In the second half, the girls battled hard and were able to work themselves back into the game,” Kalpin said. “Defensively, we did a nice job of getting stops to keep us in the game. We chipped away at the lead throughout the second half and tied the game with under one minute left in the game. That late run was led by two three-point shots by Hayleigh Niehoff and two free throws by Alexis Johanson. On Kimball's next possession, we fouled and put them on the free-throw line, but they only made one free throw. On our next possession offensively, we had a couple of looks at the basket to take the lead, but unfortunately, the shots didn't fall. Kimball hit some late free throws to seal the win.”

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Kimball outscored Osakis 20-6 in points off turnovers.

Senior guard Tessa Stanek led the Silverstreaks in scoring with 11 points.

“I was really proud of how the girls battled back to give themselves a chance to win the game in the end,” Kalpin said. “They could have easily folded being down by 18 in the first half, but this team battled all year long; they fought until the end again today. It's always tough to see seasons end, but this team had a great season finishing the year at 21-7 and winning the Prairie Conference. From the beginning of the season to the end, the growth this team showed was incredible.”

Saturday’s game is the final game for a good group of Osakis seniors.

“We had a great group of seniors whose high school basketball careers ended -- Mara VanNyhuis, Alexis Johanson, Lexi Klimek, Lexi Spychalla, Tessa Stanek, Hayleigh Niehoff and manager Makenzie Lien,” Kalpin said. “Saying goodbye to a wonderful group like this is not easy. As a coach, I truly enjoyed working with this group not only this year but throughout their careers. Their commitment to our program was a huge factor for our teams' success this year. Their leadership, work ethic and attitudes are what made this season such a joy to be part of. Us coaches are the lucky ones who were fortunate enough to have such a great group of girls to work with this year. They will be missed."

OSAKIS - 12 31 - 43

KIMBALL AREA - 22 26 - 48

OSAKIS TOTALS: FG - 15-50; 3PT - 5-25; FT - 8-10; Rebounds - 35; Assists - 12; Deflections - 3; Turnovers - 20, Fouls - 11

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KIMBALL AREA TOTALS: FG - 17-47; 3PT - 4-15; FT - 10-18; Rebounds - 27; Assists - 6; Deflections - 8; Steals - 14; Turnovers - 11; Fouls - 12

OSAKIS - Tessa Stanek, 11 points, 1 rebound, 2 assists, 1 deflection, 1 steal; Lexi Spychalla - 3 points, 1 rebounds; Alexis Johanson - 6 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals; Hayliegh Niehoff - 8 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 steals; Carlee Muenzhuber - 2 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists; Taylor Dirkes - 5 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist; Madi Collins - 2 points; Kiley Kranz - 6 points, 10 rebounds, 2 deflections

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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