Eric Morken is the sports and outdoor editor at the Echo Press and Osakis Review newspapers in Douglas County, MN. Follow him on Twitter at echo_sports.
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The Osakis boys basketball team had cut its deficit to 29-22 after a Daniel Savageau three about two and a half minutes into the second half on Monday night.
The Osakis boys basketball is one of the four teams left standing in the Section 8, Class AA field. The Silverstreaks (22-6) used their defense to fend off seventh-seeded Warroad (13-14) in the quarterfinals at Concordia-Moorhead on Saturday. It was a 16-16 game at the half, but Osakis got going more in the second half to lead to a 50-39 win.
Osakis boys basketball coach Matt Hoelscher was a little worried going into Thursday night’s Section 8AA-South opener against sixth-seeded Barnesville. Hoelscher wanted three days of practice to prepare for a team the Silverstreaks hadn’t seen yet this season. A snow day that cancelled school on Monday shortened that down to two, and those two weren’t the greatest practices, according to the coach. “I was not real confident going in,” Hoelscher said.
Osakis senior Gage Zieske wrote on a card coming into the season one goal - state champ. Head coach Joey Andreasen has often said that no one works harder than Zieske at trying to make sure a lofty goal like that comes to fruition. Zieske did everything to set himself up to get that title at 138 pounds as he wrestled his way all the way to the championship match at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul last Saturday. That's where he ran into Kyle Cavanaugh (32-4) of Caledonia-Houston as Cavanaugh won an 11-1 major decision to win the title and give Zieske second place overall.
Osakis' Colton Waldvogel had dealt with some injuries throughout the course of his wrestling career that never really let him show how high his ceiling was on the mat until he was an upperclassmen. Early in his career, it was an elbow injury. Then a broken hand.
The Osakis boys basketball team will take 20 wins into the playoffs after winning a 56-54 overtime game against Browerville-Eagle Valley to end the regular season on Friday. The Silverstreaks (20-6, 12-0 Prairie Conference) had a lead at the half, but the Tigers (14-11, 6-6 Prairie) battled back over the final 18 minutes to force the extra session.
Levi Larkin could easily have walked away from wrestling and never made it to the Class A state championship match at 170 pounds on Saturday night. The senior from West Central Area-Ashby-Brandon-Evansville could have quit all together four years ago and not many would have blamed him.
The Osakis, West Central Area-Ashby-Brandon-Evansville and Minnewaska wrestling teams sent a total of 11 guys onto the Class A individual state tournament on Friday, and many of them are still going after the opening day.
BOYS BASKETBALL Alexandria vs. Big Lake, 7:30 p.m. GIRLS BASKETBALL Osakis at Albany, Section 6AA Tournament, 7 p.m. West Central Area vs. CGB, Section 6A-South Tournament, 7 p.m. Parkers Prairie vs. Ortonville, Section 6A-South Tournament, 7 p.m.
BOYS BASKETBALL Brandon-Evansville vs. Bertha-Hewitt, 7:30 p.m. Osakis at Melrose, 7:30 p.m. WCA at Wheaton-Herman-Norcross, 7:30 p.m. Minnewaska vs. ACGC, 7:30 p.m. Parkers Prairie vs. Sebeka, 7:30 p.m. Ashby vs CGB, 7:15 p.m.