by Bob San
SUN PRESS NEWSPAPERS
Osseo defeated host Maple Grove 70-60 in the nightcap of a basketball doubleheader Dec. 17.
The large crowd at Maple Grove witnessed a tightly officiated game that Osseo took advantage of. The Orioles won it at the free throw line as they converted 24 of 30 free throws while Maple Grove had just 16 free throws and converted 10.
Wheeler Baker led Osseo with 24 points, Ian Theisen had 21 and Jordan Dembley 14. Reed Nikko scored 14 points, Brad Davison 11 and Matt Lingen 14 for the Crimson.
Crimson coach Nick Schroeder is pleased with the showing of his young team so far.
“I am happy with where our team is at right now,” Schroeder said. “We have played a really tough schedule leading up to the holiday break. Three of our four losses have come to a top 10 team in the state and we have competed in all of those games.”
“We love these doubleheaders where the boys can watch the girls play and vice versa,” Osseo coach Tim Theisen said. “Any time you can come away from Maple Grove with a win it’s good. We played well for three-fourth of the game but then we had poor possessions and took horrible shots and that allowed Maple Grove to believe they could come back. But give Maple Grove and coach Schroeder credits. They played hard and never gave up.”
The win against Maple Grove was the only good news for Osseo in the past week when they dropped three of four games. But the worst news was the Orioles lost senior starter/captain Matt Miedtke for the season when he tore an ACL in the De LaSalle game. Last Friday, Osseo fell to Armstrong 84-79 in overtime. Baker scored 41 points and Theisen 21 but their efforts were not enough as the Falcons rallied from behind to win.
The loss of Miedtke hurts, but Theisen pointed out that in his 20 years at Osseo, that was the toughest stretch of basketball the Orioles have played.
“We played five games in seven days and three were against top five teams and two against district rivals,” Theisen said. “De LaSalle is ranked No. 1` in 3A, Champlin Park is ranked third and Armstrong is fourth in some polls. The loss of Matt is a setback but it will make us better in March. It opens the door for someone else to set up to help our program.”
Osseo, 6-3, enters the Rochester Rotary Tournament Dec. 26-28.
The Crimson bounced back with a 79-31 win over Coon Rapids. Reed scored 14 points, Davison 12 and Lingen 10 in the win.
“Our goal is to show improvement every day as the season progresses and for the most part I think we have done that,” Schroeder said. “I feel as this team continues to learn and grow together we will be tough to beat come March.”
Maple Grove, now 4-4, opens the Bethel Holiday Tournament with a game against Minnehaha Academy Saturday, Dec. 28.