by Bob San
SUN PRESS NEWSPAPERS
Since dropping three of four games in mid-December, the Osseo boys’ basketball Orioles have won four straight. And the Orioles did so without two of their senior captains and starters.
Osseo lost senior forward Matt Miedtke for the season when he tore his ACL Dec. 14. Then senior fifth-year starting center Ian Theisen suffered a high ankle sprain Dec. 26 in the game against Rochester Lourde. Theisen missed four games but the Orioles showed they are not a two-man team and won all four games. They scored a 55-32 win over Rochester, downed Woodbury 77-71 in overtime Dec. 27 and routed Minnetonka 69-49 Dec. 28 and beat Centennial 58-48 Jan.3.
“It’s tough to lose two senior captains,” Osseo coach Tim Theisen said. “Matt is kind of the glue to our team and Ian has been a fixture on our team for 4 1’2 years. He had never missed a game so this is strange because he is such a resilient player. As a coach, you want guys to be ready when injuries happen and we have been hit by the injury bug. And people have stepped up.”
Senior guard Wheeler Baker, the only other returning starter, has led the way. Against Woodbury, Baker scored 31 points, Jordan Dembley had 15, Elliot Kane 14, Jamar Roberson 9 and Connor Kittelson 6. Baker scored 33 and Dembley 16 in the win over Tonka. Dembley netted 17, Kane 11 and Baker 15 in the victory over Centennial.
“Wheeler has stepped up his scoring and Jordan is proving he can play in this tough conference,” Theisen said. “Other guys like Connor Kittelson, Jamar Roberson, Josh Riley Phillips and Elliot Kane have risen to the occasion to fill the gaps created by the loss of Matt and Ian. This is great to see. We were fortunate to beat some very good teams to win the Rochester Tournament. We showed we can play basketball without Ian and Matt.”
THEISEN CLOSES IN ON SCORING RECORD
Fortunately for the Orioles, Theisen is about ready to return to action.
“We are hoping to get him back for the home game against Coon Rapids Thursday, Jan. 9,” coach Theisen said.
If he can play that night, Theisen may very well become Osseo’s all-time top scorer.
“He is about 25 points from breaking Bryan Foss’s all-time scoring record,” coach Theisen said. “If he breaks it at the home game against Coon Rapids, we will have a ceremony and Bryan says he will be there.”
Contact Bob San at [email protected]