By Bob San
Sun Press Newspapers
Osseo High boys’ basketball coach Tim Theisen had to do a double-take during the second half of last Thursday’s game between No. 3 Champlin Park and his No. 4 Osseo. The host Orioles had a 20-plus-point lead.
“I don’t think anybody expected we’d be up by 20 some points over Champlin Park,” Theisen said.
The game was close to start but Osseo slowly pulled away behind the superb play of senior guards Wheeler Baker and Jordan Dembley. By halftime, the Orioles had a 46-33 lead and they continued to pour it on in the second half en route to a convincing 83-74 victory.
“We have been playing well without Ian Theisen the entire time,” Theisen said. “We beat Minnetonka, Woodbury and now Champlin Park. This is a huge win for our program. We outworked a more talented Champlin Park team. This is a big win in a sense that it gives our kids the belief that they can beat a top three team in the state without our best player.”
Baker scored 31 points and Jordan Dembley had 23 to lead Osseo.
“Wheeler has really taken over the leadership role in Ian’s absence,” Theisen said. “He was the key to our victory.”
Baker and Dembley had lots of support from their teammates, who outhustled the Rebels all night and played superb defense.
“Guys like Jamar Roberson, Connor Kittelson, Josh Riley and Giovanni Pastrano did an absolutely fantastic job shutting down Champlin Park’s penetration,” Theisen said.
The victory was Osseo’s 40th consecutive home win and extended Osseo’s win streak to 10 games. Osseo improves to 16-3 overall and 12-2 in the conference, just one game behind Champlin Park.
The Orioles next host Maple Grove Friday, Feb. 7 at 8 p.m. in the night cap of the popular Osseo-Maple Grove basketball doubleheader.
Osseo then hosts Hopkins Tuesday, Feb. 11.