The Crimson/Oriole Double header boy’s game got off to a late start on Friday at MGSH. It was the third game of the night on the main court. The JV game saw the Crimson make a Lazarus-like comeback to nearly put the game into overtime. In addition, maintenance had to change some of the lights in the gym after Angie Davison shot them out during the girls win over the Orioles.
In what has become a great night of basketball for both schools, the boy’s game tipped off at 8:15, right after game management closed the doors. The atmosphere was great. Each student section updated their chants based on the FB season, Malone’s pulled pork was being sold, a number of college basketball/ football coaches were present, current and retired staff from both high schools as well as the local basketball junkies were packed into every nook and cranny to watch this night play out.
The Orioles jumped out to a quick 10-1 lead and the Crimson had to quickly take a time out to regroup. Grant Kaufman and Brandon Barta made 3s and Jake Wieneke took a pass from Erik Olson on a slash to the basket to make the score 16-11. It was however, a sign of things to come as the Crimson chased the Orioles most of the game. Osseo got people to the block and either scored from there or on the kick-out. Osseo led 41-26 at the break.
In the Crimson’s 5 game win streak leading up to this game, a much better second half was evident. That was the case last night as well. After being down by as much as 18 in the second half, the Crimson cut the lead to 5 at 48-53 on Matt Lindgren’s hoop with about 10 minutes to play. Lindgren has come off the bench in the last 3 games and provided scoring when needed.
But the Orioles continued to get good looks and second chances. The Orioles were in the double bonus the last 6 minutes, compounding the Crimson’s hope of a comeback. Both teams traded baskets down the stretch and Brycen Wojta’s 3 made it 66-71 with 3 minutes to play. An Osseo timeout brought the Crimson crowd to their feet anticipating a comeback, but this wasn’t the Orioles first rodeo, as they came out of the timeout and forced MG’s hand as Bridge Tusler and Malik Wilson made key FT’s to close out the win 74-68.
Both teams shot well from the field. Maple Grove shot 61% on 2pt FG and Osseo was 56%. Wilson saw extended time after Ian Theisen’s foul trouble and had strong game finishing with 16 points. Wojta had 9 assists to go with his 17 points. Wieneke had 15 points, on a 6-11 shooting night. Olson had 11 with 11 boards and 4 blocks. Kaufman had 10.
Another byline is the stories behind the players. We watched a game with Mr. Football and a finalist. Or it was the Oriole who wrestled in 7th grade, now contributing on the basketball court, or the Crimson player who couldn’t make even a 3rd traveling team who is now getting to play on this big stage. Everyone has a story about how they got there.
Better yet, we get to do it all over again in February.