Osseo battles through Bengals

Prologue
Its my 1st adventure north to Blaine as the Bengals host Osseo in a NW Suburban showdown.  Osseo leads the league by 1 game with Blaine tied for 3rd 2 games back.  It was Blaine who handed Osseo their only league loss back in December.  The NSIC well represented tonight with Concordia, Mankato and The Coolest Guy in the NSIC.  Pizza never a bad thing on the menu despite being a touch greasy. Our song comes from the tipoff.

Song of the Day
Motley Crew - Kickstart My Heart

Game Time
A tight first half.  Zach Romashko with a tough post turnaround and then he flashes low for another early jumper.  6'3 Jr guard Tanner Schumacher showed up big for Blaine in the first half.  His 3 and nice curl cut for 2 give Blaine a 14-13 lead at the 11:15 mark.  Terez Van Pelt to DJ Hebert for 3 and then Van Pelt with a putback for a 7-0 run.  20-16 Osseo at the 10:17 mark.  Fouls starting to mount in this one as Duke Anywanu is out for Blaine with 2, Joey Sonnenfeld and Terez Van Pelt both with 2 for Osseo.  Romashko gets a breather with his 2nd at the 8:33 mark.  22-18 Osseo before Schumacher buries a pair of 3s and a pair of free throws for a 26-25 Blaine lead.  Schumacher fouled on a 3 for 2 of 3 freebies and a Romashko jumper.  But Sonnenfeld finishes the half with 1 of 2 freebies and then a steal for a 2 handed dunk and 3 point play (signature on poster included).  That sends the game to halftime tied at 36.  7 of the 10 starters in the game with 2 or more fouls.

Schumacher with a putback and he nails a 3 from the corner off the baseline inbounds.  43-42 Osseo with 15:35 left and Sonnenfeld is already on the bench with his 4th foul.  Duke Anywanu with the 3 point play at 14:50 to tie the game at 45.  Then the critical stretch.  Hebert for 3 and then off a turnover, Van Pelt finds Bridge Tusler for a clutch 3.  Schumacher fouled on another 3 for 3 free throws but Tusler counters that with another 3.  Romashko with a 3 point play at 11:17 to keep the game within 5 but Van Pelt nails a 3.  Michael Brush for 2 and the 4th foul on Anywanu.  Ian Thiesen with a skip that finds Michael Fischer alone for 3 and then Fischer uncontested for a layup.  68-55 Osseo with 8:40 left.  But Hebert, Sonnenfeld and Theisen are all on the bench with 4 fouls.  Theisen and Sonnenfeld return at the 4:29 mark after Anywanu fouls out on an illegal screen.  That's just in time for Romashko to nail a 3 to cut the lead to 7.  Then a tieup results in some extra pushing and yapping.  It results in an Osseo technical with a 9 point lead and 3:27 left.  Blaine only gets 1 free throw out of the 2 technicals and the possession.  The teams then trade turnovers and Tusler converts a layup with 2:35 left for a 76-66 Osseo lead and that's all to see.  Osseo wins 87-72.

Post Game
For Blaine, Zach Romashko leads the way with 30 points, 17 in the 2nd half.  I had 9-20 FGs on my sheet with 5 rebounds.  Tanner Schumacher came in averaging 14.1 PPG.  He goes for 15 in the first half and finishes with 23.  4 triples and 2 other times where he was fouled shooting a 3 (5-6 FTs on those).  Very little depth as Blaine basically played a 6 man rotation.  Blaine falls to 10-4 in the NW Suburban, 10-8 overall.  The race for the top seed in section 7AAAA is wide open with Forest Lake and Duluth East in the mix as well so this would have been a huge win for Blaine to get at home.  Especially with a soft schedule most of the rest of the season with a trip to Anoka and home against Champlin Park on the final night as the only noteworthy games left.  Worth noting that Duluth East and Forest Lake play at East on Saturday.  That's part of a tough stretch for the Greyhounds.  Forest Lake with a win can say they beat both of the contenders.

Osseo stays ahead in the NW Suburban at 13-1, 18-2 overall.  The Orioles battled thru foul trouble all night and were able to get keys plays from Terez Van Pelt and soph Bridge Tusler in the 2nd half.  Terez Van Pelt leads the way with 20 points.  Joey Sonnenfeld continues to play well with 18 points.  Ian Theisen and Bridge Tusler both with 12.  DJ Hebert with 11.  Winning the league outright will make them the easy choice for the top seed in section 5AAAA, but Champlin Park can muddy the waters if they make a run.

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