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Maple Grove Voice

Undefeated Osseo Defeats Mounds View; Advances to State

Mar 04, 2016 11:35PM ● By Doug Erlien
When the season began 16 weeks ago, the Osseo Orioles boys basketball team weren’t on any so called experts radar. As the wins began to mount, eyes began to shift. Twenty nine victories later and Tim Theisen has his team headed to Target Center after the Orioles defeated Mounds View 76-65 in the Section 5AAAA championship game Friday, March 4 in front of a packed house at Rogers High School.

“We always preach purpose, poise, and pride and there’s a lot of pride with these kids from our ninth graders to our varsity team. There’s a purpose for this team,” Theisen said. “We weren’t ranked in any top 20 polls at the beginning of the season. We’re doing this to try to prove to everybody that these polls don’t matter. I don’t care if those teams have one of the top players in the state. When you combine all of the talent that we have and we play so well together, a team is much better than individual.”

The Orioles used a relentless pressure to create chaos for the Mustangs. Osseo built a 
double-digit lead in the first half behind senior Damario Armstrong’s early hot shooting. Armstrong, who is no stranger to big games, led the Orioles with 21 points in the victory. In addition to staring on the Osseo football team, Armstrong led Maranatha to state tournaments the past three seasons.

“Playing in those other section championship games gave me a strong head,” Armstrong said. “Being able to come in and not be afraid.”

Armstrong set the stage for his team early hitting a pair of deep three pointers to give the Orioles an early double digit lead. The Mustangs didn’t go away quietly as senior Nate Albers led all scorers with 31. 

Osseo returns to the state tournament after a one year hiatus and travels to Target Center for the fifth time in six seasons, including the 2011-2012 team that captured the Class 4A championship. 

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