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Maple Grove Voice

Photos: Theisen's Big Shot Propels Orioles to Overtime Win

Jan 05, 2018 05:18AM ● By Doug Erlien
Playing shorthanded without two post players is never a positive thing for any basketball program. Playing against the number five ranked team in the state, the Park Center Pirates, is another thing all together.

That is exactly the challenge that Osseo Head Coach Tim Theisen and his Orioles had on their plate. The Orioles were up to the challenge led by Zach Theisen who scored 28 points and Emmette Page who added 19 in Osseo’s 60-59 overtime win.

The Pirates (6-2) rolled into Osseo (4-2) averaging 76 points per game in their victories. Led by Jarius Cook (15.4 points per game), and Dain Dainja (13.3 points per game), Park Center boasts one of the tallest starting lineups in the state providing mismatches on the floor. Osseo played smart on the defensive end of the floor, never letting the Pirates get on any significant run and helping on the 6”9 Dainja.

“Tonight we were battling them. We were shorter at every position,” Tim Theisen said. “You can’t measure a guy by their height. You measure them by their heart and I gotta say that our guys played really hard tonight.”

The game between the district rivals was the first home game for Osseo and the Orioles played strong defensively in the first half holding the Pirates to just 25 points.

The second half saw the teams exchange leads with the Orioles leading by as many as five and the Pirates by four. It was Zach Theisen who hit two big threes late in the second half. The first came when the senior worked through a screen and buried the shot and in addition a Pirate defender had run through the screen and a foul was called giving the Orioles the basket and another possession. The second came with 12 seconds left with the Orioles trailing by three. Zach Theisen used a Richard Mulbah screen and found just enough space to get his shot off.

“I knew it was good when it left my hand,” Zach 
Theisen said.

It was and it sent the game to overtime.  

In overtime, Page scored the first four points, driving left and finishing at the rim, Johnson Fallah scored on a baseline drive but with the score tied at 59, the final sequence and the game landed in the lap of Chike Okonkwo who was one of the players filling in and stepping up when the Orioles needed it most.

Page drove to the basket as the clock ran down in overtime, his shot was contested and as he landed on the floor, Okonkwo found the rebound and turned to shoot. He ran into Dainja who was called for the foul sending Okonkwo to the free-throw line. After a Park Center timeout, the senior stepped to the free throw line and made one-of-two and gave the Orioles the lead and the 
60-59 overtime win.


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