Notebook: Osseo girls blast No. 6 Centennial

There is a saying in sports, “That’s why you play the game.”

Osseo’s stunning 67-47 home win over conference leader and No. 6 Centennial last Thursday was a perfect example.

The Cougars came into the game having just knocked off No. 1 and defending state champ Hopkins 69-60 two nights prior. Two weeks ago at a holiday tournament, Hopkins routed Osseo 88-42.

So on paper, there was no way the Orioles could hang with Centennial. But the Orioles played their best game of the season and handed Centennial its first loss.

“Hopkins showed us how much work we have to do if we expect to contend again this year,” Osseo coach John Rieser said. “We worked hard in practice and began to show signs of coming out of our slump.”

The Orioles ended their four-game losing streak with a 64-51 win over Armstrong Jan. 8, then followed up with the upset win over Centennial.

“We played an outstanding overall game,” Rieser said. “The team has been working hard in practice and it was nice to see that hard work translate to performance on the floor.”

The Orioles led only 28-26 at halftime, but they came out and outscored Centennial 39-21 in the second half.

“At halftime we talked about the opportunity that this game provided us, we talked about continuing to work on our transition game and our team defense,” Rieser said. “We also talked about owning the first 5 minutes of the second half, which I think we did. The kids really came out with some fire in their bellies and worked hard on both ends of the floor.”

Seniors Janay Morton and Phillis Webb, who were honored before the game for reaching the 1000-point milestone, led Osseo with 19 and 15 points respectively. Junior Ayo Porte would have to be considered for player of the game as she scored 14 points and held Centennial guard Daizjah Morris to 6 points in an excellent defensive effort.

The win improved Osseo to 8-2 in the conference, while Centennial fell to 8-1.

– Bob San

Rebels top Falcons 6-2

Ryan McNeil scored a pair of first period goals, Calvin Spencer, Scott Lessard, Bryce Plunkett and Luke Dalman added one each, and Tyler Nelson made 25 saves as Champlin Park topped Armstrong 6-2 in boys hockey Jan. 10.

Kristian Evans and Blake Babineau each scored for Armstrong, which fell to 2-9-1 with the loss.

The Falcons were scheduled to play host to No. 8 Centennial Jan. 17 before playing Cooper at 7 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 19 at the New Hope Ice Arena.

Champlin Park (5-5-3) picked up its fourth straight win in the victory. This week, the Rebels were scheduled to visit No. 14 Elk River Jan. 17 before turning around to host No. 9 Blaine at 7 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 19.

A/C skates by CP

The No. 16 Armstrong/Cooper girls hockey team swept its season series with Champlin Park after skating to a 4-1 home victory over the Rebels Jan. 8.

Emma Terres and Marissa Odell had a goal and an assist each for Armstrong/Cooper in the victory. Mari Verbeten and Holly Enderle also scored for Armstrong/Cooper.

Ninth-grader Kaleigh Martinson scored Champlin Park’s lone goal in the loss.

This week, the Rebels played host to Elk River Jan. 15 and then at No. 17 Blaine at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 19.

Armstrong/Cooper was scheduled to play at Centennial Jan. 15 and then at home vs. Coon Rapids at 3 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 19.