MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Osseo needed all 36 minutes to win this game. The Orioles never doubted, though, down to the last second.
Ian Theisen’s 15-foot baseline jump shot swished through the net right before the buzzer, giving the Osseo Orioles a 49-47 victory over the Lakeville North Panthers on Saturday night in the Class 4A state championship game.
“I knew, exactly, it was going on. As soon as I caught my rhythm, I was like, ‘Aw, yeah,'” said Theisen, who had eight points and four rebounds. He made every shot he took.
Theisen, a 6-foot-9 sophomore, was wide open when Bridge Tusler drove to the lane and drew the defense to him before passing to his left to set up the winner. The Panthers had switched to a 1-3-1 zone for the final possession, leaving Theisen alone in the corner.
“That’s Ian’s sweet spot,” said Tusler, who had eight points and nine rebounds for the Orioles (30-2), who beat Hopkins 87-86 in triple overtime in the semifinals to end the Royals’ streak of three straight state titles.
“We kind of knew before the game we were going to win. It wasn’t a cocky thing. We were just confident,” Tusler said.
This was quite the way to end Minnesota’s 100th boys state basketball tournament. DeLaSalle beat Washburn on the very same last-second shot, on the other end of the floor, to take the Class 3A title in an all-Minneapolis matchup.
Tyler Flack had 12 points and seven rebounds for the Panthers (30-2), who were in the state championship game for the first time. Lakeville split into two high schools in 2005, and neither Lakeville North nor Lakeville South nor the city’s lone high school prior to the split had ever reached the final.
Osseo, which lost to Hopkins in the 2009 championship game, won the title for the first time since 2001.
Both schools, on opposite ends of the Twin Cities metro area, brought boisterous student sections. The Lakeville North kids chanted, “Who is Osseo?” before tipoff, a taunt that might’ve actually been born out of genuine curiosity. Because of suburban sprawl, they’re 38 miles and roughly nine cities — depending on which highways are taken — apart.
Speaking of driving, Tusler got tough layups in traffic to fall through on consecutive Osseo possessions near the 3½-minute mark. Johnson had a chance the stretch the lead to six with 2:34 left, but he missed two free throws. Grant Erickson knocked down a 3-pointer from the left wing, bringing Lakeville North back within 47-46. Tusler was called for a charging foul on the other end. Rasmussen made one free throw to tie the game, and the frantic final minute arrived.
Osseo’s lead was as big as 12 points in the first half before Lakeville North made the margin more manageable in the closing minutes. Grant Erickson’s drive to the basket and off-balance layup gave him a chance at a three-point play with 3.5 seconds left before the break after a foul sent him to the floor. He missed the free throw, but the Panthers were within 23-16.
They didn’t stop there. Heid hit a jumper in the opening minute of the second half then finished a fast-break layup started by a crowd-inciting swat by Flack of Hebert’s floater in the lane. Osseo’s advantage was down to 23-22, and neither team led by more than five points the rest of the way.
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