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March 23, 2012

Triple OT thriller: Osseo - Hopkins game gallery

This 2012 boys' basketball state tournament marks the 100th year that this tournament has been held and Thursday's semifinal matchup between the Hopkins Royals and the Osseo Orioles will go down as one of the more amazing games ever. This matchup took three overtimes to decide the winner. The Royals, winners of section 6 (29-1), had won the previous three state tournaments were looking to go down in Minnesota state history as one of only a few teams who had repeated as champs four times in a row. Osseo (28-2) on the other hand was looking to dethrone the previous champs. The first half of play was what many had expected, a competitive, spirited matchup between two great teams. Osseo did have some sloppy play, committing 13 turnovers in the first half, but the Osseo post players held their own. Both teams made their individual runs and Hopkins, led by Nicholas Jorgenson who had 11 in the first half, took a 32-28 lead in to the intermission.

The second half is where the play picked up and Osseo's post players continued their strong play; three of their players ended up with double doubles in rebounds and points. Osseo out rebounded the Royals by 25, 56-31 throughout the entire game. The Royals were led by Senior guard Siyani Chambers, who finished with a game-high 31 points, led for most of the second half until the opposition turned up the pressure and Osseo guard Bridge Tusler finished a driving layup to end regulation with a 64-64 tie.

The first overtime came and went as neither team could find a score, including an almost 2 minute stall from the Royals; and we headed in to a second overtime. The pace picked up in the second overtime period as both teams scored 13 points. Osseo had some key players step up including sophomore center Ian Theisen who had 21 points and 13 rebounds and he nearly banked in a half court shot at the end of the second overtime period. These teams went back and forth with key players stepping up, but in the end the force of Osseo's interior play led them to the triple overtime victory over the Royals at 87-86. The Orioles will have their shot at a title against the Lakeville North Panthers who defeated Eden Prairie in the other semifinal matchup.

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