Defending Cheney senior Sean Osler is no easy proposition. Osler is 6-foot-5 and the fastest Cardinals' player. He's got ballhandling skills, he can drive the lane, he can step out and hit a three-pointer or pull up for a short jumper.
Cheney coach Stan Dohm has no problem giving Osler the green light offensively. Friday at Trinity Academy, in a game between the only two unbeaten teams in the Central Plains League, Dohm did more than that.
"I talked to him about Jacob Pullen's game (against Kansas)," Dohm said of Pullen's 38 point-effort in Kansas State's upset victory on Monday. "I said, 'you may have to have that type of night.' We're old, but we're not real experienced in big games yet. He's been playing for four years."
Osler came through in the 58-53 overtime victory over Trinity. He had a game-high 33 points on 14-of-20 shooting and 11 rebounds for the Cardinals (14-4 overall, 7-0 in the CPL). Trinity is 14-4, 6-1.
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"From the beginning of the season, one of our goals was to win league," Trinity senior Morgan Burns said. "It's hard for me as a senior.... We just have to learn from it and bounce back."
Osler deflected any credit for the win, talking first about how much he loves his teammates and how they'd do anything for each other.
"Leaders step up in big games," Osler said. "I took it upon myself. I had the help of my teammates. They were great."
Teammate Joe Hubener had three blocked shots and nine rebounds, while Gage Scheer had four of his five rebounds during overtime and the fourth quarter.
After Trinity took a 34-26 lead with 2:54 to go in the third, it was Osler who answered with a basket in the lane. And it was Osler who hit a three to cut that lead to three.
He had eight fourth-quarter points and scored seven of Cheney's 12 overtime points.
Trinity sent the game to overtime when Regan Billings hit two free throws with 28.9 seconds to go in regulation. Trinity opened the overtime with three-pointers on consecutive possessions from Morgan Burns and Jon Dohm.
Burns finished with 13 points, while Dohm had 16. Austin Kessinger had 12 points, 12 rebounds and four blocked shots.
But Osler answered each Trinity three in overtime with a basket. Scheer got a steal and a fastbreak basket for the tie with 1:53 to go.
With Cheney leading by one, Osler caught the inbounds pass on the right wing and immediately drove inside for the lay-in and the 56-53 lead with 1:03 to go.
" (Coach Stan Dohm) called it up where I just got the ball in the corner and we'd play the stall game," Osler said. "I got the ball and saw an open lane and I couldn't pass it up."
Cheney (14-4, 7-0) 11 6 18 12 11—58 Trinity (14-4, 6-1) 9 13 14 11 6—53
CHENEY: Osler 33, Miller 4, Hubener 5, Scheer 7, Bolinger 6, Keiter 3. Totals 24 (3) 7-18 58.
TRINITY ACADEMY: Kempin 5, Kessinger 12, Dohm 16, Billings 3, Burns 13, Milby 4. Totals 17 (6) 13-23 53.
Cheney's Sean Osler
Cheney coach Stan Dohm