CHENEY — It's no secret that Cheney's 6-foot-5 junior Sean Osler can dunk.
Osler regularly displays the ability in practice, but had yet to throw one down in a game his first two seasons. Cheney students made sure to remind him of that.
"We see it a lot in practice," Cheney coach Stan Dohm said, "so the kids have been ribbing him a little bit."
Osler finally collected his prized first dunk late in the fourth quarter of Cheney's 63-55 victory over Medicine Lodge on Tuesday night, and his frustrations melted away with a monstrous yell.
"It feels pretty good to finally get it out of the way," Osler said. "Everybody's been pressuring me to."
Osler had a game-high 22 points, and his dunk gave Cheney (3-1) a 17-point lead with 56 seconds remaining.
Medicine Lodge (2-1) scored nine unanswered points the final minute to draw closer. But it was only a remnant of what appeared to be an evenly-matched game when Cheney took a 33-30 lead into halftime.
That's what 0-for-15 shooting in the third quarter will do, though. The Indians' only point came on a free throw and Cheney pushed its lead to 13.
"I guess I wasn't terribly displeased," Medicine Lodge coach Dan Ferguson said. "Sometimes they go in, sometimes they don't."
Once senior Joe Dohrmann picked up his third foul in the second quarter, the Medicine Lodge's offense was choppy. Dohrmann played only eight more minutes in the game, fouling out with eight points.
Bryan Hellman led the Indians with 18 points and six steals.
"Without him on the court, it seems things don't go as smoothly," Ferguson said.
Without Hellman's smooth ball handling on the floor, Cheney upped its pressure and made sure to take away dribble penetration.
"We came out more committed on defense, not letting them penetrate," Osler said. "Once we did that, it cut down on their percentage and gave them bad looks."
Medicine Lodge shot 35 percent (21 of 60).
Cheney didn't turn it on until a three-point play from Seth Alstrom that injected life into the Cardinals. An Osler shot sailed long, but Alstrom was there to spark a 15-0 run.
"As soon as Sean shot it, I knew it wasn't going to go in just by the way it was drifting," Alstrom said. "I knew if I didn't finish it, the refs would probably call over-the-back so I knew I had to put it back up."
Medicine Lodge 14 16 1 24 — 55 Cheney 16 17 11 19 — 63
MEDICINE LODGE: Rogers 8, Hellman 18, Musgrove 8, Long 4, Dohrmann 8, Larkin 4, Shinliver 5, Miller 0. Totals 21 (6) 7-17 55.
CHENEY: Beilman 9, Miller 1, Hill 14, Hopper 8, Osler 22, Hubener 2, Alstrom 3, Bolinger 2, Scheer 2. Totals 21 (1) 20-28 63.