Welcome to Czar Season 8

Its Labor Day weekend and that means the traditional flip of the switch to the current school year.  Welcome to Year 8 of The Czar in cyberspace (not to be confused with Pigs...In...Space).  I'll reach a major milestone in December with game #1000 that I've seen since I started here.  As usual, I've gone through the entire site and cleaned things up.  With a bunch of new conferences this school year (more explanation on that when I get to previews), I've redone the League Websites page to include the new leagues.   I've also cleaned up the AAU Websites page to include many more AAU organizations from Wisconsin (many big ones were missing) and Iowa.  It also tidies up the Minnesota list.  The Rankings page has been updated to reflect the most recent end of summer rankings from Rivals, Scout, ESPN and 247Sports.  The recruiting calendars in the Recruiting Links menu are updated to the current recruiting year for those of you who follow when the college guys can be out and about.  The Summer Hoops and Recruiting Links menus point you to anything regarding AAU ball including the leagues that teams participate in.  The Minnesota Hoops menu has anything you may need to know about boys hoops in the state including State Records and the most comprehensive list for the Mr. Basketball award that's out there.

The 2014 Fall Schedule is posted and you can access it from the main navigation menu in full site mode or mobile mode.  If your league isn't on there, let me know and I'll add it.  The Season Previews page is up and available for when I begin my annual 5 week preview series on October 6th to take you right up to the start of practice on November 10th.  There are 2015 players who have already made their college decisions, I keep a full list of those updated throughout the season on the Signings page

The Best of AAUBingo 2014

Year 2 of AAU Bingo is in the books and it did not disappoint.  Especially Las Vegas which was absolutely epic in AAU Bingo terms.  The hashtag #AAUBingo exploded this year, especially in July and that's incredible to see.  ESPN's Jeff Goodman was included in the act with a tweet of a coach wearing a camera which was quickly tagged by many loyal followers of the movement.  Trainer Alan Stein in on the act this year as well.

There are too many outstanding tweets to award properly but we'll start with a few that deserve mention.  Then we'll expand the Best Of AAUBingo list to a Top 10.

2014 Special Mention
The MN Cyclones vs Team Loaded 757 game at the Fab 48 in Las Vegas deserves its own category because it was so beyond comprehension. Here's what we got from one official in this last game of the night.

Less than 10 minutes into the game, referee tosses the Team Loaded 757 coach for stepping on the court to instruct his player as he went up the court on offense.   Whacked him twice in 2 minutes, gone, good bye.  Coach doesn't leave, security has to get him at the next dead ball.  I give the coach credit for not going completely ballistic on the official.

Later in the game, a fracas breaks out at halfcourt thanks to a bunch of uncontrolled chirping that was going on.  The benches empty and I was worried that Tom Critchley Sr might end up being part of a Don Zimmer/Pedro Martinez moment.  After a long discussion, the coaches are called over and we end up with this magical epic fail.
  • Double Foul, no technicals (wrong, had to whack somebody there)
  • We'll shoot 2 free throws on each end (wrong, double foul, no FTs)
  • We'll go to a jump ball to determine possession (wrong, point of interruption)
  • The official lines the kids up like the start of the game and jumps it up (wrong, use the arrow if you think its a jump ball)
Inside 10 seconds to go, a ridiculous intentional foul call in a 3 point game to seal it.

One of the absolute most disgraceful pieces of officiating I've seen.  The college coaches section was absolutely howling at this.  Here are some of those tweets.

2014 Honorable Mention #AAUBingo Tweets

Top 10 #AAUBingo Tweets of 2014

#10) In honor of last year's winners (Minnesota Heat), we'll start the list with one of their workouts.
#9) Hungry Referee
#8) Coaching attire at a new level of insanity
#7) In game conditioning
or this
#6)  Coach anger after a loss
#5) Referee/Police Officer fatally injures coach after game

#4) Dog barking at AAU Nationals

#3) Pull Fire Alarm in Protest

#2)  Classic parent behavior courtesy of famous basketball trainer Alan Stein

#1) Team disqualified for using graduated player in 16U division.
Cheating is nothing new in AAU (we wouldn't have #AAUBingo without it after all).  What takes this instance to the top is the included video where the coach attempts to deny everything (think Richard Nixon, I am not a crook). The player in question was in a JUCO showcase the previous week and that's how it came to everyone's attention.  Many calling it one of the most blatant attempts at cheating they've seen.
So there you have it, those are the best tweets of year 2.  Let's take it to another level in year 3.  If you missed the best of Year 1 of AAU Bingo, you can read that here.

2014 July journey begins

The Czar returns after a very entertaining spring coaching experience during the spring period.  The July 2014 recruiting season opens tomorrow with Minnesota teams spanning the midwest to no fewer than 6 locations.  Here's where you can find our local teams.  Many will start play later in the week (Ames, St. Louis and Chicago in particular)

Windy City Classic - Chicago
D1 Minnesota 16s and 17s
Grassroots 17s
Billy Wampler expected to be out for D1 as he'll be at the Adidas Unrivaled camp.

Game of Note:
D1 MN 16s vs Martin Brothers 16s Sat 11:30 AM.  Jordan Bohannon and Iowa commit Cordell Pemsl lead Martin Brothers.

Chicago Summer Jam
All Howard Pulley teams

Game of Note:
Howard Pulley vs Mac Irvin Fire at 5:20 on Saturday
Also of note, the D1 MN 14s and Howard Pulley 14s could meet up in bracket play.

Adidas Invitational - Indianapolis
Heat Bui and Heat Vang are both super pooled.  That means that Heat Bui will get 2 tough Adidas programs Indiana Elite and Brookwood Elite along with Team Work.  The Heat also have 2 more squads, Calistro and Berndt, attending.  MN Phenom also in the pools.

Heat Vang and Heat Schwarz represent the 16u division.  Heat Vang gets Indiana Elite, Team Work and Detroit Showtime Select in their super pool.

NY2LA Next Level Invitational - Milwaukee
The 17U division at NY2LA has a large number of MN teams.  7:40 Thursday night features Net Gain taking on WI United with MN natives Donnell Gresham, Marshawn Wilson and Jeremy Johnson.  tMBA has both their teams attending.  tMBA Brown will play WI commit Brevin Pritzl, Drake commit Nick McGlynn and the WI Playground Warriors at 11:30 AM on Thursday.  Comets Lewis will play Marquette commit Matt Heldt and the Milwaukee Spartans at 8:50 PM on Thursday night.  SW MN Stars play WI Blizzard and star Cody Schwartz.  Fury Meier has Playground Elite with Marquette signee Nick Noskowiak and former MN D1 stud Henry Ellenson.  WOTN Nicols has Damontrae Jefferson and the Milwaukee Rebels.  Heat McKee and both Select teams also in the 17U bracket.

In 16U, MN also well represented with a ton of teams.  Net Gain, SW MN Stars, tMBA, Fury Peterson and Fury Sand, MN Suns Wilson, top Comets, both WOTN teams, Heat East and Heat NW, MN Select has 2 teams and Airborne Elite all in that bracket.

In 15U, its a bit lighter.  Fury Coleman, MN Warriors, SW MN Stars, MN Suns Johnson, Select and WOTN Herber in that bracket.

Mullen's High Profile  - St. Louis
In St. Louis, Fury will have all of their Sanford teams and the MN Cyclones will be in attendance again as well.  The Cyclones could end up with an entertaining game against the Dakota Schoolers in the 2nd round.    Its a tough field with KC Run GMC, Team YOBO, OK Wizards, Omaha Crusaders, Arkansas Wings and the St. Louis Eagles in the field.

Midwest Summer Slam - Ames
In Iowa some of our lower level teams make the trip

TC Runnin Rebels
Triple Threat
Heat Carlson
Magic Black
Comets Moser

Comets DLR
Heat Schumann
Heat Slick
Heat Errickson

Heat Nord
Heat Nelson
Heat Crandall
Magic Vatsaas

Then locally in the 2nd period, we have the D1 Summer Classic.  Talk is that national recruit Skal Labissiere will attend that event with M33M.  Expect MN to take a look at Billy Wampler at some point during that tourney as well.  Howard Pulley and Net Gain will be in the Southeast for Nike and Under Armour championships.  Then the month ends with most of our teams off to Las Vegas (some to Kansas City like tMBA and Howard Pulley).  New format for the Adidas Super 64 this year (Adidas teams only) means that teams move to the Bigfoot Hoops tourney or the split off of the Super 64, Vegas Finals.  I'll be in live and in color in Vegas for the 4th straight summer.  Nothing like trying to bounce from gym to gym to gym.

An amazing year at state

The 2013-2014 season came to a close over the weekend . What a finish to the AAAA season with a pair of amazing semifinals and a championship game.  The Hopkins vs Shakopee semifinal will be memorable for more than 1 reason.  The chess match at the end of regulation and through the 4 overtimes may not have pleased the fans but both strategies made sense.  Why not hold for the last shot and not even give Shakopee a chance to win if you're Hopkins?  If you're Shakopee, why make your defense more vulnerable by extending, get a stop and move on.  If roles were reversed there would be no uproar but since Hopkins was the more talented and favored team, I was surprised they didn't play it out.  Will that game cause enough uproar for a shot clock?  Maybe, but most folks don't understand that we already have the shot clock and choose not to use it.  Personally I love the chess match and the option for the underdog.  A shot clock would have given St. Cloud Tech no chance vs Hopkins in 2009.  Instead, we had extremely compelling theater until Nate Wolters rolled an ankle.  Add in the cost and lower quality of basketball at small schools and I'm still firmly opposed.  A very under-appreciated part of the ending was the last draw up by Shakopee.  It appeared the Sabers had a layup for the win but the pass was late and the steal allowed Hopkins to get the ball back for the memorable final Coffey heave from 57 feet.

Then what more can we say about JP Macura.  He goes for 31 in the semi including a 30 foot buzzer beater to beat CDH.  Then 43 and 9 with a critical assist late as Lakeville North came back late to shock Hopkins and win the title.  Long 3s, drives to the bucket and movement without the basketball for layups all part of the display.  Lakeville North was very beatable when it was just Macura, but Bronson Bruneau, soph Drew Stewart and Connor Flack also made big plays and that was the difference.  Lakeville North couldn't get a stop for a long time down the stretch but managed to steal away the game late.  Hopkins with their 1st loss in a final since 1994 and it was disappointing that some members of the team didn't handle it well.  While some of the fan criticism online is ridiculous (calling the kids thugs etc), seeing parents trying to write it off as just being kids or it can't be criticized because they are kids is also ridiculous.  These kids have played enough games at all levels throughout the years and been at state enough to know better.  Win with class, lose with class is something all players learn very early on.  Great teaching moment for those kids in how to deal with adversity.  Life is full of disappointments, losing 1 game is a minor one in the big scheme of things.

In the rest of the tournament, impressed with Kory Deadrick of Esko and what he did to lead to Eskomos to a title.  Soph Jaxson Turner didn't make all tourney but showed he'll be a very good player for them the next 2 years.  Matt Miller of Annandale did a bit of everything for the Cardinals and Chase Knickerbocker really helped his stock.  Biggest breakout star of the tourney may have been 8th grader Owen King of Caledonia.  Expect Caledonia forward Kyle Sorenson's stock to go up this spring.  De La Salle with a thoroughly dominating season as they weren't challenged on their way to the AAA title.  Outside of AJ Nywesh, Austin shot 6-31 in the championship game. 

Refecting back on this year's playoffs in general, it may be the craziest season I've seen in the 7 seasons that I've written here.  Apple Valley out in OT, Buffalo makes state in 5 OT, Simley/Hill-Murray double OT etc etc  What a fun season

Next up is #AAUBingo 2014.  Year 2 of AAUBingo is a special Czar is a Head Coach edition.  Let's just say its been an adventure already and we're still 2 weeks away from the 1st games for local teams.

Osseo returns to the big dance

Back to Rogers for the 5AAAA championship between Osseo and Champlin Park.  Osseo had a rough stretch without Ian Theisen during the 2nd half of the year.  They beat Champlin Park without him and lost with him earlier in the season.  Champlin Park had a late hiccup in the season but generally rolled.  Looking for another classic here.  I actually liked the officiating crew coming into the game.  But despite letting them play actually had some very strange calls on minimal contact and let plenty of fouls go.

Song of the Day
Big Time - Peter Gabriel

Total Beverage Consumption Counter: 1396 ounces  (125 games, 107 days)

  • 12 oz 7 Up 
  • 20 oz Barq's Root Beer
  • 20 oz Mug Root Beer 
  • 80 oz Sprite 
  • 104 oz Dr Pepper
  • 160 oz Red Powerade
  • 272 oz Red Gatorade
  • 184 oz Coke 
  • 544 oz Pepsi
Game Time
Connor Kittleson with a pair of early easy buckets as Osseo takes a 7-6 lead at 14:15.  Champlin Park sees Marty Hill get his offense going.  Hill with a jumper and triple for force an Osseo timeout.  Ian Smith for 3 and a kickout to Alec Leabo for 3.  Ian Smith to Alex Hilley for a layup.  27-12 Champlin Park at the 6 minute mark.  Then the Rebels once again go the 1-3-1 that killed them against Park Center.  Wheeler Baker to the rack to end a 6-0 run to cut the lead to 11 at the 3 minute mark.  Gibson with a strip late in the half and finds Smith for a layup at the buzzer for a 39-27 Rebels lead at the half. 

Gibson for 3 and a pair of free throws to push the lead to 44-27.  Then Osseo pounds the glass.  Elliot Kane with a putback, Theisen on the glass for a 3 point play.  Jordan Dembley with a 3 point play and coast to coast for 2 more.  Theisen buries a 3, Wheeler Baker drives for 2, Theisen with another putback.  17-3 Osseo run brings the Orioles within 47-44 at the 12:22 mark and we have a ball game.   Game stays tight when Wheeler Baker dives after a loose ball and gets called for his 4th foul with 8:08 left, tough break there.  Smith makes both for a 5 point lead and scores again with 5:50 left for a 59-53 Rebels lead.  Osseo makes their comeback.  Theisen with 2 putbacks that sandwich a Kane bucket and we're tied at 59 with 3:45 left.

Teams trade 1 of 2 at the line.  Osseo with a long final possession that they save by diving on a loose ball and getting a timeout with 1:35 left.  Osseo holds until 21 ticks left and takes time.  Ball swung on the pick and roll to find Kane in the right corner, he has a lane to the bucket and goes hard but stepped on the baseline.  We'll go to OT tied at 60.  Kane with a big 3 at the 2:20 mark of OT to give Osseo a 5 point lead.  Baker fouls out on the next possession.  Gibson makes 1 and Osseo misses a front end but Champlin Park can't convert.  Giovanni Pastrano makes 3 of 4 free throws late as he continues his outstanding play for the Orioles.  Osseo wins 72-67 in overtime.

Post Game
Champlin Park finishes the year 25-3 with 2 losses to Osseo and a loss to Hopkins.  Ian Smith leads with 18 points, Marty Hill with 12 of his 15 in the first half.  Champlin Park gives away a 17 point second half lead which will make this one tough to swallow.  The future is very bright despite losing stars Ian Smith and Brennan Witt

Ian Theisen comes up huge for Osseo with 14 of his 23 in the second half.  He was all over the glass with somewhere in the vicinity of 20 rebounds.  Wheeler Baker with another off night but still scored 12 points.  Jordan Dembley with 10.  I didn't think Osseo could get away with the front court combination of Theisen, Kittleson and Pastrano when Champlin Park backed off them but the Orioles stayed within their roles and made it work.  Osseo's seed at state will be a fun topic of discussion with Lakeville North and Cretin-Derham Hall likely ending up in the 2-4 slots.  How much weight will be on this win and Theisen's injury during the 4 game losing streak.  How much will the CDH win over Apple Valley weigh?

Goliath falls

Off to Farmington for the 3AAAA championship game between Cretin-Derham Hall and Apple Valley.  The expected full house on hand.  Great games tonight in Monticello (5 OT in 8AAAA final), Marshall advances to state in OT, SW MN Christian loses and this one didn't disappoint either.  Red Gatorade is the beverage with sausage pizza.  Quality 40 minute pregame performance from the Apple Valley band.

Song of the Day
Runnin down a dream - Tom Petty

Total Beverage Consumption Counter: 1376 ounces  (124 games, 106 days)
  • 12 oz 7 Up 
  • 20 oz Barq's Root Beer
  • 20 oz Mug Root Beer 
  • 80 oz Sprite 
  • 84 oz Dr Pepper
  • 160 oz Red Powerade
  • 272 oz Red Gatorade
  • 184 oz Coke 
  • 544 oz Pepsi
Game Time
Big key in this game was a good start for CDH.  They get that with Donnell Gresham scoring the 1st 5 and Michael Hannon from deep.  Timeout Apple Valley at 16:46 trailing 8-2 and that's despite 4 offensive boards.  Tyus Jones 4 points to cut the lead to 2.  Sam Neumann putback, Gresham with another 3, Neumann for 3.  George Hottinger with a layup and Neumann with a layup after a turnover.  22-15 CDH at 12:50.  Tyus coast to coast for the And 1 and he adds a steal for 2 to tie the game at 26.  Tyus on the run for 2 more to conclude the 16-4 Apple Valley run.  Tobroxen with a layup and Tyus to Brock Bertram for a bucket on the pick and roll.  Loose ball ends up with a Tyus 3.  Hannon with a jumper and then 1 of many abuses he had of the Eagles bigs off the bounce.  44-38 Apple Valley at the half.  Early on the pace was absolutely furious but CDH made an effort to slow the game down.

Hottinger a pair of buckets countered by Tyus for 2 and then Tyus dunks a turnover.  51-44 Apple Valley 4 minutes into the half.  Hannon with a drive to start a spurt, Neumann blocks Tyus and Hannon makes 2 free throws off of it.  Then Hannon buries a 3 after a Tyus bucket and we're tied at 53 (9-2 run).  Tyus playing out of the right block finds Bertram for a layup and then goes to the reverse for 2 of his own and scores again.  Dennis Austin and Bertram add buckets and the Eagles lead is 65-57 with 6:45 left.

CDH always able to score.  Neumann for 3, Joe Rosga steals an outlet pass and no fear as he immediately drills the right wing 3.  Tyus trying to take over as he scores the next 3 but misses 3 free throws in that stretch.  Then he swats a shot away on the help side.  But there's that Hannon guy again as he takes an inside out feed from Neumann and drills the 3 and drills another on the next possession.  Then its Neumann for 3 with 1:45 left and CDH has the lead.  Tyus called for the offensive foul going to the rim with 1:36 left. Oh my.  CDH ball up 72-70.  After 2 Rosga free throws, Tyus goes straight to the rim for 2.  After a timeout, he steals the inbounds and makes 2 free throws to tie the game at 74.  CDH will hold for the last shot.  Gresham no good off the high screen, rebound no good, Rosga a great look from 10 feet with 8 ticks left is in and out.  CDH has 1 last chance from under their basket with 1.3 left but turns it over.  We'll play overtime.

CDH wins the tip and holds until they turn it over at the 2:37 mark.  Apple Valley misses 30 seconds later and now CDH will continue to hold.  They hold until a timeout with 13 seconds left.  Its Rosga off a double high ball screen to Gresham who's shot is no good and we'll play a second overtime.

Tyus opens the overtime scoring (in the 2nd OT) with a drive that's countered by another Hannon 3.  Apple Valley misses and Gresham makes 2 free throws.  Austin makes 1 free throw on an offensive board to cut the lead to 79-77 with 1:45 left.  But Apple Valley doesn't score again.  Austin and tyus go down with injuries with 58.5 left.  Big delay before Austin is stretchered off, Tyus comes back out to an ovation during the delay.  But at that point the game is over as CDH is up 10  Cretin-Derham Hall pulls the upset 89-77 in double overtime.

Post Game
Apple Valley finishes the season 27-2 and the loss breaks a 55 game winning streak against Minnesota opponents.  Tyus Jones finishes his outstanding career with 35 points.  What a pleasure to watch one of the best ever to come out of the state during these last 5 seasons.  Brock Bertram with a big double double with 19 points.  The rest of the roster only comes up with 23.  Apple Valley not showing any outside shooting in the game and didn't pound the ball inside nearly enough.  Tyus with some great success off a flat ball screen at mid-court but we only saw it late and a couple of times.  Didn't see that huge killer instinct from him that we've seen in the past either.  Almost like Apple Valley thought they could just turn it on and win.  Honestly I thought this game was more about what they didn't do than what Cretin-Derham Hall did on the strategy side.

Cretin-Derham Hall was successful running early and much to my chagrin they slowed the tempo.  But give them credit it worked.  Michael Hannon goes bezerk with 5 3s and 26 points.  Donnell Gresham also large with 22 points and a pair of 3s.  Joe Rosga 15 and Sam Neumann with 3 bombs and 16 points.  CDH managed to not get completely crushed on the glass which was a huge factor.  Seeding them for the state tourney is an interesting debate.  On 1 side you have this win.  On the other you have 2 losses to Woodbury, a team that Tartan just beat and Tartan is still scrambling to be seeded.  If Lakeville North and Champlin Park lose, maybe they're the 2 seed (Hopkins will clearly be #1).  But if those 2 win, now they're likely looking at 4.  The 5 seed is a scramble of the remaining teams.   Cretin's secondary guys stepped up big and Apple Valley's didn't and that was your difference.  CDH buries 12 3s and when they shoot it well they are extremely dangerous and difficult to guard. 

Titans make it back to State

Off to Tartan for the section 4AAAA championship between Tartan and Woodbury.  Good size crowd but not a problem getting a seat in the upper level.  The students very vocal and somewhat crass at times.  That triggered a tongue thrashing from the public address guy at halftime.  No concessions tonight but a nice stop for Jersey Mike's during the pregame.  Concordia in the building with SW MN State assistant Chad Welk (a Concordia asst until last year).  St. Mary's also in the building.  Hollywood, Mr. Clean and The Reverend are your officials.

Song of the Day
We are the Champions - Queen

Total Beverage Consumption Counter: 1356 ounces  (123 games, 105 days)

  • 12 oz 7 Up 
  • 20 oz Barq's Root Beer
  • 20 oz Mug Root Beer 
  • 80 oz Sprite 
  • 84 oz Dr Pepper
  • 160 oz Red Powerade
  • 252 oz Red Gatorade
  • 184 oz Coke 
  • 544 oz Pepsi
Game Time
Tartan off to a great start.  Brody Jackson takes the UNC secondary break back screen for 2 and another postup for a 7-0 lead.  Eric Winter again gets the defensive chore for the Titans.  This time its faceguarding Matt Ambriz.  Jordan Horn starts to heat up as he goes off  the ball screen for 3.  21-12 Tartan at 7:35.  Isaiah Coddon for Woodbury catches at the right elbow, jabs right and goes left down the lane for the thunderous finish, seriously nasty there.  Horn counters with another trey, Coddon 2 free throws, Horn a 3 point play and after a Woodbury bucket Horn with 2 free throws.  That's 11 straight Titans points for Horn.  Jackson takes the post feed for 2 more and the lead is 13 at 4:45.  Horn fouled on a 3 and makes all 3 free throws and makes 2 more threes in the half.  45-35 Tartan at the half.  Horn with 4 3s and 20 points to carry the offense.

First 5 of the second half to Tartan and it looks like the game could get out of hand quickly.  Woodbury counters but Tartan tries to blow it open again.  Tommy Hanson buries a kickout pass for 3 and then off a turnover Horn goes to the spin move for the 3 point play.  That move is legal because The (slimmed down) Nutty Professor isn't working the game.  60-44 Tartan with 12:52 left and Woodbury takes time to try and figure out a solution.  Matt Ambriz with a 4 point play and Coddon takes a turnover and smashes that on the break with 2 hands and the lead is down to 10 quickly.  Tartan's role players make big shots.  Jake Lyle a pair of bombs off the bench and Winter shows with one.  Strange event with 9:08 left and Woodbury down 13.  Ambriz fouled and steps up to shoot the 1 and 1.  He misses the 1st and nobody plays it.  Finally Hollywood just grabs it and both teams almost tackle him for it.  We get a conference and not much choice but to go to the arrow and give it to Woodbury.  Woodbury would have 1 last spurt in them.  Nick Yan drives for 2, Coddon with 2 free throws and a 3 and the lead is down to 6, 73-67 Tartan 6:15 left.  Winter counters with another 3 as Tartan takes the timeout at that point to regroup.  Tartan would be patient with the offense after that and never be threatened the rest of the way.  Tartan wins 90-78.

Post Game
Coach Scott Swanson's career at Woodbury comes to an end with the loss.  Many outstanding seasons for him with the Royals.  He finishes his 13 year career there with a record of 216-146 with 4 trips to state (last 2 years) along with a least 2 other trips to the section final.  Matt Ambriz finishes his outstanding senior season with 22 points before fouling out.  Isaiah Coddon and Nick Yan both add 20 points.  But the Royals get 0 points from their bench. 

Tartan makes their 1st trip to state since their run of 8 straight trips ended with their last trip in 2005.  Freshman point guard Jordan Horn was even better today than he was in the semifinals.  20 of his 28 points in the 1st half to lead all scorers.  Keenan Bellaphant with a bunch of late free throws to reach 12 points.  Tommy Hanson 3 bombs for 11, Eric Winter and Jake Lyle each with 2 bombs for 8.  Brody Jackson got touches early in each half by design and scored 10 points.  Think about all the players Tartan lost that could have been on this team (Marshawn Wilson, Donnell Gresham, Simeon and Jahleel Davis) and they're still going.   Fun display after the game, Tartan players storm the court, then they mob their coaches (love that).  Then the students storm the court to celebrate with the team.