Games of the WBY Shootout

Some notes on the games and teams of the WBY shootout

Day 1:

St. Bernard's vs Madison East. SB was ahead 39-32 in the 4th, then fell asleep to allow East star Marquis Mason to get 8 in a row to get back in the game. Bernard's hangs on 54-47.

Sussex Hamilton vs Germantown. Kameron Cerroni gets 23, but him and Brett Meinecke are their only offense (40 of their 53 pts). They're small and start 4 sophs so they're building for 2 years from now. Ben Averkamp and Germantown's size were too much as Germantown wins 66-53.

Milwaukee Vincent vs Oshkosh West. Vincent led 16-4 early with pressure, but West fought their way back. Vincent leads 38-33 with 5 minutes left and goes 4 corners, which was the only offense they ran all night. After a minute of stall and a Vincent timeout, Oshkosh West goes 1-2-2 trap and Vincent takes bad shots and commits turnovers. West takes the lead in the last 90 seconds only to see a Steve Stovall bucket off a scramble tie it with 26 seconds left. John Benkoske of West gets the ball on top and gets fouled throwing up a prayer with 0.8 left, tough call. He makes both FTs and West wins 42-40.

Milwaukee Pius XI vs Mobile, AL LeFlore. LeFlore sleepwalks to a 16-14 deficit after 1 quarter. After that, their depth and pressure was too much. Korie Lucious shoots 5-22 with many of them tough shots. Nick Williams and DeMarcus Cousins only play half the game for LeFlore as they roll 79-51. The steal and behind the back dribble and dunk by Cousins is my play of the year, absolutely sick move. LeFlore coach Otis Hughley is the worst dressed coach around. Jumpsuit???!!! Please, you make Dennis Stockmo look like he's wearing Armani. He also makes Larry McKenzie look like Mother Teresa. You make a mistake, you get an ear full and then you're on the bench. But when you have the level of talent they do, you can reasonably tell a kid "I've got 15 guys who can play, if you won't get it done, I'll get somebody who will." Their 3rd stringers are more athletic than just about anybody I see play.

Whitefish Bay Dominican vs Racine Horlick. WBD tried to use run and jump all game without success. Horlick made them pay with layups and on the glass. Add in poor shooting vs Horlick's 2-3 zone and the Rebels pull off a 70-60 upset to knock Dominican from the #1 spot in D3. Jamil Wilson gets 14 and 10, but Antwon Oliver had 17 and played really well for Horlick.

Day 2:

Manitowoc Roncalli vs St. Bernard's. Roncalli runs as good a motion offense as you'll see anywhere. I haven't seen anything like it since Kraig Ulveling's Red Wing boys teams. A real treat to watch in both games. Bernard's holds Roncalli down to 34% shooting overall, but Roncalli rains down 3s late to tie it up and with 5 seconds left tied at 45 Roncalli inbounds, passes out of a trap and throws up a prayer only to have it bounce to C Adam Koss who puts it in at the horn for a 47-45 Roncalli win to move them up to #1 in D3. Great game, Jordair Jett was a force with 18 pts and getting to the rim at will for Bernard's.

Milwaukee Vincent vs Mobile, Al LeFlore. Vincent matched athletes and didn't turn the ball over vs LeFlore's pressure and made them pay. A great game plan by coach Tom Diener to sandwich DeMarcus Cousins. Vincent also got every rebound and led 45-32 after an early 4th quarter score. Nick Williams brought the Rattlers back with 10 pts in a 13-0 run and with DeMarcus Cousins hitting 9 of 10 FTs down the stretch it looked like LeFlore would win, but Marvin Fitzgerald hit a desperation 3 to send it to OT

In OT, Cousins fouls out with 2:28 to go so they're without the inside force they used at the end of regulation. LeFlore leads by 2 with 1:01 to go. They turn it over and Nick Williams gets called for an intentional foul. Vincent makes the 2 FTs and after a timeout, they get a layup with 20 seconds to go to take the lead. LeFlore gets the ball across halfcourt and with 6.7 left, LeFlore takes 3 consecutive timeouts before inbounding (that's not a typo). Nick Williams gets denied coming to the top but they get a open 10 footer because of that help and it rims out. Vincent rebounds and makes 1 of 2 FTs to win 69-66 in an OT thriller. It was very interesting to see coach Hughley's yelling and screaming and then trying to be positive and keep his team believing they were still in it, don't know if the players see thru this or not. Williams had 29 in the game and Cousins had 20.

Milwaukee Pius XI vs Whitefish Bay Dominican: A battle of the top 2 seniors in the state. Korie Lucious of Pius didn't shoot well in this game either (9-25), but he had 9 pts and an assist to start the 4th quarter to bring Pius back. He ended with 25. He had a chance to tie it late, but missed. Kwamain Mitchell very quiet in the game but Dominican holds on 51-47.

  • Wauwatosa East is loaded and they have enough to win it all despite being in brutal section 8.
  • Manitowoc Roncalli isn't the most talented team around, but they work hard and really execute and are very well coached. A pleasure to watch, especially their motion offense.
  • Germantown will be a tough out with solid guards (Rick Bowers at the PG) and a star inside in Ben Averkamp
  • Madison East gets nothing from anyone besides Marquis Mason.
  • Wisconsin Lutheran can be very dangerous in D2 with Flavien Davis and they have other talent around him.

Player Observations from the WBY Shootout

So I spent 2 days and 18 games worth at the WBY Shootout in Milwaukee. The Al McGuire Center is a nice building. My thoughts on the players

DeMarcus Cousins (LeFlore), played little in the blowout of Pius but he hit 9 of 1o FTs down the stretch against Vincent before fouling out in OT. Was unstoppable inside and has range to the 3 pt line. Against Pius he made a steal at 3 Quarter court, made a behind the back dribble and dunked. Sick move, despite the fact that he probably walked on the play. My play of the year.

Nick Williams (LeFlore), played little in the blowout of Pius but had 10 pts in a 13-0 run to lead them back against Vincent. He finished that game with 29 and was dominant in the 2nd half. Strong, can shoot it, post up and rebound it. Could be another in the long line of good Marquette guards.

Larry Bradley (Vincent). He doesn't play like a freshman. Solid guard and you'll hear more about him down the road. Vincent ran a surprising amount of stuff for him.

John Benkoske (Oshkosh West). Great big guy, he hit 2 clutch FTs with 0.8 left to beat Vincent on day 1. Goot feet, good shooter. Will be a nice player with his former HS coach at Loyola of Chicago.

David Anderson (Oshkosh West). Another solid big, but at 6-8 he plays smaller because he brings the ball down too much where even I could get at it. But he's only a sophomore and he'll be the man for them next year. It shows a lot when you have a sophomore big doing large amounts of ball handling.

Flavien Davis (Wisconsin Lutheran). Gets to the rim at will and can finish. Can defend when he wants to, but that was all of about 4 plays in 2 games.

Jamil Wilson (Racine Horlick). Great athlete, so-so shooter. Played within himself in the upset win over Whitefish Bay Dominican. Was in foul trouble, but still got 14 and 10 along with a late lob dunk.

Nathan Zastrow (Manitowoc). Exciting player, think Zach Towle of Concordia. Still got points after Tosa East put a 6-5 guy on him to face guard him.

Korie Lucious (Milwaukee Pius XI). Very quick, good handle. Forced shots and shot poorly in the event (5-22 and 9-25). He'll need to get stronger for Tom Izzo. He did come up big to get Pius back in the game vs Dominican in the 4th quarter.

Kwamain Mitchell (Whitefish Bay Dominican). Solid point guard, rebounds well. Good vision. Quick enough to get his own offense.

Jake Barnett (Wauwatosa East). Very underrated. I thought he was better than a couple of other seniors who were higher ranked in the event (Tom Neary and Dan Kratz). Can defend, hit 3 NBA 3s , good vision, will be a nice pickup for a D2 team. May be overshadowed by the fact that his team is so loaded.

Kameron Cerroni (Sussex Hamilton). Great footwork with 2 foot jump stops and stepping thru, solid shooter, good vision. Plays for a small and young team who's building for 2 years from now. Had a tournament record 36 in a double OT win over Wausau East and 23 in their loss to Germantown. Takes too many tough shots and can be turnover prone.

Ben Averkamp (Germantown). Nice big guy for the Warhawks. Can block shots and shoot it and is strong enough to play inside.

Marquis Mason (Madison East). Quiet 2 days, but he had 8 in a row vs St. Bernard's when they fell asleep to get them back in the game. A force on the low block.

Tom Neary (Waukesha Catholic Memorial). Nice shooter, had 27 vs Germantown.

TJ Bray (Waukesha Catholic Memorial). Nice young point guard. Good shooter and good vision, plays within their system.

Jordan Fischer (Wausau East). Struggled in their 1st game, but had 27 and a clutch 3 vs Sussex Hamilton. Nice pickup for UW-Parkside

Andy Smith (S. Milwaukee). Nice big guy. Plays a bit too soft for my liking since he has enough bulk to play strong. Good feet but could have been more active. Had 21 in a loss to Milwaukee Madison. Servicable big guy for Mercer.

Rick Bowers (Germantown). Good point guard, really made them go. Quick.

Final Christmas thoughts

Ah the joy of being snowed in. I was supposed to leave for the holidays this morning, but so much for that idea. Gives me more time to write and to add stuff to the blog. You'll see I added links to the site, including the other 2 places where I post. I know many of you came from MinnesotaPreps, but if you don't read that stuff regularly, I highly recommend it.

Today begins the best 2 week stretch of the basketball regular season in my mind. Starting with all of the fun Christmas tournaments this week and finishing with the Timberwolves shootout on January 5th. I'm looking forward to see the top Wisconsin players at the wonderful Al McGuire Center in Milwaukee in addition to getting a preview of Mobile LaFlore before they come here before the TWolves Shootout. Thank goodness for padded seats. I may even sneak in a game at the old UW fieldhouse in Madison, always good to get back in the real barn.

Look for the following posts in the new year.
  • Review of the WBY Shootout in Milwaukee
  • Surprises and Disappointments along with a review of some of my predictions as we approach the beginning of conference play for most schools.
  • Speaking of the start of conference play, if you go the Blog Archive (right side below the links), you'll see the 12 conference preview postings I did in the week or so leading up to the start of practice in November.
  • Preview of the Timberwolves Shootout
YTD Stats (full version)
34 games (25 boys, 9 girls), make it 50 if you want to count 16 JV games.
64 teams (47 boys, 17 girls, 16 Wisconsin teams split 8 boys and 8 girls)
23 buildings
25 National Anthems
12 Hot Dogs
2 genders
Seeing a 45 ft half-court buzzer beater: priceless

Teams I've seen in the current AP poll
4A: 7 (Missing Eastview, Tartan and Kennedy)
3A: 7 (Missing STA, DLS and Mankato W)
2A: 3 (HF, SB and Concordia)
1A: 1 (MCA)

To all, thank you for reading. This blog has become far more than I ever expected. Your feedback (positive and negative) has been a great asset for me to make this blog more enjoyable for everyone. Have a safe and happy holiday.

Early border battle watching

A few teams from the area made the trip to Milwaukee this weekend for games against Wisconsin teams, here's how they fared. (Note: Wisconsin rankings have been converted to reference the class the same way we would in Minnesota, Division 1 in Wisconsin = 4A here in MN, 2 = 3A, 3=2A, 4 = 1A)
  • Central rolls again as they got out to a 35-12 lead at the half. Nice work to rebound from a 20 pt loss to a solid Milwaukee Lutheran team on Friday night.
  • Johnson takes the #4 4A team in Wisconsin to the limit
  • South with a nice win over the #10 3A team in Wisconsin. They couldn't do much of anything against Osseo's 1-3-1 on Thursday night and then they play Adams-Friendship who is famous statewide in Wisconsin for their 1-3-1 and beats them. Go figure.
  • Washburn gets a nice win over Plymouth, WI
  • Breck comes from behind to get an OT victory over Milwaukee Custer.

Christmas Tournament Previews Part II (3 day events)

Now we get to the big time events, these are the 3 day events and they are all Th-Sat. With the exception of the Breck event, these are all 8 team events. Breck is a round robin event with 4 teams.

Bethel: Sibley will roll to the championship game on their side, Eden Prairie has a tough opener against Minneapolis North and then will have to go thru Mounds View to get to the championship game. Sibley vs Mounds View or Eden Prairie will be a wonderful championship game.

Catholic Spirit (St. Thomas): Armstrong vs CDH is a 4:45 quarterfinal matchup that will be great. Johnson wins their opener against Woodbury but gets beat by New Orleans St. Augustine. St. Augustine vs the winner of the CDH/Armstrong game will be a very good final.

Joe Hutton (Hamline): STA vs Washburn in a quality opener. Montevideo gets a bad break having to play Hopkins in the night cap. A STA/Hopkins rematch in the championship is good, but I don't expect the near upset that we had last year.

Tartan: Prior Lake vs Spring Lake Park is a good opening day game with the winner playing Elk River. Tartan rolls on their side of the bracket and wins the championship.

Hastings: Minnetonka rolls to the final on their side of the bracket. Henry vs Rosemount in the semis could be interesting. Tonka vs Henry in the final should be fun.

Breck: Breck goes 3-0, PACT surprises one of the 2 city schools and all 4 teams win a game.

Christmas Tournament Previews Part I (2 day events)

Part I of my preview of metro area (or metro area teams in other tournaments) Christmas Tournament previews. Part I is the 2 day events.

I will be at the 2 day WBY Shootout in Milwaukee seeing 18 games. St. Bernard's plays a solid Madison East team with star sophomore Marquis Mason and then possibly highly ranked 2A Manitowoc Roncalli. Whitefish Bay Dominican (who plays at DLS on Feb 2nd) has 2 high profile games in the event as well. They're #1 in 2A in Wisconsin and have the #2 senior in Wisconsin Kwamain Mitchell.

Mounds Park Academy (Wed/Th): Mahtomedi wins this event easily.

Chisago Lakes (Th/Fri): Good event. I'll take Holy Family to win it. The late game on opening day vs the hosts is interesting and an Esko/HF matchup in the championship could be entertaining as well.

Edina (Th/Fri at the Edina Community Center): The opener of this event will determine the champion as Kennedy plays Cooper. This is the best game of all the 2 day events.

Totino-Grace (Th/Fri): New event and good teams. Minnehaha vs TG is a very good opener of the event with the winner likely playing Braham for the title. Interesting that the host has the play the 1st game. Usually the host is always in the final game of the night.

Cloquet: Look for St. Michael-Albertville to roll, especially if Chad Calcaterra doesn't play for Cloquet.

HLWW (Th/Fri) Look for Columbia Heights to win the Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted event over the hosts and a couple of MCAA teams.

Jordan (Th/Fri): Look for Brooklyn Center over West Lutheran in the final

Lakeville N (Th/Fri): Shakopee over Lakeville N in the final with the battle of Lakeville as the nightcap of day 1.

Cannon Falls/Randolph (Fri in Randolph/Sat in Cannon Falls): Look for St. Agnes to steamroll thru this event.

St. Croix Lutheran (Fri/Sat): Look for an interesting New Life Academy vs St. Croix Lutheran final.

Warrior Club (Winona St Fri/Sat): Bracket D has Park Center and my arch-nemesis La Crosse Logan (swampies!) in my projected final. Much to my dismay I have to pick the Rangers (who had an impressive win over ranked 2A rival La Crosse Aquinas last night).

Rivalry day scoreboard watching

The Friday before Christmas is a great day to catch some non-conference rivalry games. Results of those rivalries from last night.

  • Kennedy with a nice win at Jefferson. Kennedy has a difficult stretch coming up with 5 of their next 7 against Cooper, Hopkins, Rosemount, Eastview and Eden Prairie, but 3 of those are at home and the Cooper game is the opener of the Edina tournament next week.
  • Holy Angels over Richfield
  • CDH over STA at STA.
  • White Bear Lake over Mahtomedi
Other scores that caught my eye.
  • Eden Prairie beats Eastview by 1. Big win for the Eagles as they needed to win that game at home to keep pace in the Lake.
  • Shakopee by 15 at Mounds View. Wow, another impressive win for the Sabers.
  • Hopkins blows out Sibley. But remember this was at Hopkins and the Minnetonka/Sibley game was at Sibley, so don't go too far in comparing the scores.
  • Armstrong beats Stillwater by 5, but they were up 18 at the half, wow. Damario Cruz with 21 for the Falcons.
  • Cooper beats Spring Lake Park. Rodney Williams Jr with 23 and Joe Bright with 18 in his return to the Hawks lineup. Surprised they held Cory Polta to only 8 pts.
  • Tartan beats Rochester Mayo by 15. Another nice win for the Titans.
  • Rosemount with a big win over Lakeville N. I thought this game might be pretty close the way Lakeville N was playing.
  • Red Wing goes to 7-0. They regressed to 5-20 2 years ago after Kraig Ulveling took over the girls program, improved to 14-12 last year and are rolling this year.

Thoughts on STMA/Spring Lake Park

Nice new building at Spring Lake Park, I highly recommend it. The game was a 5 pt game with 5 minutes to go then St. Michael-Albertville goes on a 14-0 run with classic clock management (spread the floor, get layups and FTs) in the next 4 minutes and wins going away 68-51. Remember the name Joe Carpenter for STMA, a talented freshman player who could be very good for them down the road. Theo Rothstein is the real deal for them and as a team they are very sound and will run you out of the building if you fall asleep. A matchup with a Henry, Johnson or STA would be interesting and entertaining. BSM has more firepower.

As to SLP, Cory Polta is a beast. But if he continues to drop his left shoulder to run over people, he'll starting ending up on the bench in foul trouble. Elijah Sabah will be a nice replacement for him next year. Taylor Hall at the PF spot is athletic and can hit the 3 which is important for spacing the floor for Polta. They're game isn't the same when he's on the bench as they can't do their high-low stuff. Shaun Jensen is a nice PG for them, but I wish he'd be more involved in the offense. Something like a high screen/roll to the left with Polta rolling and Hall filling in at the top would be very effective for them.

Holy Family/Minnehaha thoughts

The 1st half was close, but Holy Family controls the 2nd half to win 72-59 and it wasn't that close. Trent Johnson with a nice 2nd half to finish with 23 pts. Taylor Sparkman was in foul trouble all night (very tightly called game) and that was a factor as HF was down 5 when he picked up #3 with 7:44 left in the 1st half but led by 3 at halftime. Minnehaha got a great boost from Greg Meyer with 18 pts in the 1st 20 minutes but he got nothing after that (it was 46-42 HF when he last scored).

Minnehaha played 2 waves of guys and Lance Johnson put his 5 bench guys out there for the 1st 4:02 of the 2nd half (-6). Overall the bench outplayed the starters, Meyer and David Burnham along with Taylor Hanson are a nice group. The backups played 1-3-1 and man, but the starters only played man. With this group in the 1st half, Meyer got a lot out of a dribble handoff and then taking his man on the dribble. This largely carried their offense when Sparkman was down with fouls in the 1st half. Minnehaha never came back to this after Meyer's last points except for a couple times when the score was already out of hand. Instead they ran their Shuffle offense which negated the athletic advantage they had. Overall, a very entertaining team that is very dangerous due to their depth and their athletes. If they hit 3s, they're tough to defend.

Trent Johnson did pick up his 2nd foul at 8:14 of the 1st half do that may have eliminated some of his eagerness on the defensive end during that same time period but he didn't get #3. Give HF credit for hitting 3s to get Minnehaha out of the 1-3-1 zone and playing a very sound game. So while the final score was 13 pts, HF was up by 19 more than once in the 2nd half and if you include the 8 pt advantage after Sparkman's 3rd foul, HF outscored Minnehaha by 27 pts over a 22 minute span before garbage time.

Osseo at South thoughts

Osseo blows out South on Thursday night of week 4. Mostly due to a 2-3 and some 1-3-1 zone. South really struggled against those as it doesn't allow them to use their athleticism as much.

Osseo has a nice squad with a star in Tankson, a couple of nice big guys in Dower and Peterson and a sniper in Dan Brown. They're more dangerous with Dower on the floor instead of Peterson due to Dower's speed, rebounding and shot blocking ability. While he had a quick trigger in this game, he's plenty good offensively (and lefty to boot). Peterson could then be used against a team's 2nd unit for lesser minutes where his stamina wouldn't be an issue.

Tankson takes more bad shots for a disciplined team than anyone I see. When they go in its great, but if he misses that hurts them. He picked up a really silly 2nd foul (reach around) with about 5 min left in the 1st half and had to sit, but Osseo went zone and made a nice run without him to end the half. Osseo is a much different team with him on the floor though as he's the 1 guy for them who can consistently generate his own offense and that opens it up for guys like Brown and forces big guys to help giving Dower and Peterson more chances.

Last follow-up to the story of the ref collapse

As written in the pioneer press, the suspended game between Fridley and Simley won't be finished. The game will not count on either team's record.

Response to MN Scores on my Chad Calcaterra posting (THE FRESHMAN)

(Czar's Note 1/18/08, Click here to read my evaluation of Chad's 3rd game back from injury vs Mounds View on Jan 14th. I take a look at his performance and skills in detail in that entry. A timeline of reports on his injury can be found here)

Due to technical difficulties I do not have an account on MN Scores and that prevents me from responding to the specific THE FRESHMAN post on MN Scores that I'm questioning. I will do that in due time.

AAUObserver: I greatly appreciate you quoting me on other sites, however I don't appreciate being misquoted which is exactly what you did and it appears at a glance to be quite deliberate. You removed my direct reference to you as my source of information and as my demonstration that not only did I not have solid information, I was looking for anyone who had information. Your misquoting gave the appearance that I was reporting it as official news which I wasn't. I wrote my post in response to the Cloquet - Calceterra? thread on MN-Scores to see if anyone knew anything, I had nothing to report and I thought I made that clear in my post. My post was written in response to this on MN-Scores

"Courtesy of AAUObserver:

Minnesota Gopher prospective recruit, 6'10" Chad Calcaterra from Cloquet, sustained a fracture to a bone in his foot which will keep him out of action for six weeks. Bad break for Chad as he was really coming on last fall. On a positive note, this could help out Cloquet which will have that time to work on creating offense elsewhere, as well as force them to toughen up on defense without the skyscraper waiting to block shots at the basket. Cloquet fell to Grand Rapids, 57-42 in their opener last night..."

Here's what AAUObserver quoted me as saying, notice the "coincidental" omission of the 2nd sentence of my original post.

"Taken from Twin Cities Boys Hoops website:

Chad Calcaterra Injury

"6'10 Cloquet C Chad Calcaterra has not played this season due to an injury. I'm reading that it's 6 weeks due to a broken foot. Sounds like he may not be available for the January 14th game at Mounds View which is a shame.

He's a top 100 player that's been offered a scholarship by the U so I was really looking forward to seeing him play. Then again, at 5'2 to 5'4 depending on my mood (or in the words of comedian Ron White, I'm 5'1 to 5'5 depending on which convenience store I'm leaving), post play wasn't my game so I tend to not fully appreciate the development of big guys."

The full text that I actually wrote can be found here so that everyone can judge for themselves. When I was forced to make my updates this afternoon, I pondered deleting the post due to the new found inaccuracy but since it was referenced elsewhere I had to keep it up but I went out of my way to leave the original untouched.

I respect your hoops knowledge AAUObserver, but I think you owe me and the readers a public apology. You're better than this.

To my loyal readers, I apologize for this mess. If I could share the full information with you, I would and I hope to at an appropriate time. But one must be careful with private information so I'm going to error on the side of caution with this one. At the same time, the information that I had previously posted is wrong and it's my duty to correct it which is why I added the note to the original post. My site is not a news site, it's an opinion site, so I don't post rumors without explicitly saying that. I made it clear in my original post that I was looking for information, not giving it. Now I have that information and I wouldn't say that if I didn't feel the information was absolutely reliable.

Czar of the Whiteboard, author Twin Cities Boys Hoops blog

Wild end to Stillwater/Johnson

So Stillwater is down 6 with about 20 seconds or so to go. Johnson makes a defensive mistake and gives up a 3 to Aaron Anderson to make it 62-59 Johnson. After a timeout, Johnson gets called for an illegal screen. Johnson had run the exact same inbound play about 20 seconds earlier and the same kid set the same illegal screen. Huge props to the Stillwater staff for getting the refs on this one as it was absolutely the correct call. But its an offensive foul so Stillwater gets the ball out, no bonus FTs. After 10 seconds of not being able to get a shot, Anderson runs into a kid and draws the blocking foul (either way kind of call on a dribble handoff.). He calmly drains the 2 FTs with under 10 seconds to go. 62-61 Johnson. Stillwater comes with a full-court diamond press and Johnson throws the ball away in front of their bench with 5.2 seconds to go. Stillwater's ball at 3 quarter court. Out of Stillwater's final timeout, Johnson goes to an extended 1-2-2. Stillwater gets nothing on the inbound, Paul Franklin gets the ball in the backcourt, dribbles under pressure across the timeline on the right wing and has to heave it from there as time is running out. Down the hatch it goes at the horn, we've got pandemonium and Stillwater steals one 64-62.

Week 4 Tuesday night scoreboard club

Scores that caught my eye from 12/18/07

  • Rosemount wins big.
  • Kennedy wins at Burnsville. 2 tough home losses for the Blaze in conference play as they prepare for a 3 out of 4 non-conference stretch.
N Suburban
  • Cooper wins big again without Joe Bright.
  • BSM and Spring Lake Park roll. BSM only had 24 combined pts from Battle/Taylor. 22 for Stu Neville though.
  • TG with a nice road win over Chisago Lakes.
  • Central continues to roll with a win over Roseville.
  • St. Agnes blows out New Life by 26, possible subsection preview and a surprising result as I wouldn't have called a blowout in that game.
  • STA blows out Duluth East by 53. Another rough time against the metro for Duluth East.
  • Shakopee blows out Washburn, very impressive and so much for any thoughts of the Sabers rebuilding.
  • Bethany held MN Transitions to 70 pts, that was a game I thought could get ugly.
  • Mound-Westonka beats Trinity by 30+. Wow, did that score get transposed?

Observations from Tonka/Sibley

My thoughts from Tonka at Sibley, what a game. Give Sibley credit for hanging tough.

Sibley Notes
Sibley JV coach got tossed right before the half of the JV game. Hair-trigger temper from the official, but the coach grandstanding to the crowd after he got tossed was pathetic. Just as players are held accountable for their Ts, so too should the coaches. Dasovich should discipline him for his actions with a 1 game suspension and he shouldn't have been on the bench for the varsity game.

Mike Brusewitz is the real deal. I wish all players had his intensity.

Peter Leslie had a nice game at the point, but he flops way too much on defense.

Jake Krueser. DNP-Varsity. Very surprised at this just because of the Varsity minutes he got last year. Played most of the JV game. You can see the talent is there, but defensively he still looks lost at times. I wonder about his morale after all the varsity minutes he saw last year and now he's been relegated to JV. Him and RJ Lennon played most of the 1st half of JV and Tonka's JVs blew them out.

With 3 starters and Krueser back next year, Sibley will be dangerous again. No fluke this year either with a heartbreaker at Osseo and taking Tonka to the limit. 4AAAA looks more brutal everyday with Sibley, Stillwater, CDH, Tartan and Central all together.

Minnetonka Notes
Tonka's talent level (JV and Varsity) is just criminal. JVs are loaded, Varsity bench could win many leagues. Just loaded.

Anthony Tucker, silent assassin. Up 3 in the last 2 minutes he hits a big 3 (that wasn't the greatest shot in the world, but when you're that good a shooter, you can say its never a bad shot) and gets a clutch assist which were the final daggers. With his quick release and their transition game, he'll get a ton points that way alone.

Sedrick McBounds didn't start and didn't play as much as I thought. Looks like he's still trying to find his place in the new system. But I can understand why coach Hedstrom would want to keep that starting group intact.

No Kyle Risinger, but lots of Cole Stefan. So much for my prediction there.

UT Udo looks like he's improved and he gave them nice minutes off the bench.

Best moment of the night. With 7 seconds left, Tonka student section chants "This game's over" and proceeds to walk out as a group right past the Sibley students. Absolutely classic.

Finally, do we really need hand-dryers in restrooms to be as strong as leaf-blowers? I thought I was going to get blown away.

Observations from Roosevelt/Oh Day Aki

On Monday I attended the Roosevelt/Oh Day Aki doubleheader (which was really a boys game plus a Roosevelt JV vs Oh Day Aki Varsity girls exhibition).

Overall, the game was very ugly. In fact, Roosevelt's starters were so bad that coach Stockmo yanked all 5 starters 2 minutes into the 2nd half after a 11-4 ODA run to tie the game at 45. The reserves then proceeded to go on a 14-0 run over the next 4 minutes. Bring back the starters and tack on a couple more buckets for the 18-0 run that put the game away and win 85-71. Xavier Jones and Derek Scully are nice guards for Roosevelt, but their level of athletes may be the worst in the Minneapolis City league. Its a credit to Dennis Stockmo that he gets as much out of his roster year in and year out as he does.

As to Oh Day Aki, they have some athletes and they have a shooter (who also shoots too much). They didn't handle Roosevelt's pressure well and didn't display much discipline on offense. Defensively they were absolutely horrible in both their zone and man defenses. The zone might just as well been made of swiss cheese. In man, Roosevelt cutters and dribblers routinely got easy layups. That explains why in their last 4 losses they've given up 87.5 pts a game.

My evaluation: On talent alone they'll beat up on weak A teams, but don't look for the major upsets of a year ago. The top teams on each side of Section 4A should blow them out. Prediction: They'll be the #5 or #6 seed in the East Subsection (behind St. Agnes, CHOF, NLA and MN Transitions in no particular order) and get bounced in the 1st round (assuming that's not a play-in game). Give them props for playing a very tough schedule and dealing with not having a real home court.

Get well Dickie V

In a letter to fans Dick Vitale announced today that he has lesions on a vocal cord and hopes to be back at the microphone in early February. Love him or hate him, his passion for the game is unsurpassed and infectious. Truly the ambassador of college basketball. Not to mention the wonderful work he does as a motivational speaker (must see) and as one of the board members of the Jimmy V foundation which now sends 100% of donations to cancer research.

Best wishes Dick and we look forward to your return to the microphone. You're Super, Scintillating, Sensational Baby!.

Follow-Up to referee collapsing

Found this follow-up article on the collapse of a referee at Fridley last Thursday.

Chad Calcaterra injury

Czar's Note 1/10/08: Calcaterra has been cleared for action and is expected to start playing immediately. Looking forward to seeing him Monday night at Mounds View (read how he did here), but with his stamina not at 100% I would expect him to get short spurts.

(Czar's Note 12/31/07: On 12/26 the Duluth News Tribune Reported that Calcaterra has suffered a stress fracture in his left foot and is not due back until late January.)

(Czar's Note 12/20/07: The information below on the injury is not accurate. After posting this, I received what I believe to be reliable information on the real injury. However, out of respect for my sources and because it's medical information about a minor, I am unwilling to post that. The original post is still below unedited).

6'10 Cloquet C Chad Calcaterra has not played this season due to an injury. I'm reading that it's 6 weeks due to a broken foot. AAUObserver, I took this from you so if there's any other information out there that people have, I'd be interested to hear it. Sounds like he may not be available for the January 14th game at Mounds View which is a shame.

He's a top 100 player that's been offered a scholarship by the U so I was really looking forward to seeing him play. Then again, at 5'2 to 5'4 depending on my mood (or in the words of comedian Ron White, I'm 5'1 to 5'5 depending on which convenience store I'm leaving), post play wasn't my game so I tend to not fully appreciate the development of big guys.

Week 3 observations and week 4 schedule

Other random observations from week 3.

Hutchinson vs BOLD. Hutchinson has a talented kid, but he threw up 2 bad NBA 3s and made 2 horrible and uncalled for fancy behind the back passes that ended up in TOs. With a UW-Superior scout in attendance too. Hutch is OK and they played an effective 1-2-2. BOLD is nothing to write home about.

Nice game for Armond Battle of BSM with 34 vs Hopkins.


Winona Cotter has another nice team and they beat up on a bad Highland Park squad (final score was 14 pts but it wasn't that close). Patrick Bowlin got his 1000th career point in the game for Cotter which was a nice moment.

CHOF beats up on Bethany. CHOF's 1-2-2 full court press was nasty and gave them a 32-2 run. Jeff Ray of Bethany does a nice job of trying to keep his kids spirits high as it will be another long year for this traditionally strong program. Hopefully their PG's ankle injury won't be too serious.

Week 4 Schedule:

Monday: Oh Day Aki at Roosevelt (boys/girls doubleheader at 6 PM). St. Croix Lutheran at Concordia could be very entertaining if the game is anything like their 2 high scoring matchups last year.

Tuesday: Shakopee at Washburn, other games of interest are Minnetonka at Sibley, Henry at Hopkins, Orono at AHA and TG at Chisago Lakes .

Wednesday: Stillwater at Johnson. Always good to see Joel Armstrong of the Ponies play.

Thursday: Osseo at South. Looking forward to seeing the Orioles for the 1st time this season.

Friday: Holy Family at Minnehaha and possibly the afternoon game at the Target Center (St. Clair vs Truman). Other games of note include Sibley at Hopkins, Shakopee at Mounds View. CDH at STA, Rochester Mayo at Tartan

Saturday: A light schedule because of the holidays but 2 good ones. St. Michael-Albertville at Spring Lake Park (2:00) . The other game is St. Bernard's at Como Park (12:30)

YTD Stats
27 games (19 boys, 8 girls)
51 teams (36 boys, 15 girls, 16 Wisconsin teams split 8 boys and 8 girls)
18 buildings
2 genders

Clarification on why I made my section 4A post.

It seems like there's been some confusion amongst readers as to why I made my "Why Section 4A Stinks" post. Here's why.

It started with me saying on MN Preps that I thought Section 4A was the worst section in the state. I based that opinion on what I thought was weakness at the top of the section and a bunch of bad teams (mainly charter schools) at the bottom.

The MN Preps readers proceeded to roast me for it. 1 called me on the fact that I said I had no out-state knowledge (which is true). After reading that, I realized that the critic had a valid point. While I am critical of different things, I do try to be fair about it. I had no solid information on the other sections and may have been off base in my comments. At that point I also realized that the point was well and truly dead on MN Preps, it had gone on too long. Yet, I felt compelled to do the research and document the results just to see if I was crazy. So I went out and got the data, felt like I had an objective analysis and posted the results which I felt showed those critics that I had basis for my beliefs.

Those beliefs are based on available data not just the subjective viewing of teams and is a far bigger sample than any of us would see in person. It certainly wasn't based on the reading of 1 book's opinion without understanding what it really meant and nothing else which is what some critics did. The overall point was that there was ample basis for my opinion that the section wasn't that good.

The post was in no way shape or form meant to go after the Breakdown publication (despite the criticism of it that was there). I wasn't trying to show that Breakdown shouldn't have had 4A #1. I don't know who compiled that ranking or the criteria that were used to generate it, nor is that relevant in this instance. Based on the criteria used, that ranking of #1 may very well be correct. That's why I've made a point of saying that I evaluated the section as a whole, every single team in the section contributes to the power of the section.

Despite my disagreement with some content elements in the Breakdown (which I have kept to myself except for 2 pieces because its not a personal thing), that doesn't take away from the fact that Ryan James et al did a wonderful job and work very hard at the publication and deserve great credit for it. Not to mention that Ryan has publicly praised my scouting work, so if anything I have a positive bias toward him as a person. At the same time, I feel like my expressed criticisms have been fair objectively verifyable reasons.

The 4A post is also why I continue to reference Oh Day Aki results and give analysis because that's a team all those critics pointed to. Also, the quality of the section issue is obviously a season long issue. Therefore it is an ongoing relevant point so I'm not piling on Oh Day Aki when I reference their scores, I'm piling on the critics by continuing to show them results that prove them wrong.

Also note that I haven't said they're bad, I just said they're not the 25-5 upset MCA, section force team of last year. However, the judge and jury will be in attendance on Monday night for their boys/girls doubleheader at Roosevelt. Just as I made a point of giving PACT an evaluation on this site due to previous criticism of charter schools that people thought was too general, I will do the same for ODA and when I see MN Transitions.

Props to PACT, they proved me wrong. I will eat crow on that.

South at Richfield, another classic

As a slight refresher, note that South came from 12 down in the last 4 minutes (and more than 15 earlier in the half) last year to beat Richfield 84-82. The last minute of that game also included a couple of bizarre technicals (Richfield out of timeouts and a questionable one on South coach Joe Hiser). So that's the setting for this year's rematch, which for a unknown reason was at Richfield again.

Tied at 75 with 2:09 to go. South leads 78-75 with 1:29 to go and gets called for a block. Hiser is not happy and is yapping at the official. Not showing the official up, not yelling at him, no histrionics and without warning he gets a T. I was opposite the South bench and this T looked really really questionable. A ref can't have a short fuse in that situation in my mind. But I didn't hear anything he said, so he may have earned it but Hiser didn't think so. Richfield now has 4 FTs (shooting foul + the T) and the ball. They hit 3 FTs but didn't score on the possession, we're tied at 78 with about a minute left.

Richfield takes the lead on a South turnover, but South comes right back gets a bucket and a foul. Missed the FT though so we're tied at 80 with about 35 seconds left. Richfield misses with about 15-20 seconds left and South has a chance for the win. With 5 seconds left, DeAaron Hearn gets a steal and gets out on the break. He makes a nice pass in a 2 on 1 for what appears to be the game winning layup but a South player comes from nowhere and swats it away to save the game. We go to OT tied at 80.

At the end of the OT its 89-86 South, Chris Daly, Richfield's top shooter, gets an open look at a 3 and misses. A scramble ensues and Daly gets off a prayer at the horn that hits iron and stays out. South hangs on 89-86.

Very fun up and down race horse basketball 8 or 9 guards on the floor at a time. Lots of post ups by South guards which was fun too.

Get Well Stripes

Those who know me know that I've had my share of "disagreements" with officiating over the years and still do as you've seen from Thursday's PACT at Blake JV game. In the spirit of this post, I'm being nice. Besides, I'm mostly beyond the officiating now as focusing on it takes away from my enjoyment of the game itself. I reserve my biggest wrath for players, but you all already knew that from reading the other posts on this blog. :)

All of that said, some of you may have seen the Pioneer Press article where a referee had a seizure on the court at Fridley on Thursday night. I had a source at that game and it was a very scary situation. Thankfully it sounds like the ref will be OK. So while some have referred to me as a certain part of the male anatomy (which I can be at times), even I wouldn't wish anything like this on anyone, especially during the holiday season.

Get Well Stripes.

Week 3 Friday scoreboard watching

Scores from Friday 12/14/07 that caught my attention.
  • Apple Valley pulls another upset beating Burnsville.
  • Lakeville N beats Jefferson, maybe Lakeville N will make some noise in the Lake.
  • St. Louis Park blows out Totino-Grace, ouch.
  • Edina beats Prior Lake
  • Minnehaha with a nice win over Roosevelt.
  • Edison beats Breck at Breck.
  • Henry beats Arlington, no surprise there, but they gave up 86 pts. Arlington is my sleeper pick in the St. Paul City so this may be a good sign.
  • SW blasts Oh Day Aki. I think we can officially put all of the Oh Day Aki as a contender in in section 4A talk to rest.
  • Harding upsets Mounds View, big shocker there.
  • Tartan beats Duluth East by 28, wow.
  • Central avenges another non-conference loss from last season by beating Holy Angels.

Hopkins vs BSM

Hopkins at Benilde-St. Margaret's. Best game I've seen so far this year. Great environment thanks to 2 good student sections, a solid band and a high intensity game. Benilde hung tough, but Hopkins depth did win out. Jordan Taylor had a tough night with Marcus Williams and Moses Sundufu being quick enough to keep him from going into the lane at will. Hopkins did a great job helping too. Benilde won't be happy with their FT shooting. They had some chances late to hit FTs and didn't make em, especially the back end of the double bonus which kept them from getting into any full-court defensive pressure. Stu Neville is a nice 3rd option for them and gives them some size. They've also got a couple of shooters around Taylor to keep defenses honest so BSM will still be a tough team to beat this year.

Mike Broghammer was just a beast in 2nd half to keep Hopkins ahead. And props to Ken Novak for finally going with the lineup that I've been talking about for a while now. 4 guards and Broghammer. Di Loreto didn't play much in the 2nd half and he wasn't needed. Marvin Singleton and Sundufu had solid nights off the bench for Hopkins. Trent Lockett is a stud and Marcus Williams does a nice job running the team. Hopkins wins 77-66 and is every bit worth their #2 ranking in 4A.

Week 3 Thursday Thoughts

Some thoughts on Thursday scores.
  • PACT blows out Blake, now Blake is awful (but the Williams soph that they have is a nice player), but PACT is 3-0 with a nice roster. Far better than I expected. Could they be this year's Oh Day Aki? Probably not, but they are a very solid class A team. Now that I've appeased all the people who think I'm a charter school hater, lets move on.
  • The JV game in the PACT/Blake affair may have been the worst officiated game I've ever seen.
  • St. Francis beats Chisago Lakes. Hard to figure that one as St. Francis was dreadful last year. But they took Anoka to OT Monday night, so they might be much improved.
  • CHOF beats SW Christian by 17 at the SAL. Might have to review the evaluation of SW Christian. Road losses at PACT and CHOF don't make them a top section team, but only losing by 8 on the road to a very good Bethlehem Academy team means something must be there. CHOF is a decent A team, but why people don't pressure the daylights out of their point guard, I don't understand. I may find out Saturday when they host Bethany. Nick Butler is a having a big season for CHOF and Nate Fiscus is a good post player for them.
  • Osseo beats up Buffalo, no surprise there.
  • South gives Mounds View a game, a little surprised at that, but based on my reading it appears Mounds View knew how to win and South didn't at the end. That's no surprise. Basketball IQ is in the city is surprisingly bad.
  • Along the same line, city coaches, teach your kids the new rules emphasis already will ya. I'm sick and tired of kids whining about touch calls when that's exactly what the refs have been instructed to call. The kids have to know this and that's ultimately the coach's responsibility.
  • Elk River played Princeton tough, interesting. Berggren had a monster night with 28, 17 and 8 blocks. If DeMarcus Cousins of LeFlore is eligible by the time the TWolves shootout comes around, that will be an interesting matchup (Cousins is the #5 Junior in the nation). But Berggren's track-record in AAU ball against quality bigs like this isn't promising.
  • St. Croix Lutheran hammers Trinity. Did Chris Breuer turn into his dad? 18 pts for him last night. I'm surprised that it was blowout.
  • How does Hutchinson keep it close with Waconia? I'll find out this afternoon when Hutch plays BOLD at the Target Center.

Week 3 Mid-Week Observations

Mid-week random musings.
  • Tough loss for Sibley on a buzzer beater at Osseo. Carrington Tankson is the kind of guy who will shoot you out of a game or cut your heart out.
  • St. Bernard's with a nice win at Breck.
  • Last Friday SW Christian goes to PACT and gets beat in OT and then they go to Bethlehem Academy and only get beat by 8. Hard to figure that one.
  • Apple Valley beats Rosemount. Do I really need more Andrew Brommer material? I wrote this about him in Sept.
  • I did watch the 1st half of Cooper/Armstrong on tape. Armstrong is much better than expected. The Cruz kid is a nice player for them and JD Robinson is playing the Carter Biewen role this year. Greg Miller runs as many set plays that work as anybody.
  • Speaking of Armstrong, coming from 15 down at the half to beat St. Thomas is a big win.
  • Cooper at Hopkins was beyond ugly. Cooper sans Rodney Williams so they had a tough time generating offense.
  • Holy Family with a nice win over Waconia. I'm looking forward to the HF game at Minnehaha next Friday.
  • Heritage beat SPA Monday night. Stu Herman can really light it up and I couldn't help but think of Chris Mullin when watching John Hirte.

Minnesota's best juniors suspended

The Star Tribune is reporting that Royce White (DLS) and Rodney Williams, Jr (Cooper) are both suspended. Williams did not play against Hopkins for academic reasons (so the report says) and White is suspended for yelling at a teacher (so the report says).

High school is not rocket science. Go to class, do your homework, respect the teachers. If these kids can't do these things at the high school level, future life is going to be difficult.

Week 2 observations and week 3 schedule

Friday night Eden Prairie gets blown out in the 2nd half by CDH. This was a 6 pt game at half despite Michael Floyd having 24 in the 1st half with John Nance on the bench with foul trouble. Ethan Wragge kept EP in it in the 1st half. But 2nd half, EP could get no offense and they get routed. Surprising result. I wonder where EP will get points from besides Wragge.

Saturday: Rocori will be a nice team again this year. While I hate the flex with a passion, they do a nice job with it. I wish they'd play more of their zone though. Monticello had no clue against it, but Rocori stayed away from playing it.

Como Park was tied with Forest Lake with 4 minutes left and couldn't close the deal. CP kids had no idea of the new rules emphasis and kept hand-checking and complaining. CP has a 5'5 sophomore that starts and has absolutely no business playing. I'm surprised Dan Brink would play such a kid when he's got plenty of other options (like his other sophomore).

I didn't see much of the St. Bernard's vs SW game, but I can say that SW is much improved. I thought this was going to be a blowout (and it was that when I left with 7 minutes to go), but SW only got beat by 10. Bernard's is small but has a bunch of athletes so they'll be entertaining.

Maranatha beat the daylights out of Minnetonka Christian. Everybody knows about David Hanson, but Josh Hanson (yes another Hanson) is a nice player for them and they have a really good 8th grader starting at the point (Darian Pittman). They'll return 5 of their top 8 (but not David Hanson) next year and 4 of those kids are sophomores or lower.

  • Oh Day Aki lost by 48 at Columbia Heights and got beat at Humboldt. Back to reality for another charter school. See also my post on why section 4A stinks. This won't help the cause.
  • Armstrong almost beat Cooper and hammered Buffalo (at Buffalo) by 17, maybe they're much better than I thought.
  • New Life beat down CHOF 79-58. This was a close game at CHOF last year. NLA will still be there in the MCAA.
  • After beating Burnsville, Prior Lake didn't have enough against Eastview (63-46 loss). Eastview is a team to watch in the Lake.
Week 3 Schedule:

Monday: Heritage at SPA (Highland Park at Roosevelt)
Tuesday: Cooper at Hopkins (Sibley at Osseo in another big game, Henry at TG, AHA at Minnehaha)
Thursday: CDH at Highland Park, SW Christian at CHOF might be interesting too. Buffalo is at Osseo but that game might not be all it appears after seeing the Armstrong/Buffalo result.
Friday: BOLD vs Hutchinson (Target Center 3:15), Hopkins at BSM. Other games of note include Duluth E at Tartan (Dyami Starks vs Mark Sonnen), Minnehaha at Roosevelt, AHA at Central
Saturday: If you can make the trip to Marshall for the Breakdown tip-off classic do it. Locally though we have these games.

Providence at SPA (1:30) or Chicago Forman at North (1:00)
Winona Cotter at HP (3:00)
Bethany at CHOF (5:00)
South at Richfield (7:30)

YTD Stats
  • 18 games split 10 boys and 8 girls with 8 of those in Wisconsin (4 each). This also counts the 11 minutes of SW at St. Bernard's
  • 11 buildings (2 Wisconsin)
  • 35 teams split 20 boys and 15 girls, 16 of those teams (8 each) are Wisconsin teams.
  • 2 genders

Opening night boys thoughts

Some thoughts on the opening night of the Minnesota boys season.

1) I was at the New Life Academy vs Concordia (Roseville) game. Max Banchy of NLA reminds me of Max Holmgren of days of old. Joe Mann will become a similar player to Mark Mann of days of old (he lit up the JV game). Concordia hit everything off of drive and kick in the 1st half and put up 56 pts. Final score was 105-64. Concordia now has some size which they haven't had in the past they are scary. And when you have a 6'6 center that looks amazingly like Screech from Saved by the Bell, life can't be bad.

2) Central puts a beatdown on Richfield. Surprising, but I thought Central would rebound this year. Don't be surprised to see them drastically improve their 1-13 non-conference mark from last year and make a run at the St. Paul City title. It also proves what I've said about the Breakdown's analysis of Richfield, they are NOT a good defensive team. They went from beating Central by 17 last year to losing by 32 this year. Now home court and the loss of Santino Clay make a difference but that much?

3) Lakeville N put a beating on Owatonna. Big 9 or Lake, hmm? I think I'll take the Lake.

4) Prior Lake with a nice win over Burnsville. Burnsville is a top half team in the Lake Conference but don't over look Prior Lake, they will make a run at the Missota title.

5) Officiating was tight (especially in the 2nd half), but I didn't see the real nickel-dime stuff all night that I expected. We'll continue to watch this as the season progresses.

Why Section 4A Stinks

On MN Preps I've been ripped for my opinion that Section 4A is the worst section in the state. So here I provide details on my point of view. I'm willing to concede that maybe it isn't the worst section around, but I'm convinced that the section is certainly not worth the best in 1A hype that Breakdown gave it.


Breakdown ranked New Life Academy #9 in their 1A rankings, but they weren't even in the top 5 in the section when the section was previewed. That along with statements like "Richfield will be a good defensive team" cause the Breakdown to lose considerable credibility. Also when the 4th and 5th teams in the rankings are a combined 26-26 with only 2 quality wins (1 of which was on a home floor and later avenged by 17 pts), that's a serious sign of weakness.

I decided to take the QRFs for each team last year and then average those QRFs across this year's sections (where possible). The results were as follows.

Section 1 Average 85.10526
Section 2 Average 94.55556
Section 3 Average 79.71429
Section 4 Average 93.90476
Section 5 Average 84.42105
Section 6 Average 84.05
Section 7 Average 92.77273
Section 8 Average 78.57895

You'll see that section 4 finished 7th with 5 sections being noticeably better. With Maranatha being a lesser team this year and St. Agnes being noticeably worse without Jordair Jett, considerable strength is lost at the top of the section. Not to mention that this section has more teams that finished below 100 and below 150 in the QRF last year than any other 1A section.

Lets look at the top teams in the section in detail

Maranatha: They lose Alex Thomas but return David Hanson so they are still a section contender. The opponents last year that they beat had a record 0f 305-380 with 5 quality wins (2 each over Lester Prairie and SW Christian + a win over Trinity). Still a very good team, but not the powerhouse of years past.

MN Transitions: Their style of play and schedule can make a quick look at them deceiving. The opponents they beat had a record of 202-193, but only 2 of their 19 wins were quality wins (at New Life and a big win at Park Christian, I can find no record of them playing Lester Prairie). One could even argue that the New Life win isn't a quality win as we'll see later, but I give credit for it since it was on the road.

SW Christian: The opponents they beat had a record of 202-285. A quality win at home over MN Transitions was their best win. Also 2 quality wins over New Life (1 road, 1 neutral)

Oh Day Aki: The opponents they beat had a record of 196-241. That includes quality wins over MCA in the tournament, MN Transitions and SW Christian and a win over Minneapolis South.

St. Agnes: The opponents they beat had a record of 228-283 with 5 quality (DLS, Oh Day Aki who they destroyed by 21, Concordia, Minnehaha and SW Christian). But without Jordair Jett, don't expect them to be more than .500. They'll be hard pressed to finish 3rd in the Tri-Metro East.

Now the pretenders:

New Life Academy: The opponents they beat had a record of 135-268, but their best wins were at 15-12 West Lutheran and at 14-12 Heritage who finished 6th and 7th in the MCAA.

West Lutheran: The opponents they beat had a record of 111-206 and they had only 1 quality win (Trinity on a neutral floor in the MCAA tournament).

Heritage: The opponents they beat had a record of 98-185. Of their 14 wins, their top 5 wins came over 10-11 Spectrum (3) and 2 over a bad 11-14 Providence team that was 9th in the MCAA. No quality wins.

CHOF: The opponents they beat had a record of 108-165 and they had only 1 quality win which was at home over MN Transitions. Transitions avenged that loss later in the season on their court by 17 pts to show who really was the better team.

Four Directions was 17-8 but got a 7 seed in their half because they didn't play or beat anyone.

Nobody else was above 100 in the QRF and you have a mess of teams 149 or below (out of 171)

Moral of the story is that most of these teams play weak schedules and/or don't beat good teams.

Maranatha and Transitions are very good teams at the top but not powerhouses like an Ellsworth. SW Christian may be in that mix. Oh Day Aki could easily go 25-5 again or 5-25 based on demographics at the school so we shall see. Everybody else in the section is either OK or miserable. Any section with 20+ teams and only 2-4 of those teams worth mentioning is a fraud.

That said, if section 4A is the best in the state, I'm thankful. It means I get to see a great section final at Holy Angels on March 18th. And if this is the best class A ball in Minnesota, thank god I don't have to see the rest of it because it must be really really awful.

Week 1 observations and Week 2 Schedule

11 games in the books thru the 1st full week of the season. With week 2 we get the start of the boys season (thank goodness). The new officiating emphasis has been inconsistent in the games. The last 2 nights it really hasn't been called, but it really was on night 1. I'll be interested to see how this plays out during the boys season, especially in the city leagues.

Week 2 schedule. Subject to change at any point.

Tuesday: Eau Claire North at La Crosse Central. I make a return trip to my alma mater to see top 10 national sophomore Evan Anderson beat up on my beloved Red Raiders.

Thursday: New Life Academy at Concordia (Roseville)
Friday: Cretin-Derham Hall at Eden Prairie.
1:00 Rocori vs Monticello (Target Center)
3:00 Forest Lake at Como Park (May skip this to go directly to
4:15 SW at St. Bernard's
8:00 Minnetonka Christian at Maranatha or the 7:00 TWolves vs Suns game as the nightcap