Game 1 of my Saturday adventure took me to St. Paul Central for their city matchup vs Minneapolis North. The 1st big news of the day was that Central star Larry Brown didn't start the game, but he came in after 3 minutes and promptly put up 11 pts in 8 minutes. Thanks to hot shooting from Dylan Hale, the Minutemen lead 37-30 at half with Hale having 14 pts and Brown with 13 pts.
The start of the 2nd half has a series of runs, 12-2 North, 8-0 Central (6 Brown pts) and then North starts raining in 3s (specifically, Curtis Johnson) in a 7-0 run to give North a 49-47 lead with 9:30 to go. The teams go back and forth as Brown really starts to dominate for Central. Johnson hits another 3 to give North a 67-65 lead with 1:32 left. Brown scores again at 1:20 to tie it at 67. North hits 2 of 5 FTs in the last minute to take a 69-67 lead with 16.5 seconds left (after 2 misses).
Great call here by Coach Scott Howell of Central as he gives Brown the ball at the left elbow in an isolation (ala Dirk Nowitzki). This allows Brown to get to his right hand and he goes right to the rim and lays it in to tie it at 69 with 10 seconds left. North decides not to take a timeout and it looks like they may not get the ball in (tick... tick tick tick) . Finally they get the ball to the wing with about 5 seconds left and after 1 dribble and a pass up the wing, Curtis Johnson fires up a 3 from the right wing (right at the line) at the horn and its good to give North a thrilling 72-69 win. Larry Brown has a monster day with 33 points. Dylan Hale finishes with just 1 3 pointer in the 2nd half and 17 points. Curtis Johnson gets 22 and at least 3 huge 2nd half 3s for the Polars.