Benilde St. Margaret's at Totino-Grace Observations

Doubleheader action tonight as the Czar travels to Totino-Grace for the boys/girls doubleheader with Benilde St. Margaret's. The TG girls came in on a 19 game winning streak after losing their 1st 2 games of the season in the Hamline tournament (St. Paul Central and Rosemount). Biggest lead of the 1st half is 3 as its a defensive struggle tied at 20. Lizzi Naumann with only 2 1st half points for TG. In the second half they gradually extend the lead in the 1st part of the 2nd half and BSM can't close the gap as TG gets their 20th straight win 56-44. Jessica Meyer with 15 for the Eagles. Colleen Ruane with 14 (impressive 8 of 9 FTs) to lead BSM. The DLS girls in attendance (#1 3A) as they play BSM in the big doubleheader at DLS on Saturday night. The big man was in the house for this one too. No not me, Kevin McHale in attendance to see daughter Sasha play. She finished with 6 points.

To the boys game, if you have as many players on the bench in street clothes as you do coaches, that's not a good sign. BSM had 4 of each. They're a MASH unit right now. No Tall Kid Tall (Alex Miller) or Darren Glover in addition to Stu Neville and Chet Paulson being out. After a 4-3 TG lead early, BSM goes on a 15-1 run to lead 18-5 with 9:30 left in the 1st half. Jordan Taylor with 4 steals (3 of which were for a total of 7 points) during the run. John Crockett hits a 3 to start and to finish a 15-4 TG run to get them back to 22-20 with 5:30 left in the half. After trading baskets, Taylor and Battle are still the only BSM players who have scored. Taylor then proceeds to lead a 20-2 run to close the half and send BSM to the locker room up 44-24. Battle with 14, Taylor with 20 in the half. Crockett with a nice half of 11 points. 1st points from other Taylor or Battle for BSM were 2 FTs and then a bucket for Matt Thomas (points 29-32).

Crockett starts hot in the 2nd half and TG gets within 46-32 with 15:20 to go. But BSM rolls from there to get out to a 68-40 lead with 7:26 to play. Matt Thomas with 2 big 3s and another bucket during the run. Taylor's night is done and the rest is garbage time as BSM wins 81-59. Nothing like the BSM students singing "O Come O Come Emanuel" for reserve Dan Emanuel. Imagine if it were still the Christmas season. They did a scoreboard reading chant too which was terrific.

For BSM, Taylor finishes with 24 (maybe 25), Battle with 21. Thomas ends up with 17 as he has a nice 2nd half. 39 of the 1st 50 BSM points were from Battle and Taylor though, I'm still disturbed by the lack of 3rd scorer trend. Crockett with a monster night for TG. The sophomore finishes with 27 and looks like a real player down the road. The rest of their squad is basically seniors so he's got a whole new group to play with next year. Despite them being in danger of being the 8 seed in 3AAA, keep in mind they only lost to Henry by 1, Fridley by 1 and Spring Lake Park by 6 (all 3 at home). Those are 3 likely teams that they could play in the 1st round of the playoffs. So when you see 1 vs 8 in that section, don't automatically think blowout.

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