Columbia Heights at Cooper observations

The concept of the timer not starting the 20 minute warmup clock until the home team comes out is starting to get on my nerves. Tonight it was so bad that Heights was out warming up for 5 minutes, the officials came out then went back to get Cooper and in the meantime one of the refs had to come back to directly tell Cooper timer/announcer Lloyd Sullivan to start the clock. We're scheduled for a 7:15 start and its 7:05 with 1 team on the court ready to start and we don't have the 20 minutes running. And this happens in many places, not just Cooper. If the game time is behind, once the JVs get off the court, start that clock and let's go.

Early on we get a couple of timeouts (more on that later), but its 15-12 Columbia Heights with about 10 minutes left when Joe Bright and Rodney Williams Jr get out on a 2 on 1 break. Bright has the ball and this looks like a lob all the way but Bright decides to go Dr J over Michael Cooper on this one and slams it home himself for a nasty dunk that sparks a 12-2 Cooper run to make it 24-17 Cooper with 6:03 left in the half. Jacob Thomas gets a pretty reverse layup off a backdoor cut to start a Heights 8-0 run that gives them a 25-24 lead with about 3 minutes left but Williams get a 3 point play and another bucket and Cooper gets 8 of the next 10. Halftime score is 33-29 Cooper. Williams has 14 pts, 6 rbs, 2 ast and a blk by my unofficial count. But everything is on the post. No outside shots as he's playing center against the Heights 1-2-2 and man and he's shooting cold from close distance anyway.

In the 2nd half, Williams gets the 1st 6 Cooper buckets and Heights gets a Technical and they may be on the ropes as its 48-41 outside 11 minutes remaining. But a couple of Zaire Saunders 3s make it 52-49 with 9:15 remaining. Joe Bright puts back a missed FT of a 3 pt play to push the lead to 7 and start a 26-4 run. During the run, Williams finally hit an outside shot (his 1 3 of the night) and that appears to be icing on the cake. But he gets the real exclamation point right after this with a monster breakaway 360 dunk with 3:45 remaining. The rest is garbage time as Williams leaves with 2:16 remaining and a 80-56 Cooper lead. Final score is 87-65 Cooper.

Jacob Thomas did have some looks in the 1st half that didn't go down, but showed good poise. He finishes with 14. Zaire Saunders has 10 of the 1st 15 Heights points and finishes with 20. For Cooper, Joe Bright with 12 but this night was all about Rodney Williams Jr. He finishes with 37 points, close to double digit rebounds, at least 3 ast and 3 blks. He played in the post all night and even had trouble from short range which was surprising, but it didn't matter as it was over when he touched it at the basket. No chance for Heights to deal with him there. I was surprised at how visibly frustrated he got when he was open in the post and wasn't given the ball. He had a handful of dunks including the 360. It was interesting to see him during warmups shoot with a defender on him (he had a teammate play D for the last 10 minutes of warmups). His shot used to be very very flat but he's greatly improved that, but it appears his release point is lower so you may be able to get a hand in and bother him.

The 2 vs 3 seed discussion with Cooper vs Mounds View in 5AAAA is interesting. Don't be surprised if it turns out to be seeded such that Cooper plays Park Center and Mounds View plays Centennial (travel reasons). As it stands today, a Champlin Park/Irondale 4 vs 5 game looks pretty interesting in that section. For Heights, a 3AAA tournament rematch of the game with St. Anthony would be fun (St. Anthony won the 1st matchup at home by 2, see below)

(Czar's correction 2/7/08. Columbia Heights won the 1st matchup with St. Anthony at St. Anthony by 2. Thanks to Coach Braziel for pointing this out and my apologies for the error.)

1 comment:

  1. Speking of Champlin Park …
    Zerrick Fuller has a great floor game as the Rebels defeat Anoka 79-67 to reach the 500 mark (8-8-) and go 6-3 in the conference. Fuller led the way with 10 points, 5 assist and 3 rebounds. The Rebels had 3 other players score in double digits as well, Theisen 24 (4 more 3's), Nolte 13 and sophomore Kyle Zimmermann finished with 11 as well as adding 11 boards for his first double double of his career.
    The Rebels where up 35-29 at the half and pretty much kept a 4-8 point lead thru out the 2nd half do the outside shooting of Anoka's Bernie Ward (20 points) and Eric Birch (10 points). Ankoa started the game in zone defenses which caused the Rebels to show some patience on offense as well as not let them get out and run. When transition oppurtunities where available, Fuller converted as well as Duberry and Jesinoski who added 7 points apiece.

    The Rebels now get ready for their showdown on Friday with Maple Grove (6-3) who lost to Blaine last night for their 3rd straight conference lost. A Rebel win would give them sole possession of 2nd place!


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