Ascension vs Spectrum Observations

Ah the thrill that is playoff basketball. Tonight takes me and the Twin Cities Hoops Insider to PACT for the 4A West play-in game between #8 seed Spectrum and #9 seed Ascension Academy. Nice small gym of 6 rows of bleachers on 1 side at PACT. These 2 teams played to a 94-91 Ascension win on February 9th so we expected a close high scoring game. Beau Emerson back at the point for Spectrum after missing the Providence game last Tuesday and seeing limited action vs MTS last Friday.

The 1st 3+ minutes are ugly as Ascension gets out to a 5-0 lead @ 15:14 thanks to a Dan Petit bucket. Spectrum is ice cold from the field but Tyler Bonnstetter gets them on the board at 14:55. Spectrum star Grant Spark gets 10 of their next 14 points capped off by an assist from Emerson via Ascension turnover. This give the Sting an 18-11 lead with 7:45 left in the half. He then hits another 3 and its 23-14 Sting @ 7:04. But Spectrum goes cold and LaVance Dixon leads an 18-4 run over the last 7:04. Ascension leads 32-27 at the break. Dixon with 17 in the half as he alone kept Spectrum from running away. Spark with 13 to lead the Sting. So much for the thought of a high scoring game.

Spectrum opens the 2nd half with an 8-2 run to take a 35-34 lead with 15:26 remaining. But the Sting have no answer for Dixon. He alone has an 11-2 run that gives Ascension a 45-37 lead with 11:09 to play. The teams trade pairs of buckets to make it 49-41 with 8:15 left. Spectrum gets the next 6 points capped by 2 Brad Ducommun FTs and its 49-47 Ascension with 6:03 to play. But Spectrum goes absolutely frigid from the field and they have to play man down the stretch after playing zone (1-2-2, 1-3-1 and 2-3) all game. This allows Ascension to spread the floor and use their superior athletes and Dixon continues to light it up. Spectrum gets 0 FGs between 6:45 left and 35 seconds left. Ascension takes care of the ball and makes FTs for a 69-52 win.

Spectrum is lead by Grant Spark's 17 points. Tyler Bonnstetter with 11. Spectrum finishes up 6-19 but with no seniors. They'll have 4 seniors and 1 junior starter back for next year. With Emerson at the point, Spark shooting it on the wing and the tandem of Bonnstetter and Ducommun inside, don't be surprised if they show great improvement next year.

For Ascension, they improve to 15-7. LaVance Dixon finishes with 36 in a monster night. Freshman center Dan Petit with 10 points but 0-6 from the FT line. Roland Willis with 11. Ascension moves on to play at Marantha in 4A west subsection quarterfinal action tomorrow.

The Czar goes 1-0 on his section predictions. The rumor mill has it that Carrington Tankson may play Friday for Osseo. If he's back, that changes the section 5AAAA dynamic drastically. Also big news from Ken Lien on the MN Preps forum that my beloved Badgers have decided to go another direction in the Royce White sweepstakes and stop their pursuit of him. One of the Howard Pulley coaches commented in the same thread that Royce's destination for next year will be known soon. Stay tuned.


  1. I wonder if you considered the
    option of covering the 4 section
    games in Rochester tonight?

    Rushford-Peterson does it again,
    knocking off the #1 seed, Fillmore
    Central, at the Civic Center (a
    great venue for hoops, BTW).
    Kasey Oloff and Cale Pich led
    the way for RP.

    Bethlehem Academy and Spring
    Grove also won their semifinal
    games as well.

    Given Tom Vix's history, I'd
    give them a bette-than-even
    chance of getting by Spring
    Grove to presumably play
    Bethlehem- even with their
    sub-par record this year.

    With all that town has had to
    endure, this could end up being
    a great story.

  2. Unfortunately that's not an option for me, but it would definitely be worth it. Bethlehem and Spring Grove are quality teams and with Rushford-Peterson's great tradition, I agree that it wouldn't be a surprise for them to move on and that it would be a wonderful story. Definitely worth keeping an eye on.

  3. CHOF plays Hmong Academy tonight, they beat Vessey with a buzzer beater on Monday. I didn't go, but my spells tell me the short team (big guy is 6'0") has some quickness and outside pop. Look for Okerstrom to finally get his timing down tonight and get his gorilla dunk.


Have a different take than mine? You can provide your take here.