Chisago Lakes at Fridley Observations

So I took the opportunity to see Jr Josh Figini of Chisago Lakes play tonight. Coming into tonight's game at Fridley he was averaging 22 pts and 11 rbs. Fridley won the 1st matchup on Jan 24th 70-67 in Overtime. Jr Isaiah Thomas for Fridley came in averaging 14.4 pts a game to lead Fridley so a fun matchup of Juniors. Figini with 27 and 12, Thomas with 21 to lead their teams in the 1st meeting. Fun pregame music with Van Halen's Right Now and Jump along with the Boss Born in the USA and Sweet Georgia Brown (but no Harlem Globetrotters, boo hoo)

A Figini 3 for his 1st field goal makes it 10-4 Wildcats @ 11:30 of the 1st half. Figini on an isolation gets 2 more and its 17-10 Wildcats with 8:20 left in the half. Fridley comes back with the next 9 points with Thomas getting 5 of the last 7 in the run. That run gives Fridley a 19-17 inside of 5 minutes. The teams trade points until the end of the half and they go to the break tied at 24. Figini with 9 pts on 3 of 5 shooting, 1 rebound. Thomas and start football QB Blake Cook each lead Fridley with 5. 7 3s between the teams in the half.

Figini gets a bucket and is fouled to start the half, but misses the FT so CL has a 26-24 lead. Thomas hits 2 3s in the middle of a 12-1 run to give Fridley a 36-27 lead outside of 14 minutes left. Figini gets a 3 point play to pull the Wildcats within 36-33 with 11:40 to go (6-0 Wildcat run). After the officials didn't give Chisago Lakes their 1 and 1 FTs on an off ball foul, Figini gets fouled in the act of shooting. The officials correct the error on the foul and give Chisago Lakes 4 FTs (Figini's 2 but the missed 1 and 1 1st with no one on the line) and they make all of them to pull to 40-39 with 8:44 to go. Thomas is sitting during this last 3 minute stretch but he comes back in and gets a 3 pt play to make it 46-39 Fridley with 6 minutes left. After a Evan Tienken layup pulls Chisago Lakes within 46-43 with 5 minutes left, Thomas hits Xavier Hussein on a nice cut for a layup to start a 9-2 Tiger run culimated by 2 Hussein FTs which make it 55-45 with 3:07 to go and that seals it. Fridley makes their FTs and doesn't turn the ball over the rest of the way and they win 63-56.

Isaiah Thomas with a real nice game for Fridley as he leads the way with 21 points, 16 in the 2nd half. He reminds me a bit of Joe Krabbenhoft, but not as big. He had the task for much of the night of not only scoring but also checking Figini. Fridley probably looking at the #3 seed in 3AAA, but with a win at home over Spring Lake Park on Friday they'd have a case for the #2 seed if the seeding meeting hasn't happened at that point.

Josh Figini finishes with 23 points. He played more outside than I expected. He hit a couple of 3s in the game and showed the ability to handle the ball some. He spent a lot of time away from the basket which hurt his rebound total. His shot release is a little different, but it works for him. They lose a whole bunch of seniors around him so next season doesn't look much better than this one. They're also in 3A and will likely be the 6 or 7 seed. Totino-Grace/Chisago Lakes is a real coin flip for that . But I'll give a slight edge to TG because they'll probably finish 1 game ahead in the North Suburban standings. That 7 seed would likely mean a trip to Spring Lake Park where they won the last time they were there. TG would then play Fridley in a neighborhood rivalry game in the 3 v 6 and these teams split their 2 matchups. Not to mention a 4 v 5 St. Anthony at Columbia Heights matchup (a 2 pt game earlier in the year). 3 really compelling games that could go either way. Very wide open section as 2 thru 7 are very even and Henry at 1 isn't invincible as shown by a 1 pt win at TG in their opener.


  1. Fridley is the type of team that can surprise you. I think they only lost to Benilde by 4 last time I checked.

    You should do a story on Tonka-Hopkins with the juice I provided you.

    correction: vince taylor, not Vincent Jackson was there.

    Also, Cole Stefan DNP and instead we saw Kyle Risinger contribute to the mix.

  2. I'm a new die-hard tchoops subscriber and I checked in right away Tuesday morning, fully expecting a Tonka-Hopkins summary. That was the best high school sporting event I've ever attended. Brilliant fun and great basketball! Where were you Czar?

  3. Trust me I wanted to be there and its very painful as a diehard fan not being able to go. But I didn't know if tickets would be available at the door and had no way to get them in advance. I wouldn't have been able to stay for the entire game anyway which is no fun either.

    In my Sunday schedule preview (which I do every week), I warned everyone that I'd be doing the Fridley game. I've seen plenty of Hopkins and Tonka this year anyway so it was nice to see a couple of new teams and good players.


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