Maranatha vs Minnesota Transitions Observations (Section 4A Final)

A matchup of class A heavyweights in the metro as MN Transitions takes on MCA for the Section 4A crown. MCA with the experience of being here, MTS with the excitement of being here after missing out the last 3 years.

Right off the bat Kyle Noreen knocks down a 3 and then gets a 4 point play (GRRR!) and its 7-0 MTS 1:07 into the game. Am I watching a CHOF replay from Saturday? MCA gets the next 6 points before a MTS FT makes it 8-6 at 12:37. Then the 3s pour in for MTS over the next 9+ minutes. Virgil Baker with 3 3s, Kevin Noreen with 3 3s and Kavarian Williams joins the act with 1 and wow, its 33-13 MTS with 3:25 left in the half. David Hanson matches 4 MTS points before Josh Hanson knocks down a triple of his own before getting a steal that leads to a Darian Pittman layup. But Montrail Marshall gets a putback at the horn and its 39-22 MTS at the break. Chicks dig the 3 ball as MTS hits 9 of them in the half. Kevin Noreen with 11 points, Baker with 9 on 3 3s and Kyle Noreen with 7 via his 2 3s. 27 of the 1st 33 MTS points from behind the line. Caution, Flammable! David Hanson with 8 and Josh Hanson with 6. MCA is cold from the field and really struggling against the MTS zone.

But there's a reason why MCA is top 5 in the polls. Josh Hanson with a 3 pt play and then a 3 ball to force an MTS full timeout at 17:25, MTS steps on the end line to turn it over at 17:23, 30 second timeout MTS. Josh Hanson has an open layup on an inbound (same thing from Saturday and I called it out of the timeout) but he finds Darian Pittman for a 3 ball at 17:15 to force another MTS timeout. Its a 9-0 MCA run in the 1st 45 seconds of the 2nd half, 39-31 MTS. The teams trade buckets before Baker hits a deep 3 to push the lead back to 9. But 4 MCA FTs sandwiched around a deep 3 from 8th grade PG Darian Pittman give MCA the next 7 points and all of a sudden its 44-42 MTS with 12:08 to play and we've got a game. Its a 20-5 MCA spurt over just under 6 minutes.

Another Kyle Noreen 3 off the infamous inbounds play (GRRR!) gives MTS a 52-47 lead at 10:25 and kills some MCA momentum. Milos Ristanovic with 2 straight hoops for MCA to pull them within 1. Baker responds again, this time with a tough 10 footer in the lane. David Hanson misses 2 FTs short but Pittman finds Ristanovic on the next possession and MCA is still within 1, 54-53 with 5:45 to play. After the teams trade misses, Kavarian Williams gets blocked and David Hanson gets 2 on the block on the other end and MCA gets their 1st (and only) lead of the night. Baker right back within 10 seconds for a bucket, Kevin Noreen hits 2 FTs and after an MCA turnover, MTS spreads the floor and Baker converts a layup with 3:17 to play to make it 60-55 MTS. Baker with 2 and fouled with 2:44 left but he misses the FT and Kyle Noreen misses the front end of a 1 and 1 which allows Tyler Campion to get a bucket from David Hanson and its 62-58 MTS with 2 minutes left. But David Hanson is wore out (he had to guard Kevin Noreen for much of the night) as he misses a 3 ball short. MTS hits their free throws before David Hanson ends his career with a 3 just inside half court with 14 seconds left. MTS wins 72-64.

For MTS, Virgil Baker comes up huge again with 27 and made all the clutch plays. Kevin Noreen with 17. They advance to play the winner of Spring Grove/Janesville-Waldorf-Pemberton next Thursday, 11 AM at Mariucci Arena. For MCA, Josh Hanson with 18 and David Hanson with 15. They finish 28-2 and while they lose David Hanson and a couple of other role playing seniors, they do return 6 players led by Josh Hanson from their rotation, 5 of whom are sophomores or younger.


  1. Their next opponent is JWP and possibly Cass Lake Bena.

    This game was hard to watch for me but not as bad as the other section finals I've seen MCA in. We played well but they played spectacular and wanted it more.

  2. This was a hard weekend for CHOF and MCA fans. I imagine MCAers, like CHOFers, feel their team played poorly. Well, MTS was better, Good luck to them!


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