Minnehaha at Concordia Observations

So I did AAA on Tuesday, I've got AAAA tomorrow and A on Saturday afternoon, which means that its only fair that I see AA tonight and it should be a good one. Minnehaha makes the trip to Concordia to one of the smaller gyms around (and the worst parking I'm told). But the fans are arriving early and we've got the Concordia band and students so the atmosphere is all there. In watching warmups, Taylor Sparkman just didn't look himself. He'd warm up a little and then we was by the bench.

Minnehaha comes out box and 1 on Towle. Minnehaha gets out to an early 4-1 lead @ 14:50 thanks to 2 Taylor Hanson (I only wish he was at MCA for the Hanson effect). Zach Towle with a bucket and a couple of FTs with an Andrew Harstad triple make it 10-4 Concordia 90 seconds later. Then catastrophe strikes. My scoresheet falls thru the bleachers (one of the few places where that can actually happen). Oh well, guess I'll reconstruct the scoring later. Greg Meyer (a name worth remembering) gets a couple baskets in a row to make it 10-8 Concordia @11:20. A Taylor Sparkman bucket at 10:27 pulls Minnehaha within 15-12. But Concordia goes on a 10-4 run with a Mitch Popko block leading to another Towle bucket during that run. 25-16 with 3:43 to go in the half. Minnehaha keeps it close thanks to 3s from Meyer and David Burnham (another name of note). We go to halftime with Concordia leading 29-25. Towle has 11 for Concordia. Meyer has 8 and Burnham has 6. The big issue is whether to go digging under the bleachers myself (something I haven't done in probably 20 years) or pay off a youngster to go track down my lost scoresheet. Let the record reflect that I did it myself. Minnehaha tried the box-1, 2-3 zone, man-man and a possession of 1-3-1 so the kitchen sink was not left on the bus. But they're getting hammered on the offensive glass.

Screech (Zach Houliston) gets 2 to start the 2nd half and Towle hits a pullup as Minnehaha is back to the box and 1. Towle then drills a deep triple and so much for the box and 1, back to man. Ryan Naylor gets 2 and its 38-27 Concordia with 14:40 left. 4 straight Minnehaha points from Hanson and a couple of Chris Anderson FTs make it 38-31 Concordia with 12:41 to go. Towle then takes over with 2 buckets and 2 assists that lead to 5 points all combined with 2 Popko tipins to make a 13-2 Concordia run over 5 minutes to blow the game wide open. 51-33 Concordia with 7:42 to play and the rest is just killing time as Minnehaha gets no closer than 14 the rest of the way. Minnehaha with 8 points in the first 10+ minutes of the 2nd half as they went dry ice from the field. Both coaches do a nice job of getting their seniors into the game during garbage time and Concordia got their seniors out for applause in their final home game which was a nice gesture. Final score is 67-49 Concordia.

Greg Meyer with 15 to lead Minnehaha. Taylor Hanson was the 1 guy who had a nice 2nd half for them, he finishes with 10. Sparkman spent his time off the court behind the bench stretching against the wall or moving around. While he did get some minutes in the 1st half, it was clear he wasn't himself and after a couple of 2nd half minutes, he went to the bench for good. I won't speculate, but something clearly wasn't right with him. They finish their season 17-10, 11-5 in the Tri-Metro West. With Burnham, Meyer, Sparkman (juniors now) and Hanson (soph) all returning next year, they should be at least as good next year.

Zach Towle with 26 to lead Concordia and there was just no answer for him. After taking some tough shots in the 1st half, he was outstanding in the 2nd half getting good looks in the paint or finding shooters. Both of those really allowed the Beacons to hammer the offensive glass. Surprising at 1st glance since Minnehaha started 4 guys 6'4+ while Concordia started Screech at 6'6 and then down to 6'2. But Screech, Popko and Ryan Naylor gave them great production inside. If they hit the boards like that vs St. Bernard's, they could beat them again. Semis are Saturday afternoon at Holy Angels.

6 comments:

  1. I think you are totally in the tank for Minnehaha, and it makes the article sound funny.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Could this be Ben Aurich, former Concordia baller?

    ReplyDelete
  3. The Basketblogger knows all!

    I remember you were on the floor during the Maranatha-Concordia game in the 2001-2002 season.

    I believe it was the last time the schools met. I wish we could have seen more nonconference matchups.

    ReplyDelete
  4. that was my little brother Andy I graduated in 97.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Ah, the Tri Valley era!

    ReplyDelete

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