Twin Cities Game Observations

So we have the annual regular season finale with the Twin Cities Game. This year the game has Central vs Henry which is the 14th straight year that Henry or North has represented Minneapolis (North Side Era). Minneapolis leads the all-time series 58-21. Minneapolis is 10-3 in the North Side Era with Johnson beating Henry by 2 last year in a very good game. Only 2 of the games in the last 10 years have been decided by more than 10 points so this game usually is very competitive.

Washburn wins the Freshman game 59-45 over Johnson. Henry defeats Como Park 71-59 in the JV game. Henry used varsity starter Evan Gray for the 1st half and then Louis Cox (significant varsity reserve) played in the 2nd half and led them with 12 points. Not against any rules, but I wish this type of thing wouldn't happen as it just doesn't seem to be in the spirit of the game. CP got to within 5 and had momentum with 6:30 to play but Cox hit 2 FTs and had an assist to Dennis Joiner and CP never got closer than 6 the rest of the way. CP has 2 nice sophomores, Joe Conley on the wing with 22 and lefty Reggie Ray in the middle with 17, who could turnout to be nice players for them in a couple of years, especially Conley. He was 9 for 10 from the stripe in the game.

To the main attraction, Henry gets out to a quick 7-0 lead @ 16:22 thanks to a Jerome Vaughn putback and 5 in a row from Mandela Jackson. Larry Brown stops the run with a 3 pt play at 16:10. After Brown turns it over, Jackson takes it the other way and goes for a dunk and gets absolutely stoned by Dylan Hale. Great block. Hale promises to be a real monster for Central next year. Jackson is on fire as he gets a 4 pt play at 15:24 and then hits a 3 @ 13:30 to make it 14-7 Henry. Jordan Larson gets a layin off a nice pass from Brown to start a 9-2 Central run that ends with Larson returning the favor off a Henry turnover at 11:55. Jordan Hughes with a baseline J and Jackson with a 12 ft pullup to make it 20-18 Henry with 11 minutes to play and the pace is fast and furious. Hale knocks down back to back triples, Brown puts a shake on for a layup on the left block and Hale with a 2 handed dunk to end a 10-0 Central run. Central leads 28-20 with 8:20 left in the half. Jackson has been quiet from the field during this time, but he gets 2 straight buckets inside of 5 minutes to make it 38-31 Central with 4:30 left in the half. Hale knocks down another 3 and gets a layup and its out to a 43-31 lead with 3:38 left in the half. Hale picks up his 3rd foul @ 1:41 as he fell asleep on an inbounds play that allows Hughes to catch the ball in front of the rim. Hughes makes both FTs to make it 43-38 Central. Michael Frelix comes in for him and promptly takes a bad shot but he gets a bucket and 2 FTs on a nice basket cut. Brown has a 3 pt play. Alonzo Melton's putback at the horn for Henry makes it 52-42 Central at the half. Whew! Breathe. Jackson with 21 in the half for Henry. Hale with 17, Brown with 12 and Larson with 11 for Central. Henry is on the offensive glass, but their defense yikes.

Jackson starts where he left off with a pullup right out of the gate. Hale hits another 3 and Jackson counters that with a bucket to make it 55-46 Central and we're still not out of the 1st minute of the half. After a Larson bucket, Gray hits back to back 3s, Jackson scores again and all of a sudden its only a 3 pt game with 15:10 to go, 57-54 Central. Its a 10-2 Henry run over 2:15. As Clark Kellogg would say, spurtability. Larson comes back with a bucket and Hale hits a 3 to push the lead back to 8. Jordan Hughes gets a steal and 2. Jerome Vaughn makes 1 of 2 and Gray gets the miss and is fouled. He makes 1 of 2 and its 66-62 Central with 12:03 to go. On Henry's next trip down the floor, Hale gets a dumb reach-in foul and that's his 4th with 11:13 to go. To the bench he goes. After a LeDarian Horton bucket, Vaughn makes 2 FTs, Hughes hits a 3 and Gray makes 2 FTs via an offensive rebound to give Henry their 1st lead since 10:50 of the 1st half, 69-68 Henry after an 11-2 run. Mandela Jackson to the bench for rest around this time. Brown finds Larson for a bucket @ 9:14 to give Central the lead back and Larson hits a jumper @ 8:40 and its 72-69 Central. Jackson right back in the game which is a nice move by Coach Williams. Larson gets another 2 on a offensive rebound @ 7:25. For some reason, Jackson gets T'd up at this point which is his 4th foul. Brown makes the 2 technical FTs and its back out to a 7 pt game, 76-69. Jackson stays in the game which is kinda suprising. He immediately scores and its only a 5 pt game with 6:55 to play. Larry Brown counters with a bucket, Frelix hits 1 of 2 FTs, Taylor Smaller gets a bucket and Horton hits 1 of 2 FTs to end an 8-2 Central run. 82-73 Central with 4:55 to go. Brown makes sure the game doesn't get away. He gets fouled in the post and makes 2 FTs, he gets a defensive rebound and gets a score on the other end. Then a block and another defensive rebound. All of this in about 90 seconds. Gray gets an offensive rebound for 2 to make it 86-75 with 2:45 to go, but the damage has been done. Brown gets a bucket, Hale knocks down a 3 and then the exclamation point on a dunk with 25 seconds left to end the day. Central wins 93-81.

Henry gets 31 from Mandela Jackson, 18 from Evan Gray, 13 from Jordan Hughes and 11 from Jerome Vaughn. They can score with just about anybody, but they really have to tighten up the defense if they want to make noise in the tournament. With their talent, they shouldn't be this poor defensively. Last year they gave up 64 pts a game, this year almost 73 a game. When you don't have dominant inside play (and they don't), this will really put pressure on their outstanding guards to make shots. They open up 3AAA play on Tuesday at home vs Chisago Lakes.

Central gets 3 guys over 20. Dylan Hale with 28, Larry Brown with 24 and Jordan Larson with 21. Henry made runs at them and they got thru it. Hale was huge, Larson had the 6 straight pts in the final run that put the game out of reach for good and Brown made sure of that. Its a shame that their bracket is so tough. Their 4AAAA opener at Tartan on Tuesday in the 4 v 5 game may be the best game of the night.

No comments:

Post a Comment

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