08-09 Opening Night Thoughts

Ethan Wragge

Opening night of the 08-09 MN Boys Basketball season takes me to Cretin-Derham Hall for their matchup against football rival Eden Prairie. Plenty of stars in attendance tonight. Coaches from Como Park, Eastview, Stillwater and St. Thomas Academy in the house. Al Harris from 43 Hoops in to watch some of his summer players and my 1st Rene Pulley sighting of the season (for humor value, I'll track this in The Czar's Season Totals).

Both teams man-to-man on D. Brett Ervin vs Seantrel Henderson and Clay Horne vs Ethan Wragge. Nice matchups there. Brett Ervin with a nice turnaround over Henderson, Jack Klukas (nice summer with the MN Wrath and Waconia star Shelby Moats) off the bench to knock down a 3 and then 3 straight layups give Eden Prairie a 19-5 lead with 11:30 left in the half. But Eden Prairie goes cold and with Henderson on the bench, CDH gets 10 in a row capped by a Horne triple to cut the lead to 19-15 at 6:10. The other 7 points of the run from hot shooting Gus Gehlen. Wragge then picks up his 2nd foul at 5:35 and Henderson runs thru a screen to get his 2nd at 4:13 and both go to the bench. Marc Miller finally breaks a drought of 7:30 for EP. Henderson's replacement Peter White (JV star last year) gets 2 late post buckets. Brett Ervin gets a postup bucket to end the 1st half. EP leads 29-23 at the break and it should be far more. Ethan Wragge 0-7 FGs including a great block inside by Horne on one shot midway thru the half, 0 pts and 2 rebounds. Tim Miller with 9 points, Brett Ervin with 6 at the break. Henderson 0 pts, 4 rebounds and the team was -11 with him on the court, +5 without him. Only 10 points from Gehlen kept CDH in the half.

Wragge finally gets a make to start the 2nd half. 1 of his first 10 shooting tonight. Henderson with his first bucket at 15:30 and its 33-29 EP. CDH then falls apart. Wragge a steal for 2 and then a triple. Marc Miller with a triple. Tim Miller with a layup and Zach Nelson with a triple. 18-5 EP run over 5 minutes makes 51-34 EP at 10:30. That run was the ballgame. Wragge with another hoop and then another EP three. Klukas with a triple of his own and a putback to push the lead to 63-40 with 5:45 left. Henderson sat the last 9+ minutes. He only played about 6 minutes of the 2nd half and he wasn't in foul trouble. EP wins 73-59.

For EP, great balance. 19 points from Tim Miller. Ethan Wragge with 11 on 4-14 shooting and 6 rebounds. Marc Miller also with 11 points. Brett Ervin and Jack Klukas with 8 points. No standout athletes, but they out hustled CDH to all the loose balls in the 1st half (especially for offensive rebounds). They don't make mistakes and if you leave somebody, they knock down shots as they had 8 triples tonight. Very sound in their man defense too.

For CDH, Gehlen goes bagel in the 2nd half to finish with 10. Clay Horne with 11 points. Remember the name Raijon Kelly for the Raiders. The 6'2 soph PG had 18 points tonight (most during garbage time to be honest) but he reminds me of Rajon Rondo. Long arms and athetlic at the point and he's a decent shooter at that. The 2010 class of Elliot Owusu, Henderson, Horne and Gehlen (and Jake Frey) deserves the attention it gets, but Kelly is a real keeper too.

X and O of the Day
The X and O segment today looks at a quick post up set by Eden Prairie. 3 out, 2 in set with Ervin and Wragge on the blocks. Enter the ball to the wing on Wragge's side. He'll look to post, if he doesn't get it he'll set the UCLA screen and pop out. On the pass back to Wragge, Ervin ducks in on the weak side block looking for the ball. Nice little set. You have to respect that UCLA back screen. You'd like to sag to defend that and Ervin's post duck-in, but Wragge's ability to knock down that shot puts the defense in a tough spot as all the guards are out beyond the arc.

Ethan Wragge photo courtesy of MNPhotoNet.net

1 comment:

  1. I really like Rayjon Kelly (2011). He has some of the best ball skills (pass fakes, jab steps, etc...) I have ever seen at that age. He's still recovering from a broken foot, he only about 85%...

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