Blake at Trinity Thoughts

Day 9 and game 14 of The Czar's Season takes me to the Ergotron Athletic Center at Trinity (at River Ridge) for a matchup of section 4AA foes as the Tri-Hawks take on the Blake Bears. Of if you prefer, the MN Select (Select coaches Sean Kruger and Brent DeKok are on the Bears staff) vs the law firm of Buri, Buri and Buri (Trinity coaches Nick Buri and assistants John and Joe Buri). A very good Trinity crowd on hand. Not terribly big but very supportive of their team. Always nice to see the class of the MCAA fans. These teams were a combined 11-41 last year and bounced by big margins in the 1st round of last year's 4AA tournament. Blake comes in 1-0 and this was Trinity's opener.

Trinity playing a 1-2-2 matchup zone, something we don't see much (Lakeville North's 1-2-2 matchup comes to mind). Blake showing man-man with a diamond press and also some full court man pressure. Trinity uses 4 free throws for an early 4-2 lead. Blake then goes on a 13-0 run over 3 minutes and they lead 13-4 at the 14 minute mark. Blake goes to the bench and uses a 1-3-1 zone with them. A nice changeup that Minnehaha would also use last season. Trinity uses an 8-0 to get the score back to 13-12 Blake at 10:50. The runs continue as Blake gets the next 10 points, 5 from David Nash, for a 23-14 lead at 7:18. Blake gives up a couple of layins by not getting back on defense and Mark Olander of Trinity gets 2 free throws via an offensive rebound. 26-21 Blake at 5:15. Nash with 6 in a row for Blake for a 9 point lead at 2:36 (34-25). Luke Gross with 2 free throws at 1:10 and then a 3 to end the 1st half for Trinity. Blake leads 36-30 at the half. Tony Kuplic 6 points for Trinity. David Nash with 13 for Blake but he's only 5-11 from the line.

Olander with a nice give and go on an inbounds play early in the 2nd half and Trinity is within 4. Nash with a bucket and then a 3 and Tim Zellmer buries a 3 as Blake goes on a 14-2 run over 4:15 for a 54-38 lead at the 12 minute mark. Nash with a couple of buckets at 4:30 to push the lead over 20. Blake goes on to win 74-52.

Mark Olander with 10 points to lead Trinity. 12 turnovers vs the Blake full court pressure really hurt them. The Tri-Hawks started 3 sophomores and a freshman with Olander. 6'4 Aaron Gregg was one of those sophomores. He looks like he can turn into a nice MCAA player for them. Long, can handle a little bit, they used him in the middle of the press break where he was effective. It will be interesting to see if this young group can bring the proud Trinity program back to the elite in the MCAA.

For Blake, David Nash with 24 points. A very nice start to the season for the Bears with 2 section wins. Blake was 5-22 last season and 3 of those wins were by 2 points. Only 4 of their 22 losses were by less than 15 points. The Edison win was big as the Tommies played the Bears in the 1st and last games of Blake's 07-08 season and won both by 27 and 24 at Edison. Blake beat Edison Thursday 64-55 at Blake. Granted these are 2 bad opponents but a win is still a win. All of this despite only 5 practices this season. At the JV level, keep an eye on 6'2 athletic lefty 8th grader Kebu Johnson.

X and O of the Day
Nice little baseline inbounds set from Blake. Bigs at the elbows, shooter on the backside block. Ball side block steps out to the corner for the inbounds pass. The 2 bigs screen down for the shooter at the top of the key. If your inbounder is also a shooter, you can curl that 1st shooter and then have the inbounder run off those 2 screens.

Steven Froemming from Stevens Sports Report also joined me at the game. You can check out his account of the game on his site.

1 comment:

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