Day 2 at 2009 Fridley Tournament

Day 3 of my holiday tournament travels takes me to Fridley for the day session for the final day of their tournament.

Game 1: Central vs South
One could call this a makeup game as I had planned on seeing Central and South play (not each other) last Monday in Milwaukee, but this will have to do. Central uses their big front line of Jordan Larson, Martin Smith and LaDarian Horton at the 3 to generate points inside for a 25-10 lead with 7:30 left in the 1st half. The rest of the half is even as its 40-25 Central at the break. Horton with 11 for the Minutemen.

The front line continues to dominate inside for Central as they lead 48-30 3 minutes into the 2nd half. But the South Tigers roar back as Alonzo Traylor goes off inside. He gets 9 points in a 21-7 run and its a 4 point game, 55-51 with 8:20 left. Traylor then with a free throw and a 3rd +1 opportunity for Larson's 4th foul. He makes the FT and its 58-56 Central with 5:51 to go. Victor Easter finds Traylor for 2 with the missed free throw and then Easter gets a steal for a 3 point play. South with their 1st lead, 61-59, since 2-0 and we've got 3:47 left. Larson back in after a 31-11 South run gets the Tigers the lead back. Nathaniel Kado with a 3 for Central with 3 minutes left. Easter finds Traylor again at 2:25 and South leads 63-62. Taylor Smaller misses a 3 but South can't convert 2 offensive rebounds on their end. Kado with 2 FTs countered by 2 from Traylor. 65-64 South with 52.4 left. Larson catches at the high post and converts a runner with 39.8 seconds left. Carnell Sheppard gets a great look at a triple but misses for South. Horton with 2 FTs at 22.9 to push the Central lead to 68-65. Sheppard attempts to get the same look but its covered and South misses a triple late. Larson tacks on a free throw for the 69-65 Central win.

LeDarian Horton with 18 for Central. Smith and Larson with 13 and 11. Taylor Smaller quiet with 7 points. Alonzo Traylor finishes with 23, most of them in the big 2nd half. Victor Easter with only 3 points, but he did a nice job of finding people with interior passes.

Game 2: Fridley vs Henry
Isaiah Thomas with back to back triples to get Fridley off to a nice start in this matchup of section 3AAA foes. After a Louis Cox layin makes it 8-7 Fridley, 4 separate Tigers go bombs away from deep in a 16-2 run and Fridley leads 24-9 at 11:30. But the Henry guards will get theirs against just about anybody. Louis Cox with a couple of triples and Jordan Hughes with 2 of his own and a 3 point play to give Henry a 38-35 lead. Thomas with the last 5 of the half to give Fridley the 40-38 halftime lead. 17 in the half for Thomas, 14 for Hughes.

Fridley extends the lead to 50-42 but they can't hold it. Evan Gray with 9 points in a 17-2 Patriots run. Elijah Anwey with 5 in a row to keep Fridley and the crowd in it. 64-62 Henry with 4 minutes left. But Cox strips Thomas and takes it for 2. Jordan McArthur (Henry) and Evan Sjodin (Fridley) trade triples and its 67-65 Henry with 2:45 left. Fridley using Anway to face guard Hughes now. He steals an inbounds for 2 and its still a 2 point game 70-68 Henry with 57 seconds left. Hughes with a layup with 25 seconds left matched by an Anway J with 10.8 left. 72-70 Henry. McArthur misses the front end of a 1 and 1 with 7 seconds left but Hughes rebounds the miss and makes 2 free throws with 3 seconds left to seal a 74-70 Henry win.

For Henry, Jordan Hughes with 30 points (4 triples, 8 FTs included). Evan Gray with 14 big points. Defensively, they leave much to be desired. Their lightning quick guards gamble a ton and for a large portion of the game they had Romeal Taylor guarding Isaiah Thomas after starting with Jordan Hughes, both of which are major mismatches. But I was surprised in a positive way by seeing them run some Swing Offense.

For Fridley, Isaiah Thomas with all 17 in the 1st half. He couldn't buy a shot in the 2nd half, even when they tried to take advantage of matchups in the post. After getting early 3s to fall, the rest of the team couldn't buy shots in the 2nd half either. But give Fridley credit, they fought hard and had plenty of chances in this one. Evan Sjodin with 22 and Elijah Anwey with 16.

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