Eau Claire North at La Crosse Logan thoughts

The Czar begins the 2008-2009 boys season with a trip to the Old Kingdom. We come to you tonight from the Emperor's Palace as the Emperor and I visited Paradise City (nice GNR music tonight), NOT! Actually, its the world's worst basketball facility as Eau Claire North visits The Swamp (La Crosse Logan). Longtime North coach Pat Hammond sporting the left arm sling tonight. This was Logan's only regular season loss last season when they made the trip to the Doghouse. Logan lost 4 starters while North returns their entire front line, is ranked in the top 10 and is a favorite to win their section. While it was known that top bigs would be on display (Evan Anderson and Tyler Brown of North, Trevor Jorgenson of Logan), my sources and the Emperor in pre-game warmups called out North's 6'6 F Andy Kleist. Would they be right? To the game we go.

No Tyler Brown in the starting lineup as he's still recovering from a bum knee, but he does play the last 4 minutes of the quarter. John Callen gets the 1st 4 points of the game for Logan to get them off to a quick start in the 1st minute. North uses their 1-3-1 zone with Kleist on top to run off the next 13 points over 4 and a half minutes. Kyle Schmidtknecht (I'm only typing that once) gets fouled throwing up a half-court prayer at the horn and makes 2 of the 3 free throws to pull Logan within 15-11 after 1 quarter of play.

Kyle S then heats up with back to back triples (one from Jorgenson) in the 1st 1:40 of the 2nd quarter. That ends a 13-4 Logan run over 4 minutes and gives the Rangers a 17-15 lead. Tyler Brown out with his 2nd foul at 5:28 of the quarter. With Matt Eggen gone to the bench for Logan with a couple of fouls (he had the assignment guarding Anderson), Jorgenson takes over guarding Anderson. Anderson promptly turns and gets a layin over Jorgenson for a 19-18 North lead at 4:40. Kyle S knocks down his 3rd 3 of the quarter and then gets a stl for 2 free throws and Logan is back on top 23-19 with 4:20 left in the quarter. Kleist then gets the last 8 points of the half in the last 3 minutes thanks to a couple of easy buckets. North leads 27-23 at the break. Kleist and Kyle S with 13 points each in hot 1st halves. Jorgenson is 1-6 shooting for 2 points. Anderson with 5 rebounds and 2 blocks.

Evan Anderson comes out more aggressive in the 2nd half and gets 4 of the 1st 7 North points. That gives North 15 straight points in 5 minutes. Jorgenson gets a tapin but Kleist gets a putback of his own to conclude a 22-2 North run over 7:15. 41-25 North with 3:45 left in the 3rd quarter. Logan doesn't threaten again. Kleist sits out most of the 4th quarter with 4 fouls. Anderson gets his 1 highlight of the night in the 4th quarter with a nice baseline spin + 1 from the left block against Jorgenson. Jorgenson makes a 3 right after that to cut the lead to 12, but North wins easily 57-45.

Andy Kleist with 20 points to lead all scorers for North, great game. A nice player on the offensive end and on top of the 1-3-1. Evan Anderson with 9 points (3-6 FG), 6 rebounds and 4 blocks. While they tried to get him post looks, he got very few low touches. While he was a major presence on the defensive end, his offense showed a couple of post moves that looked like they were in slow motion. Tyler Brown with quiet numbers of 6 points (3-5 FG), 4 rebs, 2 blk in about 16 minutes of action but North was a much better team with him on the floor. His ability to step out and make shots out to the arc really stretches a defense and he's a smart player. All reasons why he was the Big Rivers player of the year last year. Central Michigan will be very happy with him.

For Logan, Kyle S with 19 points on 5 triples. His hot shooting early in the 2nd quarter made the game very interesting for a while. Trevor Jorgenson finished with 8 points (3-11), 5 rebounds and 3 blocks. Logan didn't play well against the 1-3-1 and Jorgenson was often stationed at the high post and got very little time on the block. Anderson game him a fit during one sequence on the block getting a block and then a challenge on another shot that Jorgenson didn't convert. His energy level just wasn't there tonight, a very lethargic performance. Logan tried to apply full-court man pressure vs the North guards but couldn't generate any offense out of it.

X and O of the Day
In today's X and O segment, we look at Eau Claire North's 1-3-1 halfcourt trap. They do an interesting thing with their 1-3-1 trap. In their initial alignment with the ball out at halfcourt, their baseline runner plays the middle spot and the big (Anderson in this case) is back protecting the basket. They stay in this until the ball gets passed below one of the wings. The runner goes out and gets that pass (like the baseline runner normally would in the 1-3-1) and now he's the bottom guy running the baseline and the big guy assumes the standard middle position of the 1-3-1 defending the lane. You get the big guy back protecting the basket and usually your quickest player in the middle looking for steals and it naturally flows into the regular 1-3-1 rotations.

2 comments:

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  2. Cheaper admission, four quarters, and respect for the game and players are what make Wisconsin basketball stand out.

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