St. Anthony at Fridley Thoughts

The night session of this day before the real holidays takes me to friendly Fridley as they get together with old Metro Alliance foe (and fellow member of section 3AAA) St. Anthony. For St. Anthony, Derek Jahner came in averaging 21.5 PPG and Josh Pratt with 20 PPG. Isaiah Thomas for Fridley came in averaging 22.6 PPG. How would these players do tonight?

St. Anthony off to a really sloppy start with 3 consecutive turnovers and coach Bratland is not all pleased. Thomas off to a sizzling start as he knocks down 4 3s in the 1st 5 and a half and its 12-3 Fridley. Thomas then loses his defender on the block for an easy layin and he's got 14 of the 1st 16 for Fridley as they lead 16-4 at the 11 minute mark. Evan Sjodin with a 3 and its 19-4 at 10:30. Jahner finally puts somebody else in the Huskies book with 2 FTs at 9:37. Fridley gets a layin and then a couple of free throws to extend the lead to 25-8 at 7:49. Pratt still scoring as he gets a nice high/low feed for a layup and then knocks down a 3. After some nice passing, Fridley gets a layup. Stephen Couillard makes a baseline jumper at 4:45 and somebody else besides Pratt finally has a field goal for St. Anthony and its 27-15 Fridley. The Huskies then go box and 1 on Thomas for the duration of the game. Elijah Anwey drives for 2 and then gets a layin and the lead is 33-15 at 3:15. But the junk defense is bothering Fridley and St. Anthony gets the last 7 of the half including another high/low for Pratt. 33-22 Fridley leads at the break and the general consensus is that the Huskies have no business being that close after a very sloppy 1st half. Thomas with 14 quick ones for Fridley. Pratt with 12 for the Huskies.

Fridley with a couple of triples against the box and 1 and that extends the lead to 41-26 with 16:10 to play. Tyler Hagen with a couple of hoops to cut it to 41-31 as St. Anthony tries to chip away at the lead. 10:40 to play. Devin Hemmerich finally puts back an offensive rebound for the 1st Fridley field goal in 7 minutes, all against the box and 1. Philip Wolney with a free throw and then a big 3 to extend the lead to 48-33 with 8 to play. St. Anthony gets 7 of the next 8 to cut it to 49-40 with 6:10 to play. Stephen Couillard with a jumper to finish that run and the St. Anthony fans are making some noise. But Fridley goes to a 2-3 zone that eats the clock away and they make their free throws. Fridley wins 58-46.

For St. Anthony, they started 3 juniors. Derek Jahner is a nice lefty post. He finished with 10 points. Josh Pratt is a big 2 guard who can rebound. With St. Anthony's small lineup, they actually use him some at the power forward spot which creates some interesting matchup issues for opponents. He finished with 14 points, but only 2 in the 2nd half. Nice job by Coach Bratland to go to the box and 1 as Fridley never figured it out. Nice job by Stephen and Joe Couillard playing the 1 in the defense. But 17 points down in the 1st 10 minutes was just too much to overcome. I will not be surprised if that box and 1 makes another appearance against DeLaSalle's Jalen Jaspers (a game that is on my schedule on January 29th in my 1st look at DLS this season).

For Fridley, Isaiah Thomas with 16 points but only 2 after the box and 1 was applied. You could tell he was visibly frustrated by it. He had a couple of rare touches in the 2nd half that you could tell were going up no matter what since he wasn't touching it. Fridley tried posting him against the smaller Couillard, but with the zone there, nothing came of it and there wasn't much movement from anybody else. It'll be interesting to see if anybody else goes box and 1 against them as the season progresses. Elijah Anwey displaying quickness and stepping up with 14 points. Nice move by coach MacDonald to go to the zone for about the last 5 minutes to really force St. Anthony to use the clock when behind.

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