2009 Timberwolves Shootout Thoughts

Here's what I saw at the 2009 Timberwolves Shootout. This is the 5th consecutive shootout I've attended. In terms of competitve games, this was the worst one I've been to with 4 blowouts and 1 other game that got back to 4 points, but wasn't in doubt for much of the game. At least the Sibley/Memorial game lived up to the hype. That and a couple of Rodney Williams dunks were the main highlights.

Game 1: Cloquet vs Pelican Rapids
I got the not close part of the prediction correct as Pelican Rapids made 7 1st half 3s and got 29 total points from their stars Tydan Storrusten and Eric Shulstad. Nothing like triples to bust zones. Very strange that Chad Calcaterra played very limited 1st half minutes. Only 6 and 4 in the 1st half for him. He finished with 21 and 10 and 2 blocks (and 4 dunks, more on that later). Beyond Chad, Cloquet has almost nothing. Their inability to deal with the Pelican Rapids halfcourt trap was really painful to watch. They may have most of their roster returning for next season but that won't be enough. Pelican Rapids with all seniors except for 1 sophomore. Very impressive to watch. Storrusten with 29, Shulstad with 27 in the 87-56 win.

Game 2: Osseo vs Sioux Falls Roosevelt
Sam Dower with only 1 1st half point and 2 fouls that forced him to sit the last 13:15 of the 1st half. Osseo still had a 30-20 halftime lead as Aaron Anderson stepped up with 8 points. Osseo cranked up the 2nd half defense and Dower dominated inside in the 2nd half. 82-43 Osseo in another rout. Dower with 22. He hit jump hook after jump hook inside with no Roosevelt answer. Cody Larson with 14 for the Roughriders but didn't do anything of note. I did almost get their point total right. Nice job by Osseo with their full court scramble to generate some points from their defense.

Game 3: Henry Sibley vs Madison Memorial
Final Score 67-64 Memorial, I predicted 65-64 Memorial in my preview. Better to be lucky than good. Jeronne Maymon was an absolute stud in this one and clearly the MVP of the day. Totally unguardable. He scored the 9 of the 1st 11 Memorial points in the 2nd half and then got a couple of assists not long after that. Late in the game, Chris Halvorsen stripped him clean for a reverse dunk that brought Sibley back to a 56-55 lead after being down 55-50. But then he made a jumper and hit Vander Blue for a triple. Sibley with 3 straight turnovers vs the Memorial 1-3-1 in a 1 minute span with 3 minutes left that just killed them. Memorial missed a couple of late free throws that gave Maurice Hernandez a good look from the NBA line that would have tied it but no good and Memorial wins a thriller 67-64. Maymon with 26, Vander Blue with 16 all in the 2nd half including 9 in a row and he didn't start. Frosh Junior Lomomba didn't start either and finished with 6 points. He made a clutch shot late to push the lead to 5. Mike Bruesewitz with 20 and 10 for Sibley, but he was overmatched against Maymon.

Game 4: Hopkins vs Lake Geneva Badger
50-15 at the half as Hopkins used a 28-2 run over 8:30 to blow this game wide open. Royce White still put on a show with 13 and 6 in the 1st half as he showed all his skills. Trent Lockett with a couple of nice dunks during the half too. 79-41 Hopkins rolls as the clock runs the last 8 minutes (not 9 thanks to the scorer's table).

This game was totally pointless for both teams and shouldn't have been played. But the fans turned out in force for it so they got the financial part right. This game was a huge black eye to the Shootout. Badger is well coached, but they had no business being here. Not a single player in the rankings of any class in Wisconsin. It would have been one thing if this had happened in the Border Battle or East Metro Showcase. But this is the Minnesota showcase event, put on by our professional team with maybe the best Minnesota high school team ever. This cannot happen again. I know they tried to get teams like Chicago Whitney Young and other very good teams to come in and couldn't get anybody. I'm not criticizing the effort, but I have a hard time buying the idea that there were no teams in the midwest with a noteworthy player that would have come here for this instead of Badger.

Game 5: Eden Prairie vs Cooper
Rodney Williams with a double-clutch jumper and then a floater to beat the 1st half buzzer on a steal for a 28-18 Cooper lead at the half. Williams had 8 points with 3 blocks (2 of the volleyball spike variety) in the half. Ethan Wragge 5 points but cold shooting. Cooper stretches the lead to 16 in the 2nd half before Cooper goes back to their 1 on 1 offense and allows EP to come back within 4. Rodney gets a 360 dunk and then a half-court lob for a reverse dunk that puts the icing on the cake. He gets another lob but misses the dunk to make Chad Calcaterra the happiest guy in the building as both finish with 4 dunks on the day. 57-50 Cooper wins. Rodney with 16 points on 4 dunks and 4 blocks. Again, not a shooter. Brett Ervin with a big 2nd half as he finishes with 17 points. Ethan Wragge with 9 points but he couldn't buy a shot (he was something like 3-15). But his misses were all good looks (except 1 or maybe 2) against Rodney so I'm not buying the Rodney shut him down argument.

Game 6: St. Cloud Tech vs Manitowoc Roncalli
The building empties out which is a shame because they should have stayed for Nate Wolters of Tech. He had 9 first half points. Roncalli star soph Ben Stelzer 11 for a 35-34 Tech lead at the half. But Wolters gets 17 in the 2nd half with 3 steals for layups. They don't need him to guard Stelzer as Roncalli couldn't buy a shot in the 2nd half. 78-49 Tech rolls. Alex Hanks with 15. Stelzer finishes with 18. Nate Wolters with 28 points and a half dozen steals. Whatever school ends up with him is going to be very happy as I think they're getting a steal.

All Shootout Teams
1st Team
Jeronne Maymon - Madison Memorial (MVP)
Royce White - Hopkins
Sam Dower - Osseo
Vander Blue - Madison Memorial
Nate Wolters - St. Cloud Tech

2nd Team
Eric Shulstad - Pelican Rapids
Mike Bruesewitz - Sibley
Chad Calcaterra - Cloquet
Rodney Williams Jr - Cooper
Tydan Storrusten - Pelican Rapids

2 comments:

  1. Junior Lomomba, Vander Blue and one other guy came off the bench a few minutes into the game. Was it with the hope that the true bench players would pick up the early fouls? Blue was in foul trouble the first half.

    ReplyDelete
  2. The 3rd guy in with Blue and Lomomba I believe was Tre Creamer. My guess is something disciplinary there.

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