Eastview at Prior Lake Thoughts

Vinard Birch

We end this Saturday of week 6 of the 08-09 season with the night session in Prior Lake for their non-conference tilt against Eastview. Chaska and Holy Angels amongst the teams looking on tonight. Nice job by the Prior Lake pep band (my band of the year so far). Gotta like the sail with the compass for the on-court logo. And the high quality (dare I say restaurant quality) choice of Davanni's for the pizza. mmm, mmm.

Vinard Birch with the assignment on Ben Snyder tonight. Prior Lake with the 1st 8 points of the night as Snyder has a layin and then finds Jake Bolks for 2 at 13:30. Eastview gets Drew Bjordal going as they get 8 points from him in a 27-6 run over the next 8:30. 27-14 Eastview with 5 minutes left in the half. But Tim Massie (only big and was guarding Deryck Ludwig), Birch and Drew Johnson all pick up their 2nd fouls in the next 2 minutes and sit. Prior Lake cuts it to 34-24 Eastview at halftime. Snyder 12, Ludwig 4. Bjordal 13, Birch 6. Prior Lake 2-12 at the foul line (that counts a missed bonus front end) and not taking care of the ball.

The Lightning extend the lead to 48-30 on a Karl Otto J with 12:45 remaining. Interesting sequence during this time where Eastview posted Birch via a UCLA cut and had him looking to create from there. 8:19 to go when it gets a little interesting. Jake Bolks misses 2 FTs, but Ludwig rebounds the 2nd miss and Bolks turns that into a bucket and 1. Another Eastview player gets a T in the process. TJ Larson makes the 2 Ts and Bolks scores on the possession and its 55-44 with 8 minutes left. But Prior Lake gets no closer. Eastview makes late free throws for a 72-57 win.

For Prior Lake, Ben Snyder with 26. Surprising since Birch was on him much of the night. But nobody else with more than 7. 9-27 from the foul line for the Lakers and that counts 4-4 by TJ Larson. YIKES.

For Eastview, Drew Bjordal with 26 and 6 triples. He's filling the Spencer Pratt role very nicely for them. He's come out of nowhere from my point of view as I don't remember him at all from last season. Vinard Birch did his usual job of being a major pest for anyone bringing the ball up. He had 17 points tonight. 11-14 FTs which you need out of a good point guard. Eastview just sucks the life out of you. You come down, can't get a shot, take a tough shot, they rebound. They walk it up, be patient and then get a hoop. Weak inside as Tim Massie is their only size as he's more of a banger than anything. But with their defense and guard trio of Drew Johnson, Birch and Bjordal with Andrew McLean playing the Johnie Sanders role, they'll be tough in the Lake.

Vinard Birch picture courtesy of MNPhotoNet.net

Steve Froemming from Steven's Sports Report also attended the game. You can read his thoughts here.


  1. It is not surprising that Snyder put up 26 pts. He has put up double figures in all 11 games this year and is averaging 18 a game. He has done this against good teams (LKVL North & South, Wayzata, WBL, Tartan, Chaska, Burnsville and Eastview). He can get to the hole on anyone guarding him. He is a very good defender and gets alot of his points off of steals and turnovers. Ludwig and Holte help out on the defensive end of the floor, but if you watch P.L. play you should notice that Snyder and Jake Bolks are the heart and soul of this team.

  2. Considering that Birch is one of the best on-ball defenders in the state and he's the top scorer for PL and knowing how good defensively and well coached Eastview is, I thought more would have been done to slow him down. Then again, considering he didn't get any help in this one, he can have his 26.

    His shot selection was much better in this game than when I saw them in the Tartan tournament. And you're correct on his defensive abilities. He used them to get some easy hoops.


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