Top guards in 2010 battle at Columbia Heights

Game 2 of this Saturday takes me to Columbia Heights for their battle with Minnetonka. 2010 star guards Cole Stefan and Jacob Thomas on display in this one. The MN Glory on hand to watch along with, that's right, Rene Pulley.

Stefan starts the day with a 3 (surprise, surprise). 2 Thomas FTs make it 8-6 Tonka at 13:25. The Skippers counter with 8 of the next 9 thanks to a pair of triples from Nick Latzke. 16-7 Tonka at 10:50. Thomas nails a triple and Stefan counters with a deep 3 of his own. 19-10 Tonka. Akuro Imbu with 4 of the next 5, 19-15 Skippers at 6:50. Stefan then with a drive for 2, he finds Taylor Nelson for 2 more and then nails another triple for 7 in a row over 95 seconds. 26-15 Tonka at 5:15. 8 in a row from Columbia Heights to close the gap to 3 at 2:20. 32-28 Minnetonka at half. Thomas and Stefan cancel each other out with 13 each. I had Thomas 3-9 and Stefan 5-10 from the floor.

Taylor Nelson with a putback and a layup from Stefan push the lead to 8 quickly in the 2nd half. Latzke later gets a layin and then a nails triple on a pass from Stefan for a 49-37 Skippers lead at 12:35. Latzke gets fouled and makes a circus layup at 9:18 for a 55-43 Tonka lead. Minnetonka in their Amoeba defense and not rebounding well out of it and not finding Thomas. He nails a triple at 7:30 to cut it to 58-50. Kyle Risinger with 2 FTs at 5:53 to push the lead back to 13, 66-53. Imbu with a steal for 2 followed by Thomas 3 FTs make it 67-58 with 4:39 left. Risinger fouls out at 3:21. Kendrick Mills with a putback at 2:50 to cut it to 69-62. Tonka goes stall and promptly turns the ball over (drives coaches nuts). Harold Rainey with the layin that cuts it to 5 at 2:20. They force the held ball and have the arrow but Imbu throws it away at 1:32. After 1 Stefan FT, D'Karlos Craig gets called for an illegal screen at 1:21. Stefan turns it over (playing point with Risinger gone) but Thomas misses a 3. He turns it over again which Mills converts into a 3 with 23.4 left. 70-67 Minnetonka. Taylor Nelson makes 1 of 2 FTs. Heights turns it over for a Leonard Glass dunk to end it . 73-67 Minnetonka wins.

For Columbia Heights, they fall to 5-6 and had some chances late. Jacob Thomas finishes with 30 points via 11-13 FTs and 5 triples. But I had him for 7-25 shooting (and that doesn't count 6 misses on shooting fouls) for him. No makes in the last 6:30 though and only the 1 set of 3 FTs that he took after being fouled on a 3. Very aggressive getting to the basket in the 1st half. In fairness some of those misses were late looking for 3s to get back in it. Kendrick Mills gave them very nice minutes off the bench with 11 and 10 on my sheet. Harold Rainey and Akuro Imbu had their trouble running the point and getting Heights into sets.

For Minnetonka, they improve to 8-5. They host a couple of Lake Conference teams this week, Rosemount and Lakeville North. Cole Stefan with 20 and I had 7-17 from the floor. He also took major turns playing the point guard role. But his 5 assists were mainly out of their dribble drive offense. Nick Latzke with 18 and Taylor Nelson with 18 and 10. Their bench gives them very little forcing coach Hedstrom to play his starters despite any foul trouble they may be in. Latzke is quickly developing into one of the best shooters in the metro. He's a guy you just can't leave.

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