Blaine at Park Center thoughts

Dylan Rodriguez

My 1st look at Blaine this season to see if I can diagnose what's different between the record and the talent level. No Dan Robel tonight for Blaine as he's out with a nasty injury suffered last week. A night full of 2-3 zone though. This could be ugly.

6 all early as Blaine's Dylan Rodriguez scores a couple of baskets. Park Center then with a 12-2 run thanks to Lorenzo McClellan's 6 points and a couple of easy baskets via Blaine turnovers. 18-8 Pirates at the 8:10 mark. But PC can't capitalize on the good start as they one get 1 FG in the next 7:30. That was Justin Casey banking in a foul line jumper. Rodriguez sits out the last 3:34 with 2 fouls but Billy Giddings knocks down a runner and Jesse Briggity gets a layup on a runout and Blaine is right in it. 22-19 Park Center at half.

Terez Van Pelt opens the half with a triple for a 6 point Pirates lead. Blaine then goes on a 10-0 run over 2:20 to take the lead. David Leafblad with back to back 3s to end the run. 29-25 Bengals with 14:50 left. Sam Chase with a couple of buckets, the last one being a post up via the Swing Offense as PC went man. Rodriguez with a hoop and then a Chase steal for 2. 43-32 Blaine with 10:09 left. Total run is 24-7 over 7 minutes. PC never threatens again. Rodriguez puts icing on the cake with a behind the back assist to Giddings with 1 minute left. Blaine wins 64-54.

For Park Center, Lorenzo McClellan with 16 points. Justin Lynn with the double dozen as he goes for 10 points and 12 rebounds. Voltaire Nalls 2-8 shooting for 6 points. Justin Casey also held to 6 points. With those numbers, PC was fortunate to only lose by 10. I'll be keeping an eye on 8th grader Quinton Hooker down the road. He saw JV time tonight. Park Center in a dual for the 7th seed with Irondale and a very outside shot to catch Roseville for 6. Mounds vs Roseville in the 3/6 matchup looks interesting and Champlin Park/Centennial looks like a good 4 vs 5 matchup.

For Blaine, Billy Giddings with 17 points and 8 rebounds on 8-13 shooting on my sheet. Dylan Rodriguez with 16 points and 5 boards on 7-12 shooting via my stats. Jesse Briggity is the 3rd guy and he also has a scorers mentality at the point. 8 points for him. Junior Sam Chase with 11 points off the bench in a nice performance. Sophs Dan Robel, Zach Romashko, Weston Obrycki, Eric Kline and Evan Spurbeck give Blaine a nice class. With that group and Briggity returning next year, there's plenty left after Giddings and Rodriguez depart.

The Bengals are still trying to dig out of that 1-10 stretch over the holidays. Fortunately section 7AAAA is very weak and they have the 2nd best power ranking behind Forest Lake (FL beat Blaine by 17 during that bad stretch). The head-head win over Cambridge-Isanti in the 1st game of the season looms large for that #2 seed. But the Bengals need a road win at Maple Grove on Friday. Blaine won the 1st game between those teams by 7 at the end of January.

Dylan Rodriguez photo courtesy of

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