Holy Angels with another Missota upset

To Holy Angels I go for this Missota showdown with New Prague. But it will be hard to surpass last night's Tech/Apollo game. New Prague 15-6 coming in and fighting for the #1 seed in section 1AAA. Holy Angels looking up at the rest of tough section 6AAA. No pizza tonight at AHA, disappointing and the new microphone still doesn't have enough volume.

New Prague has joined the Dribble Drive Motion craze. 6'9 center Isaac Cross playing the inside beneficiary spot and he gets a layup from star Danny Geiger early. Geiger tough on the bounce and he gets an And 1 at 14:03. Then he finds one of the season's best stories, Connor O'Brien for 2 more. O'Brien follows that with a pair of free throws. Stars point guard Tyler Bredow counters that with a jumper, a triple and then an assist for a Tyler Emanuel triple. 17-15 Holy Angels at 11:25 as we go to a New Prague timeout.

Now the New Prague parade to the foul line starts. AHA has 8 team fouls and we're not at the 11 minute mark yet. 19 all at 9:10 after an O'Brien putback and New Prague decides to go 1-3-1. Between that and the Holy Angels fouls, we're at a snail's pace. Jack Hogan with a pair of triples against the zone. The Stars doing a nice job of finding the high post and then quickly sending the ball opposite. Too many kids get the ball there and send it right back to the same side without even looking to the other side of the floor. Those triples give AHA a 27-22 lead with 5:20 left in the half. New Prague finally gets out of the 1-3-1 after a timeout at 3:51. The fouls are 13-5 against Holy Angels and finally it gets to coach Larry McKenzie and he earns a T. While the numbers are lopsided, that's exactly what DDM does to you. But the Trojans only make 1 of the 4 free throws and Geiger misses 2 more freebies on the ensuing possession. Finally the 11th man off the Stars bench, Zach Machacek gets to the line and makes 1 of 2. New Prague with the 1st 21 free throws of the game before that. Somehow Holy Angels is still ahead. Geiger with an assist and then a 3rd chance at a 3 point play. He converts this one and that sends New Prague to the locker up 33-32. Geiger with 8 points and 3 assists on 3-6 shooting. O'Brien with 6 points and 4 boards but only 2-9 shooting. Andy Jirik and Jack Hagen with 6 each for AHA. 16-7 is the foul count and New Prague with 22 FT attempts but only 12 makes compared to 3-4 for AHA.

Sam Dittberner with plenty of ball handling duties tonight making the DDM go and he converts a couple of banks to end a 6-0 New Prague spurt. 39-34 New Prague and it looks like they may start to pull away. Bonzi Wells (Sahr Ngekia) with 1 of 2 and a conversion from Bredow to keep AHA close. But the foul count is now 7-2 against AHA at 13:41. That's 23-9 so far and its getting comical. Sam Gullickson and Bredow with triples to counter a nice dive for 2 by O'Brien and a tough lefty finish by Geiger. 44-43 New Prague with 12:17 left.

A Cole Frechette steal for 2 and 2 Tyler Emanuel free throws give AHA a 47-44 lead with 10:32 left. Bredow and Sam Dittberner trade triples after another lefty finish by Geiger. Geiger with another hoops at 7:45 to put the Trojans up 55-52. Then Bredow with another triple. New Prague fouls after the shot so the Stars keep it and Hogan makes a bank. Hogan follows with 2 free throws on the bonus at 5:27. 59-55 Stars and they haven't committed a foul in over 8 minutes so the fouls are even at 7. That can't last as the Trojans promptly make 3 of 4. Jirik with a layup off a pretty feed, 61-58 Stars at 3:15. Geiger a tough putback at 2:50. The teams trade misses. Out of a timeout Holy Angels goes with some Swing Offense. Bredow fouled at 1:31 but he badly misses the front end of the 1 and 1. O'Brien with 2 freebies at 1:14, 62-61 New Prague. Bonzi on the right block and the foul! Where have you been all season? 64-62 AHA wiht 58.7 to play. Geiger hold on top and looking left. Jack Hogan with a great play to come from behind, knock it away and dive on the floor AND get the timeout with 43.3 left. New Prague chooses to go with a run and jump trap at half court. Bredow does a nice job to step thru a trap and eliminate the pressure. The Trojans are forced to foul. How appropriate that its Hogan and he makes 2 of 2 (10th team foul) with 29 seconds left to put AHA up 4. Geiger with a pullup at 15.4. Hogan makes 1 of 2 with 10.7 so New Prague has life but both teams are out of timeouts. Geiger gets a handoff on the right wing and somehow his defender gets hung up. He gets a wide open look at the top of the key but its short and he can't recover the long rebound before the clock runs out. AHA pulls off an exciting 67-64 upset.

For AHA, they're now 5-16 but they defeated Prior Lake on Tuesday night so they may not be as bad as their record as they're 4-3 after a 1-13 start. While they've lost badly to many of the section 6AAA contenders (Washburn, Waconia, BSM), their game at Delano next Saturday may be a better indicator of where they are. They'll return most of the rotation. If Jack Hogan or current frosh Parker Bredow can replace Tyler Bredow at the point, the Stars figure to be solid next year with 6 rotation players (and Parker Bredow who has varsity some this year). Tyler Bredow leads the way with a clutch 2nd half and a total of 16 points, 5 boards and a minimum of 4 assists. Andy Jirik with 10 points inside.

For New Prague, a tough loss as this will hurt them in the race for that #1 seed in 1AAA. If Austin gets the 1 seed, not only will we hear the shout of joy from Ryan James, but it will be very interesting to see how New Prague and St. Thomas Academy get seeded. Connor O'Brien is a 6'6 matchup nightmare. Rough night tonight with 14 points and 8 rebounds but only 4-14 shooting on my sheet. Dan Geiger with 18 points on 8-15 shooting. He's tough and smart and only a junior. Sam Dittberner gives them another tough guard and it looks like soph Alex Dittberner will take over at the point for him. Only 18-30 from the charity stripe. With all the fouls in the first half, New Prague missed a chance to have a wide margin. I thought the 1-3-1 killed their momentum. AHA may not have had anyone let had the Trojans upped the pace and stuck with their DDM offense the way that 1st 23 minutes was called. It wasn't as bad as a Holy Angels fan would tell you, but there were plenty of frustrating calls too.

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