Jett leads St. Bernard's to win in Tri-Metro clash

Jordair Jett

Another big one this week in The Kingdom as The Czar makes the trip to tiny St. Bernard's for the #1 Bulldogs big Tri-Metro showdown against #4 Minnehaha. Marc Sonnen with an appearance tonight along with Al Harris of 43 Hoops and Andy Birdsong who coached many of the Minnehaha kids for the Minneapolis Redhawks last summer. Johnson coach Vern Simmons showed up as part of his east side patrol duties tonight.

Jordair Jett off to a quick start for St. Bernard's. He makes a jumper and then a floater, finds Jordan Gittens for a layup and knocks down a 3. Timeout Minnehaha as they're down 11-4 5 minutes in. Jett with 7 quick points and an assist. Minnehaha crawls back with a David Burnham triple and then Taylor Sparkman makes 3 free throws after Gittens fouls him behind the arc. 13-10 St. Bernard's at 9:26. Jett stops and pops, Trent Davis drives for 2 and then posts up Austin Brown for 2 more. 19-10 Bulldogs at 7:25. Gittens puts back a miss to extend the lead to 28-15 with 2:22 left in the half. Burnham breaks a 5 minute drought from the field for the Redhawks with a triple at 1:45 and a twisting 2 after a Jett turnover cut it to 8. With 3 seconds in the half, Greg Meyer gets a strange T (didn't see it and he didn't understand why he got it). After the free throw, Jett goes left baseline for 2 to end the half and give the Bulldogs momentum with the last 5 over 40 seconds. 33-20 St. Bernard's at the break. Jett 6-9 shooting for 13 points. David Burnham with 10 points. Taylor Sparkman with 5 free throws and 7 rebounds.

Back and forth to start the 2nd half as St. Bernard's leads 39-28 with 14 minutes left. Lucas Taddonio now with the assignment on Jett. Jett with a jumper, Taddonio with a putback and Jett posts Taddonio for 2 at 12:45 for a 43-30 Bulldogs lead. Jett goes to the bench and Minnehaha counters with an 8-2 spurt via a Taddonio triple and a 3 point play fro mTaylor Hanson. Jett back as the lead is cut to 45-38 with 10:26 left. Then it gets chippy. Taddonio with 2 fouls in a row on Jett in the post and after the 2nd one a shove or 2 appears to happen (I couldn't really see from my vantage point on the other end). Both guys yapping and Taddonio is hot. He gets a T and he's gone with 9:18 remaining and what does this do to Minnehaha. Jett misses the bonus and Brian Sandifer only makes 1 of the free throws. Parker Hines with a steal on the ensuing possession and as St. Bernard's comes back down they have to take a timeout to avoid a turnover. Minnehaha all fired up as its 50-43 Bernard's with 8:55 left. Hanson with a triple and the lead is down to 4.

Jett with a blow by on the left baseline for a 3 point play to make it 57-50 with 5:33 left. Sparkman then loses Jett for a layup and Austin Brown makes 2 FTs after an offensive rebound. 57-54 St. Bernard's with 4:45 left and that's as close as Minnehaha will get. Trent Davis with a drive for 2. Hanson has a 3 go in and out. Davis responds a cold-blooded 3 on an assist from Jett and the lead is right back to 8 with 4 minutes left. Jett makes 7 of 8 free throws and finds Averey Duncan for a layup all in the last 2:38 as St. Bernard's holds on for a 73-66 win.

For Minnehaha, they fall to 17-2 and break a 13 game winning streak. Taylor Sparkman with 16 poitns and 9 rebounds by my count as he continues to have a nice season. David Burnham with 17 points. Taylor Hanson with a couple of 3s for 13 points and 7 rebounds.

For St. Bernard's, Jordair Jett with 31, 18 in the 2nd half. 10-13 FTs, 5 rebounds and 4 assists on my sheet. Averey Duncan with a quiet 17 points. Didn't feel like he had that many, but I was focused on his defense.

Strategy Session
This game was one of the more fun chess matches between coaches I've seen all year. Here's the progression. Minnehaha starts with Parker Hines at the point, SB counters with Duncan guarding him. In that opening 11-4 stretch, Duncan was too much for Hines to handle as Minnehaha couldn't get into anything. Out of that timeout, Minnehaha counters with 5'6 Austin Brown to be the primary handler. But he's undersized, so St. Bernard's counters by having Trent Davis post up against Brown. In the 2nd half, Taddonio comes in and he too is undersized and Jett takes him down low. Brown wasn't playing well in the 2nd half, so Hines went back to the point and we came full circle down the stretch. So we ended up with a couple of possessions of David Burnham bringing the ball up late. Minnehaha did try to add in a high ball screen to try and relieve some pressure too.

This matchup should decide that St. Bernard's will be the #1 seed and Minnehaha the #2 seed in 4AA East. Write down March 17th at Holy Angels for the rematch (and ultimately the section title game). The adjustments will be very interesting to watch. For me, I'd like to see Taylor Hanson get more post touches such as some high/low with Sparkman.

Jordair Jett picture courtesy of


  1. Hey Czar.. Was wondering if you could give me some more information on St. Bernards and Jett. I've been following Pelican Rapids pretty closely lately, and I really like their style of play. I'm looking forward to the possible Benard's/Rapids clash. Any insight on who you think that game goes to?

    (also.. im looking forward to that, but only if my alumnus stumbles.. haha)

  2. Thankfully, the teams wouldn't meet until the state final. Nice to see the bracket work out that way.

    Obviously Jett and Storrusten would be the big attraction. St. Bernard's may be small on paper (Jett often guards a big on the defensive end) but they play so much bigger than their size. Averey Duncan is one of the best defenders around. He'd get the assignment of guarding Storrusten. Eric Shulstad may have a height advantage, but I don't know that he's physical enough to take advantage of that height.

    With 2 point guards in the lineup (Jett and Trent Davis), I don't think Pelican will be able to press and generate turnovers. Pelican Rapids does have enough shooters to make Bernard's pay for mistakes. Jett is the X factor, when he's on the floor, the Bulldogs are so much better, but when he leaves Pelican Rapids will have an advantage. I'd take Bernard's to win an entertaining game.


Have a different take than mine? You can provide your take here.