Osseo upsets Cooper for 5AAAA Title

To Rogers for the 5AAAA championship game between Cooper and Osseo. The size and patience of Osseo vs the athleticism of Cooper. Noteworthy local stars on hand included Josh Pedretti of Maple Grove, Jasper Duberry of Champlin Park and Trent Lockett of Hopkins. Great sequence between the student sections during the game. I may not have it totally right but something like this.

Cooper Students: Golden Gophers
Osseo Students: Go Zags Go
Cooper Students: Where's Gonzaga? (as in Gon-Zayg-Ah)
Osseo Students: In the Tourney! (referencing Gonzaga's win over Akron yesterday and the Rodents loss).

That's good students and we had both bands do a fine job. Now to the game.

Rodney Williams gets the Cooper assignment of defending Sam Dower. Dower with 8 quick points via pair of putbacks. Kenquane Brown with a pair of triples. 11-10 Osseo at the 11:20 mark as Dower converts his own missed dunk. Back to back Orioles turnovers give Cooper 4 in a row. 14-11 Hawks at the 8:35 mark. But then the turnovers set in. Nick Djerf with a pair of triples vs Cooper's 2-3 and Brown has 4 turnovers in this run. John Rowland in the starting lineup tonight and he nails a 3. Dower with a dunk off a nice post set play. DJ Phillips takes a rebound coast to coast for a layup. Timeout Cooper. 28-17 Osseo leads with 3:09 left in the half. Its a 17-3 Osseo run over 5:11. 30-21 Osseo at the half. Dower with 12 and 6 on 6-9 shooting. Kenquane Brown with 8 points and 4 boards but costly turnovers. Rodney Williams 1-3 for 2 points.

Joe Bright keeping Cooper close with a pair of hoops as Rowland can't handle him. 37-27 Osseo at 14:35. Aaron Anderson with 2 FTs, Dower with a pair of postups around a straight away 3 that Rodney airballed. 43-27 Orioles with 11:42 to play. Bright with a bucket and a triple but Jayvin Reynolds is on him now and has swatted away a couple of Bright's inside looks. Rodney with 2 misses FTs and a missed front end. Quincy Bethea misses a front end and Rodney can't get the putback to go. 43-32 Osseo with 8:30 left. Bright with a nice interior pass to Brown for a layup and then a putback. 45-36 Osseo with 6:35 left. Timeout Osseo as the lead has now gotten under 10. Cooper turns up the defense and they really get after Bobby Fischer. Freddie Burton strips Fischer and that leads to 2 Brown free throws. DJ Phillips picks up his 5th foul on a technical called by an official a mile away from the play. Very strange. A big loss as Osseo needs his ballhandling right now. Brown makes 1 of the 2 FTs and then buries a triple on the possession. 51-44 Osseo with 3:05 left. Cooper gets to Fischer again but Bethea misses the layup. After Djerf makes 1 of 2, Brown counters with another triple. 52-47 Osseo with 2:20 left and momentum as Osseo is really struggling against the pressure. Rowland with 2 freebies and then Burton goes baseline and finds Brown in the opposite corner for another triple. 54-50 Osseo and there's still 1:35 left. Anderson held on the inbound and makes 2 FTs. Bethea and Burton get good looks at 3s and they're short. But Bright gets a steal from Anderson for 1 of 2 FTs with :55 seconds left. 56-51 Osseo. Osseo wins 58-51 to move on to state.

For Cooper, Kenquane Brown with 22 and 7 (5 triples) but a handful of turnovers. Joe Bright was a beast with 19 points. Rodney Williams ends his prep career on a very sour note. 6 points and 6 rebounds. 2-9 FG and 2-8 FTs. Cooper loses all 8 players who played for them tonight but they have a talented JV squad that will be very interesting to watch next year.

For Osseo, Sam Dower leads the way with 18 and 11. I had him 8-12 from the field. Junior Nick Djerf with a nice night of 16 points and he had a tough task of guarding Williams and Bright during the night. Djerf and John Rowland with a pair of triples each to extend the Cooper defense. They're probably looking at the #4 seed in the state tournament. Nice strategy by coach Thiesen to throw a bunch of different defenders at Rodney. That even included Dower on a critical possession in the last 90 seconds.

With tonight's results, I drop Rodney Williams out of my finalists for Mr. Basketball. He's replaced by Jordair Jett who's played sufficiently well in big games that I can no longer keep him off the list. It raises an interesting debate of how Mr. Basketball should be decided. Most Valuable to team (Dower, Wolters, Jett), best player (White) or combination of those factors (Bruesewitz).

1 comment:

  1. I just thought I should tell you..

    Nice game summary.

    One point though, Nick Djerf was by far the MVP for Osseo, though Sam did his job too. Nick hit some key treys early to keep the momentum from shifting. Also Djerf is one of the BEST defenders in the state by far. He has shut down Rodney multiple times, the last before this game being in fall league when Rodney had 6 and Djerf had 16. He doesn't get recognized because he was on a 52-1 (JV and Varsity combined) team last year. He is one of the most unselfish players on the floor and he makes good decisions most of the time.

    I hope you watched today's Osseo Apple Valley game as well, in which Djerf had another great game offensively and defensively (2 steals leading to 2 left handed throw downs) that shows why he is so valuable. He was interviewed by 5 different media outlets and was the player of the game. Keep watching and you'll be impressed.

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