Packers and Polars grudge match thoughts

To South St. Paul tonight for their rematch with North (St. Paul that is). Actually this is a reschedule of the 1st meeting which was snowed out. The Packers went into the arctic and pulled the 58-57 upset on February 17th for 1 of the 4 season wins and only one in 2009. Brandon Strickland with 27 in that one for S. St. Paul. Josh Bennett with 13 for North in that game in the loss. That win makes the Packers 1-16 since a 3 game winning streak.

SSP introduces all 6 seniors on senior night and I thought they may leave them all out there for the technical but that didn't happen. We finally have a team that goes back to the Princeton offense. Nice to see NSP running that. S. St. Paul doing everything it can on the defensive end with 3 different defenses in the 1st 100 seconds (more on this later). 4 all at the 14:53 mark (snooze). SSP's Joe Chudars and NSP's soph guard Rex Johnson trade 2 triples each in a 1 minute span and I'm thinking the scoreboard might explode. 12-10 NSP at 12:35. Strickland then 7 straight SSP points on a jumper, an inbound lob and a triple for a 17-14 Packers lead with 6:15 left in the half. Josh Fleury (related to the former hockey star Theo Fluery?) with an offensive reboard and a tough finish and the Packers go up 6 at the 5:20 mark. A Josh Bennett 3 and Johnson steal cut the lead to 2. Strickland counters with a spinning banker in the lane and a bomb from the right corner for a 26-19 Packers lead and NSP needs timeout. 26-24 Packers at the half. Strickland with 14, Johnson with 11 in the half.

Bennett with a triple and Johnson with a putback to tie it at 29 at the 15:15 mark. After 2 Chudars free throws, the Packers go cold and NSP turns up the pressure with some full court traps. Bennett with a 3 point play, Jake Knutson with a triple followed by a Bennett triple, Andrew Rangistch with an offensive board for 2 and Kyle Whyte with a nice slip of a screen for a bucket. Strickland then goes thru a trap for a charge and this one is slipping away. 42-35 North at the 8:45 mark. Over 5:45, its a 13-4 spurt for the Polars. Peter Rother with 2 and the foul (misses the FT) to cut the lead to 5 as Charlie Choinere picks up his 4th foul with 7:08 to go. That thickens the plot some as Choinere is the center in their Princeton Offense. Then again maybe not. Bennett with more long distance sniper fire, Strickland misses 2 free throws and Whyte nails a 3 from Bennett. Bennett flared off a high screen in the Princeton Chin Series, caught and drove to draw the lone defender on the weak side and Whyte nailed it. Chudars has a 3 of his own go in and out and this one is basically over in my mind. Choinere scores on the post with 4:30 to go to give the Polars a 50-39 lead and I don't see SSP coming back as I call it a night. North wins 60-48.

For South St. Paul, they fall to 4-21 and finish up at St. Thomas Academy tomorrow. They travel to Mahtomedi next Friday in the opening round of section 4AAA play. Brandon Strickland scored 20 points over his average of 16.3 for the year. Nice job by the Packers to keep it interesting on the defensive end. On misses they'd go man, on makes 3-2 zone and on dead balls they went 1-3-1. I still think they had one of the better game plans of the year when they went triangle and 2 on Sibley.

For North, Josh Bennett with 14 of his 19 in the 2nd half including all 3 of his triples. Rex Johnson with 3 triples as well and 13 points. Jake Knutson with 16 points but he must have had them late or my sheet is way off. North is definitely committed to the Princeton Offense stuff as they have a ton of it in. Fun to watch, but I think its turnover prone at the high school level especially when 1st implemented. But it can be a giant killer.

No comments:

Post a Comment

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