SPA at Concordia Thoughts (08-09 4AA Round of 16)

To Concordia Academy in Roseville for a 4 vs 5 game in the East subsection of 4AA. Concordia won the regular season meeting 74-72 on January 15th at St. Paul Academy via 33 from Zach Towle. What would SPA do to slow Towle down in this one?

Evan McMillan off to a quick start with 2 quick baskets, Harry Whitaker with a nice reverse layin and the hot point guard is Santano Rosario. He finishes a 9-2 SPA run to start the game with a triple. Timeout Concordia at 13:41. Towle off to an 0-5 start. Junior Nik Novitsky and Zach Houliston off the bench to provide a spark for Concordia. Rosario with a couple of jumpers to try and hold the Beacons off. But Novitsky with 8 straight Concordia points with a pair of triples. 19-17 Concordia with 7:05 left and Towle's only FG is a steal, otherwise 0-8. Novitsky with another 3 for 11 in a row to finish a 20-8 run over 7 minutes. Towle with a bad pass that ends up magically back in his hands for 2 and then Houliston with back to back buckets. 30-21 Concordia. SPA closes to 32-25 at the half. Novitsky with 13 on 3 triples and Houliston with 9 from the Concordia bench. Rosario with 11 points to keep SPA afloat. McMillan with 7 points but after the 1st 2 makes, I've got 2-7 shooting.

13-6 Concordia run to start the 2nd half with Chad Koepke and Zach Houliston getting it done inside. Towle finishes the run with a triple in transition. 45-31 Beacons at the 12:52 mark. Timeout SPA. Sophomore post Gabe Mast with a nice move to the right baseline and a lefty finish and a flex cut (my eyes are bleeding) for a layup to cut the lead to 10. Rosario has a chance to cut it to 9 with 6:35 left but he misses the front end of the bonus. SPA doesn't threaten again. Concordia moves on 66-47.

For SPA, junior point guard Santano Rosario leads the way with 17 points. Coach Schutte even had to move Towle off of him. Evan McMillan with 13 points and 12 rebounds but no field goals in the 2nd half. I had him in the area of 4-15 shooting and that includes the 1st 2 makes. Gabe Mast with 7 points and 5 rebounds on my sheet. He's a big body inside and shows a nice ability to use both hands at the basket with a decent shooting touch. Nice move by coach Kevin McKenzie when Concordia went 1-4 low with Towle on top. He brought the corner defenders to the elbows almost like a 1-2-2 zone to provide help. He also tried to really help/trap on ball screens. Add in 6'3 Joseph Stanoch to play him man-man and he had a very nice game plan. SPA finishes the season a much improved 13-13.

For Concordia, Zach Towle with only 11 points. I had him for 7 assists, 2 steals and 4 turnovers with 4-15 shooting. Hard to believe Concordia wins by 19 with those stats. Nik Novitsky was a huge key with all 13 of his points in the 1st half. Zach Houliston with 16 and 9. Chad Koepke with 16 points. They move on to play at St. Bernard's on Saturday night. St. Bernard's won the 2 regular season meetings by an average of 35 points.

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