North holds off South in Overtime

Not as bitterly cold as I expected.  Means I probably could have survived the trip to Columbia Heights (Heights won by 6 despite Kyle Noreen holding down Jacob Thomas).  But I got a good one on the north side as North hosted South.  These teams should play for an oversized compass rose or something like that.  Average concessions but even though I didn't partake, you have to like the option of a super dog (jumbo hot dog).

Game Time
A star-studded bench to start the game as Malik El-Amin and Pengi Mboma for North sit as well as Alonzo Traylor for South.  North comes out with some 3/4 court pressure (1-2-2 with a back guy taking the middle almost like the diamond press).  Mark Devine takes advantage as he scores 8 points in the first 4:15 with Traylor on the bench.  That combined with the press gives North a 18-8 lead.  Traylor finally comes in at 11:50 to stop the bleeding.  22-10 North on a nice Ariel Deloney spin with 9:35 left in the half before South comes back.  Walter Abram with a jumper to cut the lead to 6.  Traylor a tip in and fouled to cut the lead to 4.  Abram with a jumper as he goes away from a screen and roll, then a bucket on a turnover, he converts an early shot by El-Amin into a layup with 2 seconds left in the half.  8 Abram points in the last 2:09 of the half.  30-28 North at halftime.  Abram with 12, Devine with 11 (8 early).  Traylor only 4 points but +6 with him in the game, -8 without him.

South runs the same post set (Cleveland, I'll go thru it below) twice for Traylor for easy buckets in an 11-2 South run to start the 2nd half.  North needs time down 39-32 with 14:21 left.  Ricky Collins with a tough fade away and then a triple after a South turnover to cut the South lead to 2.  Traylor with a 3 point play to temporarily stop the bleeding.  Mboma in the game in the second half  (DNP 1st half I think) and he gets a 3 point play, John Hicks makes a layup and Charles Smith from Deloney for a layup and Mboma again.  51-46 North with 8:55 left after a 15-3 run.  But somehow the scorers table takes a North point off the board.  During a timeout, the scorers table announced the score was wrong (48-46 shown when it was really 49-46) but then it never got fixed.  Very very strange.  So 50-46 North.  Traylor goes reverse layup twice (or just avoiding his left hand) and we're tied at 52 inside of 7 minutes to play.  Traylor big in the last 5+ minutes.  A free throw at 5:13 for Devine's 4th foul.  Down 3 inside 3:30 to play, he scores on a side inbound lob, blocks Ariel Deloney and puts back a miss to put South back on top 57-56 with 2:50 left.  Abram with a tough foul line fade away at 2:15 for a 3 point South lead.  Collins fouled on a fade away (bad foul) with 1:56 left but misses both free throws and Devine can't track down the rebound.  South throws away the inbound and Deloney converts it.  South misses the front end of the bonus with 1:28 left and North can't get that rebound either.  They get a break as Traylor goes baseline against a double team and steps on the end line with 1:13 left.  Devine then jumps over Carnell Sheppard for a lob and draws a questionable foul.  But he misses the front end with 1:01 left.  South again goes side out of bounds lob over the top for another easy Traylor 2 with :45 seconds left.  61-58 South leads.  North's Charles Smith misses a 3 and a scramble ensues.  Tie up with 23 seconds left goes to North.  Timeout Polars.  Smith inbounds sideline right and comes left over 2 foul line big screens.  He gets the feed and the 3 is pure.  Too easy.  61 all with 13 seconds left.  South timeout.  Traylor gets the ball in the post, takes a dribble left, recognizes the open player on the left baseline but the jumper is no good and we'll play 4 minutes of overtime.

1st 5 points of the overtime period go to North.  Devine, who didn't play much in the 2nd half, with a tip, Collins with a wide open jumper as his defender got caught ball watching and Collins cut away from him, then a Collins free throw.  Traylor with a right wing jumper with 1:50 left in OT to cut the North lead to 66-63.  North misses (may have been fouled) with 1:30 left.  Devine fouls out at 1:09 and Traylor converts both freebies to cut the lead to 1.  Collins misses a foul line jumper with 40 seconds left.  Good look but maybe not the shot you want right there.  Traylor with a decent 8 foot look on the right baseline that's no good with 30 seconds left.  El-Amin makes 1 of 2 freebies with 20 seconds left for a 67-65 lead and South takes their last timeout.  South attempts to run the same successful postup play that has worked all night, but North does a nice job of playing the play and South has no good counter.  They travel with 4 seconds left and El-Amin makes 2 free throws to seal a 69-65 North victory in overtime.

For South, Alonzo Traylor finishes with 30 points and 15 rebounds on my unofficial sheet, 20 of those in the 2nd half, 6 in OT.  I had him 12 of 16 from the floor.  Didn't matchup with Mark Devine as much as I thought he would.  But still dominant.  "Cleveland" I think was the set they ran for him.  Box set with Traylor on right elbow.  He gets the entry, point guard screens for other elbow to come high and then pops to opposite wing for reversal.  Other 2 guys then cross screen for Traylor to come from high right to the low left box.  Walter Abram with 19 points on my sheet.  Nice performance from him.  Carnell Shephard 9 points on my sheet, but he struggled.  Especially in the last 2 minutes of regulation, but he made up for it with a nice post feed to Traylor on that last regulation possession.  South falls to 6-4with the loss.

For North, Ricky Collins leads the way with 18 points.  Mark Devine with 13 points and 8 rebounds after the quick start.  Soph Charles Smith large with 15 points including the clutch 3 to send the game to OT.  That was 1 of his 3 triples.  While the press worked initially and a small bit in the second half, I thought they'd get more out of it.  I liked seeing North do some pressing and trapping though, not the run and jump of the old dominant Polar teams of Brett McNeal, but a good start.  North with a brutal stretch of the schedule coming up as they host Hopkins tomorrow, go to Washburn next Tuesday and then the annual Martin Luther King day trip to Chicago over the weekend.  Then at Eau Claire Memorial in the border battle and host rival Henry before the month ends.  North improves to 4-4 with the win.

Malik El-Amin photo courtesy of

1 comment:

  1. Is that Khalid El-Amin family member, because he went to North too.


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