So after a long night watching The Crown Prince's alma mater blow a late lead and lose 37-36 on Tuesday, I return to The Kingdom for a quiet night in the metro. Tonight takes me to Cooper for their North Suburban game against Fridley. Fridley with 9 league losses in a row sandwiched by 2 wins over St. Francis and somehow there's still 2 other teams besides St. Francis below them. A hot dog upgrade at Cooper this year as I couldn't wait around for the pizza.
Calvin Godfrey wtih a putback and Darry Jones with a triple to bookend a 9-2 Cooper run in less than 2 minutes to start the game. Jones runs out for a layup and Godfrey with a 3 point play on the post and its 14-4 Hawks at 13:10. A pair of Fridley triples cuts the lead to 16-10 before Cooper runs out again. Soph Darrin Hebert, who's not seeing as much varsity time now, for 3. Terrance Averyheart with 3 of 4 free throws, Godfrey on the post for 2 but then misses a lob pass off a blocked shot. 24-10 Cooper when Fridley calls for time at the 8 minute mark. 8-0 Cooper run over 2:25. Interesting that Cooper going with 1 starting big (Godfrey before this timeout, Brandon Harrison after) and 4 perimeter players from the bench. Ryan Jenkins with another 3 for Fridley with 5:20 left in the half. 27-15 Cooper and that's Fridley's first FG in 6:40. Godfrey and Harrison on a trap force a turnover for a Jones layup, another turnover for a Averyheart layup and Elijah Swen for 2 to push the lead to 18. 39-24 Cooper at the half.
Cooper starts the 2nd half strong as Godfrey puts back a miss to cap a 7-0 run. 2 more Fridley turnovers result in 2 more Cooper layups. 54-28 with 13:42 left as Fridley calls time. This one is all over at this point as Godfrey doesn't play the last 11 minutes. Raheem Tyner comes from way off the bench and outworks everybody for 18 points in the last 10 minutes. At least 12 of his points came from running the floor and working the offensive glass. Nicely done by the 6'5 junior lefty. Cooper goes on to win 76-42.
For Fridley, Devin Hemmerich leads the way with 11 points. The Tigers fall to 7-13 and 3-10 in the N Suburban. 5'7 soph Ryan Backstrom comes back next year at the point after starting tonight and Ryan Jenkins with a pair of triples tonight returns on the wing.
For Cooper, in addition to Tyner's 18 points, Calvin Godfrey finishes with 15, 10 and 3 blocks. Darry Jones with 14 points. Very strange night for the Hawks. They played a ton of 1-2-2 3/4 court in the first half back to straight 1-2-2. They ran 5 out with both bigs on the floor (Godfrey and Harrison, no Johnny Jackson tonight) and showed some 1-3-1 in the last 12 minutes along with some 2-3 high delay type offense. While the game got to mercy rule with 6 minutes left, it looked like Coach Johnson did a ton of experimenting tonight as this one could have been far worse if Cooper would have really looked to pound the ball to Godfrey inside. The Hawks have now won 6 in a row and have 1 test left at Irondale on Tuesday to lock up the league title.