Exciting Battle of Number 6

ow, Ow, OW!!!!  The hard foul on ice on the way here makes this one tough to watch but I'm tough so we'll continue on.  Its a battle of #6AAA De La Salle visiting #6AAAA Cretin-Derham Hall.  Despite barely making the tipoff, I am making sure to get the restaurant quality beef hot dog.  The PA system is bad enough on the CDH side.  No wonder they rarely open the side behind the benches where I was tonight.

Game Time
All bigs early.  De La Salle's Jonah Travis with 2 free throws from an offensive rebound.  Cretin's Seantrel Henderson with 2 putbacks.  Travis with a putback and a layup.  Those sandwich triples by Raijon Kelly and Taylor Montero.  12-8 CDH at the 11:40 mark.  Bretson McNeal for 2 and then 3 around a pretty backdoor cut for 2 from Montero.  Travis pins a Elliot Owusu layup to the board for a goaltending call before another Henderson putback.   18-13 CDH as DLS takes time at the 8:10 mark.  Jalen Jaspers finally gets going for DLS late in the half as he flares for 3, drives for 2 and nails another 3.  31-28 Cretin-Derham Hall as we go to the half.  Henderson really tough to handle inside.  Jonah Travis with the 1st 8 for DLS but only 2 more the rest of the half.

Henderson with another putback and Cortez Tillman with a layup at 14:10 for a 39-32 CDH lead.  They decide to go zone the rest of the way.  It starts with the same 2-3 trap that was so effective against Stillwater earlier this year.  After a McNeal 3, Kelly with a pair of freebies, Henderson with a postup for 2 and then Kelly with a steal under the basket for 3 the hard way.  46-35 CDH with 11:27 left and De La Salle needs a timeout.  They get the response necessary too.  Travis with a set play lob off a baseline out of bounds for a dunk.  McNeal for 3 and a Travis block becomes 2 Jaspers free throws.  46-42 CDH with 10:09 left as the Islanders score 7 in a row.  Henderson with a post layup off a flash and great touch pass from CJ Neuman.  CDH then goes 1-3-1 at the 9 minute mark and promptly forces a pair of turnovers.  Owusu gets the first for an easy breakaway dunk and Montero converts the other.  52-44 at 8:01 after that hoops and we get the mysterious CDH timeout.  Kelly adds a tough stepback shot from the left baseline to push the lead back to double figures, 54-44, with 7 minutes left.

Travis with 4 straight free throws, a much improved part of his game, to keep it close.  Then 2 DLS turnovers, 1 vs each zone as CDH is back to the 2-3.  Gus Gehlen converts the 2nd into a triple.  58-48 Raiders with 5:20 left.  Jaspers with 2 free throws.  A CDH turnover for a McNeal layup cuts the lead to 6.  Montero for 3 with 3:30 left for a 61-53 CDH lead.  Travis grabs his own miss and puts it back, Jaspers with a layup off a turnover with 2:30 left. DLS really pressuring and in their haste to help on Henderson inside, Owusu gets lost under the rim for a layup.  McNeal with 2 FTs at 1:38.  CDH then with 2 really questionable shots.  DLS can't convert the first but Travis grabs his own miss and converts a 3 point play with 32.8 left and its 63-62 CDH. Hold the phone.  DLS doesn't immediately foul and Travis bear hugs Henderson to put him on the line with 22.7 left.  Why is Henderson even in the game at this point???  He misses the front end and DLS has the rebound and a chance to win on the road.  No timeout, tick, tick, tick.  A flare screen for Jaspers or McNeal was effective all night but DLS doesn't get into anything and they lose the ball out of bounds with 5.1 left without taking a timeout.  After not getting anything in transition on the rebound, I would have liked to see a DLS timeout.  That would have given them about 10 seconds.   Montero makes 2 free throws with 3.8 left with Henderson still .  DLS has a play drawn up and its a handoff for McNeal who's shot is just long at the buzzer.  CDH hangs on 65-62.

For De La Salle, Jonah Travis with 22 points, 12 rebounds and 3 blocks (goaltending call not included).  Jalen Jaspers 6-17 for 18 points.  He had some good looks off of their secondary break on the dribble handoff to the top.  Against Minnehaha in their last meeting he made a bunch of those shots.  Tonight those shots didn't fall.  Bretson McNeal with 4 triples and 18 points as well.  The Islanders fall to 17-3 breaking an 11 game winning streak.

For Cretin-Derham Hall, they improve to 18-4 with the 4 losses by 15 points.  Seantrel Henderson leads the way with 14 points and 11 rebounds.  Raijon Kelly and Taylor Montero each with 12 points.  Elliot Owusu with 10 points.  I liked the zone strategy from CDH as I'd much rather play against the DLS zone offense than man offense.  Kicker is that you have to know who not to guard.  Most teams don't bother with that and make their lives so much harder.  Minnehaha was one of the few who picked out the non-shooters and didn't guard them.  The debate for the top seed in section 4AAAA will be very interesting between CDH and Sibley if both win out.  Sibley has more losses against a brutally tough schedule but they're a conference champion and CDH will likely be 2 games behind Forest Lake.  The teams are #6 and #7 in the current state poll.  (We'll ignore the fact the #8 Eden Prairie beat CDH head to head, will win their tougher league and has a better power ranking.  How much are polls really worth?)

Jonah Travis photo courtesy of MNPhotoNet.net

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