Jaspers leads DeLaSalle to big win.

Prologue
The night session is at DeLaSalle.  The Walking Taco at the concession stand tonight, sweet!  And as always, yes give me everything on it.  And I haven't even entered the gym yet.  Due to my late arrival during the girls game I make a rare appearance in the upper deck and find Columbia Heights coach Willie Braziel on hand to watch the Islanders for section play.  St. Olaf and Hamline on hand watching as well.  Nice crowd but no DLS band and they played on Thursday vs North.  Oh the disappointment.   Minnehaha won the first meeting 71-59 (read about it here)

Game Time
All Minnehaha early as Austin Brown spins for 2 and Taylor Hanson knocks down a 3.  9-1 Minnehaha at 12:25.  Jalen Jaspers with a jumper and 1 at 12:11 for DeLaSalle's first field goal of the night.  Bretson McNeal in his first game back in a couple of weeks and he's flammable.  He scores 12 De La Salle points in a row on 4 3s in a 5 minute span.  The last on a nice set double flare screen where LaMonte Hall absolutely wiped out the defender on a screen that went from elbow to low block.  That keeps the Islanders within 17-16 at the 6:30 mark.  Jonah Travis picks up his second at the 6:02 mark and that's after Walter Franklin has already been on the bench with 2 for 6 minutes.  Eric Klingner turns that into 2 free throws and then converts a 3 point play. Timeout DeLaSalle down 22-16 with 4:08 left in the half. McNeal with a steal for 2 at 3:05 and its 24-20 Minnehaha.  Parker Hines for 3, Eric Forson for 3 and Joel Reinhardt with a putback.  That sends Minnehaha to the break up 32-24.

2 free throws by Taylor Hanson at the 14:49 mark keep Minnehaha up 37-30.  Then an interesting twist as DeLaSalle decides to go small and play without Jonah Travis or Marcus Dorsey.  That puts Jaspers in the middle and gives him the chore of guarding Hanson.  He immediately responds with a pair of putbacks.  Then great ball movement is 2 passes and a great head fake by LaMonte Hall.  Hall steps back off the head fake and nails the 3.  A turnover becomes 2 free throws by Walter Franklin and we're all tied at 39 with 11:11 left.  Hines called for 5 seconds while Minnehaha wanted a timeout.  Coach Johnson is livid for good reason and the official compounds the mistake by giving the technical.  Franklin makes 1 of the 2 technicals and the Islanders don't convert the possession so we're tied at 41.  Hanson with a jumper but then he picks up his 4th foul with 8:40 to go and a 45-44 Minnehaha lead.  A turnover turns into a Jaspers layup at 6:45 and DeLaSalle leads for the 1st time all night, 48-47.  Hanson right back in the game.  Minnehaha with a pair of bad possessions around a Jonah Travis bucket.  50-49 DeLaSalle with the ball as they call timeout with 4:04 left.

Travis with a putback at 3:35 and the lead is 3, big basket.  Then another Minnehaha turnover for a Franklin layup is a backbreaker.  54-49 Islanders with 3:10 left.  Hanson on the post for 2 but Jaspers counters with a nice bank out of the post and after a turnover he tacks on a free throw to push the lead to 6.  Brown with a putback countered by Travis converting inside on a dish.  De La Salle turns it over after a Minnehaha miss and Brown's layup with 1:15 left cuts the Islanders lead to 59-55.  The rest is free throws and the Islanders make 9 of 10 in the last 1:01 for a 68-61 win.

For Minnehaha, they fall to 18-4 and into a 1st place tie with De La Salle on top of the Tri-Metro west division at 11-1.  Austin Brown with 16 of his 20 in the second half but also 6 turnovers in the half.  Parker Hines 12 points but no field goals in the 2nd half.  Taylor Hanson another quiet game vs the Islanders with 10 points on 3 field goals.  Its very possible the Redhawks won't be challenged again until state where Crosby-Ironton could be a state quarterfinal opponent.

For DeLaSalle, Jalen Jaspers with 19 of 26 of his points in the second half as all the offense went through him.  That included some post up action with him playing center for a chunk of the 2nd half.  Bretson McNeal with 14 of his 18 points in the first half and those were crucial to keeping the Islanders close.  Jonah Travis 11 points as Minnehaha chose to double him in the post in this one.  Tough non-conference schedule of Cretin-Derham Hall, Benilde-St. Margaret's, St. Thomas Academy and Minneapolis Henry still awaits the Islanders before the regular season ends.


Jalen Jaspers photo courtesy of MNPhotoNet.net

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