Minnehaha vs Crosby-Ironton (State 2A Quarterfinal)

Nice to Andy Birdsong before the game. He coached many of the Minnehaha kids in summer ball for the past few years and is now a graduate assistant at Florida State.  Glad to see him get a chance to his guys play at state.  Taylor Hanson is a major matchup problem for Crosby-Ironton as the Rangers have nobody over 6'3.  But CI is well-coached and Mark Hoge can play.  Should be interesting.

Game Time
Crosby-Ironton starts with their matchup zone and a soft 1-2-2 3/4 court press.  Austin Brown sporting a big wrap on his right hand due to February injury.  Hoge for 2 and then a steal for 2 more.  That cuts the Minnehaha lead to 8-6.  Hoge 2 layups, 2nd off Brown turnover and he throws his hand wrap to the bench in disgust.  12-11 Minnehaha inside of 12 minutes left in the half.  Hines with his 2nd from the deep beyond at 8:50 and a turnover for a Jack Johnson layup extends the Redhawks lead to 21-15.    Erick Forson with a tough 2 and that forces a Crosby timeout.  23-15 Minnehaha with 7;51 left in the half.  CI running a UCLA cut into a side-screen roll/double screen combo as their base "motion" offense.  Joel Reinhardt with a bomb against the zone and a Johnson tip pushes the lead to 13.  Minnehaha with a 14-5 on the glass before Hoge stops the bleeding.  Hanson with 2 offensive boards for a conversion to force another CI timeout.  30-17 Minnehaha with the lead after an 18-6 run.  Hanson picks up his second foul in a scramble at the 5:10 mark and he'll have to sit.  Minnehaha 8 turnovers or this one could be worse with Crosby shooting 8-25 compared to 12-20 for the Redhawks.  Tyler Dickie and Hoge for 3 and Minnehaha wants a timeout up 30-23 at the 4:24 mark.  The buckets give Crosby a chance to get back in their pressure which has been effective.  Hoge drives for 2 freebies and a bucket at 1:55 to cut the lead to 1.  Hanson back in.  Hoge goes baseline again for 2 and then a hard cut for 2 free throws.   Minnehaha hangs on to lead 35-33 at the half.  Hoge goes absolutely nuts for 21 points.  Parker Hines with a pair of triples to lead Minnehaha with 8 points.  CI finishes the half on a 16-5 run thanks to Hoge.  Minnehaha pounding the glass for a 19-9 advantage but they have 11 turnovers that become 20 Crosby-Ironton points.

Matthew Hudrlik with a straight away 3 off screen the screener action and CI has the lead 38-35 with 15:30 left.  Dickie for 2 and the foul at 14:10 and CI goes up 41-37.  Minnehaha not happy with the officiating so far in the half.  Hines jumper around and out, Hoge rebounds and Crosby with a tough putback.  Then Brock Tesdahl with a challenged 3 at 11:40 and Minnehaha needs a timeout down 48-40.  15-5 CI run to start the half.  Hoge with a pair of buckets to keep the Rangers lead at 8 with 10 minutes left.  Then a nice assist to Tesdahl on a screen roll for a double digit lead.  Hoge in the lane for 2, a missed defensive assignment for a layup, Hanson misses a bunny and CI is back the other way for a layup assisted by Hoge.  60-48 CI leads with 7 minutes left and Minnehaha takes a much needed timeout.  CI stays with their soft press.  Minnehaha interestingly doesn't extend their defense.  Hoge for 2 and the hack.  That puts him over 30 and its the 4th foul on Hines with 6:08 left.  Surprised he sits since the margin is 12.  Crosby-Ironton killing the clock with THE WORLD'S WORST OFFENSE.  Hanson with a steal for 2 and the foul with 3:58.  That cuts the margin to 63-54.  Timeout Crosby with 2:28 left and a 64-56 lead.  Minnehaha has to go quick but they have a tough time even getting a shot up.  Forson hits a couple of late threes but Minnehaha doesn't threaten.  CI goes on to win 72-67.

Mark Hoge from CI is the story in this one.  Minnehaha can't find an answer for him.  He shoots 12-20 and makes 10-14 free throws for a huge 35 point, 5 rebound night.  While Minnehaha cut out the 2nd half turnovers, the soft press took them out of rhythm all night.  Minnehaha finishes 23-5 on the season.  Taylor Hanson leads the way with 18 points and 7 rebounds.  Crosby shoots 60% in the second half to 12-29 for Minnehaha.  With the win CI moves into a semifinal rematch on Fridayt against Plainview-Elgin-Millville.  CI lost the meeting at the TWolves shootout 51-41.

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