Patriots spoil homecoming

Back to back nights in North Minneapolis as I venture out to Henry to see them take on Holy Angels.  Its the first coaching return of Larry McKenzie to the house he built with all those state titles not too long ago.  Orange Gatorade (yuck) with a very mediocre hot dog on the menu for the night.  1st shock for me is seeing that my pick for league MVP Deonte Blakemore is playing JV due to MSHSL transfer rules.  Since when do those get enforced in the city?  He goes for 34 in the JV game for Henry but it was a rough shooting and ball handling night for him.  Holy Angels won the JVs handily despite a late Henry rally.  But #3 (no programs tonight, later I find out its Shawn Atkins who's also out for transfer reasons) for the Henry JVs had 25 in a very nice game.  Stillwater in the building scouting Henry this weekend.  Michael Much in the building so Santa Claus is Coming to Town would have been an easy song choice but there's an easier one so ...

Song of the Night
Welcome Back - John Sebastian (Welcome Back Kotter theme)

Game Time
To the main course, Soph forward Danny Sullivan on the post for 2 and then Alex Anderson with the first of 4 triples on the night.  14-6 Holy Angels at the 13 minute mark.  Then 6'2" sophomore guard Darius Hill comes off the Henry bench and produces.  An old fashioned 3 point play and a dagger from deep cut the lead to 19-15 at 10:25.  Henry's Tim Gill then picks up his 2nd foul at 9:17 and has to sit the rest of the half.  Hill with another 3 to cut the Stars lead to 22-20.  Then starting point guard Wunell Beard gets his second at 7:40 and has to sit.  With only a 6 man rotation, Henry now going far deeper into the bench.  Hill's 2 freebies with 4 minutes left bring Henry all the way back to lead 25-24.  Beard comes back in and controls the rest of the half.  He scores the last 7 Henry points for a 34-32 Henry lead at the break.  Hill 14 points.  Sam Rosch working inside to get to the line 8 times and finish the half with 8 points to lead Holy Angels.

Senior Damon Woods had success slashing to the basket all night.  His drive at the 15:30 mark keeps Holy Angels within 38-36.  After starting the half with a left corner 3, Gill knocks down a jumper from the foul circle.  Add on 5 Henry free throws, the last 2 by Latrell Love for a 45-38 Henry lead.  Gill then picks up his 4th foul with 12:18 left.  Woods with another drive and then a steal for 2 more sandwich a Beard 3.  50-44 Henry with 7:08 left and Holy Angels won't go away.  2 offensive rebounds and a steal for an easy bucket push the Henry lead to 56-44 with 6 minutes left.  Anderson for 3 and a putback and Holy Angels is still within 9 with 5 minutes left.  Gill comes back at 4:34 after Henry extended the lead without him.  65-53 Henry with 2:30 left when Anderson goes for 3, Woods with another drive and then a scoop to the hoop.  Anderson with his final bomb of the night with 44 seconds left to cut the lead to 67-63 but 5 missed free throws in the last 3:24 are too much to overcome.  Henry wins 72-65.

Post Game
For Holy Angels, they fall to 0-2.  Alex Anderson and Damon Woods with big second halves to finish with 14 points each.  Great contrast in the stat line for those 2.  Anderson with 4 3s while all of Woods field goals were at the rim.  Sam Rosch 9 of 12 from the line to get himself into double figures with 11 points.  11 players played and 9 scored so plenty of balance from the Stars.  Coach McKenzie really shuttles guys in and out.  While Woods showed he can be a slasher, I wonder where they'll get consistent offense from.  They host FAIR on Thursday night.

For Henry, Darius Hill leads way with 14 of his 22 in the first half.  Wunell Beard sealed the game with 4 free throws at the end to finish with 18 points.  His play at the end of the first half really gave Henry a boost.  Latrell Love 19 points making a living at the charity stripe going 11 for 18.  Holy Angels had a game under their belt and this was Henry's opener so a good win to get started with the season.  With only a 6 man rotation, depth could be an issue.   Henry plays at Stillwater on Friday.

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