Raiders hold off Cadets

Prologue
To #4AAAA Cretin-Derham Hall as they host the nightcap of this fine Saturday against rival St. Thomas Academy.  Rene Pulley and Northern Iowa once again in the building for this one.  A North St. Paul sighting as well.  Nice to see a Polar on this cold day.  And the Mr. Basketball committee is once again represented.  Much to my surprise, the hot dog was not A+ quality as usual.  Bad material from the St. Thomas student section during the game chanting overrated when they were losing.  At least "Let's Play Hockey" made sense.  So with that and the Hopkins blowout in mind.

Song of the Day
Bon Jovi - Bad Medicine

Game Time
Definitely not the high flying pace to start this one.  Raijon Kelly with a stepback jumper and Taylor Montero for 3.  14-4 CDH at the 10 minute mark.  Montero doing a nice job on Cadets star Thomas Sjoberg on the defensive end.  Then its the Raijon Kelly show.  A pullup at 7:35, a triple off the inbounds, a driving layup and pullup on the break for 3.  10 straight points.  Then he drives and a kickout to Brian Smith for 3 before Kelly stops and pops at the 3:10 mark.  31-19 CDH.  That's Kelly in on 15 straight CDH points.  Sjoberg gets loose for a couple of late 3s to keep it close.  36-26 CDH at the break.

Kelly with the 3 point play and Smith's 3rd triple of the night to start the second half.  Kelly on the post for 2 free throws.  44-27 CDH with 16:19 remaining.  Sjoberg with a fadeaway and another bomb via the inbounds.  Add in a STA putback and its 47-35 CDH with 13:35 left.  Montero with a short jumper, CJ Neumann with a nice assist to soph post Luke Hamel for a layup and a Montero layup.  53-35 CDH with 12:10 left.  But St. Thomas is too good not to have a run in them.  Sjoberg loose for back to back bombs to end a 14-3 Cadets run.  56-49 with 8:13 left and this one isn't over.  Then CDH misses 2 bunnies and Sjoberg is held trying to cut for a 3rd 3.  But he misses the front end of the bonus.  Montero makes STA pay with a 3 point play on Raiders possession.  That looked like a big moment.  But the Cadets aren't done.  Nick Waldvogel with 2 free throws, Jordan Kruger for 3 and John Gould goes glass.  59-56 CDH with 4:09 left and the Raiders need a timeout.  21-6 Cadets run over the last 8 minutes.  That wakes up the CDH student section who's on their feet.  It also makes me realize that CDH has been running THE WORLD'S WORST OFFENSE during much of this run.  Only fitting that they should give up a run. 

Out of the timeout, Neumann hits the offensive glass for a putback.  The teams trade free throws and then misses.  That includes a surprising shot from Kelly with 1:20 remaining and a 5 point lead.  The Cadets make another free throw with 1:07 left to cut the lead to 62-58.  CDH goes 4 corners and gets a break when the Cadets choose not to foul Connor Quicksell who was 1-5 FTs on the night.  Then just as Kelly was going to pass to Quicksell he gets mugged by 3 guys with 31.4 left and makes 1 free throw.  Kelly then fouls Sjoberg on a long 3 and Sjoberg makes all 3 free throws.  63-61 CDH with 5.6 seconds left.  Jake Frey fouled on the inbounds after almost losing the ball on the end line, 2-4 FTs on the night.  But he's clutch making both to ice this one.  65-61 CDH wins.

Post Game
For St. Thomas Academy, lefty Thomas Sjoberg leads the way with 26 points and 6 3s.  7-16 shooting on my sheet with 6 rebounds and 2 blocks.  The only other significant offense for the Cadets was 13 points from Jordan Kruger.  Based on what I saw this year, I thought they'd have more offensive weapons.  But as usual, they're tough and defend so they'll be very competitive.  The Cadets fall to 2-1 and travel to St. Agnes on Wednesday.  Then they travel to the Grand Rapids holiday tournament to take on the hosts and Duluth Central.

For Cretin-Derham Hall, they're now 3-0 and play next in the Catholic Spirit holiday tournament at the University of St. Thomas.  Raijon Kelly leads the way with 18 of his 21 points in the first half and 1st possession of the second half.  7-10 FGs along with 5 rebounds on my sheet.  That was from the point guard spot tonight due to regular PG Cortez Tillman sitting out with a concussion sustained earlier this week.  Brian Smith stepped up in the starting role with 11 points and 3 big triples.  Taylor Montero 15 points and 5 rebounds on my sheet.  Not to mention the task of chasing Sjoberg around all night.  Not a wow player in terms of athleticism or exceptional skills but can do a bit of everything and is the real glue for CDH.

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