With MTS at Prairie Seeds being called off some unknown reason, I decide on a very under the radar alternative. 9-1 New Prague at 8-3 Edina. New Prague has fallen out of the AAA poll but is still a dangerous team out of the Missota. I'm too early for the pizza at the concession stand which is unfortunate but the hot dog was well worth it. And a modicum of beverage discipline as I cut back to the 12 oz Sprite. 1 highlight of the night was having 1 of the 6 Shoot for Loot kids have a chance at $100 on a halfcourt shot. No good, but exciting. Hilarious watching New Prague head coach Tim Dittberner with the defensive stance and slides on the sideline. Great 80s music piped through the gym during timeouts tonight which gives us ...
Song of the Day
Whip it - Devo
New Prague with some long possessions in their dribble drive offense and getting nothing. I think we have some where else where we can't find the baskets. Flip Deberg grabs a tip of his own inbounds pass and goes to the reverse at 13:55. 4-0 Edina. A real shame that they don't run the Buzz or the Swarm on defense, just for the humor value. Jed Kreuser finally gets New Prague on the board at the 10:55 mark with a 3. Thankfully the snooze button finally turns off. Sergio Najera with a pair of 3 point plays inside. Those sandwich another Kreuser 3. Its a 12-2 New Prague run. 12-6 Trojans at the 6:52 mark. New Prague now out of the DDM and getting inside play. New Prague ends the half with a pair of bombs including Kreuser's 3rd on a play we'll draw up later. 25-18 New Prague at the break.
Same play to start the 2nd half gets another Kreuser 3. Then Kreuser with a layup to break the Edina press. Meyer inside with a nice dropstep from the left block for a layup. Then Cale Girten high low to Meyer on the right block for the catch and finish in the air. 36-22 New Prague with 14:08 left and Edina needs a timeout. A post entry and the kick to the top and the extra pass finds Girten in the corner for 3. 42-29 Trojans with 10:50 left. Edina continues to chip away. Soph Mark Handberg with his 2nd putback and 1 of the half then a pair of free throws to cut the lead to 6. Girten misses 2 free throws off our special play and Graham Woodward drives for a layup. 42-39 New Prague with 7:50 left and they need a timeout. 17-6 Edina spurt over the last 6:18. Foul difference big in Edina's favor at this point as they're already in the bonus and New Prague isn't close. Kreuser with another bomb and then a great look straight away off a shuffle set that doesn't go. Woodward for 3. Girten double teamed in the post but it gets kicked out to Kreuser for his 6th bomb of the night. 48-42 New Prague with 5:50 left as Kreuser is keeping them ahead. Cavonte Johnson comes up large for Edina. 2 free throws, then he strips Girten on the special play for a free throw and posts up to make 2 more freebies. 48-47 New Prague 4:24 left. 4:05 left and who else, its Kreuser for his 7th 3, dare I say extremely flammable. Deberg cuts and scores and probably walked, no call at 3:25. Woodward with a steal for 2 at 2:35 and he probably walked too for no call. Then a block turns into a Deberg bucket on the other end. 53-51 Edina has their 1st lead since 6-3 (9:55 1st half). A pair of New Prague free throws with 1:55 left ties the game at 53 before their wheels fall off. Brendan Canova with a putback and the foul at 1:22, then he steals the inbounds and finds Deberg for a layup. Then he gets another steal and feeds Woodward for a layup with 50 seconds left. 60-53 Edina has the lead. Kreuser with 1 more bomb to cut the lead to 4 but its not enough. Edina comes from 14 down in the second half to win 64-58.
For New Prague, Jed Kreuser 8 triples and a layup for 26 points. Kickouts on drives, set plays or inside out, he got them in a bunch of ways. Cale Girten 9 points on 3 triples to go with 5 rebounds. Quiet first half, but he was productive in the 2nd half. Sergio Najera all 8 of his points in the first half in productive post minutes off the bench. After about 5 minutes, New Prague totally got out of the dribble drive stuff and decided to pound the ball inside. That included some high low action and they will run classic side screen roll action as well. The Trojans fall to 9-2 and have a brutal start to Missota play with Chaska at home on Friday and a trip to Shakopee next Tuesday. A split in those games is critical to stay in the conference race.
For Edina, they improve to 9-3 with the win which is arguably their best of the year. Worth noting that the 3 losses are to Armstrong, Chaska and Shakopee by a total of 8 points with the last 2 on the road. Flip Deberg leads the way with 20 points. A pair of sophs came up big in the 2nd half. Graham Woodward wiht all 11 points in the 2nd half. Soph post Mark Handberg 8 of his 10 in the 2nd half including those 2 critical offense rebounds for 3 point plays. Brendan Canova only 4 points but in a 30 second stretch (1:20 to 50 seconds left) he took over the game with a 3 point play on a offensive rebound and 2 steals that he gave up for layups. They made big plays where New Prague didn't. Edina visits Blake on Thursday night and then hosts Rosemount in a makeup game on Saturday afternoon before a 1 game in 9 days break in their schedule.
Play of the Day
Really simple but smart set from New Prague is the play we talked about above. 1-4 high set with Cale Girten on the left elbow and Jed Kreuser on the right wing. Point guard enters to Girten and clears to the left corner. Other post on right elbow makes a hard diagonal cut to the left block looking for a post up. If that's not open, Girten has the floor cleared to his right hand. Kreuser is the only player on the right side but he's a shooter. The 1st 2 times I saw this, Kreuser got 3s on kick outs from Girten. Then Girten was fouled for 2 free throws (both missed), another non-shooting foul and a turnover. So 5 times run for 6 actual points (could have been 8). Its a bread and butter play for the Trojans and with 1.2 points per possession it would be for me too. And its a logical play that fits right with their dribble drive concepts.