I saw Who?

Its a really weird Saturday on the schedule as there is absolutely nothing out there.  So I make the trek to Chisago Lakes to see Benj Figini and the Wildcats take on Hermantown.  Then its the enthralling boys/girls doubleheader in the Eastern Minnesota Athletic Conference as International School of Minnesota (ISM) visits Calvin Christian.  Be honest folks how many of you have actually heard of that league?  For music, a fun selection that I thinks fits the main question I got all week.  Why them?

Song of the Day
Who are you - The Who (clean version only boys and girls)

Game 1: Hermantown at Chisago Lakes
Despite an early lunch before the game, I can't pass on the pizza which wasn't bad.  Any meal of Pizza and Pepsi is always going to be an option.  Mr Basketball finalist Benj Figini not in the starting lineup.  He enters at the 14:18 mark.  28-26 Chisago at the 5:56 mark before Figini gets fouled and there's a Hermantown technical.  That pushes the lead to 6.  Figini with 2 fouls and resting but with an 8 point lead he surprisingly comes back in at the 2:51 mark and a charge gives him his 3rd foul at the 2:20 mark up 5.  But Steven Ramberg nails a 3, 2 free throws and then another 3 to beat the buzzer for an 8-1 run to end the half.  45-33 Chisago Lakes leads at the half despite limited minutes from Figini.

Cory Kucza led Hermantown with 12 points in the first half but he picked up his 3rd foul in the last minute of the first half and his 4th comes only 18 seconds into the 2nd half.  Then the officiating gets out of hand.  A missed over and back call results gets the Hermantown bench a T but both freebies are missed.  Spencer Johnson drives for a layup for the 2nd time that Hermantown cuts the lead to 3.   Then a big time collision and the call is somehow a travel despite both kids knocking heads and having to leave.  Meanwhile the Hermantown fans are just killing the officials.  It gets to the point where the Chisago Lakes coach gets on the PA system and tells the fans "Its just a high school game".  Later the officials stop play in the middle of action to tell the Hermantown coach to sit and further down the line they badger the Hermantown coaches about further yapping from them.  Just a totally horrendous attitude from both members of the 2 man crew.  The arrogance was thick enough to cut with a knife.  Figini on the post for 2, Per Gulbranson with a jumper, Figini with 1 free throw and the offensive rebound equals 2 Joe Fernstrom free throws.  62-51 Chisago Lakes with 9:22 as its a 7-0 Wildcats run.  Hermantown cuts the lead to 7 with about 5 minutes to go.  Chisago forces a pair of attempts but Hermantown turns it over twice.  Chisago Lakes goes on to win 79-69.  Benj Figini with 31 points and 6 rebounds on my sheet.  Cory Kucza leads Hermantown with 21, Corey Anderson with 20.

Game 2: International School at Calvin Christian
ISM has a name AAU folks would recognize as their head coach is longtime Minnesota Magic coach Shun Tillman.  Calvin Christian is halfway between Spring Lake Park and Fridley High Schools.  Tonight features a boys/girls doubleheader as these teams play cross-division in the EMAC.  Calvin Christian, Great River, AFSA, Hmong Academy and Metro Deaf School make up the North Division.  ISM, Minnetonka Christian, Community of Peace, Shattuck-St. Mary's and MN School for the Deaf make up the South Division.  League play is like the Tri-Metro divisional setup with a MCAA like conference tournament that will happen the last week of the month.  We have a gray rubber like playing surface with the out of bounds painted maroon.  1 row of folding chairs all the way around, that includes the benches.  A loud building too like the Minneapolis City buildings where just a few can cause quite the racket.  The concession stand is right behind 1 basket, but we only lose 1 ball into the food.  Cheap prices with only $1 for students and $2 for adults to get in.  But somebody forgot to turn on the heat as the building was absolutely frigid.

As to the game itself, it was all ISM.   Frosh guard Ethan Forney and senior guard Omar Bushara with big games for the Huskies.  Bushara scores after a turnover for an 8-2 lead.  Then Forney with a layup off another turnover and a 3 off an inbounds.  Bushara for 3, Forney with a steal for 2 and then a pair of assists to Bushara for layups.  24-7 ISM at the 11:25 mark.  Center Ben Stephens is a big body inside for Calvin Christian.  He's all over the offensive glass to keep this one respectable.  He scores 10 straight for the Cougars.  But Forney hits 2 more 3s during that stretch.  Forney with a late assist for a layup and its 45-24 ISM at the break.  Forney with 15, Bushara with 14.  Bushara to Forney and frosh Brock Hilderbrandt for hoops followed by 2 more of his own.  60-36 with 9:07 left.  The rest is coasting as ISM was up 20 with 4 minutes to go when I departed.  ISM also has another nice shooter in junior Chris Tiede.  They're fun to watch as they really get out and run and will get after with a 1-3-1 3/4 court trap or a 1-2-2 wing trap in the half court.  International School now 11-7 overall, 11-1 in the EMAC for the #1 seed.  They lost 69-55 to Edison at home, 72-48 at Trinity and beat Great River 53-52.  That will likely put them right around the 11 seed in section 4AA (Czar's Note 2/13, see comments for updated explanation, I'd say 13 now).  They finish EMAC play at Shattuck St. Mary's on Tuesday before the EMAC tourney starts on Feb 22nd for them.  Like Blake, they're also looking at a break before they start section play.  Calvin Christian falls to 12-8, 6-7 in the EMAC.

Play of the Day
Nice set from ISM coach Shun Tillman on the side out of bounds.  Its a regular box set with posts on the ball side block and elbow and shooters on the back side elbow and block.  Bottom shooter runs off the low screen and curls towards the top of the key as the other big seals in.  2nd shooter on the back elbow cuts towards the basket and then off the low screen to the ball side corner for 3.  ISM used this at least twice including out of halftime for easy looks at 3.  Simple but effective.

1 comment:

  1. Upon further reflection, I see Brooklyn Center beat Mounds Park who beat Edison who beat International School who beat Great River.

    So I'd give BC the 10, MPA the 11, Edison the 12, International School 13 and Great River the 14.


Have a different take than mine? You can provide your take here.