Johnson runs away from MTS

To #1AAA Johnson for a showdown with #3A Minnesota Transitions.  This is a rematch of the Best Buy Holiday Classic 3rd place game that Johnson won 93-77.  How similar would this one be?  One of the lower ranked hot dogs of the season and the always entertaing 16.9 oz bottle of Gatorade (that's 500 ml for those who are wondering about the goofy measurement).  Surprisingly poor crowd too.  Williston State and Itasca in the building looking on.  And how could I miss the Mr Basketball guys sitting right where you'd expect them with their popcorn.  With a fast paced game and teams with title aspirations, this song seemed to make sense.

Song of the Day
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers - Running Down a Dream

Game Time
Early on its all MTS.  Rodney Owens nails a 3 to start the game and then 3 straight layups as MTS leads 16-7 at the 13:45 mark.  Roosevelt Scott and Anthony Lee don't start for Johnson but within the 1st minute they're up off the bench and waiting at the scorer's table.  Estan Tyler with a layup and a pair of free throws to cut the lead to 5.  Kyle Noreen counters as he banks in a 3, puts back a miss and seals his man for weakside inbounds layup.  Add in a Matt Lanier 3 and layup and its all part of a 12-4 MTS run.  32-19 Wolves with 7 minutes left in the half.  Owens makes 2 free throws to keep the lead at 12 with 5 minutes left in the half.  Most of the rest of the night is the Roosevelt Scott Show.  A putback, a 3, 2 steals for Lee layups, another 3 as Johnson cuts the lead down to 3 before the half.  46-42 MTS at the break.  MTS looked like they had momentum with the 13 point lead and similar to what Hyde Park did to Johnson, MTS spread the floor and went high dribble weave.  Johnson's defensive intensity picked up and kept them close.

Tyler with a drive and 2 free throws along with a Marcus Marshall 3 and Johnson has evened the score at 49 not even 2 minutes into the half.  Game on.  Marshall on the side out with a jumper with 15:15 left and the Govs have their 1st lead of the night 53-51.  Back to back layups put MTS back on top 60-59 with 12:40 left.  Then Tyler for 3, Scott with a dunk and a Lee layup in 50 seconds.  But Noreen nails an NBA 3 to cut the lead in half.  Scott gets his jersey grabs but gets the continuation + 1, a turnover leads to a Tyler layup and then Owens charges for his 4th foul with 10 minutes left.  Timeout MTS after a 12-3 Johnson run and the Govs have all the momentum with the 71-63 lead.  I thought MTS would get the timeout quicker, especially on the road.  The timeout works as Johnson holds and turns it over to ignite an 11-2 Wolves run that ends with a Lanier 3.  74-73 MTS with 6:53 left.  Scott won't be denied.  He goes to the reverse layup for 2 and adds on 2 free throws.  That's followed by a 3 point play and on the break, Owens fouls him to prevent dunk.  But that's the 5th foul on Owens and 5:57 remains as Scott makes both freebies.  That's 9 in a row for Scott in about 45 seconds.  82-76 Govs lead.  Noreen dives inside for 2 to cut the lead to 4 with 5:15 left but MTS will get no closer.  Scott adds on some late free throws and an exclamation point dunk.  Johnson wins 104-90.

Post Game
For MTS, the loss drops them to 16-5 and breaks a 9 game winning streak.  They give up 62 points in the 2nd half which just won't get it done.  Though 16 of those were in the last 3 minutes when playing catch up.  Kyle Noreen leads MTS with 30 points.  Rodney Owens 22.  Devonte Harvey in the MTS lineup for the 1st time in my viewing of MTS this season.  He finishes with 14.  Its not any easier for the Wolves the rest of the way.  They play at #5AAAA Eden Prairie on Friday and then visit #9A Springfield next Monday.

For Johnson, Roosevelt Scott has 27 of his 40 points in the 2nd half.  13-24 shooting with most of those misses in the 1st half.  He missed some bunnies in the first half otherwise he might have been close to 50.  I also had him for 8 rebounds and 5 steals.  Estan Tyler 17 points and he had the task of guarding Noreen.  That continues the Johnson strategy of having Tyler play the defensive stopper role even when Scott seems like the logical small forward vs small forward matchup.   Anthony Lee also finishes with 17 points.  Johnson improves wot 20-2 and remains undefeated against Minnesota opponents.  They play at Richfield on Thursday in what should be another fast paced game.  That's before finishing conference play next week.


  1. I really thought the game was won with about 4 minutes left in the first half. SPJ decided to play some aggressive defense! They were so physical with Noreen he obviously didn't respond to it well. First half the refs called it really tight not the same in the second half. Extremely inconsistent, I hate that! Those scouts were really impressed with 21 for mts little side note.

  2. Matt Lanier is #21 for MTS. He's had a nice season for them. I agree that Johnson turning up the defense late in the 1st half down 10 or 12 was the difference.


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