Its a city rivalry with Benilde-St. Margaret's jogging to St. Louis Park. But more on the line tonight with St. Louis Park only 1 loss back for the top spot in the league. Thanks to the unbalanced North Suburban schedule, its also the only time the teams will meet this season. According to the banners on the wall, its been 25 years since St. Louis Park won a conference title in boys hoops so a win tonight would be a good story. Creighton in the building tonight looking on. I grab Subway on the way over so only a beverage on tonight's concessions menu. I saw the KGB on the way home too, NYET! The outfit was too obvious with the quality overcoat and Ushanka (that's a fur hat with fold down flaps, I definitely need one). I'll have to have speaks with them on that, security in the kingdom is highly important! Restaurant quality work by the BSM students tonight. Now in recent games I've attended they haven't upheld the high standards of season's past. But tonight it was a fairly small group but they had a great theme, fruit (its a loose definition, bear with me). Park ready to shoot the first throw, WATERMELON!. Waiting on the second and... AVACADO! Back to the line.. PASSION FRUIT! So I can't let that one pass without using it for my song of the day.
Song of the Day
Little Richard - Tutti Frutti
No Marquealis Edwards in the starting lineup for Park but they get off to a good start. Joe Zangel to a backcutting Quintin Wagner for a jumper. Then Zangel with a drive for a layup and another layup via turnover. 8-3 Park at the 14:45 mark. Sanjay Lumpkin then drives left baseline and throws down the emphatic 1 handed hammer. He's so much more aggressive and involved now than the 1st month of the season. Totally different player and its great to see as that will only improve his stock. DJ Pollard for 3 and then he gets 2 more on a goaltend. 30-24 Park at the 6:11 mark. Then its all Red Knights. Kyle Washington with a 3 point play, 1 free throw and then a big block as BSM is back in front. Will Dunn with 1 free throw and a 3 point play. On the play, SLP draws a technical (soph Garrison Guillard's 4th foul). Isaiah Zierden makes the 2 technicals. Zierden and Dunn add 3s before the half ends. 20-2 Red Knights over the last 6 minutes of the half.
Dunn with a nice bounce pass to Myles Barnes for a dunk to finish the 22-2 run. He adds another layup and a big block that results in a Washington 3 point play. 53-37 BSM before Edwards come off the SLP bench at the 14:15 mark. Then Barnes with the catch at the foul line, 1 bounce to his left and BOOYAH! Some unfortunate Oriole just earned his way onto a poster with Barnes going up and over for the monster jam. 64-50 BSM with 9:27 left when Edwards appears to injure his right ankle and doesn't return. That takes the spirit away and the rest is garbage time. Barnes runs out for a breakaway 2 handed dunk that pushes the lead to 24 with 3:32 left.. Benilde-St. Margaret's wins 88-70.
Joe Zangel leads St. Louis Park with 17 points and I had 7 rebounds on my sheet. He had some early success out of the DDM taking Kyle Washington off the bounce but I wish I would have seen more of it. Aaron Ziman goes 10 of 10 from the line for 14 points. DJ Pollard with 9 of his 10 in the first half. Kashif Hayes held to 6 points as the Red Knights had Lumpkin guarding him for a fair chunk of the evening. The Orioles fall to 9-2, 13-8 overall. But those other 6 losses are to Eagan, at Apple Valley (with Tyus Jones), at Chaska, at Hopkins, Armstrong (neutral) and at Washburn. Besides the Hopkins game, those other 5 were decided by 6 points or less. The Irondale loss was by 3 so this is a much better team than their overall record indicates. They're probably looking at the 4 seed in 6AAAA which gives them Hopkins in round 2. It doesn't get any easier with Irondale (triple OT loss in 1st meeting) and Cooper next week.
Benilde-St. Margaret's improves to 17-3 and they take a commanding 2 game lead in the loss column in league play. With this head-head win, it defacto becomes a 3 game lead. Great balance tonight for the Red Knights. Myles Barnes with 13 of his 18 in the 2nd half to help blow the game open . Sanjay Lumpkin and Isaiah Zierden with 17 each (though I thought Danon Briggs had 1 of the 3s credited to Zierden). Kyle Washington 14, Will Dunn 9 pts, 4 rebs, 4 ast (Czar's Note 2/13/11, a friendly watched the tape and said 7 assists). Barnes is playing really well inside and Lumpkin has stepped his game up big. Depth and skill were never a question, with the big win against DeLaSalle and following it up tonight, they look ready to a major push deep into March even in one of the toughest sections in the state (could have 4 conference champions). The Red Knights are at Columbia Heights and host Irondale next week