The end of an era

Prologue
A sad night in Minneapolis hoops as its the final home game at Minneapolis North.  Declining enrollment and increasing costs will shut the school down for good or at least in its current form.  With 4 Mr Basketball winners, they lead the list all time from 1 school.  That includes the likes of Khalid El-Amin (1997) and Brett McNeal (1985).  The Polars won their last state title with McNeal as head coach in 2003.  The rematch of that 2003 title game vs Osseo to open the 2003-2004 season was the 1st game I attended after moving here (Emperor included).   Plenty at stake in this 1 as a North win would force a 3 way tie for the league title, a Washburn win would give them the title outright and push North to 3rd.  Armstrong and Richfield scouting along with South Dakota State.  1 of the better hot dogs I've had there in a while.  Sad to see a table setup outside and an announcement made at halftime for parents to sign their kids up for another school. A fairly good crowd for recent North games as well.

Song of the Day
School's Out - Alice Cooper

Game Time
Nick Anderson leading the way early for Washburn as he finds Cedric Chappell for a pair of layups on nice passes.  Dwight Anderson nails his 2nd 3 and a jumper, Clarence Thomas adds a 3.  14-5 Washburn 4 minutes in.  North keeps the lead around 10 before Nick Anderson for 3 and a Jerry Pratt basket.  30-15 Washburn at the 8 minute mark.  N Anderson finds Myles Shepard-Anderson for a layup off a high screen/roll and Anderson then makes a jumper out it.  40-22 at the 2:50 mark.  That concludes a 10-2 Washburn run.  44-29 Millers at the break.

North won't go away.  Charles Smith with 7 in an 11-2 run to cut the lead to 46-40 with 14:56 left.  Washburn needs  time to talk it over.  Its fitting that Malik El-Amin would go out with a big 2nd half.  He scored to finish the run and then adds 2 more buckets in a row.  46-44 Washburn with 13:07 left and the North crowd brings the noise after the 15-2 run with 11 in a row.  Thomas with a putback for a 3 point play and a tough double clutch in the lane to keep North at bay.  54-48 at the 9:08 mark after a pair of El-Amin turnovers that may have been fouls.  North coach Keenan Shelton thought so and after a touchy call against the Polars he gets a T.  Big moment as Thomas steps up and makes the bonus freebies, both technicals and a 3 for a 7 point possession.  Nick Anderson adds 2 free throws to conclude an 11-0 run.  63-48 Washburn with 7:44 to play.  El-Amin part of the last 13 North points (11 + an assist).  But North never gets closer than 10 the rest of the way.  Washburn wins 84-73 to clinch the Minneapolis City title.

Post Game
For North, Malik El-Amin leads the with 24 of his 27 in the 2nd half.  Charles Smith 24 from the other guard slot.  North falls to 14-11, 9-3 in the Mpls City.  Looks like they'll fall to the #6 seed in 6AAAA and play probably at Armstrong on Tuesday.

For Washburn, they avenge their only league loss to win the league at 11-1, 19-5 overall.  Clarence Thomas 30 points to lead the Millers.  Dwight Anderson 17, Cedric Chappell 13.  Nick Anderson 7 points and 6 assists.  He could have had double that assists total with the passes he made tonight, especially in the first half.  Outside of Tyus Jones, there is no other point guard that I see that sees the floor and distributes like he does.  He's one of those few guards who can not score a single point and you think "Who is THAT?!"  Deadly off of high screen and roll action. They'll host St. Paul Johnson in the Twin Cities Game on Saturday afternoon.

1 comment:

  1. North was where I first met the Czar! As one of my hobbies during the 06-07 season, I was videotaping the St. Bernard's-North game. (Coincidentally, one school is no more and the latter is about to be no more.)

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