Thoughts from Tipoff and Polar Classics

Prologue
Its a busy 28 and a half hours filled with 9 games from the fringes of Siberia (North St. Paul, White Bear Lake is the real Siberia) to the vacation resort area on the other side of the kingdom (Minnetonka).  Solid pizza at North St. Paul and a first ever sighting of the Minnetonka Skippers mascot wasn't a bad thing.  2 games at North St. Paul Friday night and then I did webcast of all 7 games in the West gym at Minnetonka as part of the Breakdown Tipoff Classic on Saturday.  No trips to the concession stand or the other gym on Saturday.  Busy day with only 15 minute warmup periods.

Song of the Weekend:
Kansas - Carry On My Wayward Son.

5th Annual Polar Tip Off Classic
Game 1: Eagan vs Fridley
Fridley jumped out to a 12-2 lead thanks to their top player Nate Geving running off 7 quick points.  Eagan would get Shea Mandli going and counter with a 13-0 run to take the lead.  Soph guard Michael Murray would knock down back to back 3s as Fridley put up an 8-0 run.  23-17 Fridley 8:25 first half as Mandli was getting a rest. Mandli would come back in and Fridley's small lineup had no good answer.  38-37 Eagan at the half despite Fridley knocking down 7 3s.  Fridley would run a handback lob for Geving to start the half, then the drought began.  A 17-0 Eagan run over the next 4:10 would put the game away.  Eagan wins 83-70.  Nick Sabatke with 25 points and 7 rebounds, Shea Mandli with 25 and 13 for Eagan.  Nate Geving 27 points to lead Fridley.

Game 2: St. Paul Harding at North (St. Paul)
A fun first half to watch as Harding switched between triangle and 2 and 1-3-1 on the defensive end.  Then on offense they went with a very spread dribble drive motion.  A major point was that the Knights didn't have most of their kids looking for 3s out of it.  Their athletic wings would catch and then pass the ball back to the guards on top and reset.  So call it a slow DDM.  North struggled with defending the drive, specifically of David McClain.  That helped Harding jump out to a 28-19 lead at the half.  Then North defended the dribble better and Harding could find a way to score.  North opens the half on an 11-0 run over first 8:50 to regain the lead.  Harding would come back after 5 in a row from Korey Dean to trail 43-42 with 6:25 to play.  Then Hunter Books on the post, a Jacob Steckler layup (frosh starter) off great hustle from soph center Joe Messerole and 2 more buckets from Dean would be an 8-0 run over 3 minutes to put it away.  North wins 58-49.  David McClain 15 for Harding.  Hunter Books 19 and 8 to lead the Polars.  Korey Dean with 15 of his 18 in the second half to put the Polars over the top.

Breakdown Tipoff Classic
Game 1: #4AAA Rocori vs Roseville (click here for my webcast)
Remember Rocori is the 1 team I would actually pay to run the flex so no insults to the offense in this game.  Story of the game was Roseville's pressure defense.  The run and jump traps were just too much and allowed Roseville to end the first half on a 18-5 run over the last 6 minutes.  Roseville would cruise from the there to a surprising 77-52 blowout win.  Mack Johnson outstanding for the Raiders with 20 of his 29 in the first half.  Jonah Eisenschenk 19 of his 25 in the second half for Rocori despite foul trouble.

Game 2: #6AA Braham vs Orono (click here for my webcast)
A very even first half and Orono was able to only lose 2 points in the last 7:32 that Brady Wohler sat with 3 fouls.  Then in the 2nd half, Tyler Vaughan caught fire to break open the close game.  In a 14-2 run, he scores 10 points with an assist for 2 more.  That breaks the game open, 75-59 with 6:30 left.  Braham wins 85-75.  Brady Wohler 25 points for Orono, Anthonie Tholey 17.  Vaughan 28, 9 boards and 8 assists on my sheet.  The supporting cast of Anthony Bias, Shawn Hollenkamp and Sam Stigen came up big with 8 3s and 37 total points.  Cameron Braund 14 points inside.

Game 3: #10AAAA Prior Lake vs #3AAAA Osseo (click here for my webcast)
A very close game with Prior Lake getting a pair of Jack Harrison buckets and Carson Shanks scoring to open up a 47-38 lead with 11:30 left to play.  Osseo having no answers for the Prior Lake 2-3 zone.  Then DJ Hebert would go off for Osseo and the Orioles go on a 14-2 run over the next 9 minutes to take a 52-49 lead.  Osseo had a chance to extend the lead when Hebert was fouled on a 3 but only 1 free throw was good with 1:49 left, Osseo 55-51.  Jack Harrison would score on the post and a crazy pretty spin move from soph point guard Jon Sobaski with 55 seconds left would tie the game.  Osseo had the ball with a chance to win it but couldn't convert.

In the overtime, Hebert would make his 3rd 3 and Bridge Tusler with a 3 point play for a quick 6 point lead.  Sobaski with a pair of freebies countered by a Hebert putback.  Sobaski jumper countered by 1 Ian Theisen FT.  Then Sobaski to Will McPherson for 2.  Tusler counters that before Sobaski nails an NBA 3.  68-67 Osseo with 53.2 left. Prior Lake chooses not to foul and they force an Osseo timeout with 28.4 left.  Then Tusler gets trapped with 22.1 and travels giving the ball back to Prior Lake.  They can't convert but then the team missed front ends.  Hebert makes 2 free throws with 5 seconds left for a 3 point lead.  Prior Lake can't get a good look and Osseo hangs on for a tough 70-67 win in overtime.  Jon Sobaski 19 points, Jack Harrison 14, Matt Dysthe 14 (4 3s).  DJ Hebert 22 all after halftime (3 3s), Bridge Tusler 16 of his 21 after halftime.  In the big man matchup, Osseo's Ian Theisen 7 points (3-7 FG) and 9 rebounds and Prior Lake's Carson Shanks 6 points (3-14 FGs) and 5 rebounds.  Shanks got hit in the head during the overtime but was able to return.

Game 4: #1AAA Benilde-St. Margaret's vs Eastview (click here for my webcast)
Eastview played really physical defense on Isaiah Zierden with Chris Narum getting the initial task.  Zierden able to get loose in the half as Eastview ran into foul trouble.  Darin Haugh came up big with 3 3s in the first half.  1 of them giving Eastview a 7 point lead.  BSM would comeback from 22-15 down in the last 7:20 of the half to lead 31-28 at halftime.  Isaiah Gray would run off 8 points in the first 8 minutes of the second half for a 46-41 lead.  Eastview would counter with a 7-0 run ended by 2 Joey King inside buckets.  Then just outside of 5 minutes to go a critical moment.  A scrum ensues and in the scramble, Eastview picks up a technical.  After the officals get together, it becomes a double technical.  With just the 1 technical, BSM would have had 2 free throws plus the ball.  Instead, no free throws and Eastview retains the jump ball with a 50-48 lead.  Ben Oberfeld would convert a 3 point play and then Chris Narum with a huge 3 with 3:40 left to push the lead to 56-48.  Eastview wins 61-54.  Haugh with 22 (I had 19, I thought Narum hit that big 3 but could have been Haugh).  Joey King with 19 points, Ben Oberfeld with 11 and 10.  Isaiah Zierden 20 points to lead BSM.  Sanjay Lumpkin 12 points and 8 rebounds, Will Dunn 12 points.  Too much Eastview size and they did a nice job keeping Zierden from getting good looks on the sets BSM runs for him.

Game 5: #10AAA DeLaSalle vs Robbinsdale Cooper (click here for my webcast)
Rashad Vaughn off to a quick start in this one for Cooper.  He spins for 2, blocks a shot which leads to 2 more. Add in a 3 and a putback for 7 quick points.  11-6 Cooper at the 9:51 mark to force a DLS timeout.  Cooper extends the lead to 29-17 with a pair of Eric Brown triples with 4:50 left in the half.  Vaughn takes a rest and can't get back in the game as DLS goes on a 16-0 run to end the half.  33-29 DLS at half.  The Hawks don't get on the scoreboard again until a Vaughn 3 with 14:20 to play.  It ends up being 28-0 run across halftime in 8:10.  Vaughn's triple triggers a Cooper run.  He follows with a tough jumper.  Brown for 3 and a monster breakaway dunk on a Vaughn steal.  Vaughn finishes the run with another 3.  14-2 Cooper run in 3:20 gets the Hawks right back in the game.  DLS up 47-43 with 11 minutes to play.  DLS extends the lead back to 10 before Vaughn with a putback and a pullup to cut the lead to 6.  57-51 DLS with 5:20 left.  Leroy Taylor for 2, Vaughn with a dunk and draws a charge.  But DeLaSalle would still be able to maintain a 62-56 lead with 59.2 to play.  Cooper would score and force a turnover that led to a Vaughn 3 with 20 seconds to go.  62-61 DLS.  1 DLS free throw and Cooper couldn't score.  1 more free throw with 2.8 left and Vaughn's heave at the horn is no good.  DLS wins 64-61.  Rashad Vaughn outstanding in front of the Minnesota staff with 30 points and 10 boards.  Eric Brown with 16.  6 DLS players with 8 points or more.  Luke Scott 13 points, Reid Travis with 12 and 7 boards, Sean Fitzgibbons with 11.  Interesting that Vaughn played behind Travis most of the day but on post entries got tons of tips jumping around in front.

Game 6: #1AAAA Hopkins vs #4AAAA Cretin-Derham Hall (click here for my webcast)
CDH frosh Sam Neumann would nail 2 3s and get another bucket to keep CDH within 18-16 at the 8:30 mark of the first half.  Then 6 in a row (3 pt play and 3) from Andre McDonald as CDH PG Cortez Tillman had to sit with 3 fouls.  Another McDonald 3 plus a Siyani Chambers 3 allowed Hopkins to open a 35-26 halftime lead.  CJ Neumann would score 6 quick points for CDH to cut the lead to 38-32.  Then an 11-0 Hopkins run in the next minute finished by another McDonald 3 point play.  Royals roll from there to a 74-45 win.  Andre McDonald 16, Siyani Chambers 14 to lead Hopkins.  CJ Neumann 15 points and 7 rebounds and Sam Neumann 11 points (3 3s) to lead CDH.

Game 7: Buffalo at Minnetonka (click here for my webcast)
Buffalo would jump out to a 16-12 lead.  Then an 11-2 Skippers run finished by a Joe Risinger 3 at the 5:47 mark.  23-18 Minnetonka lead, but 3 3s from Buffalo would allow them to end the half on an 11-0 run.  6 3s in the half give the Bison a 29-23 lead at the break.  Buffalo's motion offense couldn't generate any points in the 2nd half as Minnetonka goes on a 22-4 spurt over the first 12:10 of the half.  The Skippers pound the ball into Latrell Love inside and he has a big 2nd half.  Minnetonka wins 57-45 (34-16 2nd half).  Latrell Love leads with 23 points, 17 in the 2nd half.  Joe Risinger 3 3s on his way to 12 points.  Peter Cassady leads Buffalo with 11 points, Ethan Freer with 10 for Buffalo.

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