2012 East Metro Showcase Day 1

I didn't see the first game of the East Metro Showcase due to real life but there wasn't much to miss as Highland Park pounded St. John's Lutheran from Florida 98-36.  The event founder is head coach at St. John's Lutheran so that explains why they made the trip.  I arrive 20 minutes later than expected (thank you traffic) and walk into the gym with my Walking Taco and only 1 minute left in game 2 warmups.  Hmm, must multitask.  North Dakota and South Dakota both with coaches in the building to watch.

Song of the Day
Life in the Fast Lane - Eagles

Game 2: Milwaukee Riverside vs St. Paul Central
Big story of the day was the arrival of Riverside's lefty post Phil Nolan who has a boatload of high D1 offers.  But it was the hot shooting that got it going .  Jalen Currie off the always illegal foul line elevator screen for 3.  That's the 3rd Tigers 3 for a 13-5 lead just 2:23 into the game.  Central claws back with their best scorer Montrell Williams coming off the bench to knock down a 3.  20-14 Riverside at the 11:30 mark.  Then Bakari Triggs for 3 inside out from Nolan on the block.  Later Nolan gets the pass off the backboard on the break and slams it home to ignite the crowd.  Wide body RaVonn Posey with a layup, 3 point play and then puts back a missed free throw.  The run is 20-0 as Central goes scoreless for a 7 minute stretch.  40-14 at the 5:50 mark of the 1st half.  Williams would get the last 9 of the half for Central and would score the only Minutemen field goals in a 14:15 stretch into the 2nd half.  Nolan with 2 dunks and a turn and face in the post for 2 more to start the 2nd half.  We get to running time and Riverside with their bench gives up a 12-1 run to end the game.  72-48 Riverside wins.  5 in double figures for Riverside.  Bakari Triggs 19 and 5 3s.  Jalen Currie 14, Shomari Triggs, D'Andre Downey and Phil Nolan all with 10.  Nolan also added 3 blocks.  Marcus Taylor-Knighten 14 points and Montrell Williams 11 for Central.

Game 3: Hopkins at Johnson
This is a rematch of the championship game from the Best Buy Holiday Classic 3 weeks ago (read about that here).  So with that in mind expectation weren't high, but Johnson is on home turf so you never know.  The start is ominous as Marcus Marshall picks up 2 quick fouls.  Then Zach Stahl scores on the post and Andre McDonald for 3.  11-2 Hopkins at the 14:35 mark.  Johnson would come back with Waylon Johnson scoring and a block converted into 2 points by Quashingm Smith-Pugh.  15-13 Hopkins at 11:20.  Darius Watson with a great eurostep for 2 to break some Hopkins momentum.  Marshall staying in and his 3 cuts the lead to 5.  Then Stahl picks up his 2nd at the 7:28 mark and has to sit.  Marshall nails another 3 and a pair of free throws and don't look now but Johnson has their first lead at 32-30 at the 4:30 mark.  That's a 14-4 Johnson run.  Hopkins would counter with an 11-1 run of their own.  Jake Wright's 3 before halftime gives Hopkins a 44-39 going to the 2nd half.

First basket of the half goes to Hopkins and then 6 in a row for Johnson and that gets the crowd involved.  Then at a deadball we end up with a push and all 10 guys will get together and the refs have to jump in and break up what thankfully didn't become a much more serious mess.  Hopkins kids walk away all clapping and more jakked up about it than Johnson.  Waylon Johnson powers for 2 for a Johnson 1 point lead quickly countered by Demetrius Martin.  Johnson again, this time with the scoop quickly countered by Stahl.  Then a right corner BLOB 3 for Marshall puts the Govs up 52-50 with 15:10 to play.  McDonald scores to tie and a turnover results in Siyani Chambers pulling up for 3.  55-52 Hopkins.

Wait a minute, what is this?  No, this has never happened.  But it is actually happening and I'm actually witnessing something absolutely unthinkable.

Hopkins goes 3-2 zone at about the 15 minute mark of the 2nd half and plays it the rest of the way.  That is not a typo.  I am absolutely shocked and speechless 

Johnson has no answer for it.  Chambers continuing his huge half as he gets a 4 point play.  Then a pullup and a layup on a turnover.  Martin with a layup at the 11:37 mark to end an 18-2 run.  68-54 Hopkins with the lead.  Waylon Johnson with a 3 point play and a putback but Chambers counters with a 3 point play of his own.  Watson banks in a 3 from the right corner and the lead is back down to 9, 71-62 with 9:20 to play.  But Hopkins would score 12 of the next 17 to put the game away.  Chambers to Jorgenson for 3 and his own floater in that run.  Hopkins goes on to win 99-83.  Siyani Chambers with a magnificent 2nd half scoring 25 of his 31 points during that half.  Nick Jorgenson and Zach Stahl with 18 each.  Marcus Marshall 4 3s for 17 points to lead Johnson.  De'Vonta Durr and Waylon Johnson 16 points.

Day 2 features Milwaukee Riverside vs Hopkins in the 2nd game followed by Onalaska, WI vs Johnson.  A couple of Gopher interests in those games (Nolan for Riverside and Matt Thomas of Onalaska).

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