Hooker reaches a milestone

Prologue
Its a long trip to the edges of the kingdom and the fine town of St. Petersburg (Elk River and you know I'm not calling it Leningrad).  Dominos pizza on the menu, no sausage but cheese will do.  Like many schools in the NWSC they use the split gym setup for the lower level games and then have to setup the main floor for the varsity game.  Park Center was the opponent tonight with their dangerous group of juniors and Elk River has been a pleasant surprise.  But our best surprise of the night comes with the students dancing to the song of the day at halftime.

Song of the Day
DJ Casper - Cha Cha Slide

Game Time
A Quinton Hooker pullup from just inside of 3 gives Park Center a 7-2 lead less than 2 minutes in.  Isaiah McKay with a 3 point play, Hooker to Treyton Daniels for 3.  22-17 Pirates at the 11 minute mark.  Then Hooker with a questionable charge for his 2nd at the 8:40 mark and he'll sit most of the rest of the half.  McKay buries his 2nd 3 of the night for a 5 point lead but the Elks come back with 6 in a row thanks to a pair of layups from Landon Werner.  27-26 Elk River grabs their 1st lead at the 5:50 mark.  Daniels with 2 free throws on a questionable blocking call and 2 more at the 2:05 mark.  Soph star Clay Elrod on the post for 2 and then a drive from the elbow for a 3 point play.  Elk River adds the last bucket of the half for a 37-36 halftime lead.

Hooker gets it going in the 2nd half.  He drains a 3, knocks down 1 jumper and then hangs from the foul line for another.  Add in a tip in in a 6-0 run and that gives Park Center a 53-47 lead with 12:30 to play and Elk River takes time.  Inside of the 9 minute mark, Hooker with a couple of quality passes that should have been points but a layup was botched and the handle on the 3 on 1 break broke up the other.  Elrod with his 2nd straight 3 that cut the lead to 1 before Hooker finds McKay for 3.  Elrod then picks up his 4th foul with 6:54 and has to sit with the Elks trailing 60-56.  Could've been 6 but the Pirates missed both freebies.  Elk River runs over a minute off the clock before a tough Tucker Morrell fade in the lane.  He then counters a Pirates 3 with one of his own.  63-61 Park Center with 5:10 left before Treyton Daniels drives and scores.  A dead ball gets Elrod back into the game at the 4:26 mark and he only missed 2 offensive possessions.  Then a nice set sees Hooker screen down and then post up.  He gets the ball on the right block and kicks out to Daniels for a critical 3 with 4 minutes to go.  Elk river turns it over and Hooker tips in a miss for a 70-61 lead.  He seals the game with 6 of 6 free throws the rest of the way.  Park Center gets a quality road win 82-71.

Post Game
For Elk River, Clay Elrod with 21 points and 5 rebounds on my sheet.  Tucker Morrell with 12, Porter Morrell and Landon Werner 10 each.  The Elks got Elrod a couple of easy layups by having their guard dribble to the wing pop a big from the elbow to the top and having a guard cross screen the post.  Surprised there wasn't more of that action used.  Elk River falls to 7-5 overall and 5-2 in the NW Suburban and out of a 4 way tie in the loss column at the top of the league.  Next week will be critical for the Elks as they go on the road Tuesday to Champlin Park and host Maple Grove on Friday.  Trips to Armstrong and Centennial before hosting Osseo follow that.

For Park Center, Treyton Daniels leads all scorers with 22 points.  Quinton Hooker with 21 points, 9 rebounds and 4 assists (worth 11 more points) on my sheet.  19 of those in the 2nd half thanks to the 1st half foul trouble.  With a pair of free throws with 46.8 to play, he passed the 1000 career points mark.  Isaiah McKay with 3 bombs and 17 points.  No seniors for Park Center and they're already dangerous.  They ran some horns ball screen action for Hooker and always got good looks out of it (a couple of assists from Hooker for 3) but only saw it 3 maybe 4 times.  Park Center is now 6-5 and 3-4 in the NW Suburban.  They host Anoka and go to Blaine next week.

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