Orioles hang on at home

Off to St. Louis Park as the 3rd place Orioles try to keep pace in the North Suburban.  The visitor was Fridley who came in trying to stay above 500 in the league.  The hot dogs weren't ready early in the JV game which was disappointing but 2 chocolate chip cookes for a buck was worth it.  We have warmups and then its another edition of Teacher Appreciation Night where each player nominates a teacher for recognition and gives a tidbit about the teacher when the player escorts the teacher on to the court.  Great line during that from 1 player.  "He teaches history like he was there".  Very funny.  Our song of the day is not the obvious (Hot for Teacher by Van Halen).  It comes from the 1st tune on the public address system at halftime of the JV game.

Song of the Day
Bruce Springsteen - Glory Days

Game Time
Nate Geving knocks down the 1st 3 of the game and then an 11-2 run by St. Louis Park as Fridley goes 5 minutes without a field goal.  Kashif Hayes with 5 points in that run and then nails a long 2 right on the 3 point line for a 15-9 Park lead at the 10:28 mark.  That's right after another Geving bucket which would start another Fridley drought from the field.  Zach Gilbert Burke with a putback at the 6:50 mark before Hayes picks up his 2nd foul.  That results in 1 of 2 free throws for Fridley.  21-14 St. Louis Park with the lead as Hayes will sit the rest of the half.  That hurts the Park offense as they can't get a field goal to go down.  But they're getting to the charity stripe out of their dribble drive motion.  A pair of Grant Donald free throws gives Park a 26-14 lead at the 3:36 mark.  Finally Geving nails a 3 at the 3:11 mark to break a FG drought of 7:49 for the Tigers.  Geving with another 3 as the lead gets cut to 5 right before the half.  But Park comes back down the floor and DJ Pollard beats the buzzer for 3.  30-22 Park at the half.  That 3 is the only Park field goal in the last 6:38 with Hayes on the bench.  Fridley with 2 stretches of no FGs that adds up to almost 13 minutes.  Hayes and Geving combine for 7 field goals, the other 10 kids who played combined for 6.

Fridley continues their spurt as they start the half on a 7-0 run to force a Park timeout.  They have 3 chances to take the lead that they don't convert but finally Amane Akane gets a layup to fall for a 31-30 Fridley lead with 13 minutes left.  That's their first lead since 3-2.  Hayes with a driving 3 point play and a floater as Park holds a 40-34 lead with 10 minutes left.  After 2 Fridley free throws, Geving breaks a 6 minute field goal with his 5th bomb of the night.  St. Louis Park takes time hanging on to a 40-39 with 5:59 left.  DJ Pollard on a 1-4 high right elbow iso for 2 free throws as Park can't make a shot.  Matt Duehn for 3 with 4:20 left and Fridley takes a 44-43 lead.  Pollard again drives for 2 free throws off the high blur screen (more on that later).  Gilbert Burke on the post for 1 of 2 free throws countered by Michael Murray with 2 free throws.  46 all with 2:48 left.  Duehn with 1 free throw and a Hayes miss to give Fridley the ball back up 47-46 with 2:20 left.  They take time to strategize just inside of 2 to play.  Fridley comes up with an offensive board and is fouled but can't convert the 2 freebies.  St. Louis Park gets it back and then retains possession on the jump ball with 1:12 left.  Ryan Backstrom for Fridley gets bloodied so we have a stoppage to clean the floor and get him a new uniform.  Makhi Moore puts back a miss with 55 seconds left for a 48-47 Park lead.  That bucket is the first Orioles FG in over 9 minutes.  Fridley comes back and Backstrom's new uniform is just fine as he takes it to the rack and finds Geving for an easy 2 with 37 seconds left.  49-48 Fridley.  Pollard again off the blur screen with 20.5 seconds left calmly buries both free throws.  Fridley took a timeout after the 1st FT to set up a play but they promptly turn it over at the other end.  Hayes makes 2 FTs with 12.7 left.  Geving gets a dribble handoff on the left wing and gets a good look at a 3 but its off the back iron and St. Louis Park hangs on 52-49.

Post Game
For Fridley, Nate Geving leads the way with 19 points and 5 triples.  Soph guard Michael Murray 11 of 12 from the charity stripe for 13 points.  Rest of the team was 4-14 at the line.  Geving with 7 field goals (15 attempts), the rest of the team with 7.  Fridley is now 8-7, 3-4 in the North Suburban which is a tie for 6th with Cooper.  They visit neighbor Columbia Heights on Saturday afternoon.

For St. Louis Park, Kashif Hayes finishes with 17 points on 5-10 FGs and 6-9 FTs despite the first half foul trouble which cost him almost 7 minutes.  His first step is lightning quick.  DJ Pollard with 11 points on 8-8 from the foul line.  The Orioles were 12-16 from the line in the 1st half and 13-23 in the 2nd half.  Those free throws kept Park afloat when their shots wouldn't fall.  Exactly what you're looking for out of the dribble drive.  St. Louis Park is now 6-2 in the North Suburban (tied for 3rd with Totino-Grace) and 9-7 overall.  They have a pair of really tough ranked teams coming in as they host Spring Lake Park Saturday at noon and Washburn on Tuesday night.

A couple of things that caught my eye from St. Louis Park and their Dribble Drive Motion system.  Often in dribble drive when a guard spot passes to the ball side wing, that guard will fill to the ball side similar to the strong side cut in the triangle offense.  St. Louis Park sends that passer to the basket and then out to the weak side giving a full clear out on the strong side.  On a middle drive they then fill around with the opposite guard coming over the top.

The area where Pollard got some good looks to the lane was off the blur screen.  This is a dribble drive concept where the guard passes to the other guard and then cuts to the nail (center of FT line).  The guard with the ball then drives right off this back.  Pollard would be in the left guard slot and get this pass which would take him to the basket going to his right hand.  That resulted in free throws inside of 4 minutes for a 1 point lead and his final 2 free throws that ulimately won it with 20.5 left.  Park runs this with the guard running to the nail to screen and then popping back to the other guard slot

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