Spartans break the ice

Prologue
Its a night in the Classic Suburban with Mahtomedi visiting Richfield.  Mahtomedi off to a 7-1 start but a rough stretch last week so a chance to see the Zephrys first hand to determine where they really fit.  Cheese pizza from Little Caesars not a bad option.  A small crowd so a quiet night in the stand except for 1 pleasant surprise.  Its my first local pep band of the year but the PA system blares until 1 minute to go in warmups.  That always bugs me, one of the rare times the kids show up to play and you waste their time with the pumped in music.  Thankfully they hung around through the first half and halftime.  It also means that there's enough tunes to pick from their set list for ...

Song of the Day
All the Small Things - Blink 182

Game Time
Jared Noonan for 3 to give Richfield a 3-2 lead 25 seconds into the game.  Why does this shot matter?  Because there won't be another one from outside of 5 feet for a LONG time.  Meanwhile Mahtomedi pounds the ball inside with Mike Harris scoring and a pair of Zach Lindquist post ups.  Add in an Andrew Lindquist 3 and the run is 9-0 for a 11-3 Zephyrs lead.  Richfield would counter by pounding the offensive board (and they had plenty of opportunity for that in this game).  Dan Beyel and Deshawn Jones with putbacks followed by a pair of Richfield layups to cut the Mahtomedi lead to 16-15 at the 8:12 mark.  Mahtomedi takes timeout and counters with a 10-2 run of their own.  Andrew Lindquist with a drive, assist to Zach and then a layup on a 3 on 1 break via a pretty behind the back feed from Mike Fandler.  26-17 Mahtomedi at the 4:22 to force a Richfield timeout.  Danny Shay would work and run his way to 4 layups in the last 4 minutes to counter a pair of Noonan drives.  34-26 Mahtomedi at the half.  Zach Lindquist with 8 quick points to start the half.  He sits the last 2:50 with 2 fouls but still ends up with 13 in the half.  Jones 8 (and a huge block), Noonan 7 for Richfield.

Andrew Lindquist keeping the Zephyrs going with an assist to Zach for a 3 point play, 2 free throws and a drive for 2 more. Noonan keeping it even with a layup on a turnover in the backcourt and an assist for another layup.  Then Zach Lindquist with a jumper and Mike Harris driving for 2.  47-36 Mahtomedi with 10:56 to play.  Then the cosmic shift.  Richfield with a putback and then Zach Lindquist gets his 4th foul with 7:54 to go.  It was a loose ball and a questionable call.  48-38 Mahtomedi with the lead when Zach sits.  That triggers something as Noonan buries a 3 at the 7:37 mark.  That's the 1st outside shot for the Spartans since Noonan's 3 in the first 25 seconds or 28 minutes if you're adding it up.  Most of that with Mahtomedi playing a 3-2 zone with a taller guy on top.  Jones with a putback and Mahtomedi needs a timeout.  48-43 Mahtomedi with 6:37 left and Zach Lindquist still sitting. 

A skip pass finds Noonan for 1 bomb and after a tough Mahtomedi shot, he buries another.  49-48 Richfield takes the lead just inside of 6 minutes to play.  Zach Lindquist returns at the 5:44 mark with that score.  Erik Jimson drives for 2, Jones drives for 2 more with 5:17 left and its 53-48 Richfield to force another Zephyrs timeout.  Noonan drives left baseline and makes the high floater to push the lead to 7.  Total run for Richfield is 19-1 over over 4:09.  Mahtomedi with 2 missed front ends of the bonus in that stretch after Zach Lindquist came back in.  3 of 4 freebies from Mahtomedi cut the lead to 55-51 with 4:31 left.  They would get no closer.  Jimson with 2 free throws and then a steal leads to a Jones hammer dunk inside of 4 minutes left and the lead is 8.  Shay puts back a miss at the 3:40 mark for the 1st Mahtomedi field goal in over 7 minutes.  By that time its too late.  The rest is mostly free throws.  Richfield comes from 11 down with 11 to play to win 72-63.

Post Game
For Mahtomedi, Zach Lindquist leads the way with 27 points and 11 rebounds on my sheet.  Andrew Lindquist with 13, Danny Shay with 14.  They get only 1 point from their bench.  Bad matchup for the Zephyrs as they don't have athletes or a true point guard.  That's a bad combination against an athletic team that wants to get after you and Richfield did that with success.  Besides Zach Lindquist there's not a ton of offensive firepower either which makes them a similar matchup to St. Thomas Academy (STA beat the Zephyrs 58-51 last week).  This is the 3rd straight loss for Mahtomedi dropping their record to 7-4, 2-3 in the Classic Suburban.  3 home games are next with South St. Paul on Friday then a pair of really tough games against similar opponents St. Anthony on Saturday and Tartan on Tuesday.

For Richfield, Jared Noonan comes up big in the 2nd half with 3 straight 3s and a drive in that 19-1 second half run that ultimately won the game.  14 points off the bench for Deshawn Jones who somebody on the AAU circuit needs to find.  6'3 to 6'4 athletic and active.  Really liked him both times I've seen him this year.  23 points total from the Richfield bench.  It makes up for Siberian cold night from Shawn Bear who had only 2 FTs and I had him 0-15 shooting (0-13 from 3).  Not a single one was a bad shot either.  Plenty of good looks that just simply wouldn't go in.  Richfield improves to 7-4, 3-2 in the Classic Suburban and 6 home wins in a row since the opening day loss to Waconia.  They've lost their last 3 on the road (Grand Rapids, St. Thomas Academy and Sibley).  The road awaits them on Friday with a trip to Tartan.

1 comment:

  1. Glad to see Jared Noonan handling the ball again and creating shots for his teammates. Hopefully a positive sign for Richfield to come: we'll see Friday night versus Tartan. Should be a great game!

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