My tour of St. Paul continues with a trip to the Salvation Army to see a section 4A battle between CHOF and PACT. These teams in a battle for home games in the section round of 16 games. The usual Kit Kat on the menu and a orange gatorade. Thankfully not the always amusing 500 ml (16.9 oz) size.
CHOF off to a 12-2 start as Kendall Strandlund scores the 1st 5 for the Lions. 12-2 CHOF as PACT regroups with a timeout at the 13:51 mark. That pays off in a 10-2 run for the Panthers with a pair of Austin Stone baskets. Danny Mooers with a pair of straight away 3s for PACT and that ties the game at 18 with 6:20 left. We go to halftime tied at 26.
The second half sees Darian Warneke score the 1st 5 for CHOF. But the half belongs to PACT's Drew Zeiroth. The lefty scores the 1st 12 of the half for PACT. Add in a PACT putback and they lead 40-35 with 11 minutes to play. Warneke layup, Tyler Strandlund for 2 and Kendall Strandlund for 3. 44-42 CHOF back on top with 8:52 left. Zieroth 2 free throws countered by Tyler Strandland coast to coast for 2 FTs of his own. Zieroth counters for 3 but 8th grader Kit Piepkorn counters with his own 3. 49 all with 5:53 left. Tyler Strandland with a steal for 1 Kendall Strandland bucket and an assist for another. Zieroth gets loose for another 3 at the 2 minute mark. 55-52 CHOF as PACT takes time to set the defense. Kendall Strandland gets loose on the inbounds for a breakaway layup, then he gets the block from behind on the PACT possession. On the other end, Tyler Strandlund to the basket and he finishes with the emphatic lefty dunk for a 3 point play. That's a nasty finish! 1:17 to go and the lead is 8. That's too much. CHOF wins 65-54.
For PACT, Drew Zieroth leads with 24 points. Thanks to a late missed 3, the junior is 3 points short of 1000 for his career. Think of him as another Calvin Walker type (though I won't use the Chris Mullin reference out of respect). The Panthers fall to 6-15 and have now lost 8 out of 9 games. They have 2 big section games coming up with the game tomorrow at Legacy and then a home game with St. Croix Prep on Tuesday (shout out to coach Liesener who was in the building tonight).
For CHOF, Junior Kendall Strandlund finishes with 21 points. Senior star Tyler Strandlund also with 21 points. He added 13 rebounds, 5 assists and 3 blocks. 8th grade brother Anders Strandlund is one keep an eye on as well. Not to mention the rest of their 8th graders like Kit Piepkorn, Brauc Eckman (who was huge in a big comeback in the JV game) and Kit Rohlf and they something to work with in the next 4 years. The Lions improve to 9-9 overall. Their schedule is brutal the rest of the way as they play at PSA and Maranatha (2 of the top teams in the section). Four Directions and Heritage visit the Sal. Not out of the question that they could go 0-4 in that stretch.