Richfield wins city battle

Prologue
Bragging rights in Richfield on the line as the annual city battle between neighbors Holy Angels and Richfield moves to leap day instead of its annual Christmas week slot.  Section 6AAA seeds still up in the air in the 3-6 slots.  Does anybody want the 3 seed?  Usual Hot Dog and I go with Sprite as my beverage this evening in a bit of a change.  Senior night at Richfield and you have cancer survivor Marcellis Beard (senior).  Richfield staff all wearing Cancer Sucks shirts.  Then Beard doesn't start and junior Deshawn Jones does.  Jones is a top player, I get it and worthy of starting on every other night.  At minimum it was disappointing to see Beard not in the starting lineup.

Game Time
Richfield off to a 7-2 lead in 90 seconds.  Holy Angels right back on a 14-4 run with 6 in a row from Sam Keis to start the run.  2 easy layups on bad defense for Keis on those 6 points.  16-11 Holy Angels at the 13:05 mark.  22-16 Stars at the 9:32 mark when Jared Noonan picks up his 2nd for Richfield and he'll sit the rest of the half.  That actually gets Richfield going as they go on a 9-1 run to regain the lead.  Shawn Bear then becomes the offense for the rest of the half as he drains 4 triples in a 4 minute stretch.  Jordan Dembley with a 3 point play in the last minute to keep Holy Angels within 42-41 at the half.

Noonan is back on the court for Richfield to start the 2nd half and he's hot.  He nails 1 bomb, scores a bucket, then an NBA 3 to open up a 53-46 lead with 15:35 to play.  Dembley for 3 and then a 3 point play from Delshawn Strickland as the sophs lead a 7-0 run to tie the game at 53 with 13:48 left.  Beard for 3, Sullivan with a layup, Noonan to Bear for 3, Sam Keis for 3, Noonan for 2.  Danny Sullivan makes 1 of 2 free throws to give everybody a chance to take a breath.  62-61 Richfield with 12:10 left.  Soph Charlie Koontz with a nice post up and gets it back deep on the repost and goes to the reverse for 2.  Richfield counters with Beard making 2 free throws and Lorenzo Evans with a layup.  8:22 left and Holy Angels takes a timeout to slow the Spartans momentum.  70-64 Richfield with the lead.  Koontz with 2 putbacks and a layup and Seamus Black off the bench for the Stars for 3.  73-72 Stars back on top after a quick 9-2 run, 4:20 left.  Beard counters with a 3 but Dembley responds with a 3 point play.  Jones with an offensive rebound for 2 free throws and after a Stars miss, he puts back a quick miss.  79-76 Richfield with 2:48 left.

After a Dembley free throw, Richfield forces a bad shot and then compounds it by not getting back.  Sullivan runs out on it for a layup to tie the game at 79.  Jones with a layup and Noonan with a tough drive.  Richfield up 83-79 with 1:22 left.  Noonan fouls out with 57.2 left and that leads to a Dembley FT.  Sullivan grabs the miss on the 2nd but can't convert.  Bear makes 2 FTs with 42.3 left for a 85-80 Richfield lead.  Holy Angels turns it over with 36.8 to play.  Then it gets interesting.  Richfield brings in rarely used senior Wibi McDonald.  He gets fouled and misses 2 FTs and then fouls Dembley for a 3 point play with 22.3 left.  Strange move by the Richfield coaching staff as it puts the kid in a really tough spot.  85-83 Richfield leading with the ball out of bounds.

Evans takes off out of the 4 across set and gets his jersey grabbed from behind before the ball is inbounded.  Its an intentional foul and Stars coach Larry McKenzie is not at all pleased.  He gets the ill-advised but deserved T.  Richfield not putting it away as Evans makes 1 of 2 and Bear misses both technicals.  Now instead of being down 3 with the ball, Richfield will have it out of bounds thanks to the T.  Evans gets it and makes 1 of 2.  Dembley has to force a 3 and that's no good.  Evans makes 1 more for the final margin.  Richfield wins 88-83.

Post Game
For Holy Angels, another tough loss as they lost last night at Red Wing too.  Jordan Dembley leads the way with 21 points.  Soph forward Charlie Koontz came off the bench tonight (normally starts) but was very productive in the 2nd half.   The Stars are 15-10 overall and now are really fighting with Chaska and Richfield for the 4 seed.  Lose to New Prague on Friday and a Chaska win means tied in the Missota.  Would have to give the Stars #6 then.  Chaska with their high power ranking and win over Blake would really push for the 3 seed then, Blake 4, Richfield 5, Holy Angels 6.  Holy Angels wins, does Richfield make a play for the 4 and push Chaska to the 6 where they'd have a rematch with Blake.  More to the point, do the section coaches vote for that to get the new guy out (Blake).

Richfield is now 15-10 as well.  They have 2 straight wins after losing 5 of 6.  Issue for Richfield is home court, they've only won once on the road all year and that was in mid-December at Minneapolis South.  They also have Duluth Denfeld win on a neutral court.  Shawn Bear with 20 points to lead Richfield.  They finish at North St. Paul on Friday.  Jared Noonan 15 points, 9 of those in a quick spurt early in the 2nd half.

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