A St. Paul Saturday

My week long tour of St. Paul concludes with a close double dip.  We'll start with Brainerd at Central and then mosey down Hamline to the nightcap of #4AAA DeLaSalle at #10AAAA Cretin-Derham Hall.  Lots of folks on hand at CDH including most of section 3 to scout the Raiders.  Pump N Run, Howard Pulley and Net Gain all represented.  U of St. Thomas on hand take a look at Taylor Montero.  Jay Pivec and Ed Cassidy from Dakota County Technical College also watching.

Game 1: Brainerd at St. Paul Central
Central coming in on a streak of 6 of 7 wins against a weak city schedule.  Brainerd came in winning 3 of  4 and in the middle of the pack in the Central Lakes.  The Warriors can move up as they still have 2nd place Rocori on the schedule.  Montrell Williams with the 1st 5 for Central before an 11-2 Brainerd run forces the Minutemen to take a timeout.  11-7 Warriors at the 12:13 mark.  Central counters with a 23-6 run as Williams knocks down back to back 3s and takes a steal for a dunk during that run.  Brainerd gets 5 in a row before a 9-2 Central spurt ends the half.  39-24 Minutemen at the break.

Brainerd starts the half on a 7-0 run to cut the lead to 8.  Center Malik Durant-Haines sat out the 1st half and enters at the 14:55 mark.  He immediately scores a pair of buckets.  Darius Campbell with back to back buckets and soph Rayeon Williams with 3 in a row to push the lead to 55-36.  A Felix Taylor putback with 6:25 left keeps the lead at 57-39 and Brainerd has 5 new guys at the table.  That appears to be the waving of the white flag but hold on a minute.  A silly Central technical changes everything and Jack Sauer goes off.  He nails a 3 and scores a pair of buckets to cut the lead to 63-51 with 2:13 left.  Central turns it over and Sauer knocks down a 3 and scores a layup on another Central turnover.  Turnover by Central again and its Sauer again for 3.  63-59 Central with 1:25 left. 13 in a row for Jack Sauer and this one is interesting again.  Central misses a front end and the criminal offensive rebound chance but Brainerd turns it over with 40 seconds left and wouldn't get any closer.  Central wins 69-61.  Montrell Williams leads Central with 24 points.  Jack Sauer with 21 of his 25 in the 2nd half including 4 3s.  Central hosts Johnson on Tuesday with a chance to split the regular season St. Paul City title and then they finish the regular season on Thursday at Highland Park.

Game 2: De La Salle at Cretin-Derham Hall
Shawn Fitzgibbons comes off the DLS bench in this one, but Reid Travis gets off to a quick start.  He converts a 3 point play at the 10:51 mark to tie the game at 10.  That's 7 in a row for the star sophomore.  Travis gets a breather and Luke Scott nails a pair of 3s to keep the Islanders momentum going.  18-12 DLS at the 6:40 mark.  The run is 18-5 over 8 minutes.  That was after CDH scored the first 7 of the game in 3:20.  The rest of the half is even for a 29-25 DLS lead at halftime.

De La Salle puts this one out of reach in the 1st 9 minutes of the 2nd half.  Ross Barker with a pair of hoops around a Luke Hamel 3 point play.  Nice to see Hamel getting a start as he's been active and productive for the Raiders recently.  Scott with another 3, Travis takes a turnover for a dunk.  Timeout CDH as the lead is 38-28 with 11:57 to play.  Jarvis Johnson for 3, Jacob Svanoe fouled for 3 free throws, Tyler Moore with a putback and Jarvis Johnson with a layup.  48-31 DLS with 8:35 to play.  19-6 Islanders outscore the Raiders so far in the half.  CDH makes it interesting in the last 3 minutes with Cortez Tillman for 3 and Sam Neumann with a pair of long 3s and a basket.  Luke Scott with 4 free throws and Ross Barker with 2 more to keep the margin safe.  DLS wins 64-56.  Sam Neumann 4 3s and 22 points.  CJ Neumann 15 points.  Reid Travis with 20 points.  Luke Scott 4 3s and 4 FTs for 16 points.  Considering that CDH played zone much of the game and recent performance, I think its time for me to eat some crow.  DLS has looked much better against zone recently.

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