Stars continue another late season run

Prologue
The Czar is trying to make up for lost time in the Missota and easiest way to do that is another game at Holy Angels.  This week Chaska comes calling and its my 1st opportunity to see the Hawks.  They've been better than I expected with a very young team.  I went back to the pizza tonight and I figured out why even I stayed away from it last week.  More grease than even I can tolerate.  Former AHA Quarterback and Wisconsin Badger John Stocco inducted into the AHA Hall of Fame at halftime.  The AHA band was on hand and definitely worth hearing again.  Great job with Don't Stop Believing and the Muppet Show theme (and we had the cranky old guy in the top row for the JV game to boot).  So they earn a spot in today's Song of the Day with their outstanding rendition of this old time classic.

Song of the Day
Roger Miller - King of the Road

Game Time
5-4 Chaska just over 3 minutes into a defensive struggle.    Stars soph point guard Jordan Dembley starts a 9-0 run with a 3 off an unselfish extra pass and then buries another 3 to bookend the run.  13-5 Stars as Chaska takes a timeout at the 10:49 mark.  The Hawks end their scoring drought after 4:30.  They claw back within 16-15 after center Eric West scores at the 6 minute mark.  20-17 Holy Angels with the lead going to the half.

Parker Bredow with a nice entry to the post and cuts to get it back for a layup.  Frosh point guard Justin Arnold (brother of Chanhassen's Brandon Arnold) scores and the AHA lead is 24-13 with 14:30 to play.  The Stars take timeout to talk it over.  Something must have worked as the Stars respond.  Jordan Dembley leaks out for a layup and a pair of free throws.  Charlie Koontz with a putback and nice cut for 2 free throws of his own against a Chaska trap.  The Hawks trap again but the Stars find Sam Keis under the basket for 1 of 2 free throws.  That's the 4th foul on Chaska's top scorer Eric West and there's 10:26 to play.  Then off a set post up (see below) Keis scores on the post and is fouled.  He misses the free throw but jumps in early to get it back.  He's fouled and makes 1 of 2.  That concludes a 12-2 Holy Angels run.  36-25 Stars with 10:12 left.  Chaska coach Dana Kallman not at all happy with the officiating in this stretch. Dembley with the spin and circus chance at a 3 point play.  Then another extra pass finds Keis for 3.  9:22 left and AHA has opened the lead to 41-27.  The run is 17-4 over 4:20.  West bulls his way to a putback.  Bredow posts on the same set we'll take about.  Then West into the lane out of control and its a charge for his 5th foul with 6:44 left.  The Chaska bench is absolutely livid with the call and there are 2 technicals on the play.    Danny Sullivan makes 3 of the 4 technical free throws to bust the game open to 17.    Matt Knowles would be flammable off the bench with 4 3s in the next 5 minutes to keep it respectable.  Holy Angels runs out the last 3 minutes for a 55-41 win.

Post Game
Chaska gets all 14 points from Matt Knowles in the 2nd half.  Eric West with 12 points.  The lefty is a bull inside but can step out and shoot it a bit too.  Frosh Justin Arnold definitely reminded me of his brother.  But I think he'll end up bigger and more of an offensive threat than Brandon.  This is a club that is solid but the firepower is a bit lacking.  Only 2 seniors in the main 9 men that played and both are replacable.  5 of those 7 coming back are now freshmen or sophomores.  Good future and some great potential battles with Chanhassen down the road.  That's regardless of whatever league they end up in as those 2 met to discuss forming a new league.  The Hawks fall to 13-12 and have now lost 3 in a row.  This also puts them 2 back in the loss column to Holy Angels in league play.  That means at best they can hope for the 4 seed.  That will be a struggle with Blake for that spot.  Blake at Richfield tomorrow afternoon with potentially big ramifications there.

For Holy Angels, once again they're heating up late in the year.  They've now won 6 out of 7 and moved into sole possession of 2nd place in the Missota.  Jordan Dembley played well again with 18 points.  Charlie Koontz with 10 points.  Danny Sullivan again quiet with 7 points.  As I said last week, he's playing much more outside with Koontz manning the post.  Good for Sullivan's development but not helping AHA now.  I'd like to see them go back to getting him some more post looks.  The Stars are now 14-8, 8-4 in the Missota.  2 huge games next week to end the year.  They're at Richfield on Wed in a game that could decide the 3 seed, then host New Prague on Friday.

Play of the Day
This is the Thumbs Up set that Holy Angels uses to post up a guard.  They start 1-4 high and enter to the wing.  The point guard then UCLA cuts to the block and then cuts away to screen for the opposite wing.  Its a slow developing play (pressure the passer for a 5 count) but they got Keis and Bredow wide open on the block for buckets with it in the last 10 minutes.

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