Off to Osseo for the 6AAAA Semifinals. It an all Lake Conference affair the entire league except Eden Prairie represented. The Dominos pizza is always a quality choice with the finest beverage around, Pepsi.
Game 1: Hopkins vs Wayzata
Biggest story here was Wayzata's ability to slow the pace and hang around. Kyle Kalivoda with a steal and the foul for the 3 point play. He finds Brad Carlson for a layup and then Carlson takes the kick out and buries the 3. 18-12 Trojans with the lead on Hopkins at the 8:10 mark. Demetrius Martin with a layup, Zach Stahl with a putback, Martin for 3 as Hopkins goes on a 15-5 run. Sam Joiner with a pair of buckets as Wayzata hangs around 29-26 Hopkins at half.
The 2nd half pace is very slow. Zach Stahl slips to the rim for 2 off the baseline out of bounds set and Martin takes a steal the other way for a layup. 42-36 Hopkins looking to pull away with 11:29 left. Martin drives to extend the lead to 8 with 11 minutes left. But Hopkins would go scoreless for the next 4:13. Colin Nugent puts back a miss and then a leaning 3 with 6:40 left to end a 7-0 run. 44-43 Hopkins and we have a game. But Hopkins goes on a 10-0 run to put the game away. 3 turnovers during the run keep the Trojans from scoring. Stahl goes coast to coast for 2 and Siyani Chambers adds 2 free throws as the run ends up at 14-1. 58-44 Hopkins with 2:52 left. They go on to win 66-53. Demetrius Martin leads Hopkins with 20. Zach Stahl 15 and 7. Siyani Chambers 12. Colin Nugent with 20 points to lead Wayzata. Zach Robertson 11.
Game 2: Edina vs Minnetonka
This has the Grim Reaper written all over it (I've seen seed upsets the last 2 nights). Edina won both head-head meetings and was a game ahead of Minnetonka in conference but got the 3 seed. Ultimately it only changes the color of the jerseys for this game. So while this would technically be a seed upset, in reality Edina would have to be the favorite. Skippers mascot is gangly and not proportional but was crazy tonight. Always happy and active.
Edina center Reggie Lynch swatting shots all over the place early in the game. Hornets jump out to a 10-2 lead at the 14:12 mark. Tommy McDermott and Joe Risinger for 3 to bring Tonka back within 12-10. 7 in a row from the Hornets in response. The lead grows to 21-12 at the 5:29 mark and Tonka needs another timeout. Tonka starting 4-24 from the floor according to reports. They finally get some offense going with back to back buckets from McDermott. He adds on the last 4 of the half. Tonka cuts the lead to 26-24 at the half.
Risinger opens the half for 3 off the set play. Andrew Turnblad dives down the lane and takes the feed for 2 handed hammer dunk . A bucket and free throw from Riley Dearring. 32-26 Tonka with 15:02 left. That's a 20-5 run across halftime. Edina's star point guard Graham Woodward with the pullup and a pretty lefty dropstep from Lynch to cut the lead to 2. Andrew Grosz with the jumper and another jumper. Lynch fouls him on the 2nd jumper for the 3 point play with 12:27 left and that's big because its his 4th foul. To the bench he goes. 37-30 Tonka with the lead. Mark Handberg with 6 in a row and the lead is back down to 2. 40-38 Skippers with 10 minutes left.
Latrell Love on the post for 2 free throws and gets away with a hook for 2 more on the baseline spin. 48-41 Tonka with 8 minutes left. Good work taking advantage of Lynch being on the bench with fouls. That stretch shows a change needs to be made and here comes Lynch back in to the game at the 7:26 mark. Riley Dearring for 3 to push the lead to 8, 51-43 with 6:50 left. Edina would respond with Woodward for 3 and a pair of free throws thanks to the bonus. Hornets buzz into a trap and force a turnover. Lynch converts that with the baseline drive and reverse layup for the 3 point play. 51 all with 5:44 to play. McDermott back to back buckets. Edina counters with Woodward giving the handback to Flip Deberg in the left corner for 3. Then Lynch with his only block of the 2nd half and that leads to 2 Deberg free throws. 58-55 Edina with 3:08 left.
McDermott with 2 free throws but Lynch counters with another picture perfect lefty drop step and finish. Tonka turns it over twice before Woodward makes 2 free throws with 1:48 left. Then a loose ball into the backcourt. Tonka doesn't want to touch it because of over and back. Woodward with the great play to dive on it in front of the Edina bench. They get the timeout to preserve the turnover. Huge play there with 1:38 left. The rest is free throws and Tonka commits 2 more turnovers. Edina wins 70-63.
Graham Woodward leads the Hornets with 24 points. Reggie Lynch 14 points and 7 blocks, most of those in the early portions of the 1st half. That made it clear the lane was his. While his shooting range is still limited, he's added some footwork inside with the nice dropsteps. Flip Deberg also in double figures with 12. Tommy McDermott leads the Skippers with 24 points. 4 other players with 8 or 9 points but nobody else in double figures. Very surprised Edina didn't use Lynch more against Latrell Love when Love came off the bench. Lynch's height and length something to bother Love. On the other end, I thought there would be much more of Joe Risinger or Riley Dearring guarding Graham Woodward.