Much to my dismay I'm stuck in the real world for the day sessions for the forseeable future. But an entertaining day at the state tourney none the less. Thankfully I could listen on MSBN (thanks for the shout out on the Hopkins telecast guys). I have detailed reports from the AA quarters at Target Center during the night session as part of my Northstar Hoops Report work and if you're not a member shame on you, join now, its all hoops all the time, if you're a fan there's no place you'd rather be. Enough self-promotion, the games speak volumes so here's some thoughts on day 1 story lines.
So much for the top seeds rolling. #1 Hopkins was lucky to escape with a victory in a game I was totally wrong about. #3 Eastview goes out to Eden Prairie (not all that surprised at that one) and #2 Lakeville North had a struggle with Moorhead. #1 Washburn barely survived Rocori . #2 St. Peter crumbles late and #3 Braham needs a crazy comeback ending to beat St. Croix Lutheran. That last game was one that some may have thought was the best draw in the AA bracket.
Turn on the lights, the Party is just beginning. Tyler Vaughan goes nuts in Braham's win. Mitch Weg played very well in Worthington's loss to Perham. Perham's Jordan Bruhn jumps on to the big state with a great performance. By the way Eden Prairie's Grant Shaeffer had 2 points in the 1st half and then scored 39, yes 39! after halftime including 20 in a row. going into the overtime. Throw in a 3 at the regulation buzzer to force overtime and you have a performance for the ages.
Duluth East not only having players give up medals at the section final but everybody including the coaching staff wearing Akolda Manyang T-Shirts. Head Coach Chuck Tolo really going all out for the kid. He feels its worth his job which I commend if the kid is truly innocent. Hopefully it all works out for the kid and everybody in the program but a gigantic mess brewing there. Hard not to wonder what would have happened if Akolda had played and couldn't because he was innocent. If guilty then the East program has all kinds of egg on its face and it could cost Tolo his job (and it might anyway).
Litchfield probably the least flashy and noteworthy of any of the teams playing but they're sound and well-coached. The matchup with Perham is a very interesting one in Friday's semifinals. They made Watertown-Mayer pay for mistakes which all good teams do.