Another One Walks The Plank

As I expected before the season, tonight would be a huge matchup of #1 vs #2 in class AAAA.  But the results of the Tipoff Classic changed who we thought the teams would be.  Its #1 Osseo visiting #2 Park Center.  Full house and SRO around the rails at The Pirate Ship.  A very good by the book Walking Taco along with 20 more ounces of beverage.  372 ounces on 23 beverages for the season.  No Isaiah McKay for Park Center due to injury.  The Park Center student section a bit more subdued than I expected.  But its a total outrage that they're not allowed to fly the pirate flag at home.

Game Time
Ian Theisen in the post for 2 for an early 3-2 Osseo lead.  Park Center rips off 8 in a row with a sick drive and scoop from their star point guard Quinton Hooker.  Hooker then buries a 3 to cap the run and he'll add a nasty step back jumper for 2 more.  Wheeler Baker breaks a FG drought of 5:15 for Osseo.  12-9 Park Center at the 10:37 mark.  Park Center would open up the lead thanks to 5 in a row from Devin Buckley and a long Hooker triple.  23-11 Pirates now up double digits.  Hooker with a putback just before the halftime buzzer.  32-22 Park Center at the break.  Hooker with 14.

Buckley keeping the offense going with a spinning floater and a running bank.  Baker then heats up for Osseo.  5 in a row from him cuts the Park Center lead to 8.  Park Center keeping the lead with a Treyton Daniels dunk, a drive from Hooker and Hooker converts an Orioles turnover with 2 at the charity stripe.  44-31 Pirates with 12:24 to play.  Then Daniels will sit with 4 fouls so now you have him and McKay (2 regulars) out of the Park Center lineup.  Buckley for 3 and Hooker with a floater for a 3 point play.  52-37 Pirates inside of 9 to play.  Bridge Tusler very quiet in this one but he scores and finds Theisen for a dunk after another Hooker bucket.  Baker adds on a triple and Theisen with a putback for a 3 point play.  5:52 left as Osseo takes a timeout.  Park Center hanging on to a 56-47 lead after a 10-4 Osseo spurt.  Is this the Osseo run to get them back in it?

Absolutely not!  Hooker to Buckley for 1 basket and Buckley adds another on another Orioles turnover.  Hooker makes 4 straight free throws to push the lead back to 15.  Strange that 1 official decided at this point in the game that breathing was a foul.  64-49 Park Center with 3:26 left.  They would go on to win 73-62.

Post Game
For Osseo, Wheeler Baker heated up with 15 of his 21 in the 2nd half.  Not good nights for stars Bridge Tusler and Ian Theisen.  Tusler with 12 points but his only field goal was a late 3, 1-9 FGs on my sheet. Theisen with 17 points and 9 rebounds on 5-13 shooting.  The rest of the Osseo lineup couldn't pick up the slack.  The Orioles were extremely sloppy with way too many turnovers.  They also didn't take advantage of the size of Theisen.   Osseo falls to 5-1 with the loss.  They host Champlin Park (3-1) on Thursday before heading to St. Cloud for the Granite City Classic.  They'll play Prior Lake in a rematch of an epic game from last year's Tipoff Classic and then the Saturday night cap against Apple Valley.  That's a game that could have been another 1 vs 2 matchup if Osseo had won tonight.

For Park Center, Quinton Hooker leads the way with 34 points.  He vaults Park Center to #1 in the polls.  He also has to be the clear hands down forget about it leader for the Mr. Basketball award right now.  But to keep that the Pirates will have to beat Osseo at least 1 more time (likely in the section final) for him to be in the same type of category when it matters at the end of the year.  14 points in the 1st half and then 20 in the 2nd half (13-14 FTs in the half).  Devin Buckley steps up with 21 points in the absence of McKay and the foul trouble of Daniels.  The rest of the roster scored 18 with 5 field goals.  Give credit to their swarming and switching defense for causing havoc inside and outside.    While they lose a ton, guys like Arione Farrar, Amani Hooker, Xavier Pollard etc are in the pipeline to keep the program going.

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