Breaking down opening Saturday

Its the 1st Saturday of the season and in traditional Saturday form that means a bunch of games.  I started with an iron range boys/girls doubleheader at Target Center, then 2 girls followed by 2 boys games in the Breakdown Tipoff Classic (Girls edition) at Hopkins.  12 oz of Pepsi and a 20 oz coke put the season beverage count at 8 with a total volume of 128 oz.

Target Center
Mountain Iron-Buhl and Bigfork brought their teams down from the iron range area to invade Target Center in a late morning doubleheader.  I caught the last 12 minutes of the girls game.  #2A Mountain Iron-Buhl already sporting a 71-5 lead when I walk in.  Finally at running time we eventually get the last 5 players out of their warmups and in.  Let's make sure they work on the 3/4 court 1-2-2 trap too.  That's just too much.  Final was 85-7.

As to the boys game, Bigfork coming off a 20 win season and MIB 6-22 last year.  Bigfork won this game last year 78-49.  The Huskies look to be one of the serious contenders against Lakeview Christian in section 7A.  Then you look at the MIB starting lineup and you see 2 sophs, a freshman and an 8th grader.  Looks like trouble.  MIB down 6-4 when they take a timeout at the 14:30 mark.  That sparks a 13-1 run.  8th grader Jaylon Holmes with his 2nd 3 of the game and it forces the 3rd Bigfork timeout of the half.  20-9 Rangers staying ahead with 5:49 left.  Bigfork would use their 1-2-2 trapping in the full court to cut into the lead.  While their stars Zac Lovdahl (almost 1500 career points) and Andrew Anderson struggled, soph forward Curt Titze came off the bench to provide a spark.  His tip at the halftime buzzer cut the MIB lead to 24-19.  Titze with 10 of those for Bigfork.

Bigfork would hang around with long 3s from Josh Lovdahl and Zac Lovdahl.  35-29 MIB at the 13:35 mark.  Holmes would go coast to coast and MIB had a 40-29 lead with 10:54 left and Bigfork would take their 4th timeout.  Zac Lovdahl then picks up his 4th and has to sit with 8:28 left.  MIB extends the lead to 46-33 with 7:15 left and Zac Lovdahl has to come back in.  Lovdahl and Anderson a combined 3-21 FGs to this point.  Then Anderson would come alive with 3 buckets in a row and an assist from him quickly cut the lead to 46-39.  Anderson with a 3 point play with 3:15 left to cut the MIB lead to 50-47.  That put Anderson over the 1000 career point mark.  MIB would get a Holmes layup with 1:30 left but some scoreboard confusion as score should have been 54-51, but showed 53-51.  Bigfork would have plenty of chances in the last minute.  They miss a front end with 1:12 left.  After MIB missed a layup, Anderson missed a quick 3 with 47 ticks left.  MIB missed the back end of the bonus but got the offensive rebound with 33 seconds left.  That allowed the Rangers to kill 20 seconds of the clock.  They would miss 2 more free throws but the 2nd once again came off to the Rangers.  That would finish it off.  Mountain Iron-Buhl pulls off the 56-51 upset.  Dante Josephson was a horse inside in the 2nd half. I had him for 15 points to lead MIB.  Andrew Anderson reached the 1000 point mark with 16 points in the game.  Zac Lovdahl held to 7 points on 2-12 FGs.

Breakdown Tipoff Classic Games
Then out to the Breakdown Tipoff Classic.  Its Hopkins and that means the finest Walking Taco around.  Very appopriate for the 1st one of the year.  $4 is very inflationary or blatent price gouging, I haven't figured out which.  Interesting today that they used bags of baked Tostitos scoops instead of Doritos.  Still good, but the Doritos add extra flavor that can't be overlooked.

1st boys game was Centennial vs Hopkins.  Centennial getting a pair of early buckets from star Dan  Becken for an 8-2 lead at the 15:10.  That's a pair of layups and a putback against the Hopkins pressure defense. The Royals would respond with an 11-2 run of their own thanks to a pair of bombs and a layup from Kamali Chambers.  13-10 Royals at the 13:16 mark.  Nick Johnson for 3 and its 20-15 Hopkins.  Centennial comes right back with a 16-2 run of their own.  3 separate players knock down 3s including a rainbow 3 from Becken.  Pierre Roddy with a nice backdoor cut for a layup to finish the run.  31-22 Cougars at the 5:10 mark.  Big play to end the half as Hopkins missed a 3, saved it back inbounds to Chambers who heaved home a 3 at the buzzer.  39-35 Centennial at the half.

Becken with a jumper and 3 to push the lead to 7.  Roddy with a free throw to keep the lead at 3.  50-47 Centennial with 12:11 to play.  But Hopkins always seems to have that big run in them and today was no different.  Chambers with 2 FTs, a big 3 point play and a steal for 2 in a 24-4 Hopkins run that broke the game open.  71-54 Hopkins with 4:10 left.  Hopkins would go on to a 73-62 victory.  Dan Becken with 3 3s and 18 points to lead Centennial.  Josh Dewitt 11 points.  Kamali Chambers 20 points to lead the Royals.  Nick Johnson a pair of 3s and 14 points.  Jamal Davis 12.  Interesting to see that Centennial played 11 guys and Hopkins 10 in their main rotations.

Thanks to a full warmup clock, we get to see all of the opening game and the last game, Holy Angels vs Minnetonka.  Charlie Koontz doing everything for Holy Angels in the early going. Layup, post, drive, and a 3 all in his stat sheet.  14-10 Holy Angels at the 12 minute mark.  15 all when Holy Angels goes on an 11-0 run.  Danny Sullivan for 3, Jordan Dembley straight away for 3 and a nice over the head pass on a turnover finds Delshon Strickland for a pair of free throws (foul to prevent a monster dunk).  26-15 Stars at the 9:07 mark. The next 9 points go to the Skippers.  Soph Justin Moes for 3, then 2 easy buckets from Careino Gurley and another layup from Mike Fernando.  AHA lead cut to 2, 26-24 at 7 minute mark.  7 in a row from Holy Angels ends with Matt Bowlin shooting 2 free throws for Koontz who ended up with blood on his jersey.  Ping pong back the other way as Tonka would finish the half on a 15-0 run.  Riley Dearring with a 3 point play and the half ends with sniper Luke Petterson getting an inbounds 3 off a turnover.  Another case of defenses refusing to chase the inbounder, instead going over the top and getting pinned in.  39-33 Minnetonka with the halftime lead.

Tonka would extend the lead to 9 but Koontz with a layup and bomb to keep the the Stars within 46-42 at the 14:33 mark.  Minnetonka with an 11-2 run to put the game out of reach thanks to 3 easy buckets inside.  57-44 Tonka with 8:25 to play.  Holy Angels would never threaten after that.  Minnetonka wins 72-60.  Charlie Koontz 23 points to lead Holy Angels, Jordan Dembley with 14 and Danny Sullivan with 11 for Holy Angels.  Minnetonka gets 16 from Riley Dearring, 14 from Mike Fernando, 12 from Bremiah Snyder, 10 from Careino Gurley.   Surprising to see Minnetonka dominate inside.  Holy Angels stared a big lineup with Sullivan, Koontz and 6'7 Joey Poehling.  Minnetonka mostly used smaller interior guys but with strength.

Hopkins plays next at Rosemount on Friday and then in the Boys Tipoff Classic vs Tartan in an early afternoon game.  Tough turnaround there for the Royals.  Centennial has 3 winnable games coming up against Blaine and Forest Lake this week and then at Andover a week from Tuesday.  Minnetonka plays at Jefferson before hosting Cooper in the final game of the tipoff classic.  I'll see Holy Angels in their next game at Breck on Wednesday, then home to BSM before a tough afternoon game against Roseville in the tipoff classic.

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