Charting a new technical course in section 4A

Traditionally, a trip to St. Agnes for me means a frigid experience.  Nice change of pace for a very warm winter evening.  Tonight's beverage is a 20 oz red Powerade.  Beverage #9 puts me at 148 oz for the season.  Hot Dog #3 slots in at the bottom of the season list.  Not bad, but not as good as the other 2 I've had this season.    Heritage, Maranatha, Concordia and St. Croix Prep all looking on.

Metro Tech features many players from last year's Prairie Seeds Academy rosters.  The former Dunwoody Academy has last year's PSA head man Jamil Jackson as the AD, JV and Varsity coach.  He's very connected in Minneapolis basketball circles.  Expect plenty of talent to flow through the Warriors program in future years.  St. Agnes loses 2 athletic scorers from last year.  What's in store in this section 4A battle?

Game Time
Nick Turch off to a quick start for St. Agnes with a nice curl cut for an easy bucket, a triple and a steal for 2.  9-3 St. Agnes at the 13:07 mark.  MetroTech gets their Take Him offense going and goes on a 23-6 run over the next 9 minutes.  Dominick Jackson closing the run with a 3, a runner and a long NBA 3.  Jackson would finish the half with another NBA bomb.  33-23 Metro Tech at the half.  Dominick Jackson and Mike Miller combine for 26 of those points.  Miller very effective attacking the rim.

The Aggies come out strong in the 2nd half.  They score the 1st 9 of the half to cut the lead to 1, 33-32 with 15:10 to play.  Nick Bennett good minutes for St. Agnes with an early bucket and running the floor for an easy layup.  Then another successful right wing pick and roll from St. Agnes and its Bennett for the 3 point play.  42-40 St. Agnes takes the lead with 11:17 to play.

Dominick Jackson held scoreless so far in the half for Metro Tech, but he comes up big.  Drive for 1 free throw, and the rebound eventually gives him a 3.  He finds frosh Josh Stephenson for a pair of free throws.  Then a steal that leads to a Mike Miller layup.  Timeout St. Agnes as the run is 11-0.  51-42 Metro Tech in control with 9:15 left.  Inside play from St. Agnes allows them to make it interesting.  Dante Davison for 2 on the post then a kickout to Jordan Delaney for 3.  Bennett makes 2 free throws with 5:56 left and its Dominick Jackson's 4th foul.  55-50 Metro Tech but can they hang on?

Jackson with a clutch 3 on the next possession to push the lead to 8.  Delaney goes glass and knocks down a jumper from the foul circle with 4:05.  St. Agnes with the ball down 60-54 with 3:45 left.  But St. Agnes only scores 1 more time.  Metro Tech goes on to win 68-56.

Post Game
For St. Agnes, Nick Bennett with a very productive 2nd half inside.  He leads the Aggies with 16 points.  Nick Turch 15 points.  Dante Davison was active off the bench playing inside.  Soph PG Dominick Webster came off the bench and made a couple of nice passes that turned into easy layups.  Turnovers were the killer.  When the game was a halfcourt game and they pounded the ball inside, they were at a major advantage.  When they turned it over and allowed Metro Tech to run, that was not their game.

Metro Tech gets 26 points from Dominick Jackson.  The lefty showed deep range and couldn't be contained off the dribble.  Think of him as Metro Tech's equivalent to Trent Pollard last year for PSA.  Mike Miller is a strong wing who is difficult to contain as well.  He scored 15 points.  Freshman made up most of the rest of the scoring.  Freshman wing Jamil Jackson is long and athletic.  He knocked down a pair of 3s on the way to 10 points.  Amir Miller is an undersized ball handler but was serviceable down the stretch.   MetroTech improves to 2-0 but gets a stiff test at Heritage in the back to back games.  Then Saturday at Carlton.  4 Games in 8 days for a young and not terribly deep roster.  They'll have to shoot it well as they shoot a ton of 3s and don't really have a post presence.  But in section 4A, Dominick Jackson is a player that you have to really emphasize.  If he struggles, you can slow them down.

Play of the Day
We could go through 23 which is the St.Agnes shuffle set  for Nick Turch.  But I like their 1-4 low set on the baseline out of bounds.  Turch takes the spot between the backside block and the top of the charge circle.  Ball side post (a guard) pops back and catches at the 3 point line.  Turch pops back towards the ball and fakes a catch.  The backside corner will then come and flare screen for Turch to the open side.  If the defender gets anxious before the inbounds, Turch can take one hard step away and come back hard to the ball.  The Aggies got this tonight in addition to the flare screen.

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