Hylanders and Scots battle

A quiet night on the schedule so its a chance to get out to St. Paul Highland Park to see the Scots take on Columbia Heights.  The setup at Highland Park is the most unique and confusing that I see in my metro travels.  Ramps and stairs and unmarked doors and weird entrances make the gym a nightmare to get around in if you dare venture to the open side.  Getting there is one thing but then one must get back to the easy side for the Walking Taco at the concession stand.  Its a paint by numbers version for only $2 which is a steal.  Lettuce over the sour cream makes mixing a bit easier.  Add in another 12 ounces of beverages and I think I may just hit 400 by Christmas.  384 on a full 24 pack so far this year.  Great conversation with Heights coach Willie Braziel before the game.  Interesting tidbit from him that I really liked.  Have all high school athletes conform to the NCAA eligibility standards (without ACT scores of course) before they can play.  None of this progress toward graduation nonsense that we have now.

Game Time
Lefty Dion Bradley putting up 30 a night for Highland Park this season and he was well on his way early.  But interestingly enough, the points were right handed finishes.  He scores 10 of the 1st 16 and assists on 1 of the rest.  16-13 Highland Park up at the 11 minute mark as we have the expected fast pace.  6 in a row from Columbia Heights to reclaim the lead and a Mike Koenig triple to tie the game at 19 with 8 minutes left in the half.  We get a quick appearance of THE WORLD'S WORST OFFENSE from the Scots before Heights goes box and 1 on Bradley.  Bradley double clutches inisde for 2.  25-23 Heights at the 4:30 mark  The Hylanders will finish the half on an 18-6 spurt.  Dominique Galloway a 3 and a give and go assist in transition.  Then a 3 point play and late in the run a steal for an easy bucket.  43-29 Columbia Heights with the lead at half.

The Scots with a quick 8-0 run to start the 2nd half behind a Bradley putback and 3 point play.  He then finds Koenig for 3 and Koenig adds a layup.  The Heights lead down to 43-37 and still 16:20 to play.  Then the roof collapses on Highland Park.  Dion Sandstad with a 3 point play and steal for 2.  Sandstad for 3 and then a block that results in 2 Galloway free throws.  Sandstad to Galloway for 3 and that closes a 21-2 Columbia Heights run in 4:40.  That gives the Hylanders a 64-39 lead with 11:14 to go.  Bradley makes 2 free throws but then picks up his 4th foul with 9:42 left and has to sit.

No star, no problem.  Koenig takes over for the Scots.  He knocks down 3 triples in 90 seconds as the Scots go on a 14-1 run.  Timeout Heights with 7:31 left and the lead cut to 67-55.  Heights only gets a pair of free throws from Galloway before Bradley returns with 5:33 to play, 69-55 Hylanders.  Frosh Jerret Baptiste and forward Colton Williams keep the offense going inside with a pair of buckets each.  Highland Park never threatens again.  Columbia Heights goes on to win 84-67.

Post Game
For Highland Park, Dion Bradley finishes with 31 and keeps his average up.  Mike Koenig 4 of his 5 3s in the 2nd half.  He finishes with 27 points.  The rest of the roster is only able to come up with 9 though.  Nobody on the varsity roster listed over 6'1" and only 1 player in the entire program at 6'2".  Heights eventually took advantage of that inside.  Highland Park finishes the calendar year 5-2.  They take the holidays off before hosting Edison on January 4th.  Then a very tough stretch with a trip to Eastview, host Wayzata, at Minnehaha, vs Sioux Falls Roosevelt in Sioux Falls event, and Edina in their next 6.  They have junior Isaiah Brower and 3 sophs in the rotation plus some respectable JV talent.  Despite the small roster, you have to like what Jon DePerry is doing with the Scots program.

For Columbia Heights, they get great balance with 5 players in double figures.  Dominique Galloway leads the way with 22 and a few assists.  Junior forward Colton Williams effective inside with 17.  That helps offset the loss of center Christian Esko who's out with an injured elbow.  Dion Sandstad 15 points, Jerret Baptiste and Martice Creamer with 12 each.  Galloway and Sandstad make the show go, but they've gone to a pass and cut system (4 or 5 out depending on personnel) and get good balance from it.  Add that with their chaotic defense and the Hylanders will win their share of games.  They've now won 4 in a row after a season opening loss at Park Center.  That includes a win at Lakeview Christian last weekend.  They are in the Tartan holiday tournament (coach Klingsporn in the building tonight watching) and then they start 4 in a row on the road in the North Suburban.  A trip to St. Louis Park kicks off that stretch on Jan 4th.

Play of the Day
This is a set from Columbia Heights that they call "Quick".  Its a nice dual option play that gives a option for post up/layup or a 3.

Its a Michigan set with 2 guards, a post at the nail and 2 wings in the corners.  Guard to guard pass, guard cuts over the post and then turns and screens for him to the ball side block.  Screening guard pops back to the ball.  That guard can hit the 3 if the post up is doubled or you can get a switch for a mismatch.  A simple set but effective.  This was a goto play that they ran multiple times.  Also a good entry into their 4 out pass and cut.

1 comment:

  1. I agree on the eligibility...and that's what should be done for AAU in 15s, 16s, and 17s as well.

    John Carrier


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