A ridiculously early morning in The Kingdom as The Czar was up early to go find some bodies for my 7th grade team this spring. But only 1 8 AM session of that nonsense as I wouldn't want to miss an early outstate opener at the Target Center. Then a dash to the south side and back to the island for a big nightcap. The Washburn hot dog always outstanding and well priced. De La Salle pulling out Walking Tacos tonight so you know I'm not passing on that. No salsa or sour cream so a little dry and a lack of kick, but very straight forward and not bad at all. 32 ounces of Coke and a 20 oz Pepsi go on the beverage tally. Washburn turning out the tunes again with some Earth, Wind and Fire, "Let's Groove".
Game 1: Leroy-Ostrander vs McGregor (Target Center)
A slow start on the scoreboard to this outstate class A showdown. A Nick Fistere putback for McGregor ties the game at 5 at the 12 minute mark. But the Mercuries offense will fall almost as far as the mercury last week. Only 1 field goal the rest of the half as Leroy-Ostrander goes on an 18-4 run. 25-14 Leroy-Ostrander at the half. Only 3 McGregor field goals all half but they hang around with 8-12 FTs compared to 2-8 for the Cardinals. A putback early in the 2nd half cuts the lead to 9, but a pair of turnovers for layups helps push the lead back to 13. Alex Johnson for 3 for McGregor to cut the lead to 10 with 8:52 left and its McGregor's last timeout. Very little offense the rest of the way. Leroy-Ostrander wins 50-36. Nate Bunne leads Leroy-Ostrander with 18 points.
Game 2: Lakeville South at Minneapolis Washburn
An anticipated point guard matchup of Nick Anderson vs Lakeville South 8th grade star Jack Sorenson doesn't immediately materialize as both come off the bench. Zach Richter with a layup off a long feed from Luke Iverson and then a jumper to complete an 11-2 Lakeville South run. That opens up a 29-21 lead and South takes that to halftime at 35-26. Anderson sitting the last 5:51 with 2 fouls. During the half we get an appearance from Gopher football head coach Jerry Kill who walks in with an assistant to watch Washburn's Jeff Jones.
Richter and Noah Scarver get banging inside and we get the always ridiculous double foul. Then Richter tagged in another scrum with Scarver and The Former Reverend whacks him with a T. That leads to 4 in a row from Evan Shepherd. Lakeville South takes a timeout to regain some composure. Sorenson with a floater for a 3 point play. Anderson counters with a runner and baseline drive and we're tied at 38 with 12:35 left. That's a 12-3 run by the Millers to start the half. Then a Washburn foul and a return T for complaining. South makes all 4 free throws to take a 44-40 lead. They take a timeout to setup the possession but come up with 2 straight possessions of bad shots. Scarver swats the 1st leading to points and Anderson makes 2 free throws to bring the Millers back to even at 44 with 11:20 left. Sorenson for 3 as South opens a 54-47 lead with 8:06 left. Washburn comes out a calming timeout and responds with a 12-0 run. JoBreil Powell with a pair of bombs and a pair of free throws with Anderson scoring the other 4. 59-54 Washburn with 5:54 left.
Corey Larson a nice 2nd backcut for a 3 point play to cut the Washburn lead to 2. Shepherd walks on the break, Jones misses a good 10 footer, Scarver misses a layup as Washburn misses some valuable chances. Larson misses a inbounds lob. Finally its Sorenson with a bomb with 2:48 left for a 62-61 Cougars lead. Jordan Johnson with 4 straight points as Washburn misses on a pair of possessions. But a Jones putback and a nice feed from Shepherd to Quinton Garvis keeps Washburn within 66-65 with 1:03 left. Richter makes 1 free throw with 53 ticks left. 3-2 zone for South and Anderson is left all alone on the left wing. His 3 for the lead is off the mark with 34 seconds left. Surprised he got that good of a look. Larson makes 1 of 2 so Washburn gets 1 last chance but Shepherd and Jones are off the mark from 3. A pair of free throws seals a 70-65 Lakeville South win. Corey Larson with 16 points. Jack Sorenson 11 of his 14 in the 2nd half. Jordan Johnson clutch late, 8 of his 12 in the 2nd half. Washburn gets 5 in double figures all between 10 and 12 points. JoBreil Powell all 11 points off the bench in the 2nd half with 3 big triples.
Game 3: #5AAAA Eden Prairie at #1AAA De La Salle
Then its time to hustle back to the island for the back end of the boys/girls doubleheader between Eden Prairie and De La Salle. Jack Cottrell with nice footwork for a turnaround jumper and a nice stepback Nowitzki like fade. 13-11 Eden Prairie at the 12:30 mark. 22-17 Eagles at the 6:48 mark as De La Salle takes a timeout and Dave Thorson not at all happy with his team's play. De La Salle goes on an 11-0 run over the last 3:30 for a 33-29 halftime lead.
Grant Shaeffer was the early offense for the Eagles. His 3 point play after Luke Scott somehow missed 4 straight free throws put EP up 38-37 with 15:21 to play. Travis picking up his play with a post bucket and then a difficult tip over an Eagle inside. Shaeffer on the drive for 2 more, then Cottrell has to sit at the 10:58 mark with his 4th foul. 45-44 Islanders lead at that point. Shaeffer with both ends of the bonus to tie the game at 49 at the 9:31 mark. Coach David Flom rolling the dice bringing Cottrell back in but it was mostly in offense/defense situations. Jarvis Johnson with a bucket and knocks down a rare attempt at a 3. James Lawson on the offensive glass, Travis with a putback for a 3 point play at the 7:37 mark. Then Travis fouled on an inbounds lob for 2 free throws. Its a 12-2 Islanders run for a 61-51 lead with 7:14 left. Then a great sequence from De La Salle as the ball goes all the way around the horn corner to corner and then back to Sacar Anim for a drive and bucket. Then Travis ignites the crowd with not 1, not 2 but 3 swats on 1 possession. The 3rd looks like a clean block but the whistle blows much to the disgust of the crowd. Travis drawing a ton of attention on the side ball screen and that allows Jarvis Johnson to turn the corner and extend for a bucket and foul. Eden Prairie doesn't threaten again. De La Salle wins the showdown 77-60.
Reid Travis finishes with 18 and 11 on my sheet. Jarvis Johnson with the best game I've seen him play in a long time with 15 points. Luke Scott 13 points but held without a 3. James Lawson 10 points and important work cleaning the glass. 1 item to watch with the Islanders is that teams will leave Lawson to double Travis and totally clog up the Islander offense when both are on the floor.
Eden Prairie gets 19 points from Grant Shaeffer with 9-11 FTs in the 2nd half. Anthony Anderson and Andre Wallace with 11 each as both were held in check. Jack Cottrell with 12 points. He had 8 of those in the 1st half when I thought he outplayed Travis. Then foul trouble in the 2nd half and only 4 free throws. He was missed on the glass during that time as well.
So if I saw your team today and your school name had the letter L in it, you won.