A star-studded doubleheader

Prologue
A night of stars as its an early 5 PM tilt between Cooper and Hopkins followed by a city battle between Apple Valley and Eastview.  Only a beverage at Eastview (12 oz of Pepsi always good) but never bad to get the 20oz Coke and Walking Taco at Hopkins.  Though I am a bit disturbed they're staying with this unique version rather than the previous.  Full house at Apple Valley made for a very good atmosphere.  Western Michigan took in both games with the Howard Pulley guys.  Northland (coolest guy in the UMAC) and UW-River Falls (baddest man in the WIAC) take in the Apple Valley/Eastview game.

Game 1 - Robbinsdale Cooper at #4AAAA Hopkins
Rashad Vaughn a couple of quick assists to Darrious Denson for layups. Then a 15-0 Hopkins run with 3 triples puts Hopkins up 20-10 at the 10 minute mark.  Vaughn would start 0-4 then make 4 in a row ending with an NBA 3.  31-19 Hopkins at the 6:40 mark after that bomb.  Vaughn with a pullup for 2. a steal for 2 more and a straight away 30 footer as Cooper goes on a 14-3 run over the last 3:30 of the half.  That cuts the Hopkins lead to 40-35 at half.  Vaughn with 16 points.

Cooper off to a quality start in the half with Lavar McCollough and Billy Kellogg knocking down consecutive 3s to tie the game at 45 with 15:10 to play.  Hopkins would once again pull out their point zone with 11:30 to play and a 50-48 lead.  Philip Stribling with a pair of putback and Jake Wright with a pair of dagger 3s to top off a 22-6 Hopkins run.  70-54 Hopkins leading with 5:35 left and Cooper needs a timeout.  Can't leave Wright any space and the Hawks never really did that well in this one.  Vaughn tries to keep Cooper going as he spins for 2 and goes coast to coast for a 3 and then 3 more for a personal 8-0 run.  He adds a 3 point play with 2:07 left to keep Cooper within 8.  A late 3 finishes his stat line but its not enough.  Hopkins wins 85-70.  Hopkins has 4 in double figures led by Jake Wright's 20 and a great night off the bench from Stribling with 17.  Rashad Vaughn 13-30 from the floor on my sheet for 36 points to go with 8 rebounds.  Overall, not a great game though.  In this humble basketball guy's opinion, I see that he needs to improve his fundamentals (e.g closeouts) and effort on the defensive end, improve his shot selection (many misses were forced shots tonight) and better control and change his negative emotions during adverse circumstances, especially towards teammates.  Lavar McCollough with 12 points as the only other Hawks player in double figures.

Game 2 - Eastview at #2AAAA Apple Valley
Its the return of Tyus Jones after missing 3 full games and most of the Hopkins game 2 1/2 weeks ago.  He takes a turnover the other way and finishes through the contact for a 3 point play.  8-5 Eagles at the 14:22 mark.  Ben Oberfeld wheeling it down the floor and he takes the feed down the lane and hammers it home at the 11 minute mark to keep Eastview within 4.  He adds a lefty finish and 2 free throws.  17-15 Apple Valley at the 7:10 mark.  Dustin Fronk has been playing really well lately and he starts to heat up again.  A layup, a triple and then he finishes the 10-0 run with 2 more.  26-15 Apple Valley now up double digits at the 5 minute mark.  Oberfeld with a pair of buckets in a 9-2 Eastview run to close to 28-24 but Fronk buries another 3 and Brock Bertram with a block on 1 end and gets the reward on the other.  33-24 Apple Valley lead at the half.

Dennis Austin a pair of layups on sweet passes from Tyus, Fronk with a bucket and another Austin 2 as Apple Valley gains more distance.  Tyus with a bucket and fouled but can't convert the 3 point play.  Its a 12-2 Apple Valley run to start the half for a 45-26 lead at the 13:27 mark.  Fronk with a floater, a sweet backdoor play from Eastview (see below), an extra pass finds Harry Sonie for 3 and Fronk to the reverse layup. 56-36 Apple Valley with 5:33 left when Tyus sits.  He should be done for the night.  Fronk hits another 3 to push the lead to 21 but Eastview scores the next 7 thanks to a pair of their own bombs.  That cuts the lead to 14 with 2:59 left and Tyus is back in there.  Oberfeld inside cuts the lead to 12.  Tyus finishes the Apple Valley scoring at the 1:15 mark with a drive.  Oberfeld with a last second 3 point play but that doesn't affect the outcome.  Apple Valley wins 61-52.  Ben Oberfeld with 23 points,12 boards, 3 assists.  No other hope though, the rest of the team shoots 30% (12/40).  Tyus Jones still not 100% finished with 11 points, 8 assists and 5 steals.  Dustin Fronk leads with 24 points.  Dennis Austin 16 points and 7 rebounds.  Apple Valley shoots 49.1% for the game.  A bit of a surprise with Eastview's physical style and Tyus Jones that Apple Valley only shot 5 free throws for the game.  The game was at Eastview's pace but not enough firepower.

Play of the Day
Our play of the day is actually the same concept from both Hopkins and Eastview for a backdoor layup.  Hopkins really liked this for Blake Hoffarber but did run it tonight to start the 2nd half (a little detail that Hopkins usually does).    Saw this from both squads tonight.

Hopkins runs this out of a straight 2-3 high set.  The point guard will dribble under the 2 guard to exchange spots.  The post will fill the ball side elbow, the weakside wing with cut to the backside block and the flash hard to make a catch on the backside elbow.  He then hits the 2 guard going backdoor with his defender caught ball watching.

Eastview gets the same end result (cross guards high and then flash to weakside elbow and high 2 guard back door) but here's how they get there.  They start with 2 guards high, 2 on the blocks and corner on the same side original side as the point guard.  As the point guard dribble swaps with the 2 guard, the corner guy runs the baseline off the double screen.  Then each post diagonally flashes to the opposite elbow after their screen.  In this case it's Oberfeld who makes the 2nd diagonal cut to the elbow for the pretty assist.

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