Eagles soar to upset

A chance to see 2 South Suburban teams for the 1st time this season as I make the trip to #7AAAA Lakeville North at Bloomington Kennedy.  Now after all the AAU ball and fall coaching in this building, I had forgotten just how miserable of a setup this is for a real game.  Ho hum concession stand.  But none of that matters.  Its Lakeville North and that means we get a high school season sighting of the one and only Hat Lady (Light up Applause Sign here).  Tonight's color was red.

Game Time
Soph Connor Flack off of the Lakeville North bench and very productive inside.   He scores 7 straight for the Panthers.  Grant Erickson adds back to back buckets off a steal and a pick and roll.  Kennedy takes a timeout down 15-9 at the 11:35 mark.  Travon Hearns with a couple of post buckets for Kennedy.  Then CJ Lewis off the Eagles bench with a jumper and a 3.   DJ Davis for 3 and now its Lakeville North who needs a timeout.  24-20 Kennedy at the 4:59 mark after a 15-5 run.  Zach Creighton for 3 at the 3:40 mark to break a drought of 8:45 from the floor for Lakeville North.  Lewis counters with another 3, 3 free throws.  Then Davis and Lewis for 3 again to end the half.  39-31 Kennedy at the half.

Davis with a jumper to push the lead to 11.  Macura hounded by Davis most of the night gets loose on a pick and pop and finally gets a shot to fall.  That 3 at the 16:09 mark breaks his 0-11 start from the floor.  Jumah'ri Turner back to back bombs and the Kennedy leads is the largest of the night at 51-37 with 15 minutes left.  The Panthers gradually chip away at that lead.  Macura with another 3, then an assist to Flack and a pair of buckets off of an inbounds play (best offense all night, see below).   56-46 Kennedy with 12:40 left.  Panthers center Bronson Bruneau back to back buckets.  Hearns with a mans move inside and the lead is back to 62-50 with 9:15 left.  Then comes the Panthers run.  Bruneau on the offensive glass, Macura a pair of bonus free throws on a cheap foul.  Kyrell Newell on the offensive glass and Grant Erickson with a double clutch finish driving baseline.  62-58 Kennedy hanging on with 6:10 left.

After a Kennedy bucket on a turnover, its Erickson with the 3 point play to cut the lead to 3 just inside 5 to play.  After trading buckets, Kennedy goes to THE WORLD'S WORST OFFENSE.  That slows the tempo and gets Hearns a post look that he converts.  Newell on the offensive glass again.  Then another patient Eagles possession and Davis is called for a charge with 1:41 left.  Lakeville North gets it back with a chance to tie.  They can't convert.  A dangerous Kennedy pass toward the basket on their possession is tipped away.  A scrum ensues for the loose ball in the lane and Hearns comes out of it with a dagger 3 point play.  71-65 with 46.8 left.   Kennedy goes on to win 71-67.

Post Game
For Lakeville North, JP Macura leads with 15 points (I had 13 on 4-24 shooting on my sheet).  Connor Flack 13 of his 15 in the first half off the Panthers bench.  That included 9-11 from the charity stripe.  Grant Erickson 11 (13 on my sheet) and Kyrell Newell 11.  Hard to win when your best offensive player doesn't see the ball go in the basket.  Macura had at least 15 good looks and only saw 2 of them go in.  That's not something that's going to happen very often.  I liked the idea of having him set high ball screens.  This is something that Onalaska also does with Matt Thomas.  Set a guard to guard high ball screen and with the deadly shooter setting the screen, the driver usually can turn the corner without resistance.  Lakeville North falls to 13-4 overall and more importantly 7-2 in the South Suburban and 2 games behind Apple Valley for 1st.  They remain 1 game ahead of Prior Lake and Eagan.

For Kennedy, Dejon Davis outstanding with 23 points and terrific defense on Macura.  CJ Lewis with 3 triples and 18 points off the bench in a clutch performance.  Travon Hearns 13 points inside as he showed that you can get after Lakeville North inside.  Jumah'ri Turner 3 big 3s in the 2nd half for 9 of his 10 points.  Kennedy improves to 6-11 overall, 3-6 in the South Suburban.  A big win for the Eagles as they are in an absolutely brutal stretch of their schedule right now.  Apple Valley visits on Friday and then a trip to Prior Lake next Tuesday.

Play of the Day
This is Lakeville North's "Triangle" set from the Baseline Out of Bounds.  Nothing fancy here.  Its 2 guys on the boxes, a guard at the top of the key and Macura right at the front of the rim.  3 options for him.  If the defender doesn't see the ball, throw it up to him.  He got his only point of the first half on this.  Otherwise, he can read the defender and go off of either baseline screen.  The effective option is coming out the weak side for a short corner jumper.  He got a pair of 2nd half baskets off of this.   Nothing fancy here, but it shows that the simplest things can be the most effective.

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