An old rivalry kept alive

A rare trip to the far west edge of the metro as I take in Mayer Lutheran at Holy Family.  These teams are old rivals from the Minnesota River Conference.  Holy Family now in the Wright County but we still have this private school rivalry.  A much bigger crowd than usual on hand for this one.  Section 6AAA teams Blake, Richfield and Chaska all looking on at Holy Family since the Fire could face any one of them in the 1st round.  That also explains much of my interest in this one.  Also a chance to see soph post Justin Dahl.  Don't discount freshmen Sam Schlueter and Rhett Kovar who saw meaningful minutes tonight for Mayer Lutheran.

Game Time
8-7 Holy Family outside of 12:30 left in an even start.  Mayer Lutheran goes cold for 5 minutes.  Joe Hanel adds the 1st 4 in a mini-spurt for the Fire.  14-9 Fire at 8:25.  Anthony Gruenhagen with 4 points in a 10-3 Crusaders run to break that drought.  19-17 Mayer Lutheran at the 5 minute mark.  Big soph Justin Dahl with back to back buckets as the Fire regain the lead.  That lead stays at 4 before the last bucket of the half for Holy Family beats the buzzer.  34-28 Fire at the break.

That bucket is momentum that carries over.  Hanel backdoor for 2, Joe Speer for 3, Dahl back to back inside, Brent Hentges with a 3 point play.  Soph Jack Mugford with back to back 3, the first to beat his defender who left him to double.  Hentges with a 3 and Hanel tops it off with a rebound and touch pass to Dahl for a 2 handed dunk.  57-34 Holy Family with 7:35 to play.  The total run starting with the last bucket before half is 25-6.  Holy Family cruises from there to a 61-44 win.

Post Game
For Holy Family, Joe Hanel leads the way with 18 points and 14 boards on my sheet.  Productive sophomores with post Justin Dahl scoring 12 and guard Jack Mugford scoring 11.  Dahl playing with a facemask due to a broken nose.  Just makes him look more imposing inside.  Lots of old North Carolina T-Game look from the Fire.  But they'll throw in a slip of a side ball screen out of that type of look too.  Holy Family likely looking at the 6 seed against the likely 3 seed Richfield.  That would be a rematch of a game in December at Holy Family where the Fire won huge 75-47.  Why?  Richfield is a team that needs to slash to the rim and with Dahl there, the Spartans got absolutely nothing inside.  Somehow I think this game will appear again on my list of games to see when I preview sections this weekend.  But you never know, Washburn only has a win over Hill-Murray on their resume while Holy Family has wins over ranked teams Delano and Holy Angels on their resume.  A 4 vs 5 rematch with Chaska could be dynamite too as the Fire lost 67-65 at Chaska in their season opener.

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