2013 Class AA Championship

A great contrast of styles for the Class AA title as Litchfield takes on Minnehaha.  Minnehaha a team that wants to get out and run and make the game hectic.  Litchfield very disciplined and sound.  They make you work.
Game Time
John Pryor back to 3s as the Redhawks start 3-3 from deep.  9-5 Minnehaha at the 1st TV break at 14:10.  Riley Pater with 3 straight nice post moves to pull the Dragons within 14-13 at the 8:40 minute mark.  Marcellous Hazzard with back to back 3s after Litchfield took a 17-16 lead.  TV Timeout at the 6:15 mark with Minnehaha up 22-19. Hazzard showing surprising range as he's 3 for 3 from the deep beyond and has 12 points.  Minnehaha switches to a 2-3 zone for a different look.  Litchfield only 1-6 from 3 after their hot shooting in the semifinals.  26 all tie at the 2:58 TV timeout as Zach Kinny buries a 3 and adds a pair of assists in the last 7 points for the Dragons.

Hazzard on the run after a miss for a layup.  Minnehaha up 38-33 inside of 14 to play.  Litchfield runs the same nice set (think Jameson Parsons of Eagan for 3) back to back for 1 3 and then misses a good look at another.  Jesse Johnson for 3 and that forces a Litchfield timeout with 12:25 left.  41-36 Minnehaha leading.  Litchfield pounds the ball inside with big Riley Pater scoring and a Dylan Koll getting a free throw off a post touch.  Its Pater again on the right block as Litchfield stays within 43-41 at the 10:08 TV timeout.

Pater with another easy bucket inside and Litchfield is back to even at 43 with 8:30 to play.  Zach Kinny with the spin for a 3 point play with 7:34 to play.  Litchfield back on top 46-45.  John Pryor with the response for the Redhawks with a right wing 3.  That's his first points since the back to back bombs very early in the game.  48-46 Minnehaha as we go to a TV timeout with 6:10 to play. 

One of the best student moments of the tournament.  Minnehaha kids pull out the "I Believe" chant and Litchfield kids respond with "I believe that you will lose" chant.  Outstanding take.  An off ball foul for 2 Litchfield free throws and then Hazzard drops the shoulder inside for a charge.  Lance Johnson not at all happy with that.  Pater stripped but gets the whistle.  He misses the front end after a Minnehaha timeout with 4:25 to play and a 1 point Redhawks lead.

Pryor with his 4th bomb, this one from the top, with 3:45 to play to give Minnehaha a little breathing room going to the final TV timeout with 3:24 left.  53-51 Minnehaha and Litchfield doesn't have a field goal since the Kinny 3 point play with 7:34 left.  Minnehaha grabs an offensive board on the possession.  They'll hold the ball.  Litchfield gives 1 of their 2 to give.  Timeout Litchfield to strategize the final 1:44.  53-51 Minnehaha with the ball.

Kaharri Carter off the bounce and draws a pair of fouls.  He steps up with 1:26 left and knocks down both ends of the 1 and 1.  Cameron Sundmark gets the kickout from Zach Whitchurch and buries the 3 with 1:06 left to cut the lead to 1.  Minnehaha off the bounce and the lefty layup is no good with 45 seconds left.  Litchfield grabs the board with a chance to take the lead.  Pater's bank from the left block is no good with 25 seconds left.  Great look. 

Carter back to the line with 16.2 left.  He makes the first and Thomas Gedion grabs the miss of the second. But he's off balance and has to throw it up.  Litchfield grabs that board and takes time with 12 seconds left.  They'll have it full court.  Whitchurch up and under at the buzzer is no good.  Minnehaha wins the state title 56-54.

Post Game
For Minnehaha, they only shoot 42.2% but make 8 of 15 3s.  Kaharri Carter 11 and 8.  Marcellous Hazzard 14 and 6.  John Pryor 4 3s for 12.  Riley Pater 16 points for Litchfield.  Zach Kinny a nice all around game with 8 points, 7 boards and 6 assists.  Litchfield 5-16 from 3 and 16-27 from 2.  Minnehaha wins the rebounding battle 33-20.  They grab 13 offensive boards for 13 points compared to 4 2nd chance points for Litchfield.

Class AA All-Tournament Team
Kory Deadrick - Esko
Matt Miller, Brett Ahsenmacher - Annandale
Zach Whitchurch, Zach Kinny, Riley Pater - Litchfield
Jesse Johnson, Kaharri Carter, Thomas Gedion, Marcellous Hazzard - Minnehaha

2013 Class A Championship

Its Maranatha and SW Minnesota Christian in a heavyweight class clash for the 2013 Class A state championship.  MCA with 5 guys who can all score.  SW MN Christian with Leighton Sampson inside and a defender in Klint Knutson along with Dominic Nibbelink on the outside.   A great start to championship day.

Game Time
Interesting choice for MCA putting Isaiah Hanson on Sampson rather than Shan Cheema.  Garrison Gillard with back to back hoops.  1st TV timeout at 13:29 after 2 Knutson FTs, 9-8 Mustangs lead.  Both teams getting quality looks going to rim.  Maranatha via getting out and running.  Southwest MN Christian off the bounce.  Both teams still getting anything they want.  10:51 TV timeout 13-12 MCA.  Teams combining for 11-17 shooting.  7-0 SW MN Christian run with Nate Pfeifle knocking down a 3 and then blowing by and going all the way from the top of the key with no help.   Timeout MCA down 19-13 at the 9:06 mark.

Sampson inside for a layup as MCA not guarding anybody.  Then another straight line drive for another layup.  Sampson buries Isaiah Hanson inside for a bunny and then another layup on a loose ball and feed.  29-21 Eagles with 6:36 left in the half.  SW MN Christian a blistering 13-16 from the floor.   Sampson misses a bunny, Grantham Gillard runs the other way and Sampson smacks that into another dimension.  But MCA gets it back and converts to cut the lead to 4.  Eagles miss 2 bunnies and Isaiah Hanson buries a left wing 3 at the 2:45 mark.   Hanson stuffed by Sampson and puts it back at the 2:25 mark.  Mustangs on the run after a turnover and its Josh Goldschmidt draino from the right corner for 3.  Timeout SW MN Christian after the 12-1 MCA run.  33-30 MCA with 2:11 left in the half.  Both fan sections really into it.  Goldschmidt pressured on a layup and misses and Nibbelink counters with a jumper on the other end.  Isaiah Hanson beats the buzzer with a putback for 37-34 MCA lead at the half.  MCA shoots 51.6% and grabs 6 offensive boards.  But they give up 62.5% on the other end.  Isaiah Hanson 16 and 7 in the half.  Leighton Sampson with 12. 

MCA puts Grantham Gillard in to start the second half.  Sampson running the floor and gets the nice feed for a layup at the 15:35 mark.  Coach Jeff Wall not happy and he takes timeout for MCA as the game is back to even at 39.  Grantham Gillard with a step back 3 to stop the 7-0 run and Jeremiah Hanson with a 3 of his own for a 4 point MCA lead.  After a Nibbelink 3, Garrison Gillard with the tough And 1 followed by a Goldschmidt 3 with 12:45 left.  MCA out to a 51-44 lead after a 12-3 run.

Isaiah Hanson sits and MCA promptly gives up a BLOB layup and turns it over for another layup. Nibbelink for 3 and we're back to even at 55 with 10 minutes to play.  TV Timeout with 9:45 left and Isaiah checks back in to go with the original starting 5.  Nibbelink to the rack with 8:13 left and that's the 4th on Josh Goldschmidt.  Jeff Wall decides to leave him in there.  SW MN Christian stretches it to 62-58 at the 6:59 TV timeout.

Jeremiah Hanson with a drive and difficult lefty finish.  That's countered by Knutson right to the rim unchallenged for a layup. Jeremiah again before Nibbelink goes to the floater.  A Mustangs miss and Pfeifle comes alive with a straight away 3.   SW MN Christian crowd erupts as the lead grows to 7.  MCA misses again.  Nibbelink hit on the drive and makes both ends of the bonus.  That sends us to the last TV timeout with 3:09 left.  73-64 SW MN Christian ahead after a 7-0 run.

Only basket in the half for Isaiah Hanson before he knocks down a 3 inside of 2 minutes left.  Josh Goldschmidt puts back a miss after a turnover.  Last MCA timeout with 1:24 left with the Mustangs trailing 75-69.  A quick drive and miss by SW MN Christian leads to Garrison Gillard FTs on the other with 1:11 left.  The clock never starts so MCA gets a good 5 more seconds but that won't matter.  SW Minnesota Christian wins the Class A title 81-73.

Dominick Nibbelink with 22 of his 28 points in the second half to lead all scorers.  Leighton Sampson 22.  For Maranatha, Isaiah Hanson with 24 points and 8 rebounds.  Josh Goldschmidt 16 points and 7 rebounds.  SW MN Christian shoots a crazy 64.6% from the field including 16-24 (66.6%) in the 2nd half.  MCA wins the 2nd chance battle 18-2 thanks to 16 offensive boards but SW MN Christian wins points off turnovers 17-7.

Class A All Tournament Team
Anders Broman - Lakeview Christian
Seth Thompson - Rushford - Peterson
Upsala - Christian Pekarek
Leighton Sampson, Klint Knutson, Dominic Nibbelink - SW MN Christian
Grantham Gillard, Garrison Gillard, Jeremiah Hanson, Isaiah Hanson - Maranatha

2013 AAAA Semi: Park Center vs Edina

Its the battle for Mr Basketball as Edina takes on Park Center in the 2nd Class 4A semifinal.  Quinton Hooker vs Graham Woodward in a showcase of point guards.   As expected a poor turnout from the Edina student section and though smaller, a great Park Center crowd.

Game Time
Josh Matthews picks up 2 fouls in the 1st 2:06 and that forces the small Pirates to go to their bench to find another guy against Reggie Lynch.  Hooker with a nice take and using the rim and reversing to score with Lynch looking for a block.  Graham Woodward knocks down a 3 to give Edina a 9-5 lead at the 14:20 TV timeout.  Hooker with the runout and finish to tie it.  He then kicks out to Devin Buckley for a 4 point play at the 12:40 mark.  That gives Park Center a 13-9 lead (8-0 run).  More importantly its the 2nd foul on Lynch and he'll sit.  That's a big advantage to the Pirates.

The Edina bench only goes 2 deep so Lynch comes back at the 11:07 mark.  That's a signficant gamble from coach Dorsey.  Any drive to the basket could easily get the 3rd.  Park Center trying to face guard Woodward to limit his touches.  Devin Paine just one of many guys getting their chances to defend Woodward.  But Woodward pulls up for 3 to keep Edina within 17-14.  Lynch gets his 3rd on a cheap reach going for an offensive board at the 8:45 mark and sits.  Edina to a zone at the 7:10 mark and Isaiah McKay buries his 2nd 3.  25-16 Park Center inside of 7 left in the half.  Then Treyton Daniels swats back to back shots on an Edina possession.  Hooker runs the other way and finds McKay for a layup going the other way.  27-16 Park Center as Edina needs a timeout at the 6:28 mark.  That's a 10-2 run after Lynch sat down.

McKay feeling it as he scores 2 buckets around a tough Woodward fade.   Devin Buckley out and running and Hooker finds him for a layup.  An Edina turnover and Pirates run for another McKay bucket to lead by 15.  Park Center goes with 3 bench guys to end the half rather than trying to throw a knock out blow.  37-22 Pirates at the half.  McKay with 14.  Quinton Hooker 6 points, 4 boards and 4 assists for 11 more points.  Graham Woodward 12 points and the Pirates athletes hassled him.  No help as the rest of the Hornets roster 3-18 in the half.  Park Center 15-28 with 22 points in the paint and 10-0 on the break.

Hooker behind the back, loses it and regains it in mid-air and almost converts.  The free throws are good and the Pirates run for another layup for a 41-24 lead.  Edina staying around at the 1st TV timeout of the half at 13:34, down 43-29.  Hooker right at Lynch on the break with 12:47 left and that's his 4th foul.  Back to the bench with the Hornets down 45-29 after the Hooker free throws.  Then Hooker off the bounce beats Woodward for 2 more.  That generates a Mr Basketball chant from the Pirates fans.  Hooker to Josh Matthews for a layup and the lead is up to 20.  That brings Lynch right back in with 11:32 left and the season on the line.  He promptly swats away an Arione Farrar Jr drive to the rim.  The lead isn't going anywhere.  Hooker grabs an offensive board under rim, sees Lynch there and pump fakes him and Lynch is gone with #5 at the 7:22 mark.  53-33 Park Center after Hooker makes the freebies.  Hooker draws the last 2 on Lynch with super high basketball IQ plays.  Great to watch.  Hooker upstairs to Daniels for a dunk and a Josh Matthews dunk are exclamation points.    Park Center wins 66-44.  That sets up an epic championship rematch with Apple Valley.

Post Game
Park Center controls the game after the 1st 4 minutes.  Too athletic which allowed them to switch multiple guys on Woodward and then get out and run for easy buckets.  Great balance from the Pirates with 4 in double figures.  Losing Lynch due to fouls was a major game changer and nobody stepped up for Edina.  Outside of Woodward and a Lynch dunk, the Hornets shot 7-37 from the floor.  Quinton Hooker finishes with 14 points, 8 boards and 7 assists for 17 more points.  He shot 4-9.  Hard to believe he doesn't win Mr Basketball now.  Devin Buckley a double double of 13 and 11.  Graham Woodward shoots 5-19 and scores 17 points.  Park Center 44-14 edge in points in the paint and 12-0 in fastbreak points.  They shoot 50% for the game compared to 13-57 (22.8%). 

2013 AAAA Semi Apple Valley vs Eden Prairie

A quality pair of semifinals on tap in class 4A.  This game gives us John Lithgow running the show.  But's its free Pepsi all weekend and a courtside seat to watch Tyus Jones. 

Game Time
Eden Prairie's physical play vs Tyus Jones and the battle of Anthony Anderson vs Dennis Austin just a couple of appealing elements of this one.  Then how do I not mention Andre Wallace vs Dustin Fronk and Brock Bertram vs Jack Cottrell.  Even through most of the half.  Then Tyus off the transition ball screen to the basket for 2.  Then he finds Dennis Austin off the ball screen for 2.  21-17 Apple Valley as they force a turnover and look to gain momentum on the break.  But Zach Goring decides to go with the MoKiller timeout instead.  Eden Prairie fortunate to be that close as Brock Bertram is all over the boards but has 4 missed bunnies at the rim.  Apple Valley keeps their lead at 4 thanks to a bomb and a pair of free throws from Dustin Fronk.  Off a turnover, Grant Shaeffer comes up hobbling and Tyus takes that for a layup.  Valley D smacks the floor for the last possession and gets a stop.  10 Eden Prairie turnovers lead to a 12-3 advantage in points off turnovers for Apple Valley.   That's your difference in the half.  30-22 Apple Valley at the half.  Grant Shaeffer and Andre Wallace both miss time with 2 fouls combining for only 19 minutes in the half and 5 points.

Dennis Austin with a 3 point play as Apple Valley opens a 35-26 lead.  Tyus with a steal and bucket to keep the lead at 39-32 with 13 minutes to play.  Andre Wallace with a putback as Eden Prairie continues to hang around and hang around.  Our 5th TV timeout of the game comes with 10:49 left and a 41-36 Apple Valley lead.  Jack Cottrell with a nice lefty finish on the right side to pull Eden Prairie within 1 with 10 minutes left.  Apple Valley's shooting stays cold but a Tyus steal and touch call from the outstate official give Jones a 3 point play.  AV students get the USA chant going as Tyus pushes the lead back to 44-40 with 9:24 left.

Bertram misses back to back bunnies and will get a breather.  Tyus starting to assert himself with a bucket and a free throw.   That keeps the lead at 5.  Anthony Anderson inside through Austin for the 3 point play with 6:44 left.  Apple Valley leading 47-45 going to the TV timeout.  James Horton misses a pair of free throws but gives great help on an Anderson iso to stop a bucket.  That leads to a Tyus bucket and then Tyus to Austin for a layup running the floor.  All of this with Bertram waiting at the table to come back in for Horton.  Jack Cottrell stops the bleeding with a bucket and then a 3 point play with 4:04 left to cut the lead to 51-50.

Bertam finally gets a bunny to fall.  Austin denied on 1 end after a pretty Tyus feed but Wallace steamrolls a defender on the other end.  Last TV timeout with 2:42 left.  Apple Valley hanging on 53-51.  Tyus now plyaing off the ball coming off of baseline screens.  He slithers inside for 2 with 2:05 left and the lead is 4.  After an Eden Prairie miss, Tyus takes the ball looking to kill clock.  Robert Tobroxen to the line with 1:16 left after an Eden Prairie timeout.  The icing doesn't work as both ends of the bonus are pure.  57-51 Apple Valley up.  Shaeffer scores but Tyus with an absolutely perfect touch lob to Bertam for free throws with 52.1 left.  Ridiculous pass.  Bertram makes 1 of 2 and Shaeffer misses a fade away.  Tyus puts the game on ice with free throws.  Apple Valley advances to the state championship with a win.

Tyus Jones scores 23 points and adds 5 assists.  That doesn't count another handful of passes for free throws.  15 of those points in the second half.  Dennis Austin 15 points and 8 boards.  Jack Cottrell matches those numbers.  Anthony Anderson 11 and 11. Brock Bertram 9 points and 13 boards (6offensive).  Apple Valley 24 to 5 in points off of turnovers thanks to losing the turnover battle 18 to 5.

2013 Mr Basketball Finalists Announced

The Mr. Basketball committee has announced their 5 finalists for the 2013 award.  Here they are.

2013 Mr. Basketball Finalists
Graham Woodward - Edina
Quinton  Hooker - Park Center
Anders Broman - Lakeview Christian Academy
Aaron Lien - Moorhead
Riley Dearring - Minnetonka

Czar's Reaction

Woodward, Hooker and Broman were easy selections with their outstanding seasons and making the state tournament.  Lien was seen many times by the committee and was Mr Do-Everything in a big year for Moorhead.  His 53 point game in the win over Brainerd is one of the highlights of the season for any player statewide.  Dearring led the Skippers to a better than expected year and played well in some big games.   The committee shows again that missing games due to injury won't affect their selection if a player plays well enough, see Johnny Woodard last year who sat out until early January.   Other options for the 5th spot were Joe Aase from undefeated Austin and Scottie Stone who had a big year for Melrose.

Pirate ship will sail to state

To Rogers for the 5AAAA championship.  A great setup with a full house and both bands for the 3rd meeting between Osseo and Park Center.  The parking setup an absolute nightmare and the slowest ever way to exit.  Not good, but well worth it for this game.  No concessions but Mr. Basketball makes up for that with his early trip for popcorn.  We get John Lithgow and 2 other bad refs for the game but overall they exceeded my expectations despite having their moments.

Game Time
A pretty even game early on.  Quinton Hooker with a coast to coast bucket and then a 3 for an 8-6 lead.  He picks up his 2nd foul on a charge at 11:17 and stays on Osseo scorer Wheeler Baker but doesn't pick up the 3rd.  Baker does get 5 in a row as part of a 9-1 Osseo run.  Orioles lead 17-12 at the 6:34 mark and Bo Powell takes a timeout to settle his guys down.  Hooker with a strong 2 and then he spins and hangs in the lane for 2 more.  That's part of Park Center's 9-1 run for a 21-18 lead at the 3:23 mark.  11-4 Osseo the rest of the half as Bridge Tusler scores 8 in a row.  A pair of drives and finishes with each hand and 4-4 at the charity stripe.  29-25 Osseo at the half in a pace that favors their style.

The 1st couple of minutes are much faster and hectic.  After trading 3s and 2s, a Tusler bucket puts the Orioles up .36-30 with 15 to play.  Park Center right back with 6 in a row to tie as Hooker knocks down a J and Devin Buckley heats up with the last 4.  Ian Theisen using his size advantage inside for a couple of post buckets.  That helps Osseo to a 42-38 lead with 11 minutes left.  Then Hooker pressured by Tusler forces a 3 and it falls.  Hooker also falls badly on the play and he'll sit as Park Center takes a timeout with 9:46 left.  But he's right back to the table 10 seconds later as Park Center trails 43-42.  Osseo gets the next 4 as Wheeler Baker takes a turnover for a dunk.  47-42 Osseo with 9:10 left.

Treyton Daniels counters with a drive and foul.  The free throw is no good but Isaiah McKay puts its back.  Tusler on the post countered by Hooker going to the line.  Hooker makes the first and misses the second.  However, Osseo again commits the greatest crime in the game (giving up an offensive rebound of a free throw) and its kicked out to McKay who knocks down an open 3.  That puts Park Center back on top 52-49 with 7:45 left.  Tusler on an inbounds and Theisen free throws after posting.  Hooker misses 2 freebies and Tusler counters.  55-52 Orioles with 5:50 left.

McKay with another clutch 3 to put the Pirates back on top. Theisen on the offensive glass to knot the score back up.  Hooker and Buckley with buckets in the lane.  Osseo turns it over and Hooker with a drive to the rack for 2.  63-58 Park Center with 3 minutes left.  An Osseo turnover but Park Center charges on the break, but Osseo can't score.  Another Park Center bucket with 2:12 left and the lead is 7.  Osseo gets a putback for a 3 point play to cut the lead to 4.  Then Hooker loses possession in the front court but dives on it and gets the timeout with 1:43 left.  Great play there to save possession.  hate timeouts like that early in games but late in a close game this case is a great move.  The ball gets loose again and Buckley grabs it.  His circus event in the lane somehow manages to go in with 1:15 left and that's the omen for the night.  67-61 Park Center with 1:15 left. 

Theisen with a putback, Buckley 1 of 2, Theisen another offensive board and makes 1 of 2 to keep the game at 4 with 41.6 left.  Hooker makes 1 and Tusler goes to the basket for 2.  Little bit tight in the collar as the lead is down to 3.  But no matter.  Its only fitting that Hooker steps up in the last 28 seconds and makes 4-4 to slam the door.  Park Center wins 73-71 to advance to state.

Post Game
The Big 3 for Osseo do their part.  Bridge Tusler leads with 21 points.  Ian Theisen with a double double of 16 and 14 on my sheet.  Wheeler Baker adds 19.   Matt Miedtke and Malik Wilson combine for the other 15.  The Orioles finish their season 25-4 and have 3 players who started tonight coming back. 

Park Center advances to state and their star Quinton Hooker steps up with another big game when needed.  He finishes with 27 points and made his last 5 free throws in the last 35 seconds to seal the win.  Park Center's wings, Devin Buckley and Isaiah McKay, combined for 24 of their 25 in the second half.  Ultimately they were the team that wanted it more as they were after it on the floor and on the offensive glass.  They did those little things that end up looming large.  I think Park Center earns the 2 seed at state despite the head-head win in December over top seed Apple Valley.  The extra 2 losses at Osseo and at Minnetonka are too much to overcome.

2013 All-Star Series Rosters Announced

The 2013 Minnesota Basketball Coaches Association All-Star Series has been announced.  Its Fri April 5th at 7 PM in St. Cloud (Halenbeck Hall) with Gold vs Maroon and Green vs Blue.  Then Sat April 6th 2:15 PM and 4 PM at Macalester.   Here are the rosters.  They feature 8 of the 10 Division 1 signed players from the class of 2013 and 8 more Division 2 signees.

Head Coach: Mark Torgerson (Morris)
Asst Coach: Roger Lindahl (Benson)
Joe Aase - Austin
Devin Buckley- Park Center
Grant Erickson - Lakeville North
Dustin Fronk - Apple Valley
Garrison Gillard - Maranatha
Aaron Lien - Moorhead
Reggie Lynch - Edina
Jack Martinek - Irondale
John Mattison - Rochester John Marshall
Quashingm Smith-Pugh - Johnson

Head Coach: Dave Montibrand (BBE)
Asst Coach: Brad Goodwin (BBE)
Tom Aase - Austin
Nick Anderson - Washburn
Logan Doyle - Alexandria
Xavier Hall - Tartan
Kebu Johnson - Black
Mack Johnson - Roseville
Peter Kruize - St. Peter
Porter Morrell - Elk River
Austin Rambow - Willmar
Jake Wilson - Zimmerman

Head Coach: Bo Powell (Park Center)
Asst Coach: Kevin Polite (Park Center)
Anders Broman - Lakeview Christian
Riley Dearring - Minnetonka
Jonah Eisenschenk - ROCORI
Quinton Hooker - Park Center
DeShawn Jones - Richfield
Zach Lindquist - Mahtomedi
Nick O'Hara - Armstrong
Luke Scott - DeLaSalle
Carson Shanks - Prior Lake
Jumah'ri Turner - Kennedy

Head Coach: Pat Hayes (Waconia)
Asst Coach: Rich Gove (Waconia)
Robert Ben - Spring Lake Park
Jordan Burich - Roseville
Shaq Coleman - Duluth East
Isaiah Hanson - Maranatha
Nate Huot - Dawson-Boyd
Mike Millard - Fergus Falls
Ben Oberfeld - Eastview
Devon Pekas - Hawley
Renard Suggs - Woodbury
Bridge Tusler - Osseo

Royals make a return trip to state

To East Ridge for the section 4AAAA final between Stillwater and Woodbury.  Capacity crowd on hand for the game.  Well handled by the section staff, as organized as you'll see.  A late arrival back at Dacha de Czar as I had to make a visit to the great Wisconsin establishment Culver's on the way back.  Too late to the game for concessions so I had to make up for lost calories. 

Game Time
A nice start for Stillwater with Andrew Duxbury getting a layup off a Joe Quinn swat.  Matt Anderson then drives and Stillwater leads 7-2 at the 13:45 mark.  Woodbury looks troubled but Renard Suggs brings the Royals back.  He knocks down a pair of difficult 3s and then the long outlet to Diallo Powell for a jam before he buries another bomb to end the 11-0 run.  13-7 Woodbury at 11:38.  Stillwater counters with 10 in a row.  Anderson ends that with a nice stop and pop in the lane at the 6:10 mark.  But Woodbury pulls out their 2-3 like zone and that corrals the Ponies offense.  Add in 12 points from sniper Matt Ambriz the rest of the half and Woodbury goes to the break up 27-23.

Ambriz with the 1st bucket of the half for Woodbury to give him 14 of the last 16.  Suggs ends the 12-3 run to start the half with 8 in a row thanks to 2 more triples.  Timeout Stillwater down 39-26 with 12:40 left.  Stillwater has 1 more run left in them.  Andrew Duxbury with 3 from the weakside corner on the baseline out of bounds and a pair of free throws to start a 9-0 run.  Anderson's offensive board for 2 free throws ends a 9-0 Ponies run.  9:13 to play Stillwater back within 39-35.

At this point Woodbury sticks with their old 1-4 high offense and hasn't shown any of this year's DDM the entire half.  They use that for patience and they're all over the offensive glass.  That leads to some long and tiring possessions for the Stillwater defense.  It also leads to 5 minutes with nothing on the scoreboard.  Powell breaks that at the 4:20 mark with a bucket.  A quick succession of traded buckets and Stillwater is within 4.  But they give up 3 offensive boards on 1 possession and Woodbury retains it going to a timeout with 3:02 left.  Suggs cuts behind his defender and receives a short feed for 2 to push the lead to 6.  Stillwater turns it over on the next possession.  They have 3 fouls to give and Woodbury is killing the clock.   Andrew Duxbury makes 2 with 36.3 left to cut the lead to 6.  Stillwater forces a turnover but a long Sam Lagus 3 is no good and that's the last gasp.  Woodbury advances to state for the 2nd straight year with a 52-44 win.

Post Game
Andrew Duxbury leads the Ponies with 11 points but only 2 field goals.  Overall a miserable night for the entire offense.  Once Woodbury went to their unique 2-3 (where they'll have a wing cross thru the lane), Stillwater didn't have any answers.  Big gaps at the foul line went unexploited and they made no outside shots against it.  On defense, surprisingly they were outworked late in the second half on the offensive glass as Woodbury just played volleyball with it.  I think that those long defensive possessions wore the Ponies down.  Overall a great season for Stillwater at 22-7 and 3rd place in the Suburban East at 13-5.  Matt Anderson gives the Ponies a nice piece to build around for next season.

Woodbury improves to 25-4 and will be in the discussion for the 4 vs 5 game at state.  Renard Suggs with 5 tough 3s and 21 points to lead all scorers.  Matt Ambriz with 16, 14 of those in a stretch across halftime where he carried the offense.  2 great moves by coach Scott Swansson in the game.  First was the 2-3 zone that worked like magic.  Then the other move that really worked was the switch to 1-4 high offense that he's used for years.  That controlled the tempo and kept the pace slow.  While one might think that'd be to Stillwater's advantage, it didn't turn out that way.  Woodbury hammered the glass out of it and got much better looks than they were getting with their regular dribble drive offense.  One 1 3 pointer of offense combined from the benches in this one.

2013 4AAA Semifinals

Habemus Czar!  Black smoke from the exhaust of an automobile signals my arrival at Arlington (sorry, it'll always be that to me Washington folks).  Smuggled in Subway replaces the concessions food but 20 oz of Sprite still is enough to quench my thirst.  A very interesting situation for the 2nd game. Right as we're ready to tip, the power on the scoreboard goes out.  After a long delay, we'll use an iPhone to keep the time at the table.  Play on boys.  Finally at 7 minutes into the game, the scoreboard was fixed enough to use. 

Game 1: Central vs Highland Park
Highland opens up an 11-7 lead at the 13:10 mark thanks to a pullup 3 on the break by Dion Bradley.  That lead is 17-15 at the 9 minute mark after back to back Scots buckets.  But after a couple of Bradley buckets, Central making a point of faceguarding Bradley.  That holds him without a field goal for the rest of the half.  The Scots offense stalls while Markus Taylor-Knighten gets out for a dunk, a layup and then a lane floater in the middle of the Highland 2-3 zone.  That's a 12-1 Minutemen run in just over 4 minutes.  27-18 Central with 4:15 left in the half.  Central kills a little clock with the lead and they lead at the break 30-21.

Rayeon Williams with a steal and missed a huge dunk but he rejects Bradley on the other end.  The lead gets to 11 but Bradley is heating up.  Bradley leads a 10-0 Scots run to get them right back in it.  37-36 Central with 11:11 left.  Central goes right inside to their center Malik Durant-Haines for an easy score, Taylor-Knighten with a tip in and a Central putback to push the lead to 6.  Big moment for Highland as they run out for 2.  Then its Bradley 1 on 1 on the break and the Scots get nothing out of it.  47-43 Central with 5 minutes left.  Central counters with an inbounds layup and a bucket off a turnover.    After a Bradley 3, Taylor-Knighten with a great save that results in a Durant-Haines layup with 3 minutes left.  Another turnover is 2 more for Central.  55-46 Central leads with 2:50 left and they aren't threatened from there.  A late 3 doesn't matter for Highland.  Central moves on with a 63-59 win.  Dion Bradley finishes his big season with 25 points.  Markus Taylor-Knighten 19 points and I had him with double digit rebounds as well.  Malik Durant-Haines with 8 of his 12 in the 2nd half.  Central's size was a difference but I thought they could have done a far better job trying to pound the ball inside to exploit that.

Game 2: St. Thomas Academy vs Johnson
A 12-3 Johnson run with the scoreboard out puts the Govs up 14-6 when the power comes on at 11:11.  The Cadets shooting brings them back.  Ben Fiers and Keegan Zimprich knock down 3s and there is success for the Cadets getting to the charity stripe.  16-14 Johnson at the 9:02 mark. Johnson just too tough and getting everything inside.  Easy bucket after easy bucket in a 19-4 run to push the lead to 17.  Fiers knocks down his 3rd 3 of the half at the buzzer to pull St. Thomas Academy within 37-23 at halftime.  St. Thomas Academy with no 2 point field goals in the half.  They had 5 triples and 8-12 FTs.

Nick Griffin's drive with 15:39 left is the 1st 2 of the night for the Cadets.  Nick Waldvogel wtih back to back 3s to force a Johnson timeout.  Cadets now within 45-36.  Drive and kick action giving some great looks for some shooters.  Quashingm Smith-Pugh with an easy layup on an inbounds and the Govs lead is right back to 15.  Cadets gets a post bucket from Harrison Patt, Jalen Patterson with a nice floater and Waldvogel takes a turnover for a layup.  The lead is back down to 9 and Johnson takes another timeout.  53-44 Govs with 8:54 left.  Then slam the door shut.  Johnson goes on a 23-0 run until the last 30 seconds of the game.  Peirre Conwell starts it with strong play inside and the Govs up their level.  St. Thomas can't buy a shot during that stretch.  Johnson wins 76-48.  Quashingm Smith-Pug with 14 of his 16 in the 2nd half to lead the Govs.  Jalen Mobley and Peirre Conwell both add 15.  Ben Fiers and Nick Waldvogel lead St. Thomas with 9 each.  Johnson's toughness ultimately the difference.

Semifinal Saturday

Its a Saturday of doubleheader section semifinals.  First an afternoon trip to Chaska for the 2AAAA semis.  Then time to borrow Tim Brewster's helicopter for the night session.  Across the metro to East Ridge for the 4AAAA semifinals.  A mediocre hot dog and 12 ounces Pepsi on the early concession menu.  Then only 20 oz of Coke at East Ridge thanks to a quick chow and go on the way.  Dreadful officiating in the early game at Chaska.  Thankfully no impact calls to ruin a game.  Concordia-Moorhead, Sioux Falls, Mankato and NDSCS all watching at East Ridge.

2AAAA Semi #1 Eden Prairie vs Chanhassen
Grant Shaeffer unexpectedly in the Eden Prairie lineup coming off the bench.  The Eagles open up a 12-2 lead thanks to 3s from Jake Hari and Andre Wallace.  Carson Heinz gave Chanhassen good play early.  He leads a 12-5 run to pull Chanhassen within 17-14 at the 7:50 mark.  Great intensity from Chanhassen on the defensive end during that run.  Then bombs away for Eden Prairie.  Sam Johnson from deep, Hari banks in a 3, Wallace with his 3rd and 4th triples of the day.  Those are part of a 16-2 Eden Prairie run that opens up a 17 point lead.  They take the lead to 39-20 at half.   Wallace ends a 7-0 run with his 5th bomb.  52-26 Eagles with 13:35 left.  The game gets chippy after that and Chan grinds away to get within 12 late but Eden Prairie is never threatened.  They win 74-60.  Andre Wallace leads Eden Prairie with 21 points.  Carson Heinz 13 points and Joey Witthus 12 for Chanhassen.

2AAAA Semi #2 Lakeville South vs Bloomington Jefferson
Its a 6 vs 7 matchup in the other semifinal as these teams pulled off 1st round upsets.  Lakeville South with a 7-0 run with a pair of layups off of turnovers and a 3.  23-16 Lakeville South lead at the 4:37 mark.  They take a 25-22 lead to halftime.  Tommy Gathje propels Jefferson to a great start in the second half.  2 layups and a putback for him.  Add on a Brian Fritlzar 3 and its a 9-2 run.  31-28 Jefferson 4 minutes into the second half.  Then the 3 starts flying.  8th grader Jack Sorenson from way beyond the NBA line.  Cory Larson for 3, Gathje for 3, Brenon Larson-Gulsvig with 2 bombs, Fritzlar with a bomb.  42 all with 6:20 to play.  South cheats 2 guys on a screen and that's bonus free throws with 3:15 left.  South misses 2 freebies. Gathje 4-4 free throws to extend the lead to 56-47 with 1:42 left.  South makes 3 FTs after a foul on a 3.  Jefferson turns it over and Sorenson knocks in a 3.  56-53 Jefferson with 1:15 left.  After a pair of South missed 3s that they may not have needed, Sorenson banks in a 3 and is fouled on another for 3 free throws.  63-59 Jefferson with 33.5 left.  Another forced 3 and South puts it back with 8.1 left.  Jefferson to the line with a 3 point lead and both are no good.  But South throws the outlet pass away, oh my.    Jefferson seals it with 1 of 2 free throws with 4.9 left.  Jefferson hangs on 65-61.  Story of this game was the number of bad 3s that South took.  At least a half dozen pure jacks from NBA range or deeper.  Can't win that way and I was surprised to see no adjustment to change that.  Jack Sorenson 18 points to lead South, Cory Larson 15.  Tommy Gathje with 19 to lead Jefferson.

4AAAA Semi #1 Mahtomedi vs Woodbury
Get out and go in this one.  A fast pace back and forth in the game.  3 straight turnovers for Mahtomedi result in easy Woodbury points on the other end.  17-15 Woodbury at 12:30.  Renard Suggs back to back 3s and a pair of free throws countered by the play of Zach Lindquist inside for Mahtomedi.  30-28 Mahtomedi at the 7:26 mark.  Lindquist with a free throw and puts back a miss with a minute left in the half.  Then a pair of Woodbury free throws, a blocked shot for a Suggs 3 point play and a turnover for 2 more to beat the buzzer.  Its a 7-0 run that expands the Woodbury lead to 51-43 at half.

Matt Ambriz for 3 for a 62-54 Woodbury lead.  Lindquist with 2 free throws and puts back his own miss and another miss.  Nuni Omot and Trey Johnson then makes 3s to end a 12-2 run for the Zephyrs.  66-64 Mahtomedi.  Then Ambriz for 2 and back to back 3s to put Woodbury back in front, but you can't leave him.  Suggs to the bank, Lindquist with another putback, Suggs for 3 countered by a Mahtomedi 3, then 2 more Suggs free throws.  81-75 Woodbury 2:15 left.  Lindquist all over the offensive glass with yet another score off a miss.  Suggs 2 more free throws and another Lindquist bunny.  Suggs gets the home run pass for a dunk before a Mahtomedi 3.  85-82 Woodbury 52.3 left.  After a Woodbury free throw, Lindquist grabs another miss and sees his putback attempt just fall off the front of the rim.  He makes 1 of the 2 free throws with 33.2 left, 86-83 Woodbury.  Lindquist with a short baseline jumper after a Woodbury free throw.  That cuts the lead to 2.  Woodbury makes 4-4 free throws around a missed 3 from Mahtomedi.  That seals a 91-85 Woodbury win.  A very entertaining game.  Renard Suggs with 38 points and 7 rebounds to lead Woodbury.  Matt Ambriz adds 6 3s and 21 points.  Zach Lindquist totally dominates inside with 35 and 14 for Mahtomedi.  Nuni Omot adds 22.  Mahtomedi's turnovers from not having a true point guard ultimately were turned into Woodbury points that were the difference.  Woodbury was able to block some shots to get themselves out in transition too.

4AAAA Semi #2 Stillwater vs Roseville
Kobe Critchley with 3 point play and banks in a floater.  He adds another drive at the 8:25 mark for a 20-19 Roseville lead.  But Roseville would only get 1 more field goal in the half.  Aaron Romportl with a 3 point play, Sam Lagus for 3.  Joe Quinn with a putback and adds a 3 point play and a tip in as he's controlling the paint for the Ponies.  He blocks a shot for a Romportl free throw.  14-2 Stillwater run over the last 6:52 of the half.  Ponies lead 33-22 at the break.

Stillwater not backing off in the 2nd half.  Romportl for 3 and a drive and the lead is 42-25.  Mack Johnson heats up with 3 bombs to pull Roseville within 50-40 with 8:30 left.  Logan Brown for 3 sandwiched by a pair of Quinn dunks.  Andrew Duxbury controls the pace from there for the Ponies.   A 12-2 Stillwater run puts the lead from 9 back to 19 and its over.  Roseville does create some offense late as Mack Johnson knocks down a pair of late 3s but the outcome is never in doubt.  Stillwater moves on with a 78-65 win.  Great work by Stillwater not turning the ball over against various pressure from Roseville.  Then they controlled the glass.  Mack Johnson with 7 3s for Roseville and 27 points.  Joe Quinn all over the glass and blocking shots for Stillwater and he leads them with 20 points.  Aaron Romportl adds 18.

2013 6AAAA Semis Review

To Osseo for the 6AAAA semifinals.  High expectations for this night.  The concession stand gets me off to a good start with quality pizza and a 20 oz Pepsi.  My spies told that the chocolate chip cookies were outstanding as well.  The Mr Basketball guys in the building.  NDSCS, Carleton, Central Lakes, Waldorf, Anoka-Ramsey, Pump N Run, Howard Pulley just some of the notables represented.

Game 1: #1 Edina vs #4 Armstrong
Mark Handberg with a pair of jumpers and a layup.  Dane Tueteberg 2 buckets.  If those Edina players are producing its a long night.  12-4 Edina 5 minutes in and Armstrong needs a timeout.  Edina keeps it going with 12 of the next 14.  Reggie Lynch with a bucket and block for a Graham Woodward layup.   Ben Boone for 3, Woodward flares and gets the skip for a 3.  Handberg again has the jumper flowing.  24-6 Edina lead with 8:05 left in the first half.  Woodward 3 free throws, a 3 point play and a pair of late 3s.  Woodward 22-21 over Armstrong at half.  Woodward with half of the Hornets points in the half.  The lead hangs around 20 for most of the 2nd half.  Then Woodward goes on a quick spurt to blow the game up to 30.  Edina wins 83-57.  Graham Woodward with 31, Mark Handberg with a huge game of 18.  Reggie Lynch 11 points, 9 boards and 6 blocks on my sheet.  12 points from James Morris and 10 from Nick O'Hara to lead Armstrong.  A brutal night of officiating from the John Lithgow crew.  Lithgow getting in the call that I'm really beginning to despise.  That's the hard foul being an automatic intentional foul.  Armstrong finishes 19-9.  They lose 7 seniors but have a talented group of sophomores coming back.

Game 2: #2 Minnetonka vs #3 Hopkins
The third meeting of the season for these bitter rivals.   Mike Fernando with a nice cut and 1 handed dunk to keep Minnetonka within 13-10 at the 10:10 mark.  After a Jake Wright 3 for Hopkins, Minnetonka's Riley Dearring with a pair of free throws, a 3 on a kick out and a jumper right off of a rebound.  That's part of a 9-0 Minnetonka run for a 19-16 lead at the 5:50 mark.  Dearring will then pick up his 2nd foul and sit until the last offensive possession of the half.  Hopkins comes back to take the lead with 7 in a row thanks to 4 Kamali Chambers free throws, but the last 5 go to the Skippers.  24-23 Minnetonka at the half. 

Dearring grabs a board and takes it the other way for a pullup 3 in transition.  Then he makes 3 free throws after getting whacked outside the arc.  Fernando runs his way to another dunk.  35-28 Minnetonka with 13:38 left and Hopkins needs a timeout.   Justin Moes for 3 to force another Hopkins timeout.  A set play gets Dearring another 3 with 11:40 left and its Minnetonka's biggest lead of the night 41-30.  Hopkins not going away.  Jake Wright for 3, Amir Coffey with a bucket and a pair of free throws.  Its a 14-3 Hopkins run to tie the game at 44.  Then its back and forth for the rest of the night.  Dearring for 3 and a 3 point play.  Chambers with a tough 2 and a short pull up.  52 all with 5:15 to play.  A terrible non-foul call becomes a jump ball that goes to Hopkins with 3:03 left.  Wright with a jumper to convert that for a 54-52 Hopkins lead.  A pair of Tonka free throws and a Hopkins miss lead to a tough Malcolm Moore bucket.  He drove from the left side and sliced his way to a left handed scoop layup in traffic.  56-54 Minnetonka with the lead.  Andrew Grosz with 4 fouls and tries 3 consecutive flops against Kamali Chambers that thankfully don't draw a whistle.  Chambers makes him pay with a pullup with 45 seconds left.  After a couple of timeouts, Tonka has a chance.  Dearring gives the ball up with 15 seconds left and doesn't go and get it.  Nobody else wants the final shot.  Dearring finally gets it on the left wing but without time to do anything.  His late heave is no good.  Overtime tied at 56.

Chambers with his 2nd steal of a guard to guard pass in the OT.  His free throw at the 2:01 mark ties the game at 59.  Amir Coffey then with a tough drive and finish.  Dearring with 2 free throws to tie it with 1:13 left.  61 all.  Refs miss a 5 count and Coffey is bumped in the center circle.  He makes both with 45 seconds left.  Dearring with a challenged 3 with 25 seconds left and he knocks it down.  Hopkins brings it back down 1.  A left baseline drive gets nothing but Minnetonka leaves Phil Stribling alone under the rim and he lays it in with 10 seconds left.  Hopkins up 1 as we have a Timeout Minnetonka.  Dearring scrambling with the ball on the left wing and gets fouled on the bounce with 2.6 left.  Hopkins takes timeout before the double bonus free throws.  Dearring steps up and the 1st is pure.  The 2nd freebie is short for Dearring's 1st free throw miss of the night (9-9 to that point) and we'll play a 2nd overtime tied at 65.

Chambers strips Dearring from the blind side and takes it for 2 with 2:35 left in the 2nd OT.  71-67 Hopkins.  Tonka gets a free throw and then they almost get a 5 count with 2:03 left.  Hopkins just did get a timeout to save the possession.  But they turn it over anyway with 1:37 left.  Dearring fouled again on a 3 with 1:18 left.  He makes the 1st 2 and misses the 3rd.   Its out of bounds and Minnetonka will retain it but Dearring walks.  Wright makes 2 free throws for a 3 point lead with 43.4 left.  Then a pass off of Dearring's hand with 36.6 left.  The rest is free throws and Hopkins wins 79-72 in double overtime.

Riley Dearring with 34 points to lead the Skippers.  25 of those after halftime.  He knocked down 5 3s and a bunch of tough shots.  But he didn't get much help.  Malcolm Moore with 13, Mike Fernando with 10. The Skippers had the chances you'd want to win.  Best player at the line to win in the 1st OT.  Last possession of regulation with plenty of time to get whatever you want to draw up.   Minnetonka finishes 21-7 and they lose 5 important seniors including Dearring.   But there's still enough left, especially at the guard slots.  The officiating not as bad in this one but still enough questionable calls to draw the ire of both coaches and the fans.

Hawks win another 1st round road playoff game

To Maple Grove for the section 5AAAA 4 vs 5 game.  A big line of fans outside the door right before tip of this Cooper vs Crimson battle is enough to make steam come out of my ears and my face turn red.  So the late arrival once again means no concessions which is a disappointment.  Kansas and Minnesota on hand to watch Rashad Vaughn.  Flip Saunders enjoying the game with Tubby.  I can imagine the conversation.  Hey Tubby, is the job really that hard, I could do it couldn't I?

Game Time
Rashad Vaughn with 7 points in the 1st 3 minutes as he buries a 3, pulls up for a jumper and puts back a miss.  9-8 Cooper at the 15 minute mark.  Maple Grove post Erik Olson with a huge night.  He reaches double figures at the 11:10 mark.  19-16 Maple Grove lead.  Olson with a putback for a 3 point play.  24-20 Crimson at the 8:01 mark.  29-26 when Lavar McCollough knocks down his 2nd 3 of the half and back to back buckets by Billy Kellogg for a 7-0 run.  39-33 Cooper at the half.

9-2 Maple Grove run to start the 2nd half with Jake Weineke knocking down a 3 for the lead.  He had 5 of the 9 points in the run.  McCollough back to back for 3 and Vaughn inside for 2 free throws.  8-0 run and Cooper has their biggest lead 49-42 with 13:13 left.  Grant Kaufman keeping the Crimson close.  A 3 point play cuts the lead to 4, then a free throw and Olson puts back a miss.  55-52 Cooper with 9:15 left.  McCollough with a putback and a Kellogg triple to extend the lead to 8.  Maple Grove taking quick shots and they were cold the rest of the way.  Vaughn 3 of 4 free throws with good patience out of a high triangle psuedo delay that gave Vaughn an iso at the foul line.  67-56 Cooper with 5:26 to go.  A couple more Vaughn buckets keep the lead intact.  Cooper wins 78-67.

Post Game
Maple Grove finishes their season 16-10, 13-7 in the tough NW Suburban.  Erik Olson a big night with 33 points and likely double digit rebounds.  The lefty had his way inside most of the night.  He also showed nice touch going off the glass.  Jake Weineke with a couple of 3s and 19 points.  Plus he had the task of guarding Vaughn most of the night.  Olson, Weineke and point guard Bryce Wojta will be signficant losses.

Cooper once again goes on the road to win in the 1st round.  They'll get a rematch with Park Center who they beat in the 1st round last year.  Rashad Vaughn 28 points and 9 rebounds.  Most of that going to the rim after some early cold shooting.  Fellow wing Lavar McCollough comes up big with 4 3s and 20 points.  His back to back 3s after Maple Grove took the lead early in the 2nd half loomed large.  The Hawks get nothing from the bench but 9,10 and 11 from the rest of the starters.  That should be an outstanding semifinal against the Pirates.   Star power, athleticism, and ability to light up the scoreboard at a quality venue.

Raiders strike the Lightning

Its the section 3AAAA 4 vs 5 game as Cretin-Derham Hall travels to Eastview.  No concessions due to a close to tip arrival.  A smallish crowd on hand.  Tough luck for Eastview with their star Ben Oberfeld turning an ankle in practice on Monday.  He's in a walking boot for 2-4 weeks so that effectively ended his season.  Very hard to see a senior like him go out like that.  Shooter Mark Dwyer also out with Mono for the Lightning. 

Game Time
A good start for Eastview.  TJ Sinn with a bucket and a putback for a 3 point play.  Those 5 in a row give him 7 total in the 1st half. 13-8 Eastview at the 10:35 mark.  Cretin-Derham Hall counters with a 13-2 run.  Sam Neumann fouled on a 3 and banks in 2 of them.  He banks in another on a 3 point play.  Add a steal for a layup and Eastview needs a timeout.  21-15 Raiders with 3:22 left in the half.  Eastview knocks down a couple of 3s to pull within 24-23 at the half.

29 all just over 2 minutes into the second half.  CDH runs off 7 in a row with frosh Brian Lankford-Johnson coming off the bench with a 3.  Eastview back within 1 when Lankford knocks down another 3 and adds a bucket.  40-34 CDH with 10:55 left.  Sinn with a drive at the 5:47 mark and Eastview is down 44-43 as they take a timeout.  Lankford-Johnson coming up big again with a drive.  Sam Neumann adds an inbounds bucket and the lead jumps to 49-43 with 3:40 left.  Eastview misses a critical front end of the bonus.  Lankford-Johnson and Neumann add easy baskets and this one is out of reach.  Cretin-Derham Hall wins 59-48.

Post Game
Cretin-Derham Hall advances to face Apple Valley in Saturday's semifinals at Burnsville.  Freshman Brian Lankford-Johnson with 19 points off the bench, 3 triples included.  Joe Rosga makes his last 5 free throws to end up with 15 points, 11 in the second half.  Sam Neumann held to 11.

Eastview concludes their season at 15-12, 10-8 in the South Suburban.  Have to call the season a success considering how much they lost from last year.  TJ Sinn leads the Lightning with 18 points.  Soph Drew Guebert with a pair of 3s on his way to 11 points.  The Lightning play hard, defend very well and run great sets but there just wasn't the firepower there.

Hopkins survives section opener

Its the most wonderful time of the year.  I begin my playoff schedule with the 6AAAA 3 vs 6 game.  Its Wayzata at Hopkins in their 3rd meeting of the season.  Wayzata played the Royals tough at home, would we see a repeat of that here.  A concessions boycott tonight after the bad Walking Taco from last Friday.  I didn't want to take another chance on Sun Chips. 

Game Time
Hopkins with 3 offensive rebound buckets to open up a 6-0 lead 2:15 into the game.  Wayzata counters with Sam Joiner for 2 and then a back screen and pop for 3.  Zach Robertson for 3 and Brad Carlson off the bounce to close a 14-3 run.  14-9 Wayzata at the 10:20 mark.  Jake Wright for 3 at the 2:50 mark to cut the Wayzata lead to 25-22.  Stephon Sharp with a 3 point play but Carlson to Joiner to beat the halftime buzzer with a 3.  32-25 Wayzata at the half.

Robertson with another 3 and the lead is 39-30.  Hopkins gets Jamal Davis with a 3 and a bucket in a 7-0 run to cut the lead to 2.  Jake Wright with a drive to cut the lead 43-42 with 10 to play.  Wayzata hangs onto the lead with a pair of Carlson free throws.  Then bonus free throws for Hopkins and a 3 point play from Kamali Chambers and Hopkins reclaims the lead 50-49 with 5:39 to play.  Chambers with another drive then Wright coast to coast and the lefty finish inside.  54-51 Hopkins with 4:06 left and Wayzata needs a timeout.  Hopkins makes a pair of bonus free throws.  Wayzata converts with Carlson making both ends of the bonus and Kyle Kalivoda on the left baseline for a 3 point play.  56 all with 2:22 left.  Hopkins misses a second open jumper on their possession.  Wayzata takes their final timeout with 1:27 left.  Their ball tied at 56.

Wayzata spreads the floor and after 40 seconds, the dribble is picked up.  Chambers pressures it and flops on a bump.  The official buys the flop and it will go back to Hopkins.  Wayzata coach Phil Ward not all pleased and he picks up a technical.  Hate to see that.  I didn't see the exchange and its a good official who isn't known for a quick trigger, but that's really tough.  Wright makes 1 of the 2 free throws for a 57-56 Hopkins lead with 44.6 left.  Jamal Davis fouled on the possession and makes both with 38.4 left.  Wayzata putback countered by 2 Amir Coffey free throws with 19.8 left.  Wayzata down 3 without a timeout.  Robertson forces a 3 and may have been hit but rare to get that call.  Coffey seals it with 2 more free throws.  Hopkins wins 63-58.

Post Game
Wayzata is led by Brad Carlson's 17 points.  He scored 13 of those in the 2nd half.  Zach Robertson 10 of his 15 in the 1st half with 3 3s.  Sam Joiner 12 of his 14 in the 1st half.  A very tough loss after leading by as many as 9 in the 2nd half.  Wayzata with a roller coaster season losing their 1st 4, winning 11 in a row and then ending by losing 10 of 11.  A 12-14 record disappointing for a team that went undefeated in non-conference last year and had most of the star pieces coming back.  3 important pieces, Zach Robertson, Brad Carlson and Drake Mjaanes all graduate.  That leaves holes up front to replace.  I did like their patience on offense as they often had the ball for 30-40 seconds. 

Hopkins improves to 21-6.  They advance to a 3rd meeting with Minnetonka on Friday night at Osseo.  Jake Wright 11 of his 19 in the 2nd half to lead all scorers.  Kamali Chambers clutch plays in the 2nd half.  He had 9 of his 11 points in the second half.  A good example in this game of Hopkins always having that run in them.  Jake Wright tough in transition and showing the ability to go off the bounce if you run at him.

2012-2013 Playoff Predictions

Its time again for the annual playoff predictions, so lets go through the 11 metro area sections.

Section 1A
I start the predictions 1-0 as my twitter prediction of Goodhue over Bethany came true.

Section 2A
I like Lester Prairie/Holy Trinity and SW Christian as sleepers in this section.  Both are battle tested with 4 games this season against the MCAA North heavyweights.  SW Christian is hot right now winning 8 out of 9 and the only loss was an OT loss to LP/HT.  That includes a win over Heritage in the MCAA showcase.  I'll take the Stars to beat ACGC on the road before giving top seed Sleepy Eye St. Mary's a scare.   SESM on their own winning streak of 15 right now.  SESM then takes out LP/HT who I think upsets Cedar Mountain/Comfrey.  Nick Machemehl vs Sam Pendleton is a very entertaining guard matchup there.

Section 4A
18 teams in the bracket this year.  Maranatha is the clear favorite.  Heritage and West Lutheran are contenders.  Sleepers are St. Croix Prep and MetroTech.  So basically no surprises here.  But the seeding of the EMAC teams was interesting considering North Lakes was 2nd in the regular season but was seeded behind Community of Peace (EMAC tourney champ) and Calvin Christian.   Give me chalk for the 2 pigtail games and the round of 16.  I like chalk in the round of 8 as well.  The 4/5 game with St. Croix Prep vs Metro Tech has plenty of fun storylines as upstart charter schools, the new incoming kids vs the program that built from the ground up etc etc.  I like Heritage to knock off West Lutheran at home in the semis and Maranatha to make the trip to state.

Section 4AA
I like chalk here as this is one of the weaker sections out there.  The only game I'll go against the seeds is taking New Life over Brooklyn Center in the 4 vs 5 quarterfinal.  Breck keeps it close vs Minnehaha in the title game but ultimately the Redhawks have too many athletes.

Section 3AAA
I'll take Totino-Grace to cross the highway and beat rival Fridley (teams split 2 regular season close games).  Reggie Meyer is the difference there.  I'll take chalk the rest of the way.  Columbia Heights has won 5 in a row while Spring Lake Park has lost 5 in a row so I like the Hylanders in the semis.

Section 4AAA
Johnson rolling right now with wins in 11 out of 12.  I think they take out South St. Paul, Hill-Murray and Highland Park for another trip to state.  Central more talented than Highland but Jon DePerry has the Scots playing well right now, I think they get the Minutemen again.  Hill-Murray has enough shooters to bother Johnson in their semi but they've lost to both Central and Highland Park this season so I can't pick an upset here.

Section 6AAA
This will be one of my favorite sections to watch.  Holy Angels gets the top seed but that puts them on the tougher side of the bracket.  They'll take out Roosevelt in round 1.  But the second round game against the Chaska/Holy Family winner will be very scary for them.  I like Chaska to win that opener in one of the better 4 vs 5 games out there.  Blake and Richfield should easily advance in the 1st round and I like Blake to beat Richfield again in the semi.  Holy Angels hangs on in the semi but I think Blake gets them in the title game.  John Veil missed the 1st meeting that AHA won, I think he'll have something to prove there.

Section 1AAAA
I like Lakeville North to run through the section with wins over Hastings, Farmington and Rochester John Marshall.  Owatonna takes out Northfield in the 1st round.

Section 2AAAA
Wake me up when somebody gets to 25 points in the Jefferson at Shakopee opener.  That game will not be for the faint of heart.  Shakopee too tough inside in that game.  Eden Prairie and Prior Lake with no problems in the 1st round.  Chanhassen is tough to figure out but I think they survive the 4 vs 5 game at home with Kennedy.  Eden Prairie moves on in 1 semifinal and then Prior Lake advances out of the old Missota rivalry game with Shakopee.  Too much Jon Sobaski in that one but if Prior Lake doesn't make shots, Shakopee is tough enough where I see them dominating the glass.  Eden Prairie advances over Prior Lake in the championship

Section 3AAAA
CDH got a very bad style draw for their game at Eastview.  Eastview's way of play I think will drive the Raiders nuts.  The more interesting game here is the 3 vs 6 with Sibley going to Eagan.  Both of these teams have big lineups.  Sibley has a shooter in Adam Huessner while Michael Gorder has had a big year for Eagan.  Expect that game to be close.  East Ridge moves though to the final before falling to Apple Valley.  Apple Valley hammers Park, gets a tough game from Eastview and then takes out East Ridge to advance to state.

Section 4AAAA
This is my other section to watch.  I like chalk in the 1st round with the more interesting than usual Mahtomedi at Tartan matchup.  I think Tartan takes out Woodbury in 1 semifinal while Roseville slogs through a game with Stillwater.  Tartan's defense and style I think takes advantage of Woodbury's quick shots.  But can Brody Jackson be a factor in that game for Tartan or will the pace take him off the floor?  I think Roseville finds enough offense to advance to state.

Section 5AAAA
Cooper runs the table in the North Suburban and gets a road game.  Slap to the North Suburban and props to the Northwest Suburban.  Rashad Vaughn goes big but Maple Grove gets a first round win.  The rest is also chalk in the 1st round and the semis.  The final is a 3rd meeting between Osseo and Park Center and that should be outstanding.  2 huge factors in that game.  Whoever wins the Tusler vs Hooker battle and the X Factor of Devin Buckley.  Buckley was a huge key in the win and didn't play in the loss for Park Center.  Only fitting this rivalry's rubber match for all the marbles is on a neutral floor.  I think Tim Theisen is the difference here so I'll take Osseo.  I think that also closes the door on Quinton Hooker's chances at winning Mr. Basketball.

Section 6AAAA
The best records in a 4 vs 5 game goes to the St. Louis Park at Armstrong game.  38-13 between these 2.  Armstrong is a different team without Konner Goettsche but arguably more balanced. St. Louis Park's dribble drive can be a nightmare to defend.  I think Armstrong gets it done at home.  The top seeds from the Lake easily advance in round 1.  Edina gets their rematch with Armstrong who knocked them off to win the Edina holiday tournament and a Tonka vs Hopkins 3rd meeting.  That's a quality set of semifinals.  Hopkins shows weakness inside and Tonka has the beef and grit to exploit that.  I think they get it done again.  Edina gets a pair of tough tests but I think they ultimately pull through.  Minnetonka hasn't figured out how to guard Graham Woodward yet, hard to believe they will now. But that triangle and 2 they pulled out in the last meeting showed some potential so expect some tweaks there and more garbage defense.  Edina's advancing to state puts Woodward as the front runner for Mr. Basketball.

Section 7AAAA
Then there's this section.  6 teams in each of the previous 4 sections we've discussed have a higher QRF than the top QRF in this section.  St. Francis earned the top seed and 1st round bye with a win at Duluth East on Friday.  Andover survives Blaine, Duluth East takes out Anoka and Forest Lake defeats Cambridge-Isanti in the 1st round.    Forest Lake takes out the 2 seed Duluth East before falling to St. Francis in repeat results of the regular season.

Section 8AAAA
I like Elk River to take out St. Cloud Tech and Buffalo before a rematch with Brainerd.  A basketball purist delight to have a Buffalo or STMA vs Elk River game as those teams are very disciplined and well coached.  Elk River lost by 20 at Brainerd during the regular season, I don't see that happening again.  Give me the Elks to make it through a balanced section.

Govs reclaim Twin Cities Crown

Its the final Saturday of the regular season and that means its time for the annual Twin Cities Series.  This year its Minneapolis hosting and Minneapolis Southwest gets the honor.  Its their 2nd appearance in the game and their 1st since 1983.  St. Paul Johnson making their 5th straight appearance in the game.  They're 0-3 vs Washburn during that span but they beat North back in 2010.  A nice small slice of 3 meat pizza to go along with 20 oz of Coke on the concessions menu.   UW-Platteville, Dakota County, Itasca and Hibbing CC all taking in the game.

The Lower Level Championships
In the freshman championship game, Southwest hosted Central.  Southwest opens a 15 point first half lead that Central cuts to 10 at half.  But Southwest keeps it double digits for a 67-52 win.  Southwest with 10 players scoring including 3 with 11 each and another with 3 3s for 9.  Great balance for the Lakers.  Abdikalak Muse with 16 points for Central to lead all scorers.

In the JV game, Central took on Washburn.  Central opened this one up fairly quick and was never really challenged.  32-17 Minutemen at half and they go on to win 51-26.  Central freshman lefty Sam Gubbrud with 3 triples and 17 points to lead Central.  Varsity reserve Kalu Abosi also a major factor inside.

Game Time
The drama went out of the building right from the opening tip.  Johnson scores the 1st 8 of the game off of 4 Southwest turnovers.  Southwest takes a timeout just 1:35 into the game.  That doesn't help much as the turnovers keep coming.  Kantrelle Kirk 3 hoops and a Peirre Conwell putback.  23-3 Johnson 6 minutes in and Southwest needs another timeout.  Cam Ross trying to keep the Lakers close as he knocks down a pair of 3s.  27-18 Johnson at the 8:42 mark.  37-25 Govs inside of 5 minutes left in the half when they bust it open for good.  Conwell back to back buckets, Jalen Mobley for 3, Conwell 2 freebies, Quashingm Smith-Pugh with a steal for a dunk. Conwell and Mobley add buckets to finish a 15-2 run.  52-27 Johnson at the 2:15 mark.  57-34 Johnson at half.  The lead hovers around that until we get running time for the last 4 minutes.  Johnson wins 99-72.  Peirre Conwell with 16 of his 28 in the 1st half.  Quashingm Smith-Pugh chips in with 21.  Demetrius Cady leads Southwest with 20.  Southwest opens the playoffs at Minnetonka on Tuesday.  Johnson will host South St. Paul on Friday.

March 2,2013 CzarPI

Its the 7th CzarPI of the 2012-13 season (see CzarPI Explained here). It includes games through March 1st, 2013. The value in () after the CzarPI value is the team's strength of schedule ranking within their class

Note: In this version, the teams in section 4A have been modified now that the seedings have been released.  Hope Academy, Learning for Leadership and Math & Science Academy have been added and Liberty Classical Academy was removed.

Class AAAA
  1. Apple Valley - 61.18 (20)
  2. Brainerd - 59.62 (48)
  3. Park Center - 59.43 (15)
  4. Osseo - 58.69 (25)
  5. Edina - 58.62 (1)
  6. Minnetonka - 58.38 (6)
  7. Woodbury - 57.03 (42)
  8. Eden Prairie - 56.91 (2)
  9. Roseville - 56.87 (43)
  10. Stillwater Area - 56.08 (32)
  11. St. Louis Park - 55.62 (45)
  12. Robbinsdale Cooper - 55.45 (37)
  13. Hopkins - 55.44 (23)
  14. Lakeville North - 55.09 (41)
  15. Moorhead - 54.85 (3)
  16. Prior Lake - 54.04 (27)
  17. Tartan - 53.98 (61)
  18. Champlin Park - 53.45 (33)
  19. Shakopee - 53.38 (21)
  20. Buffalo - 53.05 (49)
  21. Robbinsdale Armstrong - 52.88 (30)
  22. Elk River - 52.77 (26)
  23. Rochester John Marshall - 52.38 (58)
  24. East Ridge - 51.96 (50)
  25. Mahtomedi - 51.42 (62)
  26. Maple Grove - 51.17 (22)
  27. Duluth East - 51.15 (28)
  28. Eagan - 50.78 (40)
  29. Chanhassen - 50.41 (13)
  30. Eastview - 50.35 (12)
  31. Henry Sibley - 50.17 (55)
  32. White Bear Lake - 49.89 (39)
  33. Wayzata - 49.83 (4)
  34. St. Michael-Albertville - 49.51 (54)
  35. Owatonna - 49.36 (47)
  36. Minneapolis Southwest - 47.91 (60)
  37. St. Francis - 47.4 (63)
  38. Minneapolis South - 47.24 (59)
  39. Irondale - 46.83 (56)
  40. Farmington - 46.22 (52)
  41. Cretin-Derham Hall - 45.95 (29)
  42. Mounds View - 45.47 (38)
  43. Centennial - 45.32 (14)
  44. Rogers - 44.26 (36)
  45. Bloomington Jefferson - 43.61 (17)
  46. Forest Lake - 43.35 (35)
  47. Bloomington Kennedy - 43.02 (19)
  48. Rochester Century - 42.53 (51)
  49. Northfield - 41.9 (44)
  50. Rosemount - 41.52 (18)
  51. Lakeville South - 40.94 (24)
  52. St. Cloud Tech - 40.86 (11)
  53. Blaine - 37.42 (10)
  54. Cambridge-Isanti - 36.13 (57)
  55. Rochester Mayo - 32.62 (34)
  56. Andover - 32.62 (8)
  57. Burnsville - 29.47 (16)
  58. Bemidji - 28.69 (5)
  59. Anoka - 24.89 (9)
  60. North St. Paul - 22.35 (53)
  61. Park of Cottage Grove - 21.43 (46)
  62. Hastings - 20.68 (31)
  63. Coon Rapids - 0 (7)
Class AAA
  1. DeLaSalle - 60.31 (22)
  2. Marshall - 59.29 (23)
  3. Austin - 58.86 (57)
  4. Delano - 56.97 (52)
  5. Waconia - 56.34 (17)
  6. Hermantown - 56.27 (55)
  7. Holy Angels - 55.62 (20)
  8. Blake - 54.89 (4)
  9. Little Falls - 54.55 (19)
  10. East Grand Forks - 54.07 (54)
  11. New Prague - 53.91 (21)
  12. Fergus Falls - 53.33 (2)
  13. Thief River Falls - 52.46 (37)
  14. Columbia Heights - 51.76 (59)
  15. St. Paul Johnson - 50.99 (49)
  16. Grand Rapids - 50.75 (41)
  17. St. Cloud Apollo - 50.23 (14)
  18. Sartell-St. Stephen - 49.81 (3)
  19. St. Paul Central - 49.57 (53)
  20. Richfield - 49.4 (34)
  21. Alexandria - 49.29 (10)
  22. Rocori - 49.13 (18)
  23. Mankato West - 49.11 (32)
  24. St. Paul Highland Park - 48.89 (56)
  25. Hill-Murray - 48.1 (51)
  26. Minneapolis Washburn - 48.03 (36)
  27. Holy Family Catholic - 47.96 (6)
  28. Chaska - 47.87 (15)
  29. Willmar - 47.85 (24)
  30. Cloquet - 47.47 (64)
  31. Detroit Lakes - 47.22 (30)
  32. Winona - 47 (33)
  33. Minneapolis Roosevelt - 46.86 (50)
  34. Spring Lake Park - 46.39 (47)
  35. Orono - 46.38 (5)
  36. Big Lake - 46.26 (61)
  37. Mound-Westonka - 46.06 (11)
  38. Red Wing - 45.68 (38)
  39. Hutchinson - 45.41 (12)
  40. Albert Lea - 44.18 (45)
  41. Minneapolis Henry - 44.08 (35)
  42. Waseca - 43.47 (42)
  43. Totino-Grace - 43.39 (27)
  44. St. Thomas Academy - 43.3 (7)
  45. Fridley - 43.07 (46)
  46. Chisago Lakes Area - 43.01 (44)
  47. St. Anthony Village - 42.75 (62)
  48. Simley - 42.52 (60)
  49. Becker - 40.83 (29)
  50. Hibbing - 39.59 (48)
  51. Benilde-St. Margaret's - 39.51 (1)
  52. Zimmerman - 39.08 (40)
  53. St. Paul Harding - 37.63 (65)
  54. Mankato East - 37.58 (13)
  55. St. Paul Como Park - 37.25 (25)
  56. Kasson-Mantorville - 33.91 (8)
  57. Monticello - 33.83 (39)
  58. Princeton - 33.44 (58)
  59. Faribault - 33.29 (26)
  60. Duluth Denfeld - 32.78 (43)
  61. North Branch - 31.38 (31)
  62. New Ulm - 29.99 (28)
  63. Sauk Rapids-Rice - 29.78 (16)
  64. South St. Paul - 25.66 (63)
  65. Dassel-Cokato - 0 (9)
Class AA
  1. Melrose - 60.03 (20)
  2. Hawley - 59.1 (42)
  3. Litchfield - 56.94 (16)
  4. St. Peter - 56.78 (61)
  5. Maple River - 56.67 (51)
  6. Esko - 56.43 (40)
  7. Minnehaha Academy - 56.29 (7)
  8. Jordan - 56.21 (53)
  9. Redwood Valley - 55.71 (21)
  10. Fairmont - 55.62 (26)
  11. Mora - 55.56 (75)
  12. Braham - 55.1 (116)
  13. St. Cloud Cathedral - 54.87 (52)
  14. Worthington - 54.85 (1)
  15. Byron - 54.61 (93)
  16. International Falls - 54.09 (104)
  17. Perham - 53.73 (36)
  18. Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted - 53.59 (34)
  19. Sauk Centre - 53.48 (46)
  20. Crosby-Ironton - 53.29 (117)
  21. Rochester Lourdes - 53.28 (60)
  22. Hayfield - 53.2 (76)
  23. Martin County West - 52.39 (111)
  24. Norwood-Young America - 52.29 (78)
  25. Annandale - 52.2 (22)
  26. Pelican Rapids - 52.06 (27)
  27. Morris Area/Chokio-Alberta - 52.03 (44)
  28. Lake City - 52.01 (120)
  29. Plainview-Elgin-Millville - 51.86 (88)
  30. Virginia - 51.61 (97)
  31. Southland - 51.53 (92)
  32. Mayer Lutheran - 51.36 (43)
  33. Luverne - 50.79 (15)
  34. Deer River - 50.73 (86)
  35. Jackson County Central - 50.24 (12)
  36. United South Central - 50.01 (94)
  37. Long Prairie-Grey Eagle - 49.86 (17)
  38. Barnesville - 49.76 (87)
  39. Waterville-Elysian-Morristown - 49.76 (110)
  40. Stewartville - 49.63 (30)
  41. Lewiston-Altura - 49.18 (77)
  42. Albany - 48.98 (48)
  43. Chatfield - 48.92 (84)
  44. Pierz - 48.92 (4)
  45. Breck - 48.78 (90)
  46. Concordia Academy-Roseville - 48.66 (39)
  47. Winona Cotter - 48.6 (65)
  48. Hinckley-Finlayson - 48.41 (105)
  49. Rockford - 48.36 (19)
  50. Windom Area - 48.26 (13)
  51. Providence Academy - 48.21 (37)
  52. Brooklyn Center - 48.07 (67)
  53. Watertown-Mayer - 47.99 (35)
  54. Moose Lake-Willow River - 47.71 (68)
  55. Sibley East - 47.35 (50)
  56. Cannon Falls - 47.34 (109)
  57. Belle Plaine - 47.25 (56)
  58. Glencoe-Silver Lake - 47.13 (57)
  59. New London-Spicer - 47.02 (11)
  60. Caledonia - 46.92 (99)
  61. Eveleth-Gilbert - 46.83 (108)
  62. Warroad - 46.56 (70)
  63. St. Charles - 46.52 (101)
  64. Zumbrota-Mazeppa - 46.37 (103)
  65. Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial - 46.26 (66)
  66. Rush City - 45.81 (113)
  67. Crookston - 44.84 (10)
  68. Kimball Area - 44.37 (79)
  69. Eden Valley-Watkins - 44.32 (69)
  70. New Life Academy - 44.22 (41)
  71. St. John's Prep - 43.72 (59)
  72. Tri-City United - 43.72 (23)
  73. International School of MN - 43.56 (127)
  74. Pequot Lakes - 43.3 (24)
  75. St. Croix Lutheran - 43.08 (31)
  76. Foley - 42.85 (83)
  77. Staples-Motley - 42.42 (38)
  78. Medford - 42.34 (114)
  79. St. Paul Humboldt - 41.87 (121)
  80. Minnewaska Area - 41.79 (29)
  81. Blue Earth Area - 41.43 (45)
  82. Holdingford - 41.23 (8)
  83. Lac qui Parle Valley - 41.21 (74)
  84. Montevideo - 41.09 (73)
  85. Kenyon-Wanamingo - 40.92 (89)
  86. Breckenridge - 40.89 (3)
  87. BOLD - 40.3 (107)
  88. Maple Lake - 40.01 (63)
  89. Bagley - 39.97 (91)
  90. St. Paul Academy - 39.93 (64)
  91. Milaca - 39.57 (80)
  92. Gibbon-Fairfax-Winthrop - 39.15 (81)
  93. Pine Island - 38.75 (96)
  94. Aitkin - 38.66 (25)
  95. Benson - 38.49 (95)
  96. Cristo Rey Jesuit - 38.42 (125)
  97. St. Agnes - 38.34 (85)
  98. Minneapolis Edison - 38.27 (118)
  99. Roseau - 38.22 (55)
  100. Park Rapids Area - 37.88 (49)
  101. Trinity School - 37.87 (112)
  102. La Crescent - 37.55 (5)
  103. Tracy-Milroy-Balaton - 37.35 (28)
  104. Kingsland - 36.9 (32)
  105. Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton - 35.75 (14)
  106. Pipestone Area - 35.13 (2)
  107. New Richland-H-E-G - 34.21 (100)
  108. Great River - 32.91 (124)
  109. Mounds Park Academy - 32.48 (123)
  110. Frazee - 32.39 (9)
  111. Pine City - 32.34 (106)
  112. Dover-Eyota - 32.19 (47)
  113. Wabasha-Kellogg - 31.36 (33)
  114. Paynesville Area - 30.95 (58)
  115. Wadena-Deer Creek - 30.45 (98)
  116. Osakis - 30.41 (6)
  117. LeSueur-Henderson - 30.23 (71)
  118. St. James Area - 30.12 (18)
  119. Two Harbors - 30.07 (62)
  120. Proctor - 29.27 (72)
  121. Triton - 29.11 (54)
  122. Spectrum - 29.04 (122)
  123. St. Paul Washington - 26.72 (119)
  124. Greenway - 24.97 (102)
  125. Yellow Medicine East - 18.56 (115)
  126. Duluth Marshall - 17.93 (82)
  127. Hmong Academy - 0 (126)
Class A
  1. Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa - 59.53 (6)
  2. Upsala - 58.48 (50)
  3. Maranatha Christian - 58.3 (34)
  4. Southwest MN Christian - 56.68 (87)
  5. Russell-Tyler-Ruthton - 55.94 (95)
  6. Browerville - 55.9 (43)
  7. Walker-Hackensack-Akeley - 55.01 (107)
  8. Sleepy Eye Saint Mary's - 54.76 (104)
  9. West Lutheran - 54.25 (38)
  10. Rushford-Peterson - 54.19 (111)
  11. Win-E-Mac - 54.15 (94)
  12. Heritage Christian - 53.72 (23)
  13. Dawson-Boyd - 53.22 (24)
  14. Floodwood - 53.1 (108)
  15. Warren-Alvarado-Oslo - 52.63 (91)
  16. Bigfork - 52.61 (28)
  17. Ada-Borup - 52.53 (63)
  18. Ely - 52.48 (117)
  19. Barnum - 52.34 (125)
  20. Northern Freeze - 51.95 (75)
  21. Henning - 51.69 (135)
  22. Battle Lake - 51.69 (114)
  23. Springfield - 51.39 (52)
  24. Cedar Mountain/Comfrey - 51.11 (58)
  25. Ashby - 51.06 (66)
  26. Lakeview Christian - 50.96 (2)
  27. Mountain Lake Area - 50.96 (121)
  28. Ulen-Hitterdal - 50.34 (88)
  29. Nevis - 50.27 (67)
  30. MACCRAY - 50.12 (98)
  31. Mahnomen - 50.03 (129)
  32. Canby - 49.83 (103)
  33. Swanville - 49.79 (18)
  34. Wheaton/Herman-Norcross - 49.63 (59)
  35. Fertile-Beltrami - 49.48 (12)
  36. Pillager - 49.25 (56)
  37. Red Lake - 49.2 (15)
  38. Hillcrest Lutheran Academy - 48.99 (61)
  39. Lester Prairie/Holy Trinity - 48.84 (7)
  40. South Ridge - 48.58 (51)
  41. Fond du Lac Ojibwe - 48.18 (137)
  42. Spring Grove - 47.67 (145)
  43. Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City - 47.46 (42)
  44. Southwest Christian - 47.45 (17)
  45. Northome/Kelliher - 47.41 (133)
  46. Blooming Prairie - 47.37 (109)
  47. St. Clair - 47.32 (136)
  48. Ortonville - 47.11 (84)
  49. St. Croix Prep - 47.08 (157)
  50. Bethlehem Academy - 46.84 (132)
  51. Lanesboro - 46.68 (142)
  52. Red Rock Central - 46.67 (79)
  53. Cherry - 46.31 (82)
  54. Hills-Beaver Creek - 45.83 (65)
  55. Cook County - 45.81 (110)
  56. Goodridge/Grygla - 45.78 (116)
  57. Nashwauk-Keewatin - 45.68 (57)
  58. West Central Area - 45.6 (11)
  59. Minneota - 45.24 (120)
  60. Blackduck - 45.21 (105)
  61. Park Christian - 45.18 (93)
  62. Mountain Iron-Buhl - 44.64 (16)
  63. Fosston - 44.57 (37)
  64. Buffalo Lake-Hector-Stewart - 44.45 (97)
  65. Mesabi Academy - 44.44 (124)
  66. Kittson County Central - 44.2 (31)
  67. Southwest United - 43.13 (47)
  68. Grand Meadow - 42.99 (154)
  69. Mankato Loyola - 42.86 (26)
  70. Littlefork-Big Falls - 42.61 (62)
  71. Verndale - 42.34 (92)
  72. Edgerton - 42.16 (53)
  73. Onamia - 42.13 (112)
  74. Brandon/Evansville - 42.05 (35)
  75. Community of Peace Academy - 42.03 (158)
  76. PACT Charter - 41.78 (27)
  77. Fulda - 41.76 (14)
  78. Hill City - 41.68 (36)
  79. Menahga - 41.38 (123)
  80. Goodhue - 41.37 (73)
  81. North Woods - 41.37 (25)
  82. MetroTech Career Academy - 41.04 (119)
  83. Underwood - 40.96 (55)
  84. Legacy Christian - 40.9 (3)
  85. Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley - 40.89 (83)
  86. Royalton - 40.82 (13)
  87. Isle - 40.82 (127)
  88. Lyle/Austin Pacelli - 40.82 (153)
  89. Stephen-Argyle - 40.81 (68)
  90. Cass Lake-Bena - 40.62 (5)
  91. Ellsworth - 40.6 (8)
  92. Carlton - 40.56 (89)
  93. Badger/Greenbush-Middle River - 39.48 (85)
  94. Truman/Martin Luther - 39.44 (147)
  95. Schaeffer Academy - 39.39 (155)
  96. Central MN Christian - 39.23 (113)
  97. Westbrook-Walnut Grove - 38.97 (78)
  98. Janesville-Waldorf-Pemberton - 38.83 (122)
  99. CHOF - 38.58 (48)
  100. Wrenshall - 38.54 (106)
  101. Wabasso - 38.5 (60)
  102. Parkers Prairie - 38.44 (49)
  103. Lakeview - 38.34 (71)
  104. Calvin Christian - 37.8 (161)
  105. Sleepy Eye - 37.78 (101)
  106. Northland - 37.68 (99)
  107. Red Lake County - 37.65 (69)
  108. Norman County East - 37.37 (30)
  109. Minnesota Transitions Charter - 37.31 (148)
  110. North Lakes Academy - 37.21 (156)
  111. Bethany Academy - 36.93 (96)
  112. Bertha-Hewitt - 36.67 (39)
  113. Granada-Huntley-East Chain - 36.31 (44)
  114. Minneapolis North - 35.97 (76)
  115. Cleveland - 35.13 (134)
  116. Lincoln HI - 34.77 (33)
  117. New Ulm Cathedral - 34.52 (45)
  118. Cromwell - 34 (100)
  119. Chisholm - 33.99 (41)
  120. Minnesota Valley Lutheran - 33.03 (21)
  121. Climax/Fisher - 32.98 (46)
  122. Hope Academy - 32.71 (150)
  123. Randolph - 32.27 (128)
  124. Hope Lutheran - 32.27 (149)
  125. New York Mills - 32.25 (80)
  126. Fillmore Central - 32.22 (40)
  127. Adrian - 31.82 (10)
  128. Mesabi East - 31.54 (19)
  129. Eagle Valley - 30.86 (4)
  130. Mabel-Canton - 30.67 (140)
  131. Nova Classical Academy - 28.8 (160)
  132. Norman County West - 28.47 (72)
  133. Rothsay - 28.39 (54)
  134. Murray County Central - 28.16 (20)
  135. Waubun - 27.6 (77)
  136. MN Academy for the Deaf - 27.21 (159)
  137. Lake Park-Audubon - 27.17 (102)
  138. Glenville-Emmons - 26.97 (144)
  139. LeRoy-Ostrander - 25.91 (152)
  140. Houston - 25.15 (138)
  141. Ogilvie - 24.52 (86)
  142. Alden-Conger - 23.71 (143)
  143. Clearbrook-Gonvick - 23.44 (29)
  144. Nicollet - 22.66 (115)
  145. Hancock - 22.57 (90)
  146. Sacred Heart - 22.18 (146)
  147. Laporte - 21.68 (118)
  148. Pine River-Backus - 21.24 (1)
  149. Sebeka - 20.82 (32)
  150. Northeast Range - 20.55 (22)
  151. Madelia - 20.06 (131)
  152. FAIR School - 19.8 (130)
  153. Silver Bay - 0 (9)
  154. Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg - 0 (64)
  155. East Central - 0 (70)
  156. Renville County West - 0 (74)
  157. McGregor - 0 (81)
  158. Lake of the Woods - 0 (126)
  159. Learning for Leadership - 0 (139)
  160. E.C.H.O. Charter - 0 (141)
  161. Math & Science Academy - 0 (151)
  162. Bug-O-Nay-Ge-Shig - 0 (162)

Edina secures a top seed

Off to Hopkins for their parents night and end of regular season matchup against Edina.  Thanks to the Royals loss on Tuesday vs Minnetonka and Edina's win, Edina had already locked up the conference championship.  But there was a chance that the top seed was still on the line as the coaches chose to use the computer seeding rather than coaches vote.  The usually outstanding Walking Taco was dreadful as Sun Chips were used in place of Doritos.  Epic Fail.  Yuck.  Needed all of my 20 ounces of Coke to wash out the foul taste.  Much to my surprise a full house on hand for the game including the student sections (Edina's is notoriously awful).

Game Time
Start point guard Graham Woodward with 6 of the first 8 for Edina.  8 all at 13:15 when we get a spurt of action.  Reggie Lynch for 2, Jamal Davis counters with a mean 1 handed tip dunk.  Back the other way and Lynch turns inside and throws one down.  Davis right back from deep for 3.  13-12 Hopkins at 11:55.  Lynch with another dunk but Hopkins only down 23-21.  Then an 8-0 Woodward run with a pair of 3s and a bucket on the break.  Timeout Hopkins down 31-21 with 5:47 left in the half.  Very rare to see coach Novak take a first half timeout.  Lynch sits at 3:12 with his 2nd foul on an illegal screen.  Then Hopkins out on the break, Jake Wright up for the layup and an Edina defender gives the backboard an excessive smack and the layup is no good.  Mark Handberg back the other way with a putback.  A huge 4 point swing in Edina's favor as that should have been a no brainer technical by rule.  Usually I see that called incorrectly the other way (a goaltend rather than an incorrect no call).  Just the worst call in a night of bad officiating from an non-descript 3 man crew.  Then right before half, a loose ball and Woodward picks it up and knocks it in from the volleyball line just before the buzzer.  38-28 Edina at the break.

Lynch with a layup and then impressive denial of Jamal Davis on the break.  40-31 Edina at the 15:42 mark.  Lynch inside for 2 and then Woodward handfights with Kamali Chambers and gets loose for 3.  49-38 Edina with 11:10 left.  Hopkins counters with 7 in a row as Chambers makes 2 free throws. Stephon Sharp takes a steal for 2 and Jake Wright knocks down a 3.   49-45 Edina with 10:22 left.  They continue to cling to the lead but Lynch working inside.  He scores on the post and grabs an offensive board for 2 free throws.  Sharp with a 3 on a nice inside out look.  55-54 Edina with 6:20 to play.

Hopkins can't get over the hump.  Lynch gets the iso on the left block and scores 2 easy buckets going to the middle (had a dropstep dunk going baseline if he wanted it on the 2nd).  Another Edina offensive board for a free throw then Lynch finds Mark Handberg on a nice back cut down the lane for 2 free throws.  Handberg got away with a walk on the catch.  Dane Tueteberg setting the flare screen for Woodward and a nice slip to the rim and finish.  Its a 9-0 run for a 64-54 Edina lead with 3 minutes left.  The rest is Edina closing it out at the charity stripe.  Edina wins 72-64.

Post Game
Hopkins finishes the regular season 20-6, 4-4 for 3rd in the Lake Conference.  Jake Wright leads the Royals with 17 points and 3 triples.  Stephon Sharp with 15 points off the bench, 11 of those in the 2nd half but nost of those in the last minute.  Jamal Davis scored 14 points.  Hopkins showing that a lack of an inside presence is a major factor for them against teams like Edina and Minnetonka who have bangers.  Hopkins likely looking at the 3 seed in section 6AAAA and a 1st round game with North Suburban runner up St. Louis Park.

Edina closes at 19-7 and wins the Lake at 7-1.  They've won 19 of 22 after a 2nd straight year of an 0-4 start.  Graham Woodward with 17 of his 29 in the 1st half to lead all scorers.  3 of his 4 3s in that first half as well.  Reggie Lynch with 14 of his 24 in the 2nd half in a trend we've seen earlier this year where he goes big after halftime.  He had to have been close to a double-double.  Hopkins didn't have a good answer for him inside.  They will play one of the Minneapolis City Conference co-champs (South or Southwest) in the 1 vs 8 game in 6AAAA.