Semifinal Saturday

Prologue
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.

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