Cats clawing for a win

Prologue
Hi there, niiiice kitty.  Its a trip to Legacy Christian to see the Lions take on the Pumas from Cristo Rey Jesuit.  I sink my claws into my 1st hot dog of the season.  Not bad, not outstanding, but respectable.  20 ounces of Red Gatorade keeps the beverage counter rolling.  Legacy is in their transition period from the old Meadow Creek Christian days.  So they've gone to the Miami Orange and Green for the uniforms which is always outstanding.  The outside of the court still has the wide blue border but the volleyball court and lane markings are in the Miami orange.  All we need now is a dry ice machine to introduce the Lions.  Since we don't have that we'll get our 80s fix from the music between games.

Song of the Day:
Parents Just Don't Understand - DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince

Total Beverage Consumption Counter: 52 ounces
12 oz Dr Pepper
20 oz Red Powerade
20 oz Red Gatorade

Game Time:
Cristo Rey without a couple of bodies including touted freshman Jericho Sims.  But they get a pair of early bombs from lefty Drakarr Lobley.  His 2nd is part of a 9-0 run to give the Pumas a 12-6 at the 11:18 mark.  Legacy coach JP Lindgren not at all happy with his team at that point.  Legacy's big 3 go on a 7-0 run to put the Lions on top 18-17.  Luke Johnson pounding Cristo Rey inside but Davonte Smith outrunning the Lions back and getting to the rim at will.  Smith gets all layups for 14 1st half points.  Johnson with 12 for Legacy.  30-28 Legacy takes the lead into the half.

Nate Bertsch for 3 and then he draws the 4th foul on the 1 big that Cristo Rey had in the lineup.  Add in a Legacy free throw and you think they may start to pull away.  But that never happens.  Jeffrey Hudson with a pair of 3s to keep Cristo Rey close.  39-36 Legacy leading inside of 15 to play.  Saiku Kanneh with a pair of easy hoops to put the Pumas up 5, then they miss a golden opportunity by not finishing a 2 on 1 break.  52-47 Cristo Rey with 9 left.  Luke Anderson makes them pay on the other end as he's heating up.  He scores 6 in a row to pull Legacy within one.  Then Nate Bertsch scores and Legacy is back on top 55-54 with 5:30 left.  Cristo Rey turns it over twice but Legacy can't turn those possessions into points.  Then its a pair of Legacy turnovers that lead to 5 straight Davonte Smith points.  59-55 Cristo Rey on top with 4:10 left.

Kanneh grabs a loose ball and puts it back for a 4 point lead.  Conflicting officials calls and the underneath official gives his call away and the outside guy has the charge against Legacy with 2:41 left.  Smith goes strong and finishes to put Cristo Rey up 4.  After a Bertsch bucket, Jack Yeager thinks he draws a charge at halfcourt and it goes against him.  His reaction draws what is justly a technical by rule but common sense needs to prevail in a hotly contested game there.  But free throws again haunting a team.  Cristo Rey misses the front end on the foul and only makes 1 of the 2 technical free throws with 2:03 left.  They do make 1 of 2 on the possession.  Another big swing against the home squad.  A 2nd really strange illegal high ball screen call sends Johnson to the bench with his 5th with a minute left.  Legacy fouling for the last 2 minutes to stay in it and its working.

Caleb Johnson makes 1 freebie with 17.8 left to cut the lead to 4.  His 2nd is no good, a scramble ensues and Legacy gets 2 shots to just barely miss.  Caleb back to the stripe where he makes 1 of 2 again.  Cristo Rey turns it over on the inbounds so Legacy gets it back on the side.  Legacy ball down 71-68 with 9.9 left.  Nate Bertsch can't get an initial look at a 3 but does get a decent look from the left corner that just misses.  Jump ball to Cristo Rey with 0.8 left.  They have the ball underneath and send everybody deep.  But the full court pass hits the divider above center court (remember Blake Hoffarber at Wayzata in section play a few years ago folks?).  Legacy gets 1 last chance from underneath their own basket.  Bertsch gets a heave from 25 feet that 's no good.  Cristo Rey hangs on to win 71-68.  A fun game that never saw a double digit lead.

Post Game
For Cristo Rey, they improve to 1-1 after being trounced at Concordia last week.  Davonte Smith with at least 28 points (I missed a couple of 2nd half hoops so he may have had more).  He wasn't stopped going to the rim in the halfcourt or especially in transition off of defensive rebounds.  They get 4 other guys to heave in 7 bombs which kept gaps open in the Legacy 3-2 zone.  Add in another kid off the bench who gets 8 hustle points in the 2nd half and it works out.  6-17 free throws for the Pumas in the last 2:03 when they were trying to put the game away is a major concern.  Jeffrey Hudson with 11 for the Pumas.  It a quick turnaround for the Pumas as they go the other direction to play an MCAA foe with a trip to Bethany Academy tomorrow.  Since they don't really have access to the Colin Powell Center (school is attached), they play most of their schedule on the road.  They start with 7 straight away from home.

For Legacy Christian, they fall to 1-1.  Their big 3 had all but 15 of their 98 points against Lakeview Christian (once again woeful on defense I might add).  Tonight only 4 points from the non-big 3.  Luke Anderson 16 of his 24 in the 2nd half to lead the Lions.  Nate Bertsch with 15 of his 23 in the 2nd half.  Luke Johnson with 12 of his 17 in the 1st first half.  Masterful job by coach Lindgren of going offense for defense in the last 2 minutes and getting his 2 stop scorers off the floor with 4 fouls on defense and right back in on offense.  I also liked the work off of 2 feet in their 5 out offense.  A fun chance for me to watch a high school team run some of the same stuff I've used with my youth teams.  A bad loss for Legacy against a team that wasn't as talented and was undermanned.  Transition defense, stopping penetration in their zone and just getting out worked were major points in this one.  They aren't deep but their top 3 make them a team that should be pretty solid in MCAA play.  Bertsch gives them a guard who can handle and shoot, Anderson is versatile and Johnson plays hard and works his way effectively inside.  They host FAIR next Monday before jumping into the MCAA North schedule at PACT next Tuesday

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