2014 Timberwolves Shootout Review

A great day of basketball at the 2014 Timberwolves Shootout.  Here's are some of my observations.

Game 1: #3AAAA Lakeville North vs Grand Rapids
JP Macura would get off to a quick start with 8 of the first 11 Lakeville North points.  Grand Rapids would pull within 11-10 on an Alex Illikainen jumper.  Macura would counter with 6 points in a 9-0 run.  That would propel the Panthers to a 24-15 halftime lead, Macura with 16 of those 24.  Macura would pick up a 3rd foul early in the 2nd half and get a long rest.  But the rest of the Panthers would extend the lead thanks to a zone defense.  39-21 Lakeville North with 10 minutes left.  Illikainen gets 1 burst in by dunking his own free throw miss and making a 3 for 8 straight Thunderhawks points.  I thought Lakeville North would really swarm him but they let him get plenty of good looks and touches.  Illikainen picks up his last 2 fouls in a 1:18 stretch and he fouls out with 6:41 left.  Lakeville North would take the 14 point lead at that point to a 59-36 victory.  JP Macura 24 points, 6 rebounds and 4 steals.  Alex Illikainen 17 points and 13 boards.  Those 2 combine for 15-25 shooting.  The remaining players shoot 17-73 (23.3%).  Teams combine for 8-41 from the 3 point line including 0-4 from Macura.

Game 2: Cretin-Derham Hall vs Bettendorf (IA)
Bettendorf goes on an early 10-0 run.  Kyle Buhman runs the floor for a pair of layups including a nice Cole Clearman behind the back assist.  CDH comes right back with 9 in a row of their own with 5 from Sam Neumann.  16-15 Bettendorf at 11:30.  Neumann 2 more bombs in the half for a total of 15 points but Bettendorf would lead 28-25 at half.   Kendall Jacks with 5 in a row countered by a pair of Joe Rosga 3s.  35-33 Bettendorf with 15:35 left.  Then Sam Neumann goes absolutely nuts.  2 more bombs for him to tie the game at 41.  Neumann with back to back NBA 3s to sandwich a Dylan Sortillo 3.  One of those was his 2nd chance at a 4 point play in the game.  Jacks for 3 to push the Bettendorf to 63-56 with 3:55 left.   Neumann isn't done.  Bombs away not once but twice, the second with 1:40 left and then a post up for 2 more and CDH is back ahead 66-65 with 1:03 left.  Nicholas Baer for 2 and then makes both ends of the bonus after a CDH miss.  Last timeout for CDH in the front court with 20.2 left down 3.  Bettendorf brilliantly changes from the man defense they've shown all day to a 3-2 zone.  CDH totally discombobulated.  Neumann gets it and has no choice but to hoist from at least 30 feet.  It goes off the back iron no good.  Jacks seals it with both ends of the bonus with 2.5 left.  Bettendorf wins 71-66.  Sam Neumann buries 9 treys and goes off for 39 points, 24 of those points and 6 3s in the 2nd half.  He shoots 15-24, 9-15 from 3.  Dylan Sortillo 12 of his 19 in the 2nd half for Bettendorf.  Nicholas Baer with a double double of 16 and 13.  11-32 FGs from the rest of the CDH roster  Throw out Neumann's 9-15 from 3s and through 2 games the 4 teams combined for 17-75 from behind the 3 point line.

Game 3: #2AAA De La Salle vs Chicago St. Rita (IL)
Chicago St. Rita's was hounded by the De La Salle defense to the tune of 6-25 FGs and 17 turnovers.  That included a desperation 3 at the halftime buzzer.  The Mustangs get 1 field goal in a 13 minute stretch.  De La Salle would go on a 13-2 run to take control.  Sacar Anim carries the offense for De La Salle with Jarvis Johnson on the bench with 2 fouls.  25-15 De La Salle leading at the break.  St. Rita would up the ante with a productive halfcourt trap in the 2nd half.  Northwestern commit Victor Law with a 3 to tie and a 3 point play for a 41-38 St. Rita lead with 8:32 left.  Dominique Matthews would score the next 9 for St. Rita as he had a big 2nd half.  Critical moment with 3 minutes left.  Loose ball ends up being poked ahead for a James Lawson layup.  That's gives De La Salle a  49-45 lead with 3 minutes left.  The Islanders would get enough stops and make enough free throws to hang on 59-53.  Sacar Anim outstanding again for the Islanders with 29 points slashing his way inside.  Geno Crandall adds 13.  Dominique Matthews all 17 of his points in the 2nd half.  Charles Matthews very quiet with 11 points.  Only 1 bucket in the 2nd half until a meaningless 3 at the end of the game.  Very little run for him which was also surprising.  Add in 5-20 from these teams from 3 and we're at 22-95 on the day (excluding Neumann's 9-15).  St. Rita does grab 18 offensive rebounds but the De La Salle survives that.  Reid Travis participated in warmups but did not play.  Look for his return soon.

Game 4: #1AAAA Apple Valley vs Blue Valley Northwest (KS)
An entertaining first half between these 2 outstanding squads.  Gary Trent with a floater off the ball screen, Tyus coast to coast for 2 and a inbounds bomb for an 18-11 Eagles lead.  But Iowa St commit Clayton Custer scores 4 points in a 10-2 run to put Blue Valley NW on top.  Ben Richardson for 3 and its Blue Valley 30-24  at the 5:30 mark after a 19-6 spurt.  The lead is 4 at half.  Custer with a nice cut for 2 and a Richardson 3 to push the lead to 39-30 with 16:30 left.  Trent with a putback, Custer with a drive for 2.  Tyus with a steal for 2, Custer with a 3 point play.  Trent 2 free throws and a 3.  Dennis Austin adds 2 free throws to tie the game at 46.  Vince Fritz with 2 3s to put Blue Valley up 52-48 with 10:45 left.  Then the bottom falls out.

Trent for 3, Tyus 2 free throws and then the poster.  A left wing steal, Apple Valley pushes and the feed is to Tyus running right down the middle.  He goes up, over and through a defender with the 1 handed hammer dunk and the building explodes.  Trent scores and the lead is 5 and Blue Valley needs a timeout.  That doesn't help.  Tyus with bonus free throws a nice spin for 2 more, then 2 more bonus free throws and a jumper.  The Apple Valley run is 19-0 over 7:15.  Blue Valley gets a putback with 2:45 left to break an 8 minute scoreless drought but this one is over.  Apple Valley wins 72-59.  Tyus Jones finishes with 26 points, 8 rebounds and 5 assists.  If you haven't seen the dunk, its worth it.  Gary Trent with 17 points.  Clayton Custer 18 points, Ben Richardson 11 points and 6 rebounds.   Adding in the 12-36 3 point shooting in this game and we end up with 34-131 (not including Neumann's 9-15) which is just under 26%.

Czar's All- Timberwolves Shootout Team
JP Macura - Lakeville North
Tyus Jones - Apple Valley
Sam Neumann - Cretin-Derham Hall
Sacar Anim- De La Salle
Clayton Custer - Blue Valley Northwest

The Nightcap
Who needs to see Kevin Durant score 48 when you can see 2 of the top senior guards in the state.  The night session sends me to Prior Lake for their non-conference game against Eden Prairie.  Sausage Pizza and 20 oz of Coke on the evening menu after having just 1 expensive Pepsi at the Target Center.  Andre Wallace scores 12 of the 1st 14 EP points.  Jon Sobaski sits with a 2nd foul on a charge but Prior Lake hangs close.  Zach Hovey very active inside with 5 in a row as EP builds a 24-16 lead.  Prior Lake closes the half on an 8-0 run for a 24 all tie at halftime.

In a bit of a replay from the De La Salle vs EP game, the EP offense is all Wallace and Gillard in the 2nd half.  Wallace 8 points in the 1st 5 minutes and EP leads 40-38.  Sobaski 6 in a row for Prior Lake.  Grantham Gillard for 3, a jumper and another NBA 3 .  50-45 EP looking to pull away with 8 minutes left.  Wallace with a pull up and then 2 nice assists for layups 58-49 EP with 3:20 left.  Wallace with his final points on 2 free throws with 1:05 left.  EP 62-55 leading at that point but they would miss 2 front ends.  Sobaski scores and a clutch 3 from Kevin McKiernan after a jump ball to Prior Lake and Sobaski down the lane to tie it with 12 seconds left.  EP takes the ball right out of the net and goes it.  Its Gillard flying up the right wing and he goes straight to the rim.  Tons of contact as Prior Lake attempts to take the charge.  Shot no good and we get the late whistle with 0.9 left.  The call is a blocking foul.  The home crowd not at all happy with that.  Gillard leaves the 1st free throw short but makes the 2nd.  Eden Prairie wins 63-62.  Andre Wallace outstanding again with 28 points and 3 late assists for layups.  Grantham Gillard 17 of his 20 points in the 2nd half.  Jon Sobaski 20 points, Connor Bair 18 points.  Nice movement by Sobaski vs Wallace in the head to head matchup.  Sobaski would be in the weak side block area, Wallace would turn his head and Sobaski flashed right in front of him to the ball side post on 3 occasions for 2 easy buckets and another missed bunny.

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