Nolan's hot shooting leads Falcons

Prologue
A nice snow makeup game fills in the Wednesday slot on the schedule.  Its Elk River at Armstrong in their second meeting in 8 days.   Armstrong won the 1st meeting 80-44.  Edina and Hopkins in the building watching Armstrong for section play.  Fairly light crowd gets entertained by today's tune.

Song of the Day
DJ Casper - Cha Cha Slide

Total Beverage Consumption Counter: 1288 ounces  (108 games, 91 days)
  • 12 oz 7 Up 
  • 20 oz Barq's Root Beer
  • 20 oz Mug Root Beer 
  • 68 oz Sprite 
  • 84 oz Dr Pepper
  • 160 oz Red Powerade
  • 232 oz Red Gatorade
  • 184 oz Coke 
  • 508 oz Pepsi
Game Time
Evan Nolan with his 1st 3 of the night as Armstrong jumps out to a 7-1 lead.  Elk River would take their first lead on a 3 from soph guard Matt Keller at the 7:48 mark.   That forces an Armstrong timeout.  Clay Elrod with a layup and a 3 to counter a BLOB 3 from Nolan.  Keller from keep again and a Mitchell Weege floater puts Elk River up 27-26 at the 4:30 mark.  All Armstrong to close the half.  Soph lefty Melvin Newburn with 2 putbacks, soph Judie Alade takes the inside out pass for 3 and knocks down another jumper.  Nolan with 3 more bombs and a Casperson 3 point play.  Its a 21-1 Falcons run to end the half.  47-28 Armstrong at the break.  Nolan with 7 3s and 21 points.

For as hot as Armstrong was in the last 4:30, they can't find it in the 2nd half.  Elrod aggressive with 5 quick points and the lead is down to 12.  Devell Miller controlling the inside at 5'11".  He sticks back 2 misses, 1 for a 3 point play.  Keller to the bucket and Elrod inside for 2 free throws.  Its a 17-4 Elk River run to cut the lead to 51-44 with 11:40 left.  The 2nd Armstrong FG of the half doesn't come until Alade knocks down a 3 with 8:50 left to keep the lead at 12.  Nolan in the post for 2 and a skip pass finds Jerome Dixon for 3 and the lead is back to 66-50.  15-6 Armstrong spurt in 3:35.  The Elks won't go away quietly.  Weege and Elrod counter with triples, Miller with a sweet pick and roll layup.  Sean Burns with a big swat but it goes right to Elrod in the left corner and he buries the triple.  Elk River wipes away Armstrong's run with a 15-5 run of their own.  71-65 Falcons 3:25 left.  But Elk River would get no closer as Armstrong makes their free throws.  Falcons win 85-75.

Post Game
Elk River falls to 15-10 overall, 9-10 in the NW Suburban.  They've lost 4 in a row bookended by the 2 Armstrong games and road losses at Maple Grove and Osseo just last night.  Tough stretch for the Elks.  Clay Elrod wasn't on the glass but he did finish with 26 points.  Soph guard Matt Keller with a nice outing of 18 points.  Devell Miller 15 of his 16 in the 2nd half.  Section 8AAAA is QRF seeded and its shaping up to be a mistake unless it gets within tiebreaker margin.  Buffalo lost to both Elk River and St. Cloud Tech during the season, Tech has a better overall and section record but unless something drastic happens Buffalo will get the 1 seed thanks to the lunacy of choosing to have the QRF do the seeding.  I have no problem with Buffalo at 2, but I could make a much better case for them at 3 than at 1.  Note that section 8 used to do a points system for years before having to choose coaches or QRF.  Remember if you points seed, you MUST use QRF, also a thoroughly stupid rule, but that's the MSHSL for you.  Should make for an entertaining set of semis at St. Cloud State 1 week from Saturday.

Armstrong is now 20-5 overall, 16-3 in the NW Suburban which clinches 2nd there.  Evan Nolan 7 3s all in the 1st half, 27 points.  Sean Burns chips in with 15, Ryan Casperson with 12.  After a tough 3 game slide, Armstrong has now won 6 in a row.  They'll finish at Anoka on Friday.  As to seeding in 6AAAA, Armstrong and Minnetonka will be one of the more heated seeding discussions out there.  Minnetonka would like to think a win over Eden Prairie on Friday would bump them to the 2 seed.  In a just world I don't think that game matters.  I think they're the clear 4 seed.  They'll argue no worse than 3 because of their big win at Armstrong.  But the Skippers aren't close enough in the QRF or CzarPI or have the overall record close enough to make that case.  It becomes a big deal because the 3 seed avoids Hopkins in the semis.

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