4AAA Thriller

Prologue
Its 4AAA finally getting their bracket underway.  The 4 vs 5 game is Hill-Murray at Simley.  Simley won the 2 regular season meetings by a combined 6 points.  Hill-Murray finished 1 game ahead of Simley in the Classic Suburban.  All signs pointing to a great game and this one didn't disappoint.  Pepsi at the concession stand is too tempting to pass on so after a 3 day break, we finally up the beverage counter.

Song of the Day
Wishing Well - Terence Trent D'arby

Total Beverage Consumption Counter: 1360 ounces  (116 games, 100 days)

  • 12 oz 7 Up 
  • 20 oz Barq's Root Beer
  • 20 oz Mug Root Beer 
  • 80 oz Sprite 
  • 84 oz Dr Pepper
  • 160 oz Red Powerade
  • 232 oz Red Gatorade
  • 184 oz Coke 
  • 520 oz Pepsi
Game Time
Eric Weimar with a pair of bombs to get Hill-Murray out to a 6-0 lead.  Simley counters with a 13-2 run thanks to Sam Stensgard and post Mark Della Vedova knocking down 3s.  Marshawn Wilson doing his thing to carry the Pioneers offense before he sits with his 2nd foul at the 8:10 mark.  Hill-Murray loses 4 points with him sitting and he returns at 4:09.  Simley ends the half on an 8-1 run thanks to a Della Vedova dunk to start it.  38-28 Simley at half.

Sam Stensgard hot to start the 2nd half.  He knocks down a jumper off a BLOB, then a lefty layup.  Another layup and a trip to the deep beyond and all of a sudden Simley is up 50-32.  He goes to the reverse and is 54-37 Simley with 11:22 left.  Hill-Murray comes roaring back as they go halfcourt trap.  Alex Ogren for 3 and he converts a turnover for 2 more and adds 2 free throws.  Wilson with a steal for 2 and Sam Westby takes a kickout pass and knocks down a 3.  That's ends as 15-2 run to pull Hill-Murray within 56-52 with 6:20 left.  Simley counters with Alex Anderson inside for 2 buckets (getting Della Vedova's minutes) and Ben Scheffley takes a turnover for a 3 point play.  64-55 Simley with 4:18 left.  Wilson puts back a miss for a 3 point play. Weimar converts a turnover for 2.  Simley just trying to hang on and survive.  Simley misses a front end and Wilson makes both ends and the lead is down to 3 with 1:46 left.  Sam Stensgard converts on the break with 32.5 left and the Simley lead is 7.  Ogren counters for 3 with 22.3 left and Scheffley makes 2 free throws to keep the lead at 6.  Della Vedova blocks a 3 with 15 seconds left.  Jack Fahey buries a 3 with 8 seconds left and Hill-Murray calls time.  Fahey steals the inbounds and converts with 5.4 left to cut the lead to 1.  Simley makes 1 of 2 and Hill-Murray comes right back.  Wilson from 30 no good but he chases that shot and grabs his own rebound in the lane.  He puts it back in at the buzzer, referees conference and that basket will count and some how Hill-Murray has forced overtime tied at 76.

Tie game late in the overtime.  Simley holding.  Della Vedova catches a dish in the left short corner and he'll go to hammer that home.  But here comes Wilson from the help side and he smashes that away.   Holy cow, one of the best blocks you'll see all year.  Hill-Murray recovers it and holds.  After a timeout with 15.1 left, Wilson catches in the backcourt and here we go.  He drives and kicks and Hill-Murray can't get a good look so we'll play a 2nd overtime.

Wilson goes strong and finishes thru Della Vedova with 1:15 left in the 2nd OT.  Hill-Murray up 83-82.  Sam Stensgard misses a 3 and its goes over to Hill-Murray with 57.4 left.  On the backcourt inbounds, tick tick tick.  Hill-Murray granted the timeout with 46.8 left as they get a break on a slow 10 count.  That doesn't matter as Matt Amspoker steals that inbounds and takes it for a layup to regain the lead for Simley.  Wilson misses a 3 and a kickout for a good look to Ogren is no good.  Anderson fouled on the rebound and he makes 2 with 16.1 left.  Wilson has the ball tipped away, Amspoker takes that for 2 more.  Simley fans storm the court as they win a thriller 88-83 in double overtime.  What a game!

Post Game
Hill-Murray finishes the season 16-11.  Marshawn Wilson leads with a double double of 31 points and I had 11 boards on my sheet.  Forward Alex Ogren 4 3s on his way to 21 points.  The Pioneers make 12 3s but its not enough.  Give the Pioneers credit for coming back from 18 down at 1 point and they were down 7 inside of 25 seconds left in regulation.

This is Simley's 1st playoff win in 4 seasons.  Sam Stensgard with 15 of his 22 in the 2nd half to lead the Spartans.  Matt Amspoker comes up large off the bench with 14, 8 in the 1st half and 6 in the 2nd OT.  Alex Anderson with 13 off the bench as well.  All but 2 of those after halftime.  Mark Della Vedova 12 including a pair of 3s, Ben Scheffley 10 for great Simley balance.  Simley advances to play Johnson at St. Paul Washington on Tuesday night in the 4AAA semifinals.  Johnson's pressure defense will be an entirely different world for Simley but the Spartans have a bevy of shooters that could punish that if they don't turn it over.  Biggest word there is if.

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