Cadets too much for Crusaders

Prologue
Off to one of the less traveled buildings on The Czar's schedule as I visit St. Croix Lutheran for their non-conference game with #3AAA St. Thomas Academy.  Overflow crowd onhand.  I end up behind the home students so its stand up, sit down, fight fight fight.  Ok, maybe not the fight part but they were out of hot dogs when I attempted to up that count which is worth fighting about.  Note: Czar is a pacifist, I don't condone violence people.   My waistline is suffering in the early going of this season.  Best story was the train ride home being held up by protesters taking up half of University Ave in St. Paul.

Beverage Consumption Counter: 104 ounces (6 days, 4 games, 2 scrimmages added on)

Pepsi: 32 ounces
Coke: 40 ounces
Sprite: 32 ounces

Hot Dog Counter: 2

Song of the Day
Long Black Train - Josh Turner

Game Time
Jake Wright with a steal for St. Thomas that he turns into a pair of free throws and sends St. Croix Lutheran point guard Aage Rovney to the bench with his 2nd foul.  That ties the game at 8 all at the 13:42 mark.  One of the few effective actions for St. Croix Lutheran was the side pick and roll.  Trenton Krueger converts that for a 11-8 lead.  Then its St. Thomas off on a run.  Forward Ryan Jacobsen on the post to put the Cadets on top.  Kai Endahl for 3 and Jacobsen with a transition bomb off a turnover.  Rovney back into stop the bleeding and immediately makes a pair of freebies.  Endahl with another triple and Nate Chaffee finishes the run with a pair of free throws.  It's a 15-2 Cadets run in just under 4 minutes.  St. Thomas up 23-13 at 7:34.  Ade Lamu cuts it to 5 with a pair of free throws and a pullup jumper.  Jacobsen with a steal and dunk to keep the lead at 7 late in the half.  Then Jacobsen with a hustle play off his own air ball and converts a free throw.  That's also Krueger's 3rd foul.  Not a big play but typical of the night where St. Thomas outhustled the Crusaders.  34-30 St. Thomas Academy at the break.  Jacobsen with 14, Lamu with 10.

Rovney for 3 to cut the lead to 3 on the 1st possession for St. Croix Lutheran.  But Jacobsen carved up the defense all night.  He opened the half with flex cut for a layup.  The counters Rovney's hoop with a steal for 2 and then a pretty weak side curl for another layup.  St. Thomas Academy goes 2-3 zone that totally puts things out of whack.  St. Croix Lutheran tries to counter with their 1-3-1 (usually used only on BLOBs) but its Jacobsen on the backside for another layup.  Timeout Crusaders as the lead is back up to 12 with 14:54 left.  Chaffee picks the zone apart for a layup on the backside again after some patient offense.  Jacobsen 2 more cuts for a layup and a free throw.  Endahl converts a free throw to conclude an 18-3 run in 6:19.  54-36 Cadets with 10:41 left and the outcome is never really in doubt.  Lamu gets the crowd's attention by going hard on the left baseline and dunking on Jacobsen for a 3 point play.  The Crusaders start to figure out the 2-3 as Rovney gets a high post kickout for 3 and Krueger puts back a miss to cut it to 12.  But Endahl goes Curly Neal style to avoid some Crusader defenders and finds Jacobsen for a layup before knocking down a 3 to push the lead back to 18.  St. Thomas Academy wins 70-53.  Funny moment from the St. Thomas student section late in the game.  During a free throw, they pulled out the classic Wayne's World intro from SNL  Outstanding.

Post game
St. Croix Lutheran falls to 1-1 with the loss.  Aage Rovney with 3 triples on his way to 17 points to lead the Crusaders.  Ade Lamu with 15 including the strong dunk and he almost had 1 more to match it.  Trenton Kreuger 10 points to round out the scoring for the big 3.  But the rest of the roster only gives them 11 and only 4 from the bench (2 more in garbage time that I'm not counting).  Its a very short rotation of only 7 guys.  Interesting to see Krueger at the top of their 1-3-1 and Lamu on the wing with a smaller guy in the middle.  I'd like to see Lamu on top and Krueger in the middle of that and let them go get every rebound.  Lamu's athleticism would be very effective at the top of that.  They did have a couple of effective sets.  I mentioned the side pick and roll (though I'd like to see a post look first). They also would run a ball reversal after starting by feeding Lamu on the wing.  Lamu would get a back screen from Rovney would then come off a double for a 3.  Lamu got a pair of inside looks from it and Rovney had a 3 from it.  Very similar to what Minnetonka likes to run to start most games and 2nd halves with.  Defensively no real success in their man or in the 1-3-1 as St. Thomas got a truckload of easy buckets.  The Crusaders continue their difficult 4 game homestand with Simley and Fridley next week.  Then it ends with the big section showdown against St. Paul Academy on December 9th.

St. Thomas Academy is now 1-0 with the win.  Ryan Jacobsen slices and dices the defense for 27 points.  He had a block or 2 and a steal or 2 to go with what I figure was double digit rebounds.  Kai Endahl with 14 of his 22 in the 2nd half.  That included 4 3s on the night.  Nate Chaffee with half of his 12 points at the charity stripe.  The Cadets also have a thin rotation of only 7 guys (maybe an 8th).  TJ Wright with the only 3 bench points.  Their starters will have to carry a heavy load.  You have to like the toughness and moving the ball that the Cadets show.  I liked their offense better when they got out of their high/low stuff and got more into a motion set.  The Cadets have a pair of tough home games next week with #10AAA Washburn and an Eau Claire Memorial group that returns everybody from last year.  Then they finish the week by visiting Roosevelt on Saturday.  That starts a 3 game road swing.

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