First Heavyweight Showdown Complete

Prologue
The first event loaded Saturday of the 2014-15 season is in the books.  It included the Hopkins Early Bird Tournament championships and the Anoka-Ramsey Showcase.  I caught both games at Hopkins before the last 3.5 games at Anoka-Ramsey.  A quality day for the waistline with a couple bottles of Coke to keep the beverage counter ticking.  The Walking Taco at Hopkins did not disappoint.  The pizza at Anoka-Ramsey was dinner.

Beverage Consumption Counter: 144 ounces (10 days, 10 games, 2 scrimmages added on)

Pepsi: 32 ounces
Coke: 80 ounces
Sprite: 32 ounces

Hot Dog Counter: 2

Song of the Day
It's 5 O'Clock Somewhere - Alan Jackson (featuring Jimmy Buffett)

Hopkins Tournament
Who needs conference play when you can meet up in an early season 3rd place game?  That was the case for new Metro West members Bloomington Kennedy and Benilde-St. Margaret's.  BSM would jump out to a 14-7 lead behind 10 points from Jalen Floyd.  Kennedy would jump back in it with a pair of bombs from lefty Tyson Chase.  BSM would push the lead up to 12 thanks to a 9-1 run.  Chase would counter with a pair of buckets as Kennedy would close to 3.   A late 3 sends BSM to half leading 34-28.  Chase adds 3 freebies to end a 10-1 run to start the 2nd half and put Kennedy ahead 38-35.  BSM counters with 3 bombs in a 15-4 run.  But the Red Knights can't put the game out reach.  Chase with another bomb to tie the game as Kennedy is back with a 12-2 run.  Sam Baker for 3, Chase a layup after 3 offensive boards and a triple, Baker with a pair of free throws as we go back and forth.  59 all with 6 to play.  Frosh Markel Aune 4 FTs for Kennedy to give them a 67-63 lead inside of 2 minutes with the ball.  But 4 turnovers in the next 90 seconds for the Eagles.  BSM seems Floyd convert the last into a bucket for a 68-67 lead.  Another offensive board and another bomb for Chase. BSM 1 last chance and Matt Lilienthal grabs an offensive board and makes 2 free throws with 1 second left to send the game to OT.  Kennedy makes 12-16 FTs in the OT to seal it.  86-79 Kennedy wins in overtime.  Guard Tyson Chase with 36 points on 7 3s.  Markel Aune 20 points on 14-16 FTs.  For BSM, Jalen Floyd 16 and Sam Baker 12.  Baker sat out a large chunk of the 1st half with foul trouble.

Now to the heavyweight matchup of #4AAAA Champlin Park vs #3AAAA Hopkins.  The initial pace is furious.  Amir Coffey a tough jumper, 4 free throws, a pair of assists for 3 and a monster dunk early.  John Warren drives right baseline for another huge dunk.  29-15 Hopkins after a 12-2 run and we're still at the 11:06 mark of the 1st.  Xavier Johnson off the bench with 2 bombs in that run.  Coffey with a reverse and a pair of bombs.  40-29 Hopkins inside of 8.  But Champlin Park responds with a 24-1 run of their own.  Jeremy Johnson for 3, JT Gibson inside out for 3 more.  Marty Hill runs for a layup, Gibson with a steal for 2 and the lead and he converts another turnover for a 3.  Aaron Kloeppner with a pair of 3s off the bench.  Marty Hill ends it with a jumper.  53-41 Rebels at 3:10.  Coffey with 7 straight Hopkins point to shock their offense back to life.  59-54 Champlin Park at half.

Hopkins slows the pace with a 2-3 zone in the 2nd half.  Champlin Park saw Theo John in foul trouble in the 1st half and he sits with his 4th at the 13:53 mark.  Coffey with a couple of long 3s to break stretches where Champlin Park wanted to pull away.  Xavier Johnson with a layup with 3:20 left to finally bring Hopkins back to even at 81 all.  John back in the game and Hopkins had nobody to guard him inside.  He makes 4-4 FTs and a big swat with 1:45 left to keep Champlin Park up 3.  The Rebels turn it over inside a minute and Coffey misses a 3 to tie inside of 40 seconds left.  Champlin Park makes 1 free throw.  Hopkins gets 2 offensive boards and misses 2 3s.  Then they miss 2 free throws with 18.2 left that would have cut the lead to 2.  Champlin Park goes on the road and gets the outstanding win 90-86.  JT Gibson leads Champlin Park with 26 points, many against very good John Warren defense.  5 other Rebels in double figures 11-14 points.  Amir Coffey goes for 36 with 6 3s.  3 other Royals in double figures.

Anoka-Ramsey Showcase
The big section 8AAAA matchup in game 2 ended with Moorhead getting a 3/4 court buzzer beater to beat Elk River 62-60.  #10AAA Marshall pulled away from Minneapolis South in the 2nd half to win 72-59 in the 3rd game of the day. Then a pair of games using the shot clock.  We had 1 shot clock violation on the day and only 3-4 other possessions where it even came into play.  Spring Lake Park hung around with St. Francis until late in the 1st half.  Then the Saints pull out to a 10 point lead at half and controlled the 2nd half for a 80-56 win.  Blake Moreno with 19 for the Saints in the win.

Roseville took on #9AAA Washburn in the 5th game of the day.  Washburn's without head coach Jamin Cook for this one.  JoBreil Powell with a hot start as he scores 8 of the 1st 9 points for the Millers.  That leads them to a 9-3 lead at the 15:25 mark.  But this one is all Roseville after that, 44-18 the rest of the half.  Jesper Horsted banks in a halfcourt 3 at the horn for a 47-27 halftime lead.  The 2nd half is never a question.  Roseville wins big 88-63.  Jesper Horsted leads Roseville with 21.  JoBreil Powell with 24 to lead Washburn.

The showcase game featured  #9AAAA East Ridge taking on #10AAAA Shakopee.  Steffon Mitchell showing the full game early with a putback, a jumper and the foul and converting a turnover into 1-2 FTs.  He adds another jumper as its all Shakopee early.  Mitchell doing this against a big time athlete in Seth Green.  East Ridge ice cold and getting out worked.  The Raptors don't get their 1st 2 point FG until the 10:40 mark.  Mitchell drives the right baseline and knocks down the 1 foot fade falling toward the baseline from 10 feet, absolutely sick.  2 more in the post and then a fade in the post and he's smacked on the wrist.  E Ridge bench gets the T with that (2 earlier charge calls part of the unhappiness).  On the possession after the 2 technical free throws, Mitchell steps off the post after being driven at and buries the right wing 3.  Great basketball IQ.  Its a 7 point possession and Shakopee leads 35-12 at the 4:05 mark of the 1st.  A late East Ridge run cuts the margin to 40-24 at the half.

Then Shakopee's offense goes south.  Mitchell with a bunch of chances inside that he couldn't finish (a concern I have with him for those who project him as a high D1 guy).  Bobby Franks controlling the paint and after a free throw and putback from Green, the lead is down to 43-38 with 10:14 left.  Shakopee doesn't get their 1st FG of the half until just inside the 10 min mark.  Taylor Triplett for 3 to end a 7-0 Sabers run and the lead is right back to 12 with 8:30 left.  Sid Tomes finally gets a field goal for the Raptors with 7:25 left as he couldn't buy a shot on this night.  Mitchell inside for 2 and an assist for a Triplett layup.  Bobby Remke with the 3 point play with 4:26 left and the lead once again is down to 5, 54-49.  But its Mitchell to Triplett inside out for another 3.  Mitchell closes it out with a putback of a missed front end and 4-6 FTs in the last 1:20.  Shakopee wins 67-59.  Steffon Mitchell leads all scorers with 29.  All 5 starters for East Ridge in double figures, Colin Masgai 14 (3 3s).  Sid Tomes ice cold with 13 points. 

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