Its a showdown to take early control of the West division of the Northwest Suburban as #3AAAA Armstrong visits #5AAAA Maple Grove. Its whiteout night and we get an appearance from the Maple Grove pep band. AAU guys all over place for this one with no fewer than 5 programs represented. Chanticlear Pizza (sausage) on the menu with a 20 oz bottle of Pepsi.
Number of Teams I've Seen: 67
Beverage Consumption Counter: 470 ounces (30 days, 40 games, 2 scrimmages added on)
Pepsi: 224 ounces
Coke: 80 ounces
Dr. Pepper: 12 ounces
Sprite: 32 ounces
Barq's Root Beer: 20 ounces
A&W Root Beer: 12 ounces
Red Powerade: 60 ounces
Red Gatorade: 20 ounces
Hot Dog Counter: 5
Song of the Day
Sweet Caroline - Neil Diamond (Pep Band)
Brad Davison off to a hot start with an assist for 3, coast to coast for 2, a 3 of his own and a tough right baseline step back fade away. Then a pretty cut for a pair of free throws to finish the 12-0 spurt. 12-2 Maple Grove at 12:35. Sean Burns out on the run with Reed Nikko chasing him down. Its a big challenge at the rim and its Nikko's 2nd foul at the 11:40 mark and he'll sit the rest of the half. Armstrong goes to an extended 1-2-2 and Davison flashes middle for a jumper and dives down the lane for 2 more. 16-5 Crimson at 8:55. But the zone does take some of the starch out of the Crimson. Burns scores in the post and a hustle play nets Jerome Dixon his 2nd 3 of the half. The last 2 hoops go to Maple Grove. Crimson lead at the half 33-19. Armstrong 3-12 FTs in the half. Besides Dixon's 2 bombs, only 3 other outside field goals as Armstrong couldn't buy a shot.
Reed Nikko back in to start the 2nd half and he nets a couple of quick putbacks. Soph guard Tywhon Pickford with another putback and a nice back cut for Maple Grove gives the Crimson a 19 point lead. Davison 3 of 4 FTs then its Nikko tipping home a lob, scoring in the post and another bucket. 50-24 Maple Grove running away and hiding. Burns fouls out with over 9 minutes remaining but it didn't matter on this night. Maple Grove wins 66-52 and it wasn't that close.
Armstrong falls to 8-1 with the loss, 5-1 in the NW Suburban. Evan Nolan 9 points, Jerome Dixon and Sean Burns 6 each. No one in double figures for the Falcons. They start the game 4-19 from the charity stripe. The outside shooting numbers had to be dismal. Overall, a performance the Falcons will want to forget. They have a non-conference game at St. Louis Park before a couple winnable conference games in January. Then the big single game showdown with #2AAAA Champlin Park on January 13th.
Maple Grove is now 8-0 and they lead the NW Suburban West at 6-0. Brad Davison with 20 points and 4 assists for 10 more points. Most of his damage was in the 1st 9 minutes. Reed Nikko was saddled with 1st half foul trouble. He has a major contribution in the 2nd half with all 14 of his points. His post offense is very hesitant right now for a developing big guy. But when that switch turns on (and you have to believe it will), the sky is the limit. Next up is a huge game against #1AAAA Apple Valley on Friday at the Granite City Classic. Nikko and Bertram, Tre Jones and Brad Davison. Yes Please! But the thought of Cam Kirksey guarding Brad Davison is one that I would really like to see. Then they play Rogers on Saturday also in St. Cloud. Then they open the new year at rival Osseo on January 6th.