Off to #2AAA St. Paul Johnson to see the Governors continue their stretch of at least 9 straight games against class AAAA opponents to start the season. Tonight its a visit from another South Suburban foe, Prior Lake. Bethel in to see Austin Heidecker. St. John's in to see Connor Bair. Very quiet crowd. A can of Pepsi keeps the beverage ticker on track. That washes down a pricey but very well done Walking Taco. No Lucas Olson for Prior Lake. No Justus Murphy to man the middle for Johnson.
Number of Teams I've Seen: 51
Beverage Consumption Counter: 340 ounces (23 days, 27 games, 2 scrimmages added on)
Pepsi: 136 ounces
Coke: 80 ounces
Sprite: 32 ounces
Barq's Root Beer: 20 ounces
A&W Root Beer: 12 ounces
Red Powerade: 40 ounces
Red Gatorade: 20 ounces
Hot Dog Counter: 5
Song of the Day
Skid Row - Youth Gone Wild
Its a quick start for Prior Lake. Austin Heidecker with a pair of hoops and Kevin McKiernan buries a kick out for 3. 9-2 Prior Lake less than 3 minutes in. Vern Simmons with a timeout just over a minute in to get his guys attention. The Govs work their way back behind star guard Jalen Mobley. He scoops to the hoop, posts up on the backside on an inbounds (we'll describe that later) and attacks the rack for 2 and a foul. Johnson doing a nice job with their pressure to get back in it as well and with only 8 guys, a small rotation for them. Eric Elliot with a layup and Malik Jones with a drive to tie it. McKiernan for 3 before Elliot gets 4 in a row at the time. 23-22 Johnson with their 1st lead at 6:46. Connor Bair with a bucket and a pair of free throws to keep the lead at 28-24. Johnson makes a run in the last 1:30 of the half. Mobley caps the 7-0 run with a steal for 2. 39-35 Johnson at the half. 11 guys with at least 2 fouls. That forced Prior Lake to go deep into their bench.
Jones puts back an airball, Prior Lake misses a dunk and Jones makes a 3 on that. Elliot cuts for a layup and Mobley scores in the post in nice design. Another bucket pushes the Johnson lead to 13. McKiernan for 3 and an Isaiah Sims drive cut the lead to 8. A 5 second call against Prior Lake ignites a 6-0 run and forces a Lakers timeout down 61-14 with 9:51 left. Mobley with another postup that he turns into an assist for a layup. Elliot sits with his 4th at 9:16. Andre Smith buries a 3 and Mobley goes for a 3 point play after Bair scores against the press. 70-53 Johnson with 8:20 left and they appear in control. Prior Lake starts to find Bair. He cuts for 2 and runs the break for 2 more to force a Johnson time out. Sam Schultze for 3, Bair a putback. McKiernan draws the 4th on Mobley with 5:25 left and makes both. Bair runs and puts home the reverse. A Johnson timeout at 4:48 brings Mobley and Elliot both back in. Bair finishes the 16-0 run with a bomb from the left corner. 70-69 Johnson with 4:25 left.
Smith drives for 2 to break the run. Then Prior Lake turns it over on their next 3 possessions. Jones gets a 3 point play out of 1 of those and that's the only damage. Mobley with an assist to Smith for a clutch 3 with 2:45 left to push the lead to 78-71. Schultze misses an open right wing 3 and Johnson outruns the Lakers back for a 3 on 1 break that results in an Elliot dunk. Another turnover for the Lakers becomes a Jones layup. The rest is Mobley free throws. Johnson wins 94-79.
Prior Lake falls to 1-4 with the loss. Connor Bair scores 18 of his 26 in the 2nd half to lead the Lakers. Kevin McKiernan almost matched Jalen Mobley bucket for bucket in the 1st half with 15 of his 23. Prior Lake turns it over 25 times and many of those very sloppy unforced turnovers. Plus they didn't get enough inside touches. The offense was totally different when McKiernan didn't handle the ball. The Lakers continue South Suburban play next week at Rosemount and Shakopee.
Johnson improves to 5-0 overall with all 5 wins against AAAA opponents. Jalen Mobley with 34 points and 7 boards on my sheet. I liked how they spread the floor and put him in the post, but I wish it was for more than a handful of possessions. Malik Jones with 19, Andre Smith 18 points, Eric Elliot 15 to add balance. The concept of running a guy back to double McKiernan in the backcourt was extremely effective. That took Prior Lake out of their stuff. The Govs get their biggest test so far with a trip to Eden Prairie on Tuesday.
Play of the Day
This is the play that got Mobley on the backside on the post in the first half. Its a triangle set with a guy at the nail, Mobley on the backside block, an athlete at the front of the rim and a post on the ball side block. Guy at the nail is an outlet, athlete clears to the strong side corner. Mobley ducks in hard on the backside. Throw it to him for a quick isolation inside. Reminds me of something Orono's Barry Wohler ran for Jordan Smith once upon a time.