Off to #5AA Minnehaha as they host former Tri-Metro foe Brooklyn Center. Minnehaha girls coach (and quality referee) Josh Thurow supervising things and doing the public address. Funny moment during the JV game when he offers Minnehaha JV coach Ryan Johnson some of his popcorn. You can do that with a big lead. Minnehaha usually very good for the beverage counter with the hard to find 24 ounce bottles. But I restrain myself to just a 20 ounce bottle of Gatorade. Put a line thru the hot dog hash marks too. Our song of the day was on the public address and with the Centaurs being the color purple, its only fitting
Number of Teams I've Seen: 48
Beverage Consumption Counter: 316 ounces (20 days, 25 games, 2 scrimmages added on)
Pepsi: 124 ounces
Coke: 80 ounces
Sprite: 32 ounces
Barq's Root Beer: 20 ounces
Red Powerade: 40 ounces
Red Gatorade: 20 ounces
Hot Dog Counter: 5
Song of the Day
Prince - Let's Go Crazy
Trenton McCarthy with a pair of early bombs to push Minnehaha out to a 8-3 lead at 14:40. Teddy Clark with a circus Larry Bird like 2 and the foul from behind the backboard during that stretch. Refs properly wave off the hoop after realizing it went over the corner of the board. Brooklyn Center counters with a 10-0 run in only 90 seconds thanks to 8 from Clark. 13-8 Brooklyn Center at 13:11 as Minnehaha takes time to regroup. Frosh JaVonni Bickham with a a pair of putbacks, Benny Larry off the bench with a pair of triples. Then 7th grader Jalen Suggs converts a turnover into a 3 point play. 8th grader Tyrell Terry with a jumper at 6:55. 25-20 Minnehaha back on top. Then the Centaur hustle takes over. A loose ball turns into a Davonte Prince 3, Clark with a tip in and a free throw on a turnover. Then Clark with a free throw and a steal for 2. 32-30 Brooklyn Center at the half.
Landon Kirkwood a long 3 and a free throw on a turnover. Clark picks McCarthy's pocket and goes for a dunk. 38-30 Centaurs to force a Minnehaha timeout with 13:59 left. Brooklyn Center 3 offensive boards on a possession and it turns into an inbounds where Clark is fouled for a free throw. Another offensive board for a Clark layup. Clark with the foul line jumper and another after yet another hustle and grit offensive rebound. Then a slick curl cut from the Centaurs for a layup. The Centaurs tack on a free throw to end a 7-0 run and expand the lead to 15. 53-38 with 7:39 to go. But the home team always has a run in them and tonight is no different. Suggs with the floater, Jake Richardson puts back a miss after a turnover. Suggs no fear in transition for a clutch 3 to end the 9-0 run. Minnehaha right back in it with momentum, 53-47 down with just under 6 minutes to play. Suggs adds another bucket off a turnover to cut the lead to 5 just inside of 5 minutes left.
Clark counters with a tough hoop, Minnehaha misses and Prince makes a floater. Minnehaha sent to the line twice but converts only 1 of 4 chances. Prince adds 2 free throws to put the lead back to double digits. 60-50 with 2:51 left. Prince with a crazy difficult hoop to counter a McCarthy drive. Minnehaha misses and Clark tips in the miss of a bad shot with 1:20 left. Minnehaha foul for a turnover, but then the chippy part of the night finally gets somebody a T and it happens to be Brooklyn Center for a reaction. But the game is already decided. The rest is free throws. Brookyn Center wins 68-60.
Minnehaha Academy falls to 4-2 overall. Trenton McCarthy and 7th grader Jalen Suggs lead the way with 15 each. Benny Larry adds 3 triples and 11 off the bench. Suggs is a talented scorer but let's stop the nonsense with the Tyus Jones comparisons. Not fair to the kid for crazy adults to hype him that way. Let the kid play. Not to mention he's a totally different player. Tyus had an "It factor" and that's just not something I see with Suggs. As to the game itself, Minnehaha thoroughly outworked as any bouncing ball went to Brooklyn Center. They had some looks inside for Bickham but 8 points and 7 boards is too quiet a night. Minnehaha also hurt themselves with 5 missed free throws down the stretch. The Redhawks get another stiff test against St. Cloud Cathedral in the Tip Off Classic on Saturday. Then Highland Park, 2 at the Bethel tourney and a trip to St. Thomas Academy to open the new year.
Brooklyn Center improves to 4-1 and they have road wins over the current #5 and #8 teams in AA. That goes with a home win over Providence who is somehow getting votes in a people's poll. The way the state poll seems to work, it seems to be a no-brainer to put them into the rankings tomorrow. This is a nice win after knocking off Breck at the buzzer and a tight 38-36 win vs Providence last week. There was a question on a tip in that I gave to Teddy Clark so he ends up with 32 on my sheet (vs 30 in the official book). Davonte Prince adds 11 and Landon Kirkwood adds 10. They have athletes and hustle. Add in a guy like Clark who can score and you have something to work with. 20-36 at the charity stripe could have been a downfall in this one. The lead was big enough to overcome some questionable decision making down the stretch. They stay on the road for 4 more games with the Trinity tournament in the middle of that. They could be 9-1 going into the new year with Community of Peace, Heritage and a weak Trinity tournament field coming up. Then they open the new year with 4 very tough games against Columbia Heights, Concordia, Roosevelt and St. Croix Lutheran. 3 of those being against some of the best in section 4AA.