The battle of Spartans

Its another Wednesday in the Metro East as Mahtomedi visits Simley in the conference opener for both squads.  Tartan, Sibley and North St. Paul all scouting (they all opened league play last night).  The long trip means we only have time to up the beverage counter with a can of root beer.  Our song of the day is from halftime. 

Number of Teams I've Seen: 50

Beverage Consumption Counter: 328 ounces (21 days, 26 games, 2 scrimmages added on)

Pepsi: 124 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
Beyonce - All the Single Ladies

Game Time
The Stensgard brothers Jack and Sam start quickly in this one for Simley.  Jack with a pair of pull ups and Sam knocks down a kickout for 3  Mahtomedi post (and future Kentucky baseball pitcher) Sean Hjelle with a kickout for 3 and a putback.  Sam with 5 in a row thanks to another 3.  Hjelle inside for 2 and its 14-12 Mahtomedi at the 7:30 mark.  Another inside 2 for Hjelle at 4:40, 17-16 Simley.  Simley continues their spurt with some productive play from Derrick Gray and Matthew Amspoker off the bench.  Jack Stensgard adds a tough 2 at the halftime buzzer.  27-17 Simley as they end the half on a 15-3 run over the last 7:20.  Nobody besides Hjelle scores for Mahtomedi in the last 10:45 of the half.

Lucas Buller with a pair of buckets to cut the Simley lead to 8 with 16:27 left.    The lead hovers there with both Stensgards knocking down triples.  Sam Mustar with a triple and a Hjelle bucket with 11:30 left keeps Mahtomedi within 39-31.  Then the critical run to seal it as Simley goes to some run and jump at half court.  Gray with a floater, Jack with a drive and another bucket off a turnover.  Another turnover is a Sam 3 point play and then he runs for a layup that he reverses home with the foul.  Then he's lost in transition and the straight away 3 concludes a 15-5 run.  54-36 Simley with 7:50 left.  Sam Newman makes 5 of 6 free throws to cut the lead to 13.  Then Simley goes 4 corners with the Stensgard and Ben Scheffley up high.  The outcome never really in doubt.  Simley wins 66-48.

Post Game
Mahtomedi falls to 2-3 overall and 0-1 in the Metro East with the loss.  Junior forward Lucas Buller leads with 13 points.  Center Sean Hjelle adds 11.  The guard play is experienced but no real true point guard and no really good shooter.  They aren't physical or athletic and really struggle to score.  There are 3 winnable games coming up with 4 straight at home including South St. Paul, Sibley and North Branch with Tartan thrown in.

Simley improves to 3-1 overall, 1-0 in the Metro East.  Jack Stensgard with 21 points, Sam Stensgard with 22.  23 from the rest of the roster.  They will need to find an extra scorer as the season goes on.  Alex Anderson is their main front court presence tonight and wanted nothing to do with Hjelle's length inside (understandable).  I liked the move to 4 corners down the stretch.  Fits their roster well and you don't want to foul any of those 3 guards.  Both Stensgards can create out of that too against many teams.  They host North St. Paul on Friday before a quick turnaround against Benilde-St. Margaret's at noon on Saturday in the Tip Off Classic.

Play of the Day
Today's play of the day is Zephyr from Mahtomedi.  Horns set, corner pops to the wing to catch.  Point guard follows his pass to the corner.  The wing catch turns into a double side ball screen that is really a decoy for a back door look on the opposite side.  If that back door isn't there, the posts are setting a double for the point guard coming back to the top for 3.

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