The start of the holiday swing

Prologue
The Czar is back in the metro after a week on the road seeing 12 games in 4 non-metro locations over Christmas week.  The Crown Prince and The Emperor even got into the holiday hoops spirit with me.  I picked a good one for The Emperor as we saw Mankato recruit Bailey Williams go for 35 in a win despite giving up 41 to Bangor (WI)'s Canon O'Heron who dominated inside.  Then it was off to Winona and St. Cloud for holiday tourneys.  What a classic between Champlin Park and Apple Valley with Champlin Park laying claim to the top spot in the poll now.  Remember folks, they won at Hopkins with Amir Coffey going for 36.  JT Gibson once again amazing for the Rebels as he went off for 25 of his 38 in the second half.  The Mr. Basketball criteria are always somewhat annoyingly vague but I'd be hard pressed to say anyone has a better case at this moment in time than Gibson.  He was amazing in the wins over Hopkins, CDH and Apple Valley.

Number of Teams I've Seen: 88 (25 courts)

Beverage Consumption Counter: 564.9 ounces (40 days, 54 games, 2 scrimmages added on)

Pepsi: 312 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
Water: 500 ml

Hot Dog Counter: 5

Song of the Day
Billy Don't Lose My Number - Phil Collins

Game 1: Rosemount vs #5AAA St. Thomas Academy
Now back to the metro, its the final day of the U of St. Thomas tournament (formerly the Catholic Spirit).  In the 3rd place game, #5AAA St. Thomas Academy jumped on Rosemount 13-2 behind a 3 point play and a 3 pointer from Kai Endahl.  But Rosemount would control the rest of the half.  St. Thomas took a bunch of quick and ill-advised shots and never got any rhythm.  The Cadets would go on a 7 minute drought while Rosemount went on a 15-0 run, all without a timeout.  A late gamble leads to a Kyle Kaupa 3 and Jared Hanson beats the buzzer for another Irish 3.  32-25 Rosemount at the break.

A 13-3 run would open the game up for Rosemount.  Hanson with the hoop and harm cutting off the high post and Kaupa with a nice backcut for a layup.  49-31 Irish with 10 minutes left.  St. Thomas quickly responds with bombs from Joe Harvey, Kai Endahl and Andrew Mayleben.  Ryan Jacobsen puts back a miss to end the 11-0 run.  Timeout Rosemount as the lead is down to 49-42 with 8:09 to play.  The officiating bothered St. Thomas all night and out of the timeout, we get a bump for a no call and that's enough of that from the Cadets.  Whack!  St. Thomas can't get closer than that 7 point mark.  Finally with 1:32 left its a foul and a T that result in Logan Halvorsen making 4 free throws.  Rosemount wins 65-57.  Ryan Jacobsen leads all scorers with 21 for St. Thomas Academy.  Rosemount with 5 in double figures led by Jared Hanson's 17 and 14 from Logan Halvorson.  St. Thomas Academy has to be disappointed with the tourney as they had 2 games they could have won and they leave 0-2.

Game 1: Cretin-Derham Hall vs #4AAA Hill-Murray
Marshawn Wilson carrying the Hill-Murray offense early.  Off the ball screen for 3, then fouled on a 3 for 2-3 free throws and again for a chance at a 4 point play but he missed the free throw.  10 quick points and an assist for 3 more.  17-16 CDH at the 9:56 mark.  Jordan Ammons around the ball for CDH.  He converts a turnover, knocks down a jumper off an offensive board and he'll finish another turnover for a 3 point play.  Joe Rosga adds a late 3 after a Pioneers turnover to send CDH to half up 41-34.  Ammons with 13 in the half to match the 13 from Wilson.

Inside out and its the extra pass for a Simeon Davis 3 to pull Hill-Murray within 45-41 early in the second half.  But CDH would pull away from there.  Rosga flaring for 3 off a high-low set (secondary option), Neumann in transition for an NBA 3.  Rosga with 2 free throws and a nice cut for a layup.  Timeout Hill-Murray.  Neumann finds frosh Daniel Oturu for a layup to push the lead to 59-42 at the 9:40 mark (14-1 run).  Hill-Murray with a quick 7 point spurt thanks to 5 from Wilson.  CDH slams the door.  Rosga with a 3 point play, Neumann both ends of the bonus and another assist to Oturu.  Then Oturu misses a dunk, gets it back, calmly pivots once then again and smashes it home with 2 hands.  Rosga adds 2 free throws to push the lead back to 19.  That run is 11-2 to finally put it out of reach for good.  Oturu adds a bunch of easy ones late to pad his stat line.  Cretin-Derham Hall wins the championship game 87-71.  Marshawn Wilson leads all scorers with 27 points.  I also had him for 10 rebounds before fouling out late.  Joe Rosga leads Cretin-Derham Hall with 25.  Sam Neumann with a double-double of 15 points and 13 boards to go with 4 assists on my sheet.  Frosh Daniel Oturu with 18 easy points.

All Tournament Team
Ryan Jacobsen - St. Thomas Academy
Jared Hanson - Rosemount
Sam Westby - Hill-Murray
Jordan Ammons - Cretin-Derham Hall
Sam Neumann - Cretin-Derham Hall

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