2014 Tartan and Augsburg Finals

Back to back long championships days at Tartan and Augsburg mean plenty of Pepsi to stay awake.  But there's no finer way to ring in the new year.  Sights and sounds from all 8 games can be found below.

Number of Teams I've Seen: 96 (27 courts)

Beverage Consumption Counter: 684.9 ounces (42 days, 62 games, 2 scrimmages added on)

Pepsi: 432 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: 6

Song of the Day
Auld Lang Syne

The Blowouts
Glencoe-Silver Lake blew out Prairie Seeds Academy 87-50 in the Tartan 7th place game.  Center Garrett Ober 23 points in the loss  Mason Goettl adds 21.  Prairie Seeds throws in a enough 3s to avoid running time until 3 minutes left.  Ober with a nice game knocking down numerous jumpers.  He had Hamline and UW-River Falls watching him.

Henry Sibley hung with Andover for most of the 1st half.  But a 16-4 Huskies run to end the 1st half put the game out of reach.  Nick Eliason with a back breaking 3 at the halftime buzzer to end that run.  Andover would add the 1st 7 of the 2nd half to stretch the lead to 50-26.  Andover cruises from there 86-55 to win the Augsburg 7th place game.  Sibley with only 1 senior on the roster so they're building for next year.  Junior Corbin Johnson 19 points off the Andover bench.

Then another surprising blowout loss for Minneapolis North as they lost 69-37 to Wayzata in the Augsburg 5th place game.  The proverbial not enough basketballs to go around problem is really hitting North hard right now.  The individual offense leads to lazy defense both in the full court and the half court.   North went the last 8:25 of the 1st half without a field goal and Wayzata closed the 1st half on a 17-1 run to open a 16 point halftime lead.  A late 10-0 run would complete the blowout and clear the benches.  Tyler Johnson 11 points to lead north.  Jamil Jackson continues to struggle as he had another off night of 6 points with ice cold shooting.  Wayzata gets 5 in double figures with Jack Sowada's 13 leading.  Wayzata with 3 sophomores contributing to a roster of all juniors. 

The other close games before titles
#9AAA Chisago Lakes held off Spring Lake Park 57-52 in the Tartan 5th place game.  Spring Lake Park would be within 6 with 7:41 left before a 7-0 Chisago Lakes run put the game out of reach.  A couple of late 3s cut the final margin.  Lots of high/low action from Chisago Lakes.  That helped Dylan Wood lead all scorers with 18 points.  Zach Ojile 13 points to lead Spring Lake Park.  But I liked junior post Carter Duncan and junior point guard Ethan Hickcox for Chisago Lakes.  They combined for 17 points.  Duncan is mobile and solid inside.  Hickcox is a sound PG who is big at 6'3".

Forest Lake defeated Columbia Heights 56-51 in the Tartan 3rd place game.  Connor Knutson fairly quiet for Forest Lake but he held Heights star Jarrett Baptiste without a field goal. He also switched over onto Montroy Scott after Scott took over in the 2nd half and held him down.  Ernest Dixon with a 3 off of 2 extra passes for a 49-39 Heights lead with 7:20 left.  But Heights would not score another field goal.  Forest Lake ends the game on a 17-2 spurt to win.  Heights tried to play keep away down the stretch and lost their aggressiveness.  Forest Lake made clutch shots and clutch free throws to steal the victory.  Montroy Scott finishes with 22 points to lead all scorers.  Noah Alm 5 points in the final run to finish with 15 to lead Forest Lake.  Connor Knutson and Brent Kinder with 12 each.

#2AAA St. Paul Johnson defeated Chanhassen 86-75 in the Augsburg 3rd place game.  Johnson looked like they would put the game away but a foul for free throws and a technical on top of it would allow Chanhassen to draw within 70-69 with 4:39 to play.  Johnson would score the next 7 points thanks in part to a pair of putbacks.  Joey Witthus would bury back to back 3s to cut the lead to 2 with 2 minutes left.  But the last 9 points of the game go to Johnson.  Jalen Mobley with a clutch 3 point play followed by a pair of layups would put it out of reach.  Joey Witthus with 7 3s and 29 points to lead all scorers.  Jalen Mobley 23 points, 16 after half, to lead 5 Govs in double figures.  Justus Murphy 14 points off the Govs bench.  Lake Region in the house to watch the Govs play.

The Championship Games
In the Tartan championship game, Tartan defeated Centennial 68-63 in a very entertaining game.  Tyler Peterson worked a ton in the post and also outside for Centennial.  Tartan struggled containing him inside for a large part of the game.  Combine that with early Jordan Horn foul trouble and Centennial would have a 5 point lead before a Horn 3 beat the halftime buzzer.  Horn would then completely control the 2nd half and coach Klingsporn ran lots of iso and double high ball screen action for him.  Horn would start with a pair of assists for Jake Lyle 3s to put Tartan back on top, then Horn for 3 on the iso for a 5 point Tartan lead early in the 2nd half.  Soph Alex Facon with some very good minutes for Centennial off the bench as well.  Peterson would foul out on a dicey charge call with Tartan up 1 and 1:19 left.  Tyler Peterson 22 points on 9-23 shooting with 7 rebounds and 5 assists on my sheet.  Alex Facon with 16 points for the Cougars.  Have to like the potenial of the lanky lefty.  Jordan Horn 21 points and a bunch of created offense for others.  Joevon Walker added 18 points.   Big effort from DaNario Jackson of Tartan fighting Peterson inside most of the night.

In the Augsburg Championship game, #10AAAA Hopkins def Eastview 70-55.  Eastview had a hot shooting first half with 8 3s, 4 from Drew Guebert to take a 33-22 lead to halftime.  The second half saw Hopkins turn up the defensive pressure and John Warren come to life.  Eastview ran their stuff easily in the first half but the pressure turned them over in the 2nd half.  Warren asserted himself on offense for 23 of his 31 points.  Hopkins holds Eastview to 6 field goals in the half.  They win the 2nd half 48-22.  Guebert's last 2 3s would lead a 8-0 run to put Eastview on top 45-44 with 9:18 left but all Hopkins after that.  John Warren leads all scorers with 31.  Ishmael El-Amin adds 12 and Vinnie Shahid 14 for Hopkins.  Drew Guebert with 6 3s and 18 points for Eastview.  But he never got a post touch.  Keegan Dickson adds 13.  He had Hamline looking at him today.

Tartan All-Tournament Team
Keaton Anderson - Glencoe-Silver Lake
Ethan Hickcox - Chisago Lakes
Zach Ojile - Spring Lake Park
Montroy Scott - Columbia Heights
Noah Alm - Forest Lake
Connor Knutson - Forest Lake
Tyler Peterson - Centennial
Theo Johnson - Centennial
Alex Facon - Centennial
Joevon Walker - Tartan
Jake Lyle - Tartan
Jordan Horn - Tartan

Augsburg All- Tournament Team
Johnny Beeninga - Wayzata
Joey Witthus - Chanhassen
Jalen Mobley - Johnson
Drew Guebert - Eastview
Xavier Johnson - Hopkins
John Warren (MVP) - Hopkins

The start of the holiday swing

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

December 28, 2014 CzarPI

This is the 1st CzarPI of the 2014-15 season (see CzarPI Explained here). It includes games through Saturday, December 27th, 2014. The value in () after the CzarPI value is the team's strength of schedule ranking within their class

Class AAAA
  1. Champlin Park - 63.06 (25)
  2. Eden Prairie - 62.23 (34)
  3. Apple Valley - 60.67 (17)
  4. Eastview - 60.49 (15)
  5. Hopkins - 57.3 (2)
  6. Wayzata - 57.03 (53)
  7. Robbinsdale Armstrong - 57.02 (48)
  8. St. Michael-Albertville - 56.98 (19)
  9. Maple Grove - 56.71 (52)
  10. Shakopee - 56.54 (38)
  11. Minnetonka - 56.53 (23)
  12. Roseville - 56.2 (29)
  13. Chaska - 56.19 (24)
  14. Moorhead - 55.92 (55)
  15. Duluth East - 55.77 (56)
  16. Bloomington Jefferson - 55.32 (44)
  17. East Ridge - 54.93 (58)
  18. Mounds View - 54.85 (31)
  19. Hastings - 53.98 (45)
  20. Edina - 53.93 (33)
  21. Centennial - 53.73 (35)
  22. Cretin-Derham Hall - 53.45 (43)
  23. Tartan - 53.09 (63)
  24. St. Cloud Tech - 52.85 (51)
  25. Rochester John Marshall - 52.49 (64)
  26. Forest Lake - 51.63 (14)
  27. Northfield - 51.32 (61)
  28. Andover - 51.16 (22)
  29. Lakeville North - 50.81 (7)
  30. Blaine - 50.15 (47)
  31. Rogers - 49.8 (20)
  32. White Bear Lake - 49.64 (27)
  33. St. Francis - 49.57 (49)
  34. Rochester Mayo - 48.17 (57)
  35. Elk River - 47.74 (30)
  36. Burnsville - 47.31 (36)
  37. Brainerd - 47.07 (46)
  38. Osseo - 45.89 (39)
  39. Stillwater Area - 45.59 (12)
  40. Buffalo - 45.03 (21)
  41. Chanhassen - 44.67 (18)
  42. Mahtomedi - 44.66 (62)
  43. Owatonna - 43.28 (28)
  44. Bloomington Kennedy - 43.22 (5)
  45. Eagan - 40.61 (1)
  46. St. Louis Park - 40.06 (42)
  47. Minneapolis South - 39.53 (54)
  48. Prior Lake - 39.48 (11)
  49. Cambridge-Isanti - 37.78 (60)
  50. Rosemount - 37.76 (10)
  51. Robbinsdale Cooper - 36.89 (3)
  52. North St. Paul - 36 (40)
  53. Farmington - 35.79 (6)
  54. Park of Cottage Grove - 35.22 (13)
  55. Lakeville South - 33.56 (9)
  56. Coon Rapids - 32.31 (37)
  57. Woodbury - 31.91 (16)
  58. Anoka - 31.7 (26)
  59. Irondale - 31.22 (59)
  60. Park Center - 28.27 (32)
  61. Bemidji - 22.72 (4)
  62. Minneapolis Southwest - 0 (8)
  63. Rochester Century - 0 (41)
  64. Henry Sibley - 0 (50)
Class AAA
  1. Marshall - 61.34 (30)
  2. Detroit Lakes - 57.41 (46)
  3. DeLaSalle - 57.08 (2)
  4. Albany - 55.49 (48)
  5. Red Wing - 54.74 (59)
  6. Hill-Murray - 54.57 (54)
  7. Hermantown - 54.4 (52)
  8. St. Thomas Academy - 53.61 (5)
  9. Waconia - 53.6 (23)
  10. St. Paul Johnson - 53.34 (44)
  11. Orono - 53.28 (33)
  12. Rocori - 52.78 (22)
  13. Austin - 52.46 (17)
  14. Delano - 50.77 (60)
  15. Chisago Lakes Area - 50.71 (43)
  16. Fergus Falls - 50.7 (13)
  17. Monticello - 50.37 (28)
  18. Mankato East - 50.36 (9)
  19. Hutchinson - 50.18 (58)
  20. Simley - 50.08 (18)
  21. Cloquet - 49.89 (49)
  22. Minneapolis Washburn - 49.38 (20)
  23. Alexandria - 49.36 (34)
  24. New Prague - 48.04 (16)
  25. Sauk Rapids-Rice - 47.72 (15)
  26. St. Cloud Apollo - 47.39 (14)
  27. Columbia Heights - 46.15 (61)
  28. St. Anthony Village - 46.01 (47)
  29. Little Falls - 45.68 (62)
  30. Thief River Falls - 44.7 (40)
  31. Becker - 44.68 (42)
  32. Grand Rapids - 44.54 (12)
  33. Mankato West - 44.28 (25)
  34. Mound Westonka - 43.93 (29)
  35. Sartell-St. Stephen - 43.73 (38)
  36. Dassel-Cokato - 43.45 (55)
  37. Holy Family Catholic - 43.16 (26)
  38. Minneapolis Henry - 42.55 (24)
  39. Benilde-St. Margaret's - 42.11 (19)
  40. Fridley - 41.08 (57)
  41. Zimmerman - 40.41 (45)
  42. Stewartville - 40.1 (56)
  43. South St. Paul - 38.77 (37)
  44. St. Paul Harding - 37.87 (50)
  45. Kasson-Mantorville - 37.76 (63)
  46. Faribault - 37.57 (51)
  47. Princeton - 37.38 (64)
  48. Willmar - 37.23 (31)
  49. Winona - 36.92 (10)
  50. Hibbing - 36.81 (21)
  51. Duluth Denfeld - 36.73 (7)
  52. Spring Lake Park - 34.87 (39)
  53. Richfield - 32.5 (53)
  54. New Ulm - 32.25 (32)
  55. Totino-Grace - 29.87 (11)
  56. Holy Angels - 0 (36)
  57. St. Paul Central - 0 (1)
  58. St. Paul Como Park - 0 (3)
  59. Worthington - 0 (4)
  60. Albert Lea - 0 (6)
  61. St. Paul Highland Park - 0 (8)
  62. Big Lake - 0 (27)
  63. North Branch - 0 (35)
  64. Blake - 0 (41)
Class AA

  1. Maple River - 59.49 (48)
  2. St. Croix Lutheran - 58.55 (51)
  3. Eden Valley-Watkins - 58.37 (83)
  4. Melrose - 58.34 (84)
  5. Barnum - 57.63 (92)
  6. Brooklyn Center - 57.59 (65)
  7. Esko - 56.67 (10)
  8. Lake City - 56.44 (108)
  9. New Richland-H-E-G - 56.08 (20)
  10. Gibbon-Fairfax-Winthrop - 55.91 (114)
  11. Hawley - 55.81 (47)
  12. Waterville-Elysian-Morristown - 55.73 (18)
  13. Crookston - 55.59 (117)
  14. St. Cloud Cathedral - 55.4 (88)
  15. Tracy-Milroy-Balaton - 54.97 (58)
  16. Breck - 54.87 (52)
  17. Redwood Valley - 54.7 (5)
  18. St. Charles - 54.64 (106)
  19. Minnehaha Academy - 54.54 (33)
  20. Rochester Lourdes - 54.42 (42)
  21. Breckenridge - 54.07 (61)
  22. Waseca - 53.79 (107)
  23. Sauk Centre - 53.73 (36)
  24. Caledonia - 53.46 (121)
  25. Minneapolis Roosevelt - 53.37 (34)
  26. Braham - 53.36 (122)
  27. Jordan - 52.81 (50)
  28. Maple Lake - 52.69 (91)
  29. Dover-Eyota - 52.32 (55)
  30. Watertown-Mayer - 51.58 (79)
  31. Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton - 51.32 (60)
  32. Long Prairie-Grey Eagle - 50.78 (119)
  33. Trinity School - 50.38 (116)
  34. Byron - 50.04 (86)
  35. Jackson County Central - 49.93 (9)
  36. Pipestone Area - 49.78 (37)
  37. Plainview-Elgin-Millville - 49.47 (68)
  38. Pequot Lakes - 49.44 (110)
  39. Tri-City United - 49.37 (63)
  40. Park Rapids Area - 49.22 (22)
  41. Concordia Academy-Roseville - 49.02 (115)
  42. Litchfield - 48.98 (11)
  43. Moose Lake-Willow River - 48.78 (72)
  44. Windom Area - 48.58 (53)
  45. Montevideo - 48.58 (3)
  46. Minnewaska Area - 48.48 (54)
  47. New Life Academy - 48.29 (73)
  48. Glencoe-Silver Lake - 47.72 (112)
  49. Pillager - 47.43 (45)
  50. Rockford - 46.88 (90)
  51. Staples-Motley - 46.86 (41)
  52. Pine Island - 46.66 (69)
  53. International Falls - 46.54 (103)
  54. Proctor - 46.41 (6)
  55. Crosby-Ironton - 46.29 (8)
  56. Pine City - 46.08 (75)
  57. Frazee - 45.9 (19)
  58. Virginia - 45.69 (99)
  59. Morris Area/Chokio-Alberta - 45.38 (35)
  60. New London-Spicer - 45.1 (13)
  61. Chatfield - 44.84 (30)
  62. Fairmont - 44.76 (38)
  63. Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial - 44.51 (101)
  64. St. Croix Prep - 44.47 (56)
  65. Providence Academy - 44.18 (62)
  66. Luverne - 43.9 (111)
  67. Great River - 43.86 (104)
  68. Annandale - 43.83 (17)
  69. St. Agnes - 43.77 (98)
  70. LeSueur-Henderson - 43.7 (95)
  71. Martin County West - 43.43 (82)
  72. Perham - 43.29 (1)
  73. FAIR School - 43.08 (125)
  74. Paynesville Area - 43.03 (66)
  75. La Crescent - 42.74 (21)
  76. St. Paul Washington - 42.62 (120)
  77. Hinckley-Finlayson - 42.56 (59)
  78. Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted - 42.26 (70)
  79. St. Paul Academy - 41.69 (7)
  80. Eveleth-Gilbert - 41.45 (127)
  81. Deer River - 40.98 (109)
  82. Roseau - 40.85 (96)
  83. St. Peter - 40.4 (40)
  84. St. John's Prep - 40.23 (4)
  85. Pierz - 40.08 (14)
  86. Triton - 39.93 (71)
  87. BOLD - 39.77 (85)
  88. Rush City - 39.53 (94)
  89. Barnesville - 39.45 (123)
  90. St. Paul Humboldt - 39.18 (129)
  91. Lac qui Parle Valley - 39.15 (87)
  92. Blue Earth Area - 39.14 (49)
  93. Sibley East - 38.39 (24)
  94. Prairie Seeds Academy - 38.35 (105)
  95. Benson - 38.32 (81)
  96. Medford - 38 (67)
  97. Cannon Falls - 37.74 (27)
  98. Yellow Medicine East - 37.53 (64)
  99. Mounds Park Academy - 37.35 (76)
  100. Two Harbors - 36.84 (124)
  101. Hayfield - 36.76 (100)
  102. St. James Area - 36.09 (118)
  103. Lewiston-Altura - 36.08 (93)
  104. Badger/Greenbush-Middle River - 35.95 (80)
  105. Milaca - 35.81 (74)
  106. Holdingford - 34.42 (78)
  107. Minneota - 33.85 (15)
  108. Kenyon-Wanamingo - 33.78 (126)
  109. Bagley - 33.26 (57)
  110. Aitkin - 32.89 (44)
  111. Foley - 31.97 (28)
  112. Mayer Lutheran - 31.14 (31)
  113. East Grand Forks - 31.11 (77)
  114. Warroad - 30.28 (46)
  115. Winona Cotter - 29.95 (25)
  116. Belle Plaine - 29.8 (16)
  117. Spectrum - 27.1 (128)
  118. Duluth Marshall - 26.76 (43)
  119. Greenway - 25.21 (113)
  120. Mora - 22.92 (26)
  121. Norwood-Young America - 22.16 (23)
  122. Pelican Rapids - 20.65 (102)
  123. St. Paul Prep - 0 (130)
  124. Mesabi East - 0 (97)
  125. Osakis - 0 (2)
  126. Wadena-Deer Creek - 0 (12)
  127. International School of MN - 0 (29)
  128. Zumbrota-Mazeppa - 0 (32)
  129. Minneapolis Edison - 0 (39)
  130. Hmong Academy - 0 (89)

Class A
  1. Canby - 59.44 (56)
  2. Cass Lake-Bena - 59.06 (3)
  3. Parkers Prairie - 59.02 (15)
  4. United South Central - 58.77 (65)
  5. Nevis - 57.81 (88)
  6. Park Christian - 56.62 (63)
  7. Floodwood - 56.19 (109)
  8. Randolph - 55.69 (79)
  9. Southwest Christian - 55.16 (101)
  10. Springfield - 54.52 (60)
  11. Kittson County Central - 54.5 (74)
  12. Battle Lake - 54.11 (132)
  13. Mountain Iron-Buhl - 54.03 (134)
  14. Minneapolis North - 54 (96)
  15. Rushford-Peterson - 53.97 (135)
  16. Central MN Christian - 53.76 (137)
  17. Red Lake - 53.71 (97)
  18. Nova Classical Academy - 53.65 (139)
  19. Browerville - 53.6 (19)
  20. West Central Area - 53.54 (141)
  21. North Woods - 52.81 (72)
  22. Mountain Lake Area - 52.78 (110)
  23. Win-E-Mac - 52.56 (13)
  24. Pine River-Backus - 52.52 (59)
  25. Maranatha Christian - 51.84 (147)
  26. Northern Freeze - 51.57 (36)
  27. Ortonville - 51.46 (20)
  28. Waubun - 50.81 (123)
  29. Lakeview Christian - 50.75 (82)
  30. Adrian - 50.69 (70)
  31. Lakeview - 50.6 (67)
  32. Kimball Area - 50.35 (127)
  33. Warren-Alvarado-Oslo - 50.25 (95)
  34. Hills-Beaver Creek - 50.07 (64)
  35. Minnesota Transitions Charter - 50.07 (115)
  36. Brandon/Evansville - 50.03 (2)
  37. CHOF - 49.99 (45)
  38. Lyle/Austin Pacelli - 49.97 (100)
  39. Dawson-Boyd - 49.88 (89)
  40. Bertha-Hewitt - 49.81 (44)
  41. Fertile-Beltrami - 49.3 (14)
  42. Spring Grove - 48.76 (143)
  43. Fosston - 48.58 (112)
  44. Grand Meadow - 48.56 (136)
  45. Murray County Central - 48.51 (87)
  46. Goodhue - 48.31 (83)
  47. Blooming Prairie - 48.1 (32)
  48. New York Mills - 48.08 (55)
  49. Upsala - 47.78 (49)
  50. Ellsworth - 47.72 (31)
  51. St. Clair - 47.64 (37)
  52. Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City - 47.53 (142)
  53. Westbrook-Walnut Grove - 46.63 (53)
  54. Janesville-Waldorf-Pemberton - 46.54 (58)
  55. Stephen-Argyle - 46.47 (124)
  56. Mahnomen - 46.37 (29)
  57. Cromwell - 46.18 (9)
  58. Mankato Loyola - 46 (105)
  59. Kingsland - 45.38 (10)
  60. PACT Charter - 45.3 (130)
  61. Lake Park-Audubon - 45 (34)
  62. Fond du Lac Ojibwe - 44.94 (6)
  63. Menahga - 44.68 (85)
  64. Wrenshall - 44.37 (131)
  65. Southwest MN Christian - 44.28 (43)
  66. Alden-Conger - 43.89 (114)
  67. Verndale - 43.57 (21)
  68. Walker-Hackensack-Akeley - 43.56 (104)
  69. Hillcrest Lutheran Academy - 43.2 (149)
  70. Bethlehem Academy - 43.04 (66)
  71. Cristo Rey Jesuit - 42.7 (144)
  72. Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa - 42.39 (68)
  73. Lester Prairie/Holy Trinity - 42.27 (129)
  74. East Central - 42.22 (107)
  75. Heritage Christian - 42.12 (5)
  76. Ely - 42 (93)
  77. Nashwauk-Keewatin - 41.69 (140)
  78. Legacy Christian - 41.62 (4)
  79. NCE/U-H - 41.55 (118)
  80. Southland - 41.16 (81)
  81. Northome/Kelliher - 40.86 (99)
  82. MACCRAY - 40.84 (78)
  83. Houston - 40.79 (106)
  84. Bigfork - 40.46 (12)
  85. Red Lake County - 40.33 (150)
  86. Swanville - 40.32 (111)
  87. Learning for Leadership - 39.76 (152)
  88. Fillmore Central - 38.79 (23)
  89. Heron Lake-Okabena - 38.79 (51)
  90. Russell-Tyler-Ruthton - 38.32 (28)
  91. Underwood - 38.31 (61)
  92. Sebeka - 38 (90)
  93. Ogilvie - 37.8 (39)
  94. Christian Life School - 37.61 (133)
  95. Henning - 37.34 (84)
  96. T/ML/GHEC - 36.95 (122)
  97. Littlefork-Big Falls - 36.86 (151)
  98. Blackduck - 36.57 (126)
  99. Minnesota Valley Lutheran - 36.48 (125)
  100. Ada-Borup - 36.31 (11)
  101. Chisholm - 35.83 (94)
  102. Sleepy Eye Saint Mary's - 35.6 (54)
  103. Carlton - 35.45 (138)
  104. Isle - 35.05 (145)
  105. Cherry - 34.96 (153)
  106. West Lutheran - 34.81 (35)
  107. New Ulm Cathedral - 34.59 (102)
  108. Wabasha-Kellogg - 34.13 (27)
  109. Royalton - 32.89 (8)
  110. McGregor - 32.72 (108)
  111. Cedar Mountain/Comfrey - 32.55 (91)
  112. Northland - 32.24 (52)
  113. Madelia - 31.92 (62)
  114. Edgerton - 31.53 (73)
  115. Glenville-Emmons - 31.39 (76)
  116. Hancock - 31.37 (22)
  117. Community of Peace Academy - 31.21 (113)
  118. Red Rock Central - 30.71 (121)
  119. Laporte - 30.35 (92)
  120. Cleveland - 30.23 (77)
  121. Silver Bay - 30.16 (117)
  122. Fulda - 29.76 (30)
  123. Climax/Fisher - 29.32 (40)
  124. Bethany Academy - 29.18 (119)
  125. Sacred Heart - 28.5 (42)
  126. Onamia - 27.95 (98)
  127. Mesabi Academy - 27.47 (148)
  128. Renville County West - 27.34 (116)
  129. Hill City - 26.91 (128)
  130. Cook County - 26.24 (50)
  131. Goodridge/Grygla - 23.76 (69)
  132. Norman County West - 19.28 (156)
  133. Clearbrook-Gonvick - 16.21 (47)
  134. Mabel-Canton - 0 (103)
  135. Wheaton/Herman-Norcross - 0 (24)
  136. Lanesboro - 0 (26)
  137. Calvin Christian - 0 (155)
  138. South Ridge - 0 (41)
  139. Wabasso - 0 (71)
  140. Sleepy Eye - 0 (75)
  141. MN Academy for the Deaf - 0 (120)
  142. Hope Academy - 0 (154)
  143. Bug-O-Nay-Ge-Shig - 0 (157)
  144. Rothsay - 0 (1)
  145. Ashby - 0 (7)
  146. Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg - 0 (16)
  147. Hope Lutheran - 0 (17)
  148. Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley - 0 (18)
  149. Schaeffer Academy - 0 (25)
  150. North Lakes Academy - 0 (33)
  151. Academy for Sciences & Ag - 0 (38)
  152. LeRoy-Ostrander - 0 (46)
  153. Nicollet - 0 (48)
  154. Liberty Classical Academy - 0 (57)
  155. Northeast Range - 0 (80)
  156. Buffalo Lake-Hector-Stewart - 0 (86)
  157. Lake of the Woods - 0 (146)

Crimson clip the Falcons

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)

Game Time
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.

Post Game
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.

The battle of 7th St

Earlier in the week it was the battle for Dale Street.  Now let's move south for the battle of West 7th Street as CHOF makes the short trip down West 7th to section 4A rival Nova Classical Academy.  They host the EMAC championship at the end of the season and rightfully so.  Its a very nice small school facility.  It also checks off one of the few metro schools that I haven't seen a game at.  12 oz of Dr. Pepper on tonight's drink cart but a light concession stand means I go beverage only.

Number of Teams I've Seen: 66

Beverage Consumption Counter: 450 ounces (29 days, 39 games, 2 scrimmages added on)

Pepsi: 204 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
Mickey - Toni Basil

Game Time
Its all Nova to start.  Frosh guard Cole Bothun for 3, puts back a miss, then another bomb.  Bakari Jackson and Nicolas LaFrombois also bury 3s.  18-4 Nova at the 10:13 mark as CHOF has to take their 2nd timeout to try and stop the bleeding.   CHOF goes 1-3-1 which turns Nova over.  Bothun sitting with 2 fouls as well.  Kit Piepkorn also gets hot for CHOF.  He goes for back to back 3 point plays as the lead drops to 10.  He adds 2 free throws and converts a turnover as the lead gets cut to 4.  39-36 Nova at the half.

Piepkorn with another bomb as CHOF quickly gains their 1st lead of the game since the 1st minute.  Jackson counters with a pair of free throws and a putback for a 3 point play.  Piepkorn for 3 but Bothun replies with a 3 point play and Piepkorn pulls up for 2 more.  49 all with 12 minutes left.  The pressure mounting from CHOF as they go on a 12-2 run with a pair of Dillon Alleman hoops and it finishes with another Piepkorn hoop.  61-51 CHOF with 7:46 left.  That's a 24 point swing from being down 14 in the 1st half.

Nova not going away as Bothun with another bomb and Jackson with a theft for 2 to end a 7-0 spurt.  Piepkorn and Alleman with bombs and the CHOF lead is 7 with 4 minutes left.  Nova misses 3 of 4 free throws and can't convert a blocked shot into points.  But CHOF can't take care of the ball down the stretch.  After a Jeremiah Rogers jumper with 2:25 left, CHOF turns it over and the extra pass inside out leads to another Bothun 3.  68-66 CHOF with 2 minutes left.  Piepkorn off the bounce and the nice assist for a layup with 1:35 left.  After a Nova turnover, Piepkorn makes 1 of 2 for a 5 point lead with 52.2 left.

Rogers with 2 free throws with 51.6 left . CHOF immediately turns it over.  Dominic Bumgarner put back a miss with 23 seconds left and Nova is within 1.  CHOF turns it over again and Bumgarner is fouled with 15 ticks left.  0-3 for the night to that point at the charity stripe and he misses both.  But Rogers cleans up the mess and Nova is back on top by 1.  CHOF gets the ball to half court and almost turns it over again before getting their last timeout with 7 seconds left.  The inbounds is clean but on the drive the pass is errant and CHOF turns it over again with 3.3 left (3 turnovers in the last 42.5 seconds).  Nova ball on the baseline.  The inbounds is a long pass to half court in front of the scorers table, its tipped away.  Tim Rohlf comes up with it for CHOF.  1 dribble, 2 dribbles.  Top of the key 3 is up, off the front iron and down it goes!  But wait, the official immediately and emphatically waves it off.   It did seem like a long 3.3 so I'd understand if that was the call, but to the fans, I think there's no doubt it was released in plenty of time.  Nova Classical Academy def CHOF 72-71

Post Game
CHOF falls to 4-2 overall with the loss.  The Lions are off until after the new year when the start a 3 game road swing.  Kit Piepkorn with 32 points, 16 in each half, to carry the Lions offense.  He took the offense into his own hands when they needed buckets.  4 turnovers , a missed free throw and giving up an offensive board on a free throw all in the last 2:18 is a killer.  This was a game that was in hand that they didn't finish in the last 2:30.  Jacob Bluhm chips in with 13 for the Lions.

Nova Classical Academy improves to 4-0 overall.  They already are 2-0 in EMAC play as well.  Freshman guard Cole Bothun leads the way scoring 20 points with 5 3s.  Senior Bakari Jackson scores 16 points to continue his run toward 1000 career points for the Knights.  The Knights will be tough in EMAC play with those 2 and the towering duo of the Tritabaugh's inside.  Anytime you can alternate a pair of 6'6" guys to fill the 36 minutes at the 5 spot, that's a good thing.  Both are very raw offensively but 6'6" is still a factor in the EMAC.  The Knights resume play vs Math and Science Academy in the Nova holiday tournament on December 29th

Beacons zone blinds the Cougars

Off to St. Paul Como Park to see their non-conference game against Concordia.  Former St. Bernard's star Jordair Jett in the house before he ventures off to Europe to play.  The Como Park gym very fitting for this time of year with red, green, blue, white and black lines on the court.  An early dinner means I manage with only a beverage.  Its a bottle of Pepsi to keep the beverage counter moving.

Number of Teams I've Seen: 62

Beverage Consumption Counter: 438 ounces (26 days, 37 games, 2 scrimmages added on)

Pepsi: 204 ounces
Coke: 80 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
Electric Avenue - Eddy Grant

Game Time
Sam Root with a layup and a steal for another hoop as Concordia jumps out to an 8-2 lead.  Lefty wing Demetric Peterson very active for Como Park.  He scores 8 points in a Cougars spurt that ties the game at 16 at the 10:43 mark.  Root with a layup from PG Roger Moore and Moore takes a turnover for a layup at 9:30.  22-16 Concordia leading.  Como Park goes on a 12-0 run in the next 4 minutes thanks to Markel Peterson off the bench.  A spin move and a drive off an offensive rebound bound net him 3-4 free throws.  Then he buries a 3 and then pulls out the McHale up and under for the old fashioned 3 point play.  35-33 Como Park at the half.  Concordia with a sloppy half of turnovers and not rebounding.

Root with a couple of easy post buckets off Fist, Concordia's High/Low action.  But that's all negated by Carlos Rucker who gave Como Park great bench minutes in the 2nd half.  Rucker's 2 putback and conversion of a turnover into an easy bucket.  47-41 Como Park inside of 15 minutes left.  Then Concordia goes 3-2 zone with Isaiah Maddox on top and that changes everything.  Concordia scores 6 in a row to tie. Rucker with yet another putback to keep Como Park up 5.  Maddox with a putback, Ben Vallin runs for a layup and then its Moore to Mark Stage for back to back transition 3s.  Its a 10-0 run for a 57-52 Concordia lead with 10:17 left.  Falk runs for a layup to extend the run.  Back to the High/Low set for another Root bucket.  Falk from Moore for another bunny and the lead is 8.  Peterson counters with a 3 point play for Como Park and they go 2-3 zone to stop the post action.  63-58 Concordia with 7:38 left.  Falk from the high post and then off a zone post set for another easy one to negate a Cougars 3.  Maddox coast to coast as Concordia is flying out off of Cougars misses.  Moore to Falk again and Moore on the run for 2 of his own.  Maddox with a tip and an assist to Falk.  Moore with back to back buckets and the lead is up to 18 after an 18-5 run.  Concordia wins 83-68

Post Game
Como Park falls to 0-6 with the loss.  Demetric Mitchell finishes with 19 points as he was very active inside.  Carlos Rucker with all 10 of his points off the bench in the 2nd half.  Markel Peterson adds 12.  They got destroyed in transition, particularly in the 2nd half when they didn't make shots.  They host #3A Maranatha on Friday before a trip to Minneapolis South on Saturday.

Concordia improves to 5-2 overall.  Jacob Falk with 21 off the bench.  Roger Moore with 20 and a handful of assists.  Sam Root also adds 14 inside.  In the 2nd half, everything was easy.  Layups on post sets or running out for easy buckets.   The zone was the difference maker as the entire game changed at that point.  The Beacons do get beat on the glass though so there is soemthing to work on.  They host section rival St. Paul Academy on Friday and Heritage next Monday.  Then they'll be in the St. Cloud Cathedral tourney.

Mustangs run wild

After seeing top ranked Minneapolis North on Saturday, its only fitting that I see their top foe in section 4A.  That means a trip to #3A Maranatha to see the Mustangs take on Minneapolis Southwest.  Plenty of teams scouting with Chaska, Minneapolis North, Minneapolis South and New Life Academy all on hand to watch.  The concession stand at MCA is one of the best around and while the variety wasn't there tonight as I've seen in the past, no complaints.  The corner sausage slice of Jet's pizza was outstanding.  20 oz of Red Powerade makes it go down smoothly.

Number of Teams I've Seen: 60

Beverage Consumption Counter: 418 ounces (25 days, 36 games, 2 scrimmages added on)

Pepsi: 184 ounces
Coke: 80 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
Horse with no name - America

Game Time
Jeremiah Hanson off to a quick start with a spin for 2 inside, a nice cut for 2 and a drive.  Damario Armstrong with a pair of 3s as well.  14-6 Maranatha at 12:55.  The pace remains frenetic.  Lanick Knight 5 in a row to keep SW within 3.  Armstrong with his 3rd bomb of the half in addition to his pushing the pace.  33-20 MCA at the 8 minute mark as the Mustangs are galloping up and down the court.  That lead grows to 17 at the half.   55-38 MCA with Armstrong and Hanson combining for 39 of those.

Hanson for 3 and a left baseline floater to start the 2nd half.  SW falls asleep on a dead ball full court inbounds and a long pass finds Armstrong who converts it into a 3 point play.  Hanson slips a Spurs elevator set for a layup.  Jake Meyen 2 freebies, Armstrong with a steal for 2 and Meyen runs for a layup.  Hanson adds another bomb and Cam Monson runs for a layup.  Then its Armstrong on the break, behind the back with the perfect bounce pass in stride to Hanson for a layup.  It ends a 20-6 run that puts this one way out of reach.  84-53 MCA with 12 minutes left is the biggest lead of the night.  SW crashes the glass the rest of the way to make the score look far more respectable.  Maranatha wins 101-87.

Post Game
Minneapolis Southwest falls to 1-5 with the loss.  They host Minneapolis South on Thursday before trips to Chaska and St. Louis Park before Christmas.  The Lakers do end up with 4 players having at least 16 points.  Keion Alexander with 3 triples on his way to 19.  Lanick Knight with 17, AJ Ray and Arthur Frazier 16 each.  Frazier very active on the glass.  AJ Ray with a nasty tip dunk attempt that missed in the first half.  Besides soph Brennan Hawkins, the Lakers don't see anything from their bench.

Maranatha improves to 6-0 with the win.  This was their closest final of the year but not nearly as close as the final appears.  Jeremiah Hanson goes for 33 with 5 3s, Damario Armstrong hits 3 1st half triples before going cold.  He still ends up with 31.  The other 3 starters also reach double figures.  The running game was very impressive.  The players get out and run the floor and they willingly throw that long pass ahead.  They'll still use the euro ball screen offense in the half court, but besides Hanson I wonder who makes a play for them out of it.  The discipline to run their stuff and ability to run does make the game vs a fairly undisciplined Minneapolis North team pretty compelling.

2014 Tipoff Classic lives up to the hype

Its the 2014 Breakdown Tip Off Classic once again held at Minnetonka.  Lots of high expectations with all 4 #1 teams participating and matchup of #2 vs #3 in class AAAA.  Great crowds for the later games and great energy for those games.  Close games all over the place made for a very entertaining day.  I didn't borrow a Christmas sweater for the coldness of the gym early in the day but it was hot by the end of the day.  Plenty of Pepsi to keep hydrated and Dominos pizza to keep me fed.

Number of Teams I've Seen: 58

Beverage Consumption Counter: 388 ounces (24 days, 35 games, 2 scrimmages added on)

Pepsi: 184 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
Star Wars Theme - John Williams

Game #1: #3AAA Hill-Murray vs Minneapolis Henry
Hill-Murray star Marshawn Wilson sat out with the flu.  Henry's Jermal Davis with quality bench minutes in the 1st half, a big 2nd half from Demetrius Edwards-Brown and a big game from Jacarius Ford had the Patriots primed for an upset.  Jack Fahey's hot shooting and clutch play from Simeon Davis kept the Pioneers in this one.  Fahey would shockingly miss 2 late free throws and Henry goes 4-4 in the last minute of regulation and appears to be ready to win.  But Davis knocks down a straight away 3 at the buzzer to force overtime.  Hill-Murray has a chance to tie with 15.3 left in OT but they miss 2 of 3 free throws.  Henry turns it over and Davis buries a left wing 3 with 5 seconds left in OT to win it 83-82.  Jack Fahey 27, Simeon Davis 26 (19 after halftime) for Hill-Murray.  Demetrius Edwards-Brown 18 of his 25 after halftime, Jacarius Ford 22 for Henry

Game #2: #8AAA Orono vs Eagan
Forward Sam Sustacek still out for Orono and SG Chase Seiberlich also out for Eagan with a concussion.  The game starts slowly with a 4-4 tie at the 14:58 mark.  Orono then goes on a 26-4 over the next 9:30 holding Eagan to 1 FG.  Cole Hennings 9 points in that run.  30-8 Orono at the 5 minute mark.  Blowout city?  Not so fast.  Eagan comes back with a 14-4 run to close the half and only be down 12.  Alexander Kill made 2 3s in the 1st half run and he adds to 2 more in the 2nd half to keep Orono up 10 with 10:45 left.  Junior Sam Schuberg with 5 points in a 12-2 Eagan run.  49 all with 4 minutes left.  Hennings with a reverse layup and a pair of free throws to end a 6-0 Orono run to counter that spurt.  That's enough for Orono to hang on 59-53.  Cole Hennings 22 for Orono.  Sam Schuberg 16 for Eagan.

Game #3: Lakeville North vs #1A Minneapolis North
No Patrick Dembley or Randy Mathews for Minneapolis North.  Minneapolis North jumps out to a 10-2 lead, but Lakeville North climbs back in it with quality play from Marquise Walker off the bench.  Issac Johnson knocks down 4 3s in the half.  Minneapolis North by 1 at the break.  Carter Brooks continues a stretch of good play and his back to back hoops put Lakeville North up 10 with 10 left.  Minneapolis North gets a big 2nd half from Tyler Johnson and he is a big part of a 10-2 run to cut the lead to 2.  Carter Brooks with a pair of tip ins to preserve the lead and Cal Pesola with a big transition 3 with 3:20 left to put Lakeville North up 5.  The rest is free throws.  Lakeville North wins 83-76.  Tyler Johnson 21 of his 23 after the half for Minneapolis North.  Isaac Johnson adds 20 on 5 3s.  Jamil Jackson 2 points.  Carter Brooks 20 points in a coming out party for Lakeville North. Lakeville North with 5 in double figures.  Also keep an eye on sophomore forward Nathan Reuvers.  Minneapolis North with bad body language and bad team defense.  They played a game based on individual talent rather than team chemistry. 

Game #4: #6AAAA Maple Grove vs #10AAAA Hopkins
This was the Brad Davison show.  He was finding Reed Nikko for lob dunks or driving to find Jack Hutchinson for corner 3s.  Then he's scoring on top of that.  A 13-2 run late in the 1st half by Maple Grove sends the Crimson to halftime up 16.  The lead expands to 22 on a Hutchinson 3 with 14:22 left.  John Warren starts a big Hopkins run as he scores the 1st 13 Hopkins points of the half.  Then its 14 in a row from Vinnie Shahid.  The Hopkins run is 27-6 to cut the lead to 62-61 with 5:12 left.  Davison with an assist for a layup, a 3 point play off the bounce and he closes it with free throws.  Maple Grove wins 75-69.  Brad Davison with 25 points and I had him for 11 assists that turned into 27 more points.  John Warren 21 of his 23 in the 2nd half, 5 triples.  Vinnie Shahid 16 of his 22 points in the 2nd half.  Only 2 points from anybody else in the 2nd half for Hopkins.  I thought the Maple Grove size and strength inside would be a factor and it was totally not there.  Nikko scored his points on dump offs and lobs and only 1 hoop from Kayode Awosika.

Game #5: #7AAAA Eden Prairie vs Stillwater
This looked like a quick blowout too as Eden Prairie jumped out to a 15-4 lead.  Connor Gamble's hot hand kept the Ponies close.  Grantham Gillard matched that hot hand for Eden Prairie.  Eden Prairie holds Gamble down to 1 late 3. Stillwater holds the pace down in the 2nd half with 3 man X offense and a couple of quick and effective Randy Jordan timeouts.  But its not quite enough as Eden Prairie wins 71-65.  Grantham Gillard with 6 of his 8 3s in the 1st half on his way to 32 points.  Connor Gamble 20 of his 24 in the 1ts half for Stillwater.  Eden Prairie more open with their offense this year as they have lots of guys who will shoot it from 3.

Game #6: #2AAAA Cretin-Derham Hall vs #3AAAA Champlin Park
Joe Rosga goes off for 17 points and 3 assists early to carry CDH.  Like he did against Hopkins earlier this year, JT Gibson picking up his game to keep the Rebels close.  McKinley Wright adds a late 3 point play and bucket to propel Champlin Park to a 32-28 halftime lead.  Jeremy Johnson up high to throw down a lob and that causes the full house to explode.  Rebels by 6 and a CDH timeout.  CDH with a 12-0 after that.  Johnson for 3 and then Gibson with a 4 point play.  Sam Neumann with his 3rd bomb of the half.  Gibson counters with a block, steals the rebound and goes for 2.  Gibson with a stepback and runs for 2 more.  Marty Hill for 3 to end the 11-2 Rebels run.  54-48 Champlin Park 6:18 left.  Rosga with a 3 for his only bucket of the 2nd half, Donnell Gresham back in with 4 fouls and takes a steal for a 3 point play before fouling out.  59-57 Champlin Park 3:08 left.  They make 6-6 free throws down the stretch and survive 1 last CDH chance.  Champlin Park wins 65-62.  Joe Rosga 20 points, Sam Neumann 19.  JT Gibson 23, McKinley Wright 17.  Wright also very active on the glass on both ends.

Game #7: Chanhassen at #5AAAA Minnetonka
Chanhassen without their star wing Joey Witthus for this one.  Center Evan Altenburg out of the Minnetonka lineup.  The early story is turnovers for Chanhassen as they fall behind 13-2.  Chanhassen scores the next 7 before Cedric Boone converts 2 more turnovers into 5 points to stretch the lead to 27-14.  Chad Mapes hot shooting is most of the Chanhassen offense.  He buries 2 3s to keep Chanhassen within 8 at half.  Amar Miller with a pair of early 3s and he runs for a layup and the lead is back to 14.  It oscillates between 10 and 20 the rest of the way with the outcome never in doubt.  Minnetonka wins 79-67.  Chad Mapes 6 3s on his way to 22 points for Chanhassen.  Amar Miller 25 points with 3 3s.  Justin Moes 4 3s for 19, Cedric Boone with 19 off the bench.  Seth Coatta 2 points.

Game #8: #1AAAA Apple Valley vs #1AAA De La Salle
Early on, Gary Trent on fire.  He buries a knocks down a jumper, Jarvis Johnson dunks on the other end, Trent for 3 and the hush sign and Jarvis scores and gets fouled on the other end, Trent then buries another bomb.  Players making plays, great atmosphere, high level teams, this is fun.  25-15 Apple Valley at the midpoint of the 1st half.  Trent goes cold and won't score the rest of the half.  Sacar Anim goes on a 7-0 run and after a Brock Bertram bucket, takes a steal for a dunk.  Cam Kirksey's offense has gone up a level this season.  He makes 2 free throws, drives for 2 and spins for 2 more to ignite a 10-0 run.  44-33 Apple Valley at the half.  Jeffrey Daubanton with a nice lefty 2 in the lane and Anim off the high ball screen to take the hit and finish.  61-53 Apple Valley lead with 8:11 to go.  Bertram tips in a miss, Kirksey runs out for a dunk and Trent hit on a 3 and makes all 3 free throws before making a 3.  That 3 ends a 12-4 spurt to push the lead to 16.  De La Salle makes 1 late push with Anim for 2, a Josh Collins reverse, Jarvis Johnson for 3 and a 3 point play from Anim.  Islanders within 6 with 1:33 left but they won't get closer.  Apple Valley wins 83-69.  They pound De La Salle 52-19 on the glass per Eagles stats.  Sacar Anim goes for 35, Jarvis Johnson adds 21.  Gary Trent 31 points, Brock Bertram with 17 points and double digit boards for Apple Valley.  Apple Valley with 5 in double figures.  Outside of Johnson/Anim, the rest of the Islanders combine for only 13 points.  Jordan Bolton and Cam Kirksey giving Apple Valley great secondary contributions this season.  I still don't like the fact that they don't run like they used to (find the PG and kick it up the sideline in half a millisecond) and I think their offense is too isolation oriented.

Govs take out another big school

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

Game Time
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.

Post Game
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.

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.

Mythical beast slays another foe

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

Game Time
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.

Post Game
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.

Stars hang on for important section win

A quiet Monday night on the schedule gives me the rare chance to see a new building.  Its a trip to opening night for the 3rd season at SW Christian's gym.  Its a section 4A matchup against Minnesota Transitions.  These teams likely in the mix of teams in that 2nd tier of the section behind Minneapolis North and Maranatha.  I love the standard MCAA setup (1 side only), tables on top, the concession stand built right there.  Have to like the window for the concessions workers to see the floor.  Bethany and Jordan coaches scouting.

Number of Teams I've Seen: 46

Beverage Consumption Counter: 296 ounces (19 days, 24 games, 2 scrimmages added on)

Pepsi: 124 ounces
Coke: 80 ounces
Sprite: 32 ounces
Barq's Root Beer: 20 ounces
Red Powerade: 40 ounces

Hot Dog Counter: 4

Song of the Day
All of the Stars - Ed Sheeran

Game Time
After the 1st 4 points, its a slop fest for MTS.  SW Christian turns a mess of turnovers into a 9-0 run to take the lead.  9-4 Stars at 13:45.  Soph Spencer Weiss 2 buckets to push the lead to 9.  MTS has a very active Curtils Gilliam off the bench. He scores a pair of buckets to help MTS cut the lead to 2 just outside of the 7 minute mark.  Then its another SW Christian run, this time 15-2.  Jack Jenson and Trey Sandness lead the run.  MTS keeps it close with a 7-0 run to end the half.  36-27 SW Christian at the break.

Gillium just out jumping everybody in the paint.  He scores 3 early hoops to keep the Wolves within 5.  SW Christian pushes the lead right back to 10 with Brady Bengston knocking down a 3 and putting back a miss.   Frosh Charles Gordon also providing a bench spark.  He scores his 4 buckets in a stretch of 5 MTS scores.  That ends an 11-4 MTS spurt to close to within 54-51 with 6 minutes left.  Jenson on the sidelines getting patched up during some of that run but he's ready to come back in.  Gilliam puts back a miss with 4:30 left and the lead is down to 2 55-53.  Jensen takes a turnover for a layup.  The teams trade free throws before Gillium cherry picks for a layup.  58-56 SW Christian with 2:09 left.  But they turn it over on a charge in the post with 1:47 left.  MTS gives it right back.  SW Christian runs clock but forces a layup that is no good with a minute left.  After a debate about a call in front of the MTS bench, MTS keeps the ball and Gillium is on the offensive board again.  58 all as we go under 30 seconds.  Jenson fouled and makes the 1st of 2.  MTS turns it over on their possession as they can't get a timeout.  SW Christian makes 1 of 2 with 15.8 left.  Last chance for MTS is tipped out with 0.2 left.  Their left corner inbound lob is a nice draw up but they don't get that tip.  SW Christian survives at home 60-58.

Post Game
MTS has a 2 game winning streak snapped.  They fall to 2-3 on the season.  They continue a 4 game road trip at International School and Blake this week.  Curtis Gilliam comes off the bench to score 16 of his 24 in the 2nd half.  Lewis McCaleb 10 of his 13 in the 1st half.  Frosh Charles Gordon all 8 of his points during the 2nd half spurt to get MTS back in it.  They'll look at this game as a missed opportunity.  Sloppy turnovers, especially early in the game and plenty of inside misses off a ton of rebounds.

SW Christian wins their 2nd straight game to improve to 2-1.  This is a nice way to build on a big conference win at Lester Prairie last Friday.  Jack Jenson and Drew Scharwz lead the way with 13 points.  The Stars manage to survive despite getting pounded on the glass.  Its a young group with only 1 senior in the main rotation to go with 4 sophs and a pair of solid junior guards.  They'll need to find offense outside of Jack Jenson and Trey Sandness. 

Border teams push Minnesota to the limit

Its the 2014 Breakdown Girls Tipoff Classic at Hopkins.  I sit in for 4 girls games including a classic between #1 Eastview and #2 Hopkins.  The day marks the 1000th game that I've seen in my 7+ seasons online.  But the real reason for my attendance is the 4 boys games on the schedule 3 Iowa teams and a Wisconsin team taking on some of the best Minnesota has to offer.  Since its a long day and its Hopkins that means not 1 but 2 trips to the concession stand for a walking taco.  3/8 of a gallon of Pepsi keeps me awake for the 14.5 hour day

Number of Teams I've Seen: 44

Beverage Consumption Counter: 276 ounces (17 days, 23 games, 2 scrimmages added on)

Pepsi: 124 ounces
Coke: 80 ounces
Sprite: 32 ounces
Red Powerade: 40 ounces

Hot Dog Counter: 3

Song of the Day
Beatles - A Hard Day's Night

Boys Game 1: #6AAAA Minnetonka vs Rice Lake (WI)
The showcase here was Marquette commit Henry Ellenson.  The 6'10" forward is the 17th ranked player in the Rivals 150.  He didn't disappoint.  He runs for a dunk, pivots in the post for a 2 handed smash on a post defender and hits a fade away.  That's part of 12 in a row as Rice Lake starts 6-0 and holds on to a 16-13 lead at 11:08.  Seth Coatta matching Ellenson on the other end with his shooting.  He bangs home a 3, pulls for 2, grabs a miss for 2 free throws and buries a 3 after an offensive board.  Cedric Boone chipping in with 3 bombs off the bench in the half.  That included one out of WORLD'S WORST OFFENSE action.  Coatta hits 4 3s for 22, Ellenson goes for 25 just in the 1st half. Tonka pulls out to a 47-37 lead thanks to their guard play.

Ellenson with a block that leads to a layup and a putback.  Then he buries a 3, runs for a free throw, dunks a miss and a sweet assist for a layup.  59-56 Tonka with 10:10 left.  Another Ellenson assist leads to a 3 and another fade away puts Rice Lake ahead 65-64 with 7:40 left.  The Rice Lake lead gets to 69-66 but Tonka scores 4 in a row to bring Ellenson right back in the game.  Justin Moes with a clutch 2nd half buries a 3 and Amar Miller buries a 3 to sandwich an Ellenson hoop.  Moes for 3 and a drive for 2 to push the lead to 7 with 2:45 left.  Rice Lake within 5 but they can't convert a turnover with 2:10 left.  Boone buries a dagger 3 to slam the door.  Minnetonka wins 92-81.  Justin Moes with 17 of his 19 in the 2nd half. Seth Coatta with 22 of his 26 in the 1st half.  Cedric Boone 15 off the bench.  The Skippers make 12 3s.  Henry Ellenson goes off for 48 and 14 boards on my sheet.  He did everything.  Lots of ball handling due to the Tonka guards pressure, catch and shoot, dunk inside, run the floor etc etc. Completely dominating performance.  I'm sure Rice Lake would have liked to get the ball in the guards hands more and have him go down and get a post touch. 

Boys Game 2: #1AAAA Apple Valley vs Waukee (IA)
Waukee is one of the top teams in Iowa's top division.  They feature a couple of high level players.  Forward Michael Jacobsen is a Nebraska commit and forward Anthony Nelson is an Iowa State football signee.  Nelson was too big for smaller AV guys and too quick for Brock Bertram.  He scored the 1st 10 of the game for Waukee.  Jordan Bolton in the lane at will for Apple Valley in the half.  Jacobsen quiet until a couple late 3s.  33-32 Waukee at the half.

Tre Jones running for the 1st 9 points of the 2nd half to give the Eagles the momentum.  Gary Trent knocks down a kick out 3 and another jumper.  Cam Kirksey with a putback and a pair of 3s.  That expands the Apple Valley lead to 58-43 with 11:30 left.  The lead remains at 14 with 7:35 left before Jacobsen comes back in the game with 4 fouls.  That triggers a 10-0 Waukee run with Jacobsen scoring 7 of those.  Jacobsen with a free throw with 1:04 left to cut the lead to 3.  Waukee gets a last chance to tie after 2 missed free throws but they turn it over with 10.3 left.  Bolton makes 2 to seal a 70-65 Apple Valley win.  Jordan Bolton and Cam Kirksey with 18 points each.  That offsets off days from Brock Bertram (6 pts) and Gary Trent (9 points).  Anthony Nelson scores 26 to lead Waukee.  Michael Jacobsen adds 21 and 8.  He showed a nice shooting touch and made plays down the stretch.  I really liked the sets Waukee ran.  Good job moving the defense with false action and then getting into a play. 

Boys Game 3: #1AAA De La Salle vs #2AAAA North Scott (IA)
North Scott featuring a loaded roster with Creighton commit Marlon Stewart and North Dakota commit Cortez Seales.  Seales with 3 early hoops and Stewart adds a couple as the Lancers jump out to a 14-5 lead.  North Scott getting on the glass and De La Salle settling for jumpers that aren't going in.  De La Salle grinds their way back into the game with Josh Collins knocking down a pair of 3s and then a 3rd off a set call (something Dave Thorson does better than anybody, find the hot guy).  25-24 De La Salle at the 3:50 mark.  North Scott with a pair of bombs and Seales converting a turnover.  Then Seales banks in a 3 at the buzzer for a 35-29 North Scott lead at the half.

Stewart pressed in the 1st half and was quiet later in the first half.  He comes out with a 3 point play and drive to push the lead to 13.  De La Salle regroups out of a timeout.  Sacar Anim for 3, Collins flares for another bomb.  Stewart to Seaels for 3 countered by another Anim 3.  Jarvis Johnson coast to coast and a Jeffrey Daubanton stick back.  The North Scott lead down to 49-48 with 8:20 left.  Seales comes back to life.  He drives for 2 and spins for a 3 point play.  After a pair of Anim hoops, its Seales again.  58-54 North Scott 4:51 left.  Collins will faceguard Stewart the rest of the way.  Stewart still gets enough touches to make 6-8 clutch free throws down the stretch.  North Scott wins 67-64.  Cortez Seales with a huge game of 30 points and double digit rebounds.  Marlon Stewart adds 21 and a handful of assists.  Josh Collins 5 3s on his way to 17 points.  Sacar Anim 21 points.

Boys Game 4: #4AAAA Hopkins vs #1AAAA Iowa City West (IA)
Another loaded Iowa squad led by sophomore stud Connor McCaffrey (son of Iowa Hawkeye coach Fran McCaffrey).  We get sightings of former Hawkeyes big men Brad Lohaus (son plays on the team) and the pride of Bowbells, ND, Les Jespen.  They jump on Hopkins 13-2 in the 1st 3:10.  Hopkins counters with a 13-1 run thanks to 5 on backdoor cuts from Vinnie Shahid and a couple of bombs from Xavier Johnson.  The Trojans counter that with a 23-4 run thanks to a McCaffrey 3 and 3 more bombs from David DiLeo.  41-27 Iowa City West at the half.  The lead is still at 18 inside 6 minutes to play and people are ready to nap due to the late hour.  Hopkins does make a late spurt to get as close as 14 and they had chances to get even closer.  But the outcome is never really in doubt.  Iowa City West wins 81-66.  David DiLeo leads the Trojans with 25 on 5 3s as one of 5 players in double figures.  Xavier Johnson 3 triples as he scores 17.  Simon Wright 15, John Warren 10

2014 Above the Rim Classic Day 1

Minneapolis North hosting a 4 team event for coach Larry McKenzie's Above the Rim foundation.  North Lawndale Prep from Chicago and Columbia Heights in game 1 and then a game 2 ranked battle between #10 Fond Du Lac Ojibwe and the host Polars.  $2 can of Pepsi is steep and then a kid comes around with concessions.  He's working too hard not to reward him and I knew I'd run out so why not pay him too.  Tom Krosschell is off the hook though he claims he's now going to up the price to $3 to remain competitive.   We get The Reverend working both games and Pat Rock joins up for the late game.  I'm just happy those 2 didn't throw me out when I was coaching fall ball.

Number of Teams I've Seen: 29

Beverage Consumption Counter: 248 ounces (16 days, 15 games, 2 scrimmages added on)

Pepsi: 76 ounces
Coke: 80 ounces
Sprite: 32 ounces
Red Powerade: 40 ounces

Hot Dog Counter: 3

Song of the Day
REM - What's the Frequency Kenneth?

Game 1: North Lawndale Prep (IL) vs Columbia Heights
North Lawndale featuring a deep and athletic lineup.  They have a Anthony Davis like story in the middle with 6'9" Kenneth Perkins.  He shot up 4-5 inches in the last year.  Columbia Heights closes to within 9-8 on a Jarrett Baptiste jumper.  Then the Hylanders can't score and Perkins comes to life.  He scores on a BLOB, puts back a pair of misses and finds a teammate for a wide open layup to force a Heights timeout.  Another Perkins putback and the Phoenix add 2 more free throws to end a 19-1 run over 6 minutes.  North Lawndale keeps that lead going to halftime with a 32-15 advantage.  Perkins with a jumper and a block that leads to 2 more points.  Tack on another bucket and the margin is 53-26 with 9:54 left.  Columbia Heights does make a big run late to almost make it really interesting.  Montroy Scott and Khadeem Thomas start to light up the offense and North Lawndale gets sloppy.  An initial 15-2 run cuts the lead to 55-41 with 5:38 left.  The lead goes back to 18 with 3:43 left.  But Tak Anwey gets a kind bounce on a 3, Scott from deep on the right wing for 3 more and Thomas with a steal for 2 more with 1:45 left and the Hylanders force a turnover.  Heights down 10 with the ball but they turn it over and won't get any closer.  North Lawndale wins 66-54.  Jarrett Baptiste with a quiet night to just reach double figures.  Scott and Thomas with double figures.  Kenneth Perkins finishes with 12 points, 17 boards and 3 blocks on my sheet.  I also had him altering about 8 other shots. 

Game 2:  #10A Fond Du Lac Ojibwe at #1A Minneapolis North
This looks entertaining on paper but this one was out of hand from the start.  Jamil Jackson opens the game with a dunk and ends the 9-2 start with a 3.  Time out Larry McKenzie at 16:07 up 9-2.  Then a fight breaks out in the stands and like a bad fire it flares up a couple more times.  But after a lengthy delay we get settled and resume play.  North gets the next 6 to end the opening 15-2 spurt.  FDL jacking 3s left and right and running like crazy but getting run out of the building on the misses.  FDL closes to 19-10 but North runs away 29-9 to go up 48-19.  Jordan Diver picks up some FDL offense as they cut the margin to 58-36 at the break.  Then a strange occurrence for this game, the scoreboard only sees 1 score in the 1st 3:15 of the 2nd half.  North runs and guns their way to a 16-0 run to start the half to send us into running time territory 74-36 with 12:16 left.  North wins in big fashion 92-54.  North with 5 in double figures led by Tyler Johnson's 18.  A scary then almost funny moment with about 5 minutes to go.  A young kid was coming in from the concession stand and an errant FDL pass caught him right in the legs and took him out.  Thankfully he was just fine.  Wrong place wrong time wrong stance moment.  Lefty Jordan Diver with 17 to lead Fond Du Lac Ojibwe.  They're a classic section 7A team, run and gun and don't guard anybody.  But they have a ton of scorers at 2-3 guards who can handle, push it and distribute it to those guys.  They also have the eternally bright green light.  You just don't see that much in class A.  North is just a terrible matchup for them (and frankly for just about anybody in class A).  How fun is that Fond Du Lac Ojibwe vs Lakeview Christian game at the end of the year going to be?  1st one to 100 wins and Bjorn Broman could go for 60.

An old Lake Conference tilt

To the south metro to see one of the teams that I think can surprise this year.  That's Eastview hosting #8AAAA Eden Prairie.  The Eden Prairie students in rain gear with umbrellas.  St. Olaf, Crown and Hamline at minimum were looking on from the college perspective.  I had to rush to finish the slice of sausage pizza before game time but it was worth it.  The beverage counter clocks in with a bottle of Powerade.  AC/DC on the public address tonight but we'll use a more basketball like term from their catalog.

Number of Teams I've Seen: 26

Beverage Consumption Counter: 224 ounces (15 days, 13 games, 2 scrimmages added on)

Pepsi: 52 ounces
Coke: 80 ounces
Sprite: 32 ounces
Red Powerade: 40 ounces

Hot Dog Counter: 3

Song of the Day
AC/DC - Shoot to Thrill

Game Time
Bombs away if you're Eastview.  Keegan Dickson back to back from deep. Drew Guebert follows that with a bomb and Sam Ryan completes the quad at the 13:30 mark.  Dickson adds a free throw and Obi Ibeneme makes a pair of free throws at the 11:10 mark.  15-6 Eastview and they're already in the bonus with the foul count 7-1 in their favor.  15-6 Eastview with the lead.  It isn't pretty for Eden Prairie, they have 3 chances with turnovers and they miss 2 dunks and a layup to get nothing out of those.  Amazingly enough that doesn't stall their run.  The defense cranks up and Eastview only makes 1 field goal in a stretch of 8:30.  Much of that with Dickson and Guebert sitting with 2 fouls.  Soph Owen Chose with back to back 3s during the run to give the Eagles the lead.  The run ends up at 18-4 with only 1 field goal allowed.  Eden Prairie goes to the break with a 29-23 lead.  After making 4 3s in the first 4:30, Eastview only makes 3 shots the rest of the half.

Guebert picks up his 3rd foul less than a minute into the 2nd half and he's right back on the bench after sitting about the last 9 minutes of the 1st half with 2.  Dickson keeping his offense going with 6 straight.  Ibeneme adds a 3.  Eastview gets timeout down 39-34 with 12:13 left and that gets Guebert back in the game.  He hits a quick 3 but we don't hear from him the rest of the game.  6 in a row from Eden Prairie to push the lead to double digits.  Dickson on the post for 2 free throws and then another bomb.  Martin Mitchell with 2 free throws and the lead is down to 6 and Eastview gets a stop.  Dickson called for an illegal screen, his 4th, and coach Goetz has an earful for the official.  Dickson sits at the 6:13 mark.  He's back in with 4:49 left and the lead still at 5.  Dickson gets 2 touches inside but doesn't attack the rim and Eastview gets nothing out of it.  Then the Lightning miss a pair of free throws with 3:53 left.  EP makes them pay with a long possession and a cut for a layup and the lead is back to 7.  Dickson scores, Eden Prairie turns it over but Eastview can't convert.  They looked for Guebert with him setting a high ball screen and then fake the throw back and go backdoor.  Nothing there.  Dickson fouls out at 2:02.  Grantham Gillard seals it with 7 of 8 free throws the rest of the way.  But a steal for 2 and a late 3 did cut the lead to 3 before the Eagles held on.  Eden Prairie wins 67-62.

Post Game
Eastview falls to 3-1 with the loss.  They finish up a 3 game homestand next week with a pair of challenging games against Rogers and the conference opener with Eagan.  Keegan Dickson leads the way with 22 points and 3 triples before fouling out.  He was too mobile for center John Vermedahl and too big for undersized PF Blake Cashman.  Drew Guebert 2 3s for 6, foul trouble really hurt his night.  The Lightning will need to get better games from him in league play.  Soph PG Jameson Bryan 12 points and a good job running the show.  Though Eden Prairie's pressure did get to him some in the 1st half.  He shows pass first but can score a bit too.  9-22 3s for the Lightning and they actually out shoot Eden Prairie 43.2 to 40.8.  But the rebounding margin was a huge 38-22 against them including 15 on the offensive glass (on 29 misses, a scary percentage).

#8AAAA Eden Prairie stays undefeated at 3-0.  Grantham Gillard with 19 points but only 3 field goals on 15 attempts.  13-15 at the charity stripe including the last 7-8 made up his night.  Rest of the team shoots 50%.  Owen Chose and Nick Geolat off the bench with 10 points each.  The Eagles will run 10 guys at you and be very productive.  They lacked a guy you can throw the ball to in the post like other teams they've had.  But their perimeter guys are much more offensive minded than past teams.  The Eagles host Eagan and Cooper next week before playing a depleted Stillwater squad in the Tipoff Classic.

Wilson leads Pioneers to another victory

To far eastern edge of the kingdom for a battle of ranked non-conference foes as #7AA St. Paul Academy visits #4AAA Hill-Murray.  A small hot dog is safer for my waistline but I will not be denied a bottle of Pepsi.  Tartan in the house to check out their neighboring foe in the Metro East.  Today's song is just filled in from listening to the end of the Timberwolves loss to save the 76ers from historic futility.

Number of Teams I've Seen: 24

Beverage Consumption Counter: 184 ounces (14 days, 12 games, 2 scrimmages added on)

Pepsi: 52 ounces
Coke: 80 ounces
Sprite: 32 ounces
Red Powerade: 20 ounces

Hot Dog Counter: 3

Song of the Day
Eminem - Lose Yourself

Game Time
Chris Moore 6 quick points from his center spot for Hill-Murray as the Pioneers lead 10-7 at 13:40.  Kent Hanson counters with 10 straight St. Paul Academy points.  Those came in all fashions, a drive, 2 free throws and a foul line jumper.  17 all at the midpoint of the 1st half.  Marshawn Wilson heats up late in the half with an inbounds lob for 2, 2 free throws and then a huge block in the last 30 seconds that he converts into a 3.  29-27 St. Paul Academy at the break.  St. Paul Academy had chances to expand the lead late in the half and couldn't pull away.

Back and forth early in the 2nd half.  Wilson with a board for 2 free throws and Sam Westby for 3 to put Hill-Murray back on top 32-31.  Hanson runs for a layup, makes a free throw and grabs 2 offensive boards for 3-4 free throws.  Sam Suzuki scores the 1st bench points of the game for either side and its SPA back on top 40-39 with 13:48 to go.  Then the critical run.  Simeon Davis on the offensive glass for 2.  Westby with a free throw on a turnover and he buries a Davis kickout for 3.  Moore silent after the early burst but converts another turnover into a 3 point play.  That forces an Spartans timeout with 10:34 left.  Another Spartans turnover and Wilson thunders that home with the right hand.  Then he buries a 3 and puts back a miss to end a 16-2 run.  That leads to a Hill-Murray MoKiller timeout up 55-42 with 8:43 remaining.

Then the inside game cranks up for SPA.  Hanson curls off a high screen for 2.  Abdul Osman for with 2 inside buckets to cut the lead to 7.  SPA turns over a chance to get closer with 4:30 left.  Wilson makes them pay as he sandwiches a pair of 3s around a Emerson Egly hoop.  61-50 Hill-Murray with 3:40 left.  Osman scores inside again and after a Spartans timeout, their 1-2-2 3/4 press forces turnovers.  Osman adds yet another pair of inside buckets.  Egly finishes the run with a layup off another Pioneers turnover.  The run is 8-0 and the Hill-Murray lead is down to 61-58 with 1:31 left.  Wilson attacks the rim on the Hill-Murray possession but Osman rejects that.  SPA in a hurry to get a 3 which was a surprise.  Hanson misses that with a minute left.  Davis misses a front end but Hanson gets called for an illegal screen on the other end.  Hill-Murray turns it over again but Dalante Peyton misses a 3.  Egly grabs the board and makes 2 free throws with 17.9 to go.  Wilson fouled and he makes both with 15 seconds left.  SPA goes pick and pop for Hanson.  The pass is errant but he tracks it down.  To Peyton for 1 pass and the 2nd pass find Egly open in the right corner.  Wilson jumps out and swats that open 3 point attempt away with 2.7 left.  SPA out of timeouts, they get a hectic look from Hanson at the buzzer that is no good.  Hill-Murray hangs on to win 63-60.

Post Game
For St. Paul Academy, Kent Hanson leads with 20 points, 13 of those in the first half.  He easily could have had 20 in the 1st half but he gave up a handful of attempts looking for Osman.  Unselfish to a fault when nobody could guard him inside.  Then in the 2nd half, he wasn't near the post and none of the early post to post cross screen action that was so effective in the 1st half.  Abdul Osman scored 12 of his 15 points in the 2nd half.  Most of them easy in the post.  That post play could have been enough to offset a cold shooting night.  Dalante Peyton 3-11 for only 7 points and no trips to the foul line.  St. Paul Academy has now lost 3 in a row to fall to 2-3 overall.  But 2 of those losses are to top 5 teams in higher classes (CDH is the other loss).  No shame in the Roosevelt loss either.  But these 2 games show that good guards are something the Spartans will struggle with. Its no easier for the Spartans as their next game is a big section game at St Croix Lutheran next Tuesday.

For Hill-Murray, Marshawn Wilson scored 19 of his 30 points in the 2nd half.  That included the last 15 Pioneers points.  He was only 4-13 FGs in the 1st half but 6-12 in the 2nd half on my officially unofficial scoresheet.  He also added 10 rebounds.  He made plays when they needed them which is what star players do.  Sam Westby the only other player in double figures for Hill-Murray with 11 points.  No points from their bench.  The offense very dribble and high ball screen oriented.  To make their shooters effective they'll have to get better ball movement.  Hill-Murray remains undefeated at 3-0 and 2 of those wins are over ranked teams.  They host Highland Park and River Falls, WI in the next week before a matchup with Minneapolis Henry in the tipoff classic.  Very likely that they'll be 10-0 going into the big conference matchup with #3AAA St. Thomas Academy in the 1st round of the Catholic Spirit Tourney at the University of St. Thomas on December 27th. 

The Mustangs are coming!

After missing their early game on Saturday in the Anoka-Ramsey Showcase, I make up for lost time by seeing Breck visit Minneapolis Henry.  Its opening night for the Patriots while Breck is already 3-0.  The Henry students in a festive new season mood with noisemakers and hats.  We'll kindly ignore MSHSL Bylaw 409 which says noisemakers are not allowed.  Both teams missing an important piece.  Henry without Ibrahim Mohamed who had ACL surgery and is out for the season.  No Kwaku Bodom for Breck.  You never known what concessions at Henry will have in store so I opt for a pregame meal before arrival.  But a bottle of Powerade keeps the beverage counter ticking.

Number of Teams I've Seen: 22

Beverage Consumption Counter: 164 ounces (13 days, 11 games, 2 scrimmages added on)

Pepsi: 32 ounces
Coke: 80 ounces
Sprite: 32 ounces
Red Powerade: 20 ounces

Hot Dog Counter: 2

Song of the Day
Aloe Blacc - The Man

Game Time
Henry with a nice post set where they curled off the post, popped out and had the curling guy set a cross screen on the box.  Easy layup to start the season for the Patriots.  After another Henry bucket, Breck stars Mo Lawal and Will Culliton score the 1st 14 points for the Mustangs.  Add on a couple Justin Bergerson buckets and the run is 18-3 in 6 minutes.  18-7 Breck at the 10 minute mark.  Cory Dixon going to the Jabbar like hook to break that run.  That ignites the defense as Henry converts a turnover to cut the lead to 18-13 at the 8:25 mark.  Lawal with a jumper to push the lead back to 10.  Jermal Davis active on the glass for 4 points, Ra Hudnell coast to coast and a Jacarius Ford hoop bring Henry to within 5.  Timeout Breck with 2:11 in the half.  Henry goes zone out of the timeout and pays for it.  Lawal for 3, Henry Cousineau for 3 and then Culliton for 3 and the foul as Henry tries to switch back to man in transition.  Difficult to switch defenses on the fly.  That quick 10-2 spurt allows Breck to open up a 44-31 lead at halftime.

Breck continues to roll in the 2nd half.  Culliton with a jumper and hit, another jumper and a long 3 against a zone employed on the baseline out of bounds.  The run is 18-4 to start the half.  That blows the game wide open 62-35 with 11:30 to play. Demetrius Edwards adds a bunch of late points to cut the margin but the outcome is never in doubt.  Breck wins 80-63.

Post Game
For Henry, Demetrius Edwards scores 18 of his 20 in the 2nd half.  9 of those came in the last 2 minutes after the benches had emptied.  Henry's transition defense not there and they'll need to find somebody to rebound with Mohammed out.  When they were able to get into their pressure, they did have some success with it.  The Patriots are now 0-1.  They host Edison on Thursday before a section game at St. Anthony on Saturday.

Breck improves to 4-0 with the win.  Will Culliton 4 triples on his way to 24 points.  I had him for 9-14 shooting.  Mo Lawal scored 16 of his 17 points in the 1st half.  Henry Cousineau was very active on the glass in addition to his 18 points.  The bench is really thin with only 1 player that they'll use in big situations.  If you can run them off the 3 point line and make secondary players like soph Garrett Opperman beat you, then you have a great chance to win.  I can see teams going box and 1 or triangle and 2 on them.  They host Brooklyn Center on Thursday.