Suburban East adventures and an island showdown

First Siberia, then Archangel before finishing in Moscow.  The Donatelli's pizza at White Bear Lake always outstanding.  Then Saturday its Garfield rules of eating with desert first at Mounds View with free root beer floats after the game.  We also get a sighting of former Thief River Falls star and Gopher Kyle Sanden.  I finish up the day with a hot dog on the island for dinner.  Dr Pepper, 0 calorie Powerade since concessions weren't open until late at Mounds View and a Coke on the island for the beverage counter. 

Number of Teams I've Seen: 136 (52 courts)

Beverage Consumption Counter: 1224.9 ounces (73 days, 103 games, 2 scrimmages added on)

  • Pepsi: 572 ounces
  • Coke: 192 ounces
  • Dr. Pepper: 48 ounces
  • Sprite: 128 ounces
  • Sierra Mist: 12 ounces
  • Barq's Root Beer: 20 ounces
  • A&W Root Beer: 36 ounces
  • Red Powerade: 100 ounces
  • 0 Calorie Fruit Punch Powerade: 20 ounces
  • Red Gatorade: 80 ounces
  • Water: 500 ml
Hot Dog Counter: 14

Song of the Day
Top of the World - The Carpenters

Friday: Stillwater at White Bear Lake
Off to arguably the worst trip in The Kingdom as I take in this section 4AAAA and Suburban East battle. Andy Lockwood with a pair of quick 3s as White Bear Lake would open an 11-5 lead.  Stillwater would counter with a 12-2 run thanks to the productivity of Kyle McKinley.  That 4 point lead would hold at half, 35-31.

Lockwood with 2 quick release bombs to start the 2nd half.  Stillwater would counter with a grind it out 8-0 run for a 45-41 lead with 11:09 left.  Wyatt Blinkhorn with a pair of putbacks in that run.  After seriously quiet offense, its Mitch Maw off the White Bear bench with 2 bombs and the Bears convert a turnover into a layup.  That's 8-0 in 34 seconds and WBL takes a 49-45 lead with 7:21 left.  Now the prize fighters trade punches.  Connor Gamble for 3 and a scoop for 2 both off high ball screens.  Brendan Whalen counters with a 3 that puts WBL back up 56-54 with 2:20 left.  WBL students pull out the Daniel Bryan YES! chant.  After a WBL turnover, its Blinkhorn off the double screen handoff for 2 free throws to tie it.  Lockwood misses and Gamble makes both end of the bonus before the Bears score to tie it.  Stillwater holds and misses.  Lockwood gets 1 last right wing heave that goes off glass and hits the rim twice before falling off.  58 all to OT .  In OT Gamble goes backdoor and then a double clutch finish for 2.  McKinley with a block on the other end and all of a sudden WBL is in a foul situation.  They go 8-8 and get a layup when the Bears don't foul.  Stillwater wins 70-62.  Connor Gamble leads the way with 23 for Stillwater.  Jacob Olsen and Andy Lockwood 18 each for White Bear Lake.  All of Lockwood's points on his 6 3s.

Saturday Game 1: Thief River Falls at Mounds View
Early on its all Jacob Joppru for Thief River Falls.  He starts with a 3, then drives for 2 and then an assist for a layup.  He adds a pullup and a transition 3 and another drive.  18-9 Thief River Falls at the 11:06 mark and Mounds View needs a timeout.  The Prowlers run is 11-2.  Mounds View comes out of the timeout box and 1 on Joppru and that changed the entire game.  Mounds View goes on an 11-3 run to cut the lead to 1.  Joppru breaks that run after a ball was saved right back to him under the rim.  Turnovers all over the place vs the box and 1 is a major surprise.  Mounds View turns that into a 35-30 lead at the half. 

The 2nd half is all Ryan Kaczynski.  He takes over and scores all the Mustangs field goals in the 1st 8:52 of the half.  The box and 1 still holding Joppru to nothing.  Joppru gets his only other hoop of the night on a broken floor with 5 minutes left.  Kaczynski goes for 18 in the half and Mounds View pulls away for a 72-56 win.  Kaczynski finishes with 31.  Joppru finishes with 19 but only 7 after the box and 1 and his 2 field goals afterwards were not out of regular offense.

Saturday Game 2: #4AAAA Robbinsdale Armstrong at #1AAA De La Salle
Jarvis Johnson in uniform but doesn't start.  No matter, he comes in less than 6 minutes in.  Sacar Anim with 2 early bombs.  Evan Nolan and Jerome Dixon counter those with their own 3s.  Tied at 10 at the 14:55 mark, very fast pace.  Then Anim flares for another 3, Jeffrey Daubanton with a tip dunk, Anim with another 3 and Goanar Mar runs for a layup.  14-2 run puts the Islanders in control 24-12 at 9:36.  Armstrong does keep it even the rest of the half despite crowd inspiring dunks from Anim, Daubanton and Josh Collins.  41-29 De La Salle at the half.

De La Salle slams the door right away to start the 2nd half.  Collins puts back a miss, Anim drives for 2 and Daubanton puts back a miss.  Anim with a 3 and frosh Gabe Kalscheur scores.  13-2 run to start the 2nd half blows it open.  54-32 with 13:33 left.  The outcome is never in doubt after that.  De La Salle rolls to a 89-60 win.  Sacar Anim outstanding with 6 3s and 34 points.  Jeffrey Daubanton very active on the offensive glass and finishes with 16.  Josh Collins adds 15.  Jerome Dixon leads Armstrong with 21 points and 4 3s.  Very impressive performance from Anim and De La Salle.  In my opinion, Sacar Anim and JT Gibson have now established themselves as the 2 clear front runners for the Mr Basketball award.

Hastings locks down the Spartans

Vladivostok HELLO!  Off to an extreme edge of The Kingdom as I continue my east metro viewing week with my first game at Hastings.  The Raiders with a tough home test against #8AAA Simley.  A high quality walking taco with 20 oz of Red Powerade is tonight's menu.  The Hastings students breakout the Sportscenter cardboard set with one of the "anchors" sporting a star spangled banner ensemble that Chris Berman would have been proud of.  UW-La Crosse and St. Olaf in the house for more serious work.

Number of Teams I've Seen: 134 (50 courts)

Beverage Consumption Counter: 1172.9 ounces (71 days, 100 games, 2 scrimmages added on)
  • Pepsi: 572 ounces
  • Coke: 172 ounces
  • Dr. Pepper: 36 ounces
  • Sprite: 128 ounces
  • Sierra Mist: 12 ounces
  • Barq's Root Beer: 20 ounces
  • A&W Root Beer: 36 ounces
  • Red Powerade: 100 ounces
  • Red Gatorade: 80 ounces
  • Water: 500 ml
Hot Dog Counter: 13

Song of the Day
Centuries - Fall Out Boy

Game Time:
Sam Stensgard put up 24 in the first meeting between the teams.  Craig Neilsen gets the task of slowing him down.  Early on, his length is a major hassle and he's all over the place getting steals.  Matt Amspoker for 3 and an Alex Anderson 3 point play for an 8-7 Simley lead at 15:16.  Nielsen to the spin move for 2 and a kick to Joe Dittrich for 3.  He'll add 2 more buckets with another spin included.  Point guard Christian Bronner very effective out of the Hastings DDM look.  His hoop at 3:30 extends the lead to 26-14.  Simley can't buy a shot and the Stensgards aren't getting good looks.  Sam Stensgard does get a 3 point play to finish a 5-0 mini run at the end of the half.  26-19 Hastings at the half. 

Anderson with a jumper and Sam Stensgard with 2 free throws to cut the lead to 26-23.  9-0 run across halftime for the Spartans.  Then Hastings pulls away.  Sam Skoyen for 3, Dittrich converts a turnover into 2 free throws.  Sam Stensgard clearly frustrated by the defense, 2 rushed shots don't fall and Brady Gullicks gets the extra pass for a crushing 3.  Then its Bronner off the bounce to one of his many spins and he finds Gullicks for another bomb.  Dittrich then drives for 2 more to finish the 13-2 Hastings run.  39-25 Raiders as Simley takes timeout to regroup with 11:28 left.  Hastings gets sloppy and Jack Stensgard takes a pair of steals for buckets.  Ben Scheffley adds a 3 to cut the lead to 41-32.  Good Hastings timeout to stop that with 7:42 to play.  Hastings with 4-4 FTs and then a pretty up and under from Neilsen to push the lead back to 15 with 4:40 left.  No danger after that.  Hastings wins 56-42

Post Game
Alex Anderson leads Simley with 15 points.  But the story of the game was the cold shooting of Simley.  There were good looks that just didn't go in.  Also plenty of credit to the Hastings defense.  They hold the Stensgard brothers to a combined 11 points, 20 under their average.  Jack Stensgard 8 total points in the 2 meetings isn't going to be enough in games like this.  Sam Stensgard held to 5 points, 1 field goal after the big game in the 1st meeting.  Simley falls to 5-5 in the Metro East, 12-7 overall.  That puts them 1 game behind Hill-Murray and 2 games behind St. Thomas Academy in league play.  It also really hurts their chances in the battle for the 2 or 3 seed in section 4AAA.  The upcoming schedule is favorable with Sibley, Hudson, North St. Paul and South St. Paul in the next 4.  Then a brutal 3 game ending with St. Thomas Academy and Tartan at home and they end the season at Hill-Murray.

Craig Neilsen and Joe Dittrich lead Hastings with 15 points each.  Neilsen did it all in this one.  Handle the ball vs pressure, score off the bounce or inside, poach passing lanes and he locked down Sam Stensgard.  His length totally took anyway any of the post up action Simley wants to use with him.  Brady Gullicks with a pair of clutch 3 in the big run on his way to 10 points.  Christian Bronner is a ball handler who adds another dimension of quickness when he's on the floor.  Hastings is now 15-3 overall and they stay 2 games up in the Metro East at 8-1.  Their winning streak stands at 8 games.  This home win was big because they still have to go on the road to Tartan, St. Thomas Academy and Hill-Murray.  Those first 2 are next week.  Win those and you're likely looking at the top seed in a very wide open section 1AAAA.

East meets West

We'll get in a west half of the metro trip but still see an east metro team as South St. Paul visits St. Louis Park in the only metro game of the night.  Fairly light crowd and a low level officiating crew.  South St. Paul entered the season with a 68 game league losing streak but snapped that with a win over Sibley earlier this season.  We get a toddler dressed in an officials outfit and he's making more miles than The Rev going up and down the sideline behind the South St. Paul bench.  Quality stuff.  The halftime music is a rare treat as we get all Rush.  So that's where we get tonight's tune.  Tonight's beverage is the rarely found A&W Root Beer to help meet the Ryan James goal of 100 oz by February.  Tough chore.

Number of Teams I've Seen: 133 (49 courts)

Beverage Consumption Counter: 1152.9 ounces (70 days, 99 games, 2 scrimmages added on)
  • Pepsi: 572 ounces
  • Coke: 172 ounces
  • Dr. Pepper: 36 ounces
  • Sprite: 128 ounces
  • Sierra Mist: 12 ounces
  • Barq's Root Beer: 20 ounces
  • A&W Root Beer: 36 ounces
  • Red Powerade: 80 ounces
  • Red Gatorade: 80 ounces
  • Water: 500 ml
Hot Dog Counter: 13

Song of the Day
Rush - Subdivisions

Game Time:
It takes a couple of minutes for the scoring to start but once it does its a 8-0 St. Louis Park run with their bench.  Noah Cuchna with a pair of 3s as the Packers counter with a 7-0 run of their own.  Ray Whitlock goes to the fade and then takes a steal for 2 to start an 11-2 Orioles run.  He also knocks down a 3 off a BLOB during the run.  19-9 St. Louis Park at the 9:15 mark.  South St. Paul just flat out stubborn and won't go away.  The next 8 go their way but the Orioles stretch the lead to 28-20 at the 4:30 mark.  Soph Mykal Howard for St. Louis Park with the creative spin and stretches out to scoop it home at the 2:40 mark.  South St. Paul gets 5 late points from Nate Totino and that cuts the margin to 36-32 St. Louis Park at the half. 

Zach Taylor gets his game going inside for South St. Paul.  He scores once and then a 3 point play on the next trip.  Cuchna buries a 3 and the 8-2 run gives the Packers a 40-38 lead less than 2 minutes into the half.  Ryan Domres with a couple of inside hoops and the Orioles convert a turnover.  John Engel stops minor bleeding with a 3 at the 14:30 mark.  44-43 St. Louis Park.  But that was just putting pressure on the wound and not a bandage.  Jason Keller with another steal for 2, Domres runs for 2 more layups to push the lead to 10 and force a Packers timeout.  A couple of Packers hoops keep them within 55-47 just inside 11 to play.  Then its Domres with 2 free throws, Keller with the jumper, Domres inside again.  Then a Howard block leads to a Jack Lynch runout for a layup.  Ray Whitlock finishes off the run.  The run ends at 22-4 in 6:30.  66-47 Orioles with 7:43 left and the outcome is never in doubt.  Quick shots by South St. Paul during the run and it was one and done into a snowball.  St. Louis Park wins 78-65.

Post Game
South St. Paul falls to 5-13 overall, 1-9 in the Metro East.  They've now lost 10 of 12 after a 3-3 start.  Reed Siegling was the head coach for the 2000-2001 thru 2003-2004 seasons and had an 11-14 season which has only been topped once in the last 22 years.  He was at Tartan and is now back at the helm for the Packers.  You can definitely see the improvement from last year but its a major rebuilding project to develop the lower levels and infuse the system with skilled kids.  The Packers do end up with 4 in double figures.  John Engel leads with 14 points off the bench.  Noah Cuchna and Zach Taylor with 13 each.  Nate Totino adds 10 off the bench.  The Packers start a 6 game homestand on Saturday vs Duluth Denfeld and then the battle to stay out of the cellar against Sibley next Tuesday.  As to seeding, they're likely looking at the 6 seed in 4AAA which would mean a tough conference road game.

Ray Whitlock leads St. Louis Park with 15 points.  He scored 11 of those in the first half.  Soph forward Ryan Domres with a very productive 2nd half scoring 12 of his 14.  Fellow post Aaron Zheng came off the bench and added 12 points via putbacks and dump offs out of the DDM.   Jason Keller also very active in the 2nd half for the Orioles with all 7 of his points.  The Orioles are now 7-12 overall and 2-5 in the Metro West.  The win snaps a stretch where they had lost 7 out of 8.  Now coach Breitenbucher has gone to 2 shifts of guys and the mass substitution pattern.  They host Richfield on Friday before playing the Bloomington schools next week.

Zephyrs triple the time again

My week of east metro teams continues with an important section and conference matchup of Mahtomedi at Tartan.  Nice student section on hand for Tartan.  The hot dog quality and I splurge for the unlikely weeknight Pepsi to keep the beverage counter rolling.  We'll get into section and conference implications of this one later.

Number of Teams I've Seen: 132 (49 courts)

Beverage Consumption Counter: 1140.9 ounces (69 days, 98 games, 2 scrimmages added on)
  • Pepsi: 572 ounces
  • Coke: 172 ounces
  • Dr. Pepper: 36 ounces
  • Sprite: 128 ounces
  • Sierra Mist: 12 ounces
  • Barq's Root Beer: 20 ounces
  • A&W Root Beer: 24 ounces
  • Red Powerade: 80 ounces
  • Red Gatorade: 80 ounces
  • Water: 500 ml
Hot Dog Counter: 13

Song of the Day
Barenaked Ladies - One Week

Game Time:
Mahtomedi comes out diamond and 1 on Jordan Horn.  That promptly gets busted with Kingston Myles, Horn and Jake Lyle hitting from deep.  Joevon Walker lays in a turnover.  11-2 Tartan at 13:47.  But Mahtomedi sticks with the junk defense and hangs around.  Horn goes the lefty finish and pulls up before the zone starts and buries a 3.  That keeps the lead at 20-12 at 7:22.  Junior Jacob Martin with a quick 3 off the bench to cut the lead to 4.  A Ben Nistler 3 helps push the lead back to 9.  Lucas Buller 3 in a row and a Sean Hjelle dunk and a Buller finish off a ball screen.  But Tartan keeps the lead at 34-27 going to the half.

Horn with a couple of free throws and a floater to keep the Tartan lead at 41-34, 13:20 left.  But Horn would go quiet after that and the Zephyrs would take advantage.  Sam Mustar for 3 off a missed free throw, Horn misses a breakaway dunk, Mustar lost and buries another 3.  Sam Newman with a 3 point play to put Mahtomedi on top.  Mustar fouled on the BLOB and makes all 3 free throws.  Hjelle with a backside lob dunk.  That finishes a 19-3 Mahtomedi run.  53-44 Mahtomedi with 6:25 left and Tartan is in trouble.  Then Emanuel Humphrey with a pair of quick putbacks and a Jake Lyle 3 for a quick 7-0 Tartan run.  55-53 Mahtomedi 4:26 left.  Lyle with a long bomb to cut the lead to 1 and Myles with a layup from Horn after a Zephyrs miss to put Tartan back up.  58-57 Titans 1:35 left.  Mahtomedi turns it over inbounding after a timeout.  They'll strategically foul Myles who misses 3 of 4 freebies.  Jackson Bell with a foul line jumper with 42 left to tie it.  Tartan will hold for 1 shot vs the diamond and 1.  Horn goes and gets it for a double high ball screen but Mahtomedi does a good job jumping it and Tartan doesn't get a good look.  Tied at 59 heading to overtime.

Horn starts the overtime by ripping off Hjelle and Myles strips Mustar for his 5th foul.  All 4 free throws on those turnovers are good.  After a Newman hoop, Tartan holds vs the diamond and 1.  Horn is fouled with 1:56 left and makes the 1st.  Joevon Walker puts back the 2nd for a 66-61 Tartan lead.  Newman fouled and makes 2.  Walker misses 2 with 1:15 left as Mahtomedi picks their guy to foul.  Mahtomedi misses 3 triples but gets them back and sophomore Andy Voyen scores with 40 seconds left.  Myles makes 1 of 2 with 27.8 left and the lead is 2.  Then its Newman on a regular Mahtomedi backdoor set with 15 seconds left to tie it.  Buller strips Horn right before the horn and his 25 footer is no good at the horn.  67 all to double OT.

In the 2nd OT, its a redux of Hopkins vs Shakopee from last season at state.  Tartan wins the tip and they'll hold vs the diamond and 1.  The teams trade missed free throws and Tartan holds for the last possession.  After a timeout, the ball ends up with Jake Lyle in a broken play and his long heave is no good.  67 all to the 3rd overtime.

Then in the 3rd overtime Tartan will play.  They miss and Newman gets a set play great look for a 3 that he buries.  Now Tartan has to play.  Walker scores inside and Bell makes a pair of freebies.  Tartan misses with 2 minutes left  Mahtomedi holds and Bell misses 2 free throws with 44.9 left.  Long Tartan possession not getting into anything.  Finally its Lyle with a desperation shot with 10 seconds left that's no good.  Voyen makes 1 of 2 to close it out.  Mahtomedi wins 73-69 in 3 OT.

Post Game:
Tartan falls to 15-4 overall, 7-3 in the Metro East.  That's a 3 way tie for 2nd with Mahtomedi and St. Thomas Academy.  Mahtomedi would win the tiebreak as they are 3-0 against those opponents.  Jordan Horn leads the Titans with 19 points on 5-14 shooting.  I also had him for 5 rebounds and 3 assists.  His last field goal was before the big Mahtomedi run as the diamond and 1 really slowed him down.  Jake Lyle 4 3s for 12, Kingston Myles 13, Joevon Walker 11.  The middle of the diamond and 1 was wide open and not exploited.  That was with Hjelle staying back to protect the hoop.  Tartan did try some side ball screen action but always screened the side guy in the zone and didn't get the top guy.  Hill-Murray and Hastings come to Tartan in the next week.

Mahtomedi survives another triple overtime thriller as they beat Hermantown in 3 OT 10 days ago.  Sam Newman leads the way with 18 points.  A pair of big plays in the 1st overtime to keep the Zephyrs in it.  Sean Hjelle 13 points, 16 rebounds and 5 blocks on my sheet.  His length was a major factor on the defensive end and on set play backside lobs for easy hoops.  Sam Mustar with 14 points and 3 big 3s.  Great game plan from Mahtomedi and despite some 3s, they were happy to stick with the diamond and 1 and it worked.  This was the 1st of the last 8 of the year on the road for Mahtomedi.  They are at St. Thomas on Friday and Hill-Murray next Wednesday.  A big road win like this makes it much easier to go into those 2 games.

Seeding Implications
As we're only 4 weeks away from the playoffs, its time to talk seeds.  So let's assume for sake of discussion that Stillwater beats Mahtomedi at home next month.  That would give us this food chain.  Roseville has 2 wins over Mounds View who beat Stillwater who beat White Bear Lake who beat Mahtomedi in the season opener who beat Tartan twice.  There's your 1 thru 6 seeds in a surprisingly deep section 4AAAA.  Now the Suburban East is definitely better than the Metro East but I have a really hard time thinking that a good 15-4 Tartan club should be behind a 9-10 White Bear Lake team, but the QRF is also even between the 2 (WBL barely leads and that's before tonight's game).  So plenty to play out in the last 3 1/2 weeks and the Suburban East has the voting edge 5-3 in the seeding meeting.  I'll see for myself on Friday as I'll see White Bear Lake for the 1st time.  Of course, my only serious reason for being there will be the fantastic Donatelli's pizza.

Teddies not kind to the Scots

Highland Park Wall Mural
Its another Monday night at St. Paul Highland Park, thankfully the WIFI works since the cell service is dead.  Tonight's opponent for the Scots is #4AA Minneapolis Roosevelt.  Nice short non-conference trip for the Teddies.  The walking taco is outstanding with Sprite as always.  Light crowd for this one.  Arione Farrar comes off the bench and no Rob Mestas running Roosevelt tonight. 

Number of Teams I've Seen: 132 (49 courts)

Beverage Consumption Counter: 1128.9 ounces (68 days, 97 games, 2 scrimmages added on)
  • Pepsi: 560 ounces
  • Coke: 172 ounces
  • Dr. Pepper: 36 ounces
  • Sprite: 128 ounces
  • Sierra Mist: 12 ounces
  • Barq's Root Beer: 20 ounces
  • A&W Root Beer: 24 ounces
  • Red Powerade: 80 ounces
  • Red Gatorade: 80 ounces
  • Water: 500 ml
Hot Dog Counter: 12

Song of the Day
Natalie Merchant - Wonder

Game Time:
Highland Park gets off to a start with Eddie McGrew knocking down a 3 and 2 free throws.  7-2 Scots when Farrar finally enters at the 12:22 mark.  The shooting is ice cold from both sides.  Elijah Hannah knocks down a 3 and Farrar comes off a ball screen and banks his own 3 from straight away.  9 all at 10:30.  Frosh Josh Aune with a 3 point play at 10:24 and the Scots keep a 12-9 lead.  But Roosevelt's 2-3 zone holds them to 1 field goal in almost the next 10 minutes.  Meanwhile Farrar runs for a layup, Hannah drives for 2 free throws, London Cobbs with 2 freebies of his own and makes one of his few shots of the night on a kickout for 3.  Farrar ends the 21-5 run by getting out for another layup.  A late Scots 3 cuts the margin to 30-20 Roosevelt at the half.

Farrar starts the 2nd half and he has it going right away.  A jumper and a floater off a ball screen.  Then he turns a turnover into 2 free throws and then makes a pullup jumper.  Then he'll extend the range with a 3 ball.  43-25 Roosevelt pulling away with 14:08 left.  Farrar with 11 of those.  Hannah for 3 and a Farrar 3 point play.  Junior Martez Rodgers to the rack for 2 and the lead is 24, 53-29.  The rest of the game is no contest.  Roosevelt rolls to a 71-49 victory.

Post Game
Highland Park gets 10 guys in the scorebook but nobody in double figures.  Jitterbug Emanuel Murphy leads the Scots with 8 points.  Enough bad turnovers and not making shots against the zone will do you in.  Then no answer for 8 Roosevelt 3s.  The Scots are now 4-14 overall, 3-3 in the down St. Paul City Conference.  The schedule is busy with trips to St. Paul Washington and SPA on Friday and Saturday.  Then its a non-conference showdown with Minneapolis Southwest at Target Center next Monday night.  An interesting sidenote there is Highland Park coach Jon DePerry's son plays for Southwest.

Roosevelt improves to 15-3 with their 9th straight win.  They are 5-2 and in 2nd place in the Minneapolis City.  Their last loss was an 8 point loss to league leader Minneapolis North (no Hannah for that one) just before the holiday break.  They host South on Thursday.  Then a 3 game league road swing to North, Henry and Edison.  They'll end the season with a big home game against #8AA Breck.  Arione Farrar scores 17 of his 27 in the 2nd half and sat a large chunk of that half.  Elijah Hannah 13 points with 3 3s.  (I'm sticking with my scoresheet instead of the hub on those).  London Cobbs had a bunch of quality looks but only was able to shoot 1-10.  Have to like what's going on in the Minneapolis City right now with North and Washburn arguably the favorites in sections 4A and 6AAA.  Then add in Roosevelt who would be no shocker to come out of section 4AA

January 25, 2015 CzarPI

This is the 3nd CzarPI of the 2014-15 season (see CzarPI Explained here). It includes games through Saturday, January 24th, 2015. The value in () after the CzarPI value is the team's strength of schedule ranking within their class

Class AAAA
  1. Apple Valley - 62.4 (6)
  2. Champlin Park - 61.98 (31)
  3. Eden Prairie - 61.62 (5)
  4. Hopkins - 60.4 (1)
  5. Cretin-Derham Hall - 59.09 (12)
  6. East Ridge - 57.84 (33)
  7. Shakopee - 57.46 (13)
  8. Minnetonka - 57.24 (8)
  9. Roseville - 56.8 (15)
  10. Hastings - 56.37 (59)
  11. Maple Grove - 56.27 (43)
  12. Eastview - 56.24 (17)
  13. St. Michael-Albertville - 55.89 (50)
  14. Robbinsdale Armstrong - 55.58 (58)
  15. Tartan - 55.33 (64)
  16. Wayzata - 55.25 (22)
  17. Rochester John Marshall - 54.73 (44)
  18. Chaska - 54.68 (38)
  19. Moorhead - 54.61 (60)
  20. St. Francis - 54.25 (54)
  21. Edina - 53.88 (40)
  22. Duluth East - 53.6 (57)
  23. Bloomington Jefferson - 53.41 (63)
  24. Mounds View - 53.34 (36)
  25. Mahtomedi - 52.97 (35)
  26. Lakeville North - 52.39 (18)
  27. Northfield - 52.23 (56)
  28. Rochester Mayo - 50.88 (62)
  29. Stillwater Area - 49.98 (20)
  30. Centennial - 49.42 (41)
  31. Owatonna - 49.11 (29)
  32. White Bear Lake - 49 (21)
  33. Rogers - 48.82 (42)
  34. Prior Lake - 48.75 (11)
  35. Forest Lake - 48.75 (16)
  36. Andover - 47.34 (51)
  37. Osseo - 46.79 (45)
  38. Elk River - 46.56 (49)
  39. Bloomington Kennedy - 46.46 (32)
  40. Buffalo - 46.27 (37)
  41. Chanhassen - 46.13 (14)
  42. Brainerd - 45.8 (52)
  43. Burnsville - 45.58 (10)
  44. Lakeville South - 45.51 (2)
  45. Blaine - 45.33 (46)
  46. St. Cloud Tech - 45.08 (48)
  47. Farmington - 45.01 (25)
  48. Rosemount - 44 (3)
  49. Minneapolis South - 43.47 (28)
  50. Cambridge-Isanti - 40.4 (61)
  51. Park Center - 38.86 (53)
  52. Robbinsdale Cooper - 38.27 (19)
  53. Park of Cottage Grove - 38.03 (30)
  54. Woodbury - 37.94 (9)
  55. St. Louis Park - 36.84 (39)
  56. Bemidji - 36.05 (7)
  57. Eagan - 35.73 (4)
  58. Irondale - 34.39 (47)
  59. North St. Paul - 30.98 (24)
  60. Anoka - 29.35 (27)
  61. Rochester Century - 28.12 (34)
  62. Minneapolis Southwest - 27.99 (23)
  63. Coon Rapids - 25.61 (55)
  64. Henry Sibley - 23.17 (26)
Class AAA
  1. Marshall - 60.76 (15)
  2. Detroit Lakes - 58.86 (20)
  3. DeLaSalle - 58.49 (9)
  4. Hermantown - 57.6 (34)
  5. Albany - 56.75 (46)
  6. Red Wing - 56.05 (44)
  7. Orono - 55.18 (30)
  8. St. Thomas Academy - 54.4 (3)
  9. St. Paul Johnson - 54.37 (39)
  10. Rocori - 53.81 (58)
  11. New Prague - 53.64 (24)
  12. Mankato West - 53.32 (26)
  13. Simley - 52.16 (17)
  14. Hill-Murray - 52.05 (22)
  15. Fergus Falls - 51.28 (11)
  16. Minneapolis Washburn - 50.69 (18)
  17. Thief River Falls - 50.56 (38)
  18. Chisago Lakes Area - 50.19 (57)
  19. Alexandria - 49.97 (36)
  20. Monticello - 49.82 (45)
  21. Delano - 49.64 (56)
  22. Mankato East - 49.57 (43)
  23. Cloquet - 48.85 (61)
  24. Little Falls - 48.45 (41)
  25. Dassel-Cokato - 48.14 (52)
  26. Waconia - 48.08 (1)
  27. Austin - 47.96 (13)
  28. St. Paul Central - 47.93 (8)
  29. Stewartville - 47.88 (60)
  30. Columbia Heights - 46.89 (21)
  31. Hutchinson - 46.79 (27)
  32. Sauk Rapids-Rice - 46.43 (48)
  33. Sartell-St. Stephen - 46.36 (14)
  34. St. Cloud Apollo - 46.04 (47)
  35. Fridley - 45.73 (63)
  36. Grand Rapids - 45.37 (31)
  37. Holy Family Catholic - 44.96 (5)
  38. Mound Westonka - 44.67 (29)
  39. Faribault - 44.61 (19)
  40. Kasson-Mantorville - 44.26 (62)
  41. Minneapolis Henry - 43.47 (28)
  42. Holy Angels - 42.08 (54)
  43. Benilde-St. Margaret's - 41.88 (10)
  44. Becker - 40.99 (35)
  45. Hibbing - 39.96 (16)
  46. St. Paul Harding - 39.13 (64)
  47. Duluth Denfeld - 38.52 (6)
  48. Spring Lake Park - 38.37 (40)
  49. Winona - 37.09 (7)
  50. St. Anthony Village - 36.97 (25)
  51. South St. Paul - 36.27 (32)
  52. Zimmerman - 35.77 (49)
  53. Totino-Grace - 35.52 (50)
  54. St. Paul Highland Park - 35.5 (23)
  55. New Ulm - 34.59 (51)
  56. St. Paul Como Park - 34.07 (33)
  57. Princeton - 32.85 (53)
  58. Big Lake - 32.72 (12)
  59. Worthington - 32.52 (4)
  60. Willmar - 31.27 (42)
  61. Richfield - 27.37 (59)
  62. North Branch - 27.13 (55)
  63. Blake - 24.95 (37)
  64. Albert Lea - 0 (2)
Class AA
  1. St. Croix Lutheran - 61.03 (10)
  2. Barnum - 59.32 (79)
  3. Eden Valley-Watkins - 58.6 (49)
  4. New Richland-H-E-G - 58.16 (19)
  5. Maple Lake - 57.66 (67)
  6. Maple River - 57.54 (50)
  7. Long Prairie-Grey Eagle - 57.46 (89)
  8. Melrose - 57.14 (35)
  9. Breck - 57.03 (42)
  10. Hawley - 56.36 (37)
  11. Redwood Valley - 56.04 (15)
  12. St. Cloud Cathedral - 55.82 (85)
  13. Caledonia - 55.12 (106)
  14. Braham - 55.12 (98)
  15. Crookston - 54.95 (114)
  16. Lake City - 54.81 (115)
  17. Minneapolis Roosevelt - 54.53 (74)
  18. Breckenridge - 54.44 (8)
  19. Tracy-Milroy-Balaton - 53.98 (46)
  20. Crosby-Ironton - 53.64 (66)
  21. Waterville-Elysian-Morristown - 53.59 (28)
  22. Waseca - 53.41 (117)
  23. Sauk Centre - 53.37 (29)
  24. Brooklyn Center - 53.24 (11)
  25. Glencoe-Silver Lake - 53.12 (84)
  26. Rockford - 53.01 (36)
  27. Jordan - 53 (92)
  28. Esko - 52.79 (18)
  29. Pipestone Area - 52.45 (3)
  30. Barnesville - 51.98 (64)
  31. Jackson County Central - 51.92 (9)
  32. St. Charles - 51.54 (119)
  33. Dover-Eyota - 51.53 (94)
  34. Gibbon-Fairfax-Winthrop - 51.37 (125)
  35. Fairmont - 51.06 (22)
  36. International Falls - 51.04 (116)
  37. Annandale - 50.85 (17)
  38. Pierz - 50.79 (1)
  39. Rochester Lourdes - 50.39 (57)
  40. Minnehaha Academy - 50.17 (43)
  41. Montevideo - 50.15 (23)
  42. Concordia Academy-Roseville - 50.09 (82)
  43. Virginia - 49.75 (99)
  44. Watertown-Mayer - 49.28 (65)
  45. Pillager - 49.11 (34)
  46. Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial - 48.87 (78)
  47. Moose Lake-Willow River - 48.84 (63)
  48. LeSueur-Henderson - 48.83 (93)
  49. Windom Area - 48.72 (27)
  50. New Life Academy - 48.66 (90)
  51. BOLD - 48.55 (72)
  52. Proctor - 48.48 (25)
  53. Pine City - 48.15 (113)
  54. Minnewaska Area - 48.03 (80)
  55. Litchfield - 47.65 (6)
  56. Morris Area/Chokio-Alberta - 47.45 (62)
  57. St. Paul Academy - 47.35 (5)
  58. Byron - 47.12 (73)
  59. Perham - 46.77 (4)
  60. Pequot Lakes - 46.72 (71)
  61. Providence Academy - 46.59 (87)
  62. Pine Island - 46.56 (39)
  63. St. James Area - 46.43 (40)
  64. La Crescent - 46.05 (54)
  65. Deer River - 45.81 (95)
  66. Tri-City United - 45.77 (88)
  67. Plainview-Elgin-Millville - 45.56 (59)
  68. Lac qui Parle Valley - 45.55 (58)
  69. Staples-Motley - 45.35 (30)
  70. St. Paul Humboldt - 45.16 (126)
  71. Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton - 44.89 (44)
  72. Roseau - 44.69 (118)
  73. FAIR School - 44.06 (127)
  74. New London-Spicer - 44.06 (16)
  75. Hinckley-Finlayson - 43.91 (112)
  76. Luverne - 43.79 (45)
  77. St. John's Prep - 43.51 (12)
  78. Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted - 43.46 (69)
  79. St. Croix Prep - 43.38 (111)
  80. Trinity School - 43.27 (103)
  81. Chatfield - 43.25 (91)
  82. Cannon Falls - 43.19 (61)
  83. Badger/Greenbush-Middle River - 43.11 (110)
  84. Park Rapids Area - 43.09 (41)
  85. St. Peter - 42.84 (52)
  86. Prairie Seeds Academy - 42.58 (102)
  87. St. Paul Washington - 41.97 (124)
  88. Great River - 41.88 (104)
  89. Frazee - 41.88 (20)
  90. Triton - 41.29 (107)
  91. Blue Earth Area - 41.1 (13)
  92. Norwood-Young America - 40.85 (33)
  93. Eveleth-Gilbert - 40.68 (122)
  94. Milaca - 40.61 (31)
  95. Martin County West - 40.52 (14)
  96. Rush City - 40.39 (109)
  97. Osakis - 39.43 (2)
  98. Sibley East - 39.31 (48)
  99. Benson - 38.95 (100)
  100. Spectrum - 38.93 (121)
  101. Paynesville Area - 38.88 (38)
  102. Belle Plaine - 38.75 (56)
  103. Mora - 38.33 (86)
  104. Hayfield - 38.26 (53)
  105. Holdingford - 38.13 (24)
  106. St. Agnes - 37.75 (97)
  107. Foley - 37.14 (60)
  108. Bagley - 36.76 (76)
  109. East Grand Forks - 36.66 (77)
  110. Two Harbors - 36.15 (105)
  111. Mounds Park Academy - 36 (120)
  112. Lewiston-Altura - 35.4 (81)
  113. Winona Cotter - 34.94 (70)
  114. Aitkin - 34.67 (83)
  115. Yellow Medicine East - 34.6 (21)
  116. Duluth Marshall - 33.18 (26)
  117. Kenyon-Wanamingo - 32.61 (108)
  118. Medford - 31.88 (75)
  119. Minneapolis Edison - 31.81 (32)
  120. St. Paul Prep - 31.75 (129)
  121. Mayer Lutheran - 31.58 (47)
  122. International School of MN - 30.83 (128)
  123. Warroad - 26.47 (51)
  124. Zumbrota-Mazeppa - 26.24 (68)
  125. Pelican Rapids - 25.8 (55)
  126. Greenway - 17.41 (101)
  127. Mesabi East - 0 (96)
  128. Wadena-Deer Creek - 0 (7)
  129. Hmong Academy - 0 (123)
Class A
  1. Rushford-Peterson - 59.21 (44)
  2. Nevis - 58.07 (33)
  3. Cass Lake-Bena - 57.53 (1)
  4. Red Lake - 56.57 (32)
  5. Minneapolis North - 56.23 (27)
  6. Canby - 55.99 (83)
  7. Parkers Prairie - 55.92 (60)
  8. Central MN Christian - 55.74 (134)
  9. Maranatha Christian - 55.54 (67)
  10. Floodwood - 55.17 (104)
  11. Battle Lake - 55.03 (111)
  12. West Central Area - 53.47 (57)
  13. Win-E-Mac - 53.26 (13)
  14. Fosston - 53.18 (77)
  15. Hillcrest Lutheran Academy - 53.17 (78)
  16. Park Christian - 53.12 (73)
  17. Mankato Loyola - 53.03 (68)
  18. Dawson-Boyd - 52.36 (41)
  19. United South Central - 52.31 (16)
  20. Kimball Area - 51.79 (63)
  21. Murray County Central - 51.74 (116)
  22. Bertha-Hewitt - 51.65 (85)
  23. St. Clair - 51.61 (39)
  24. Southwest Christian - 51.57 (62)
  25. Springfield - 51.38 (99)
  26. Pine River-Backus - 51.36 (15)
  27. Waubun - 51.35 (144)
  28. Spring Grove - 51.17 (139)
  29. Minnesota Transitions Charter - 51.1 (133)
  30. Mountain Iron-Buhl - 51.03 (147)
  31. Goodhue - 50.62 (109)
  32. Grand Meadow - 50.52 (128)
  33. Legacy Christian - 50.45 (21)
  34. Blooming Prairie - 50.43 (7)
  35. Randolph - 50.03 (150)
  36. Browerville - 50.02 (18)
  37. Lakeview Christian - 49.7 (102)
  38. North Woods - 49.53 (91)
  39. Kittson County Central - 49.18 (70)
  40. Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City - 49.12 (54)
  41. Ortonville - 48.6 (79)
  42. Hills-Beaver Creek - 48.59 (112)
  43. Nova Classical Academy - 48.47 (154)
  44. Stephen-Argyle - 48.2 (142)
  45. New York Mills - 47.84 (10)
  46. Mountain Lake Area - 47.82 (115)
  47. Northern Freeze - 47.7 (76)
  48. Mahnomen - 47.33 (5)
  49. Fertile-Beltrami - 47.09 (36)
  50. NCE/U-H - 47.05 (42)
  51. PACT Charter - 46.81 (81)
  52. Walker-Hackensack-Akeley - 46.62 (29)
  53. Upsala - 46.22 (46)
  54. Lyle/Austin Pacelli - 46.22 (126)
  55. Menahga - 45.97 (53)
  56. Fond du Lac Ojibwe - 45.93 (6)
  57. Southwest MN Christian - 45.9 (43)
  58. Cristo Rey Jesuit - 45.9 (136)
  59. Verndale - 45.81 (49)
  60. Janesville-Waldorf-Pemberton - 45.58 (24)
  61. Ellsworth - 45.36 (106)
  62. Brandon/Evansville - 45.29 (3)
  63. Wrenshall - 45.1 (146)
  64. Warren-Alvarado-Oslo - 44.89 (88)
  65. Ely - 44.7 (149)
  66. Adrian - 44.63 (143)
  67. New Ulm Cathedral - 44.58 (152)
  68. Red Lake County - 44.31 (129)
  69. Sebeka - 44.22 (50)
  70. Swanville - 43.72 (34)
  71. Houston - 43.6 (125)
  72. Westbrook-Walnut Grove - 43.56 (130)
  73. CHOF - 43.55 (124)
  74. Northome/Kelliher - 43.36 (94)
  75. Heritage Christian - 42.88 (19)
  76. Alden-Conger - 42.76 (131)
  77. Hope Academy - 42.66 (157)
  78. Madelia - 42.4 (93)
  79. Kingsland - 42.17 (45)
  80. MACCRAY - 41.93 (25)
  81. Cromwell - 41.57 (14)
  82. Nashwauk-Keewatin - 41.14 (148)
  83. Hill City - 41.11 (141)
  84. T/ML/GHEC - 40.91 (105)
  85. Henning - 40.88 (55)
  86. Lakeview - 40.11 (66)
  87. Fillmore Central - 40 (74)
  88. Bigfork - 39.81 (40)
  89. Blackduck - 39.76 (69)
  90. Bethlehem Academy - 39.35 (35)
  91. East Central - 39.22 (38)
  92. Minnesota Valley Lutheran - 38.86 (92)
  93. Cherry - 38.2 (151)
  94. Sleepy Eye Saint Mary's - 38.06 (90)
  95. Isle - 37.6 (137)
  96. Christian Life School - 37.59 (100)
  97. Fulda - 37.35 (110)
  98. Lester Prairie/Holy Trinity - 37.23 (47)
  99. Ogilvie - 37.12 (114)
  100. Lake Park-Audubon - 36.99 (26)
  101. West Lutheran - 36.8 (80)
  102. Chisholm - 36.78 (56)
  103. MN Academy for the Deaf - 36.72 (145)
  104. Minneota - 36.69 (98)
  105. Ada-Borup - 36.41 (11)
  106. Carlton - 36.29 (123)
  107. Southland - 36.21 (23)
  108. Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa - 35.38 (8)
  109. Edgerton - 35.35 (89)
  110. McGregor - 35.33 (138)
  111. Math & Science Academy - 35.17 (158)
  112. Littlefork-Big Falls - 34.89 (153)
  113. Underwood - 34.7 (22)
  114. Heron Lake-Okabena - 34.32 (86)
  115. Northland - 33.71 (120)
  116. Wabasha-Kellogg - 33.55 (51)
  117. Norman County West - 33.19 (132)
  118. Lanesboro - 32.95 (52)
  119. Community of Peace Academy - 32.92 (155)
  120. Russell-Tyler-Ruthton - 32.73 (31)
  121. Hancock - 32.61 (20)
  122. Onamia - 31.88 (87)
  123. Cedar Mountain/Comfrey - 31.79 (48)
  124. Red Rock Central - 31.39 (119)
  125. Cleveland - 31.26 (95)
  126. Mabel-Canton - 30.82 (127)
  127. Royalton - 30.18 (17)
  128. Silver Bay - 29.98 (61)
  129. Glenville-Emmons - 29.44 (97)
  130. Bethany Academy - 29.12 (107)
  131. Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley - 27.54 (12)
  132. Laporte - 27.47 (103)
  133. Climax/Fisher - 27 (28)
  134. Mesabi Academy - 26.75 (135)
  135. Hope Lutheran - 24.91 (101)
  136. Calvin Christian - 24.66 (156)
  137. Goodridge/Grygla - 24.33 (65)
  138. Sacred Heart - 24.19 (64)
  139. Nicollet - 23.66 (108)
  140. Cook County - 22.77 (71)
  141. Renville County West - 22.45 (59)
  142. Sleepy Eye - 22.26 (118)
  143. Schaeffer Academy - 20.69 (75)
  144. Wheaton/Herman-Norcross - 20.02 (72)
  145. LeRoy-Ostrander - 16.91 (96)
  146. Clearbrook-Gonvick - 14.88 (58)
  147. Academy for Sciences & Ag - 0 (140)
  148. Ashby - 0 (4)
  149. Wabasso - 0 (30)
  150. South Ridge - 0 (37)
  151. Liberty Classical Academy - 0 (84)
  152. Bug-O-Nay-Ge-Shig - 0 (159)
  153. Rothsay - 0 (2)
  154. Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg - 0 (9)
  155. Buffalo Lake-Hector-Stewart - 0 (82)
  156. Lake of the Woods - 0 (113)
  157. Learning for Leadership - 0 (117)
  158. North Lakes Academy - 0 (121)
  159. Northeast Range - 0 (122)
  160. Cambridge Christian - 0 (160)

2015 East Metro Showcase and 5AAAA Battle

The East Metro Showcase returns after a year off.  This year its 3 local games at Johnson.  A quality walking taco as always but 1 of my 2 cans of Pepsi was with real sugar, YUCK!  Like a bad mixed drink.  Sparse crowd early but a very good crowd for the late game.  Then off to Maple Grove's new home Osseo Junior High for their critical section 5AAAA showdown with Wayzata.  Nightly sponsor Rush Creek putting out a high quality pulled pork sandwich meal deal.  Fun venue with a big set of stands on 1 side, stage on the other and a large set of bleachers behind 1 basket.

Number of Teams I've Seen: 132 (49 courts)

Beverage Consumption Counter: 1116.9 ounces (66 days, 96 games, 2 scrimmages added on)
  • Pepsi: 560 ounces
  • Coke: 172 ounces
  • Dr. Pepper: 36 ounces
  • Sprite: 116 ounces
  • Sierra Mist: 12 ounces
  • Barq's Root Beer: 20 ounces
  • A&W Root Beer: 24 ounces
  • Red Powerade: 80 ounces
  • Red Gatorade: 80 ounces
  • Water: 500 ml
Hot Dog Counter: 12

Song of the Day
Bruno Mars - Tonight

Game #1: Columbia Heights vs St. Paul Central
Central has played an absolutely brutal schedule so their record is deceptive.  16-13 Columbia Heights after a Montroy Scott hoop at the 8:50 mark.  Central would reply with a 15-2 run.  Heights star Jerrett Baptiste on the bench thanks to 2 fouls for most of that.  28-22 Central at the break.   Heights comes out in the 2nd half on a 10-2 run and thanks to a Scott Howell technical it would extend to 46-40 with 8:24 left.  48-43 Heights when Central goes on a 10-0 run with Baptiste sitting with 4 fouls.  Sam Gubbrud and Jack Beckman with bombs to end the run.  Baptiste back in at the 3:11 mark.  He converts a layup to tie the game and a 3 point play to take the lead with 1:18 left.  Sam Gubbrud a 3 point play with 21 seconds left to cut the Heights lead to 2.  Heights turns it over and Central draws up a play for Sam Gubbrud.  He catches on the right wing and has nothing.  Nothing off the bounce and its a scramble.  It ends up with Beckman and his left wing 3 is good at the buzzer for a 59-58 Central win.  Montroy Scott leads Columbia Heights with 24 points.  Jack Beckman with 15 of his 19 in the 2nd half to lead the Minutemen.  Sam Gubbrud adds 15.

Game #2: Prior Lake vs Minneapolis Henry
Connor Bair leading an early 12-1 Prior Lake run for a 19-8 Lakers lead at 11:50.  The loud Henry bench being a factor in a good way.  33-24 Prior Lake at the half.  Henry comes out of the locker room on a 11-2 run to promptly tie the game.  Demetrius Edwards-Brown doing it outside and Julian Jackson doing it inside.  Edwards-Brown for 3 to end a 18-6 spurt.  42-39 Henry 11:10 left.  Kevin McKiernan with a pair of critical 3s for the Lakers.  But its Bair from the short corner vs the Henry 2-3 that is too much to handle.  Henry has no answer for him.  Prior Lake wins 70-66.  Connor Bair goes for 28.  Demetrius Edwards-Brown goes for 18 of his 25 in the 2nd half.  Julian Jackson 14 of his 20 in the 2nd half.

Game 3: #8AAAA Cretin-Derham Hall at #2AAA St. Paul Johnson
Johnson's athletes having some impact early on but Donnell Gresham getting it done with a pair of early 3s and a drive.  13-8 CDH at the 11 minute mark.  Jordan Ammons and Chris Perry holding Jalen Mobley in check.  He goes 1-8 in the half.  Eric Elliot with a couple late hoops to keep Johnson within 34-29 at the break.

Jalen Mobley coast to coast for 2 after draining a 3 off a ball screen.  48-40 CDH at 14:20.  Gresham counters with 5 in a row of his own.  56-46  CDH at 10:55.  Then frosh Daniel Oturu with a putback for a 3 point play, Sam Neumann with a transition bomb and a Joe Rosga bucket.  65-47 CDH with 9:10 left and the Raiders look in complete control.  But Johnson won't go away.  Elliot with a 3 point play, Mobley with a steal for 2.  Elliot 2 offensive boards for 3 points.  67-59 with 5:57 left.  Then Johnson turns it over on 3 of the next 4 possessions.  Elliot for 2 and 3 but Neumann counters those with a pair of daggers from deep and the last one with serious guts in transition.    Elliot to the rack and a tip in with 1:30 left but CDH still leads by 8.  CDH turns it over for 2 Mobley free throws.  Savon Parker for 3 with 54 seconds left and Elliot with a tip after Gresham misses 2 freebies.  3 point game but Joe Rosga makes 4-4 FTs (11 of 11 for the game, all 2nd half) to put it away.  Cretin-Derham Hall wins 88-83.  Joe Rosga leads CDH with 27 points, 19 of those in the 2nd half.  Sam Neumann 19 of his 25 after halftime including 5 3s.  Donnell Gresham 13 of his 23 in the 1st half.  You have to hold down the big 3 if you play CDH.  Eric Elliot goes for 28 for Johnson.  Jalen Mobley 17 but only 5-16 shooting on my sheet with 1-8 in the 1st half.

Game 4: Wayzata at #3AAAA Maple Grove
Brad Davison distributing freely in this one.  It starts up high to Reed Nikko for a dunk, then low on the backdoor to Tywhon Pickford for a pair of layups.  Johnny Beeninga carrying the Wayzata offense.  A transition 3 and a run out for a layup.  Jack Sowada for 2 and a Gavin Baumgartner 3 point play tie the game at 20 at the 7:21 mark.  Wayzata goes for 7 in a row late in the half only to see Maple Grove get the last 4.  Wayzata 34-33 at the half.

Beeninga with a 3, then soph Ryan Lindberg with a pair of jumpers for 7-0 run and its Wayzata 48-40 with 8:20 to play.  They slowed the pace and ran their stuff with great success.   Maple Grove counters with 5 in a row before Beeninga goes for 5 in a row and Austin Slater buries a straight away 3 with 5:25 left.  56-45 Wayzata leading and the Crimson are in serious trouble.

But Brad Davison decides to take over.  He had just scored his first field goal of the night.  He goes for back to back 3 point plays and adds an assist for a layup.  The Crimson reclaim the lead on a pair of Austin Mathison free throws with 3:16 left.  12-0 in just over 2 minutes.  Wayzata misses a putback and a pair of freebies.  Maple Grove makes a free throw and Nikko spikes a shot inside with 1:42 left in a 2 point game.  Davison makes 3 of 4 free throws, Wayzata misses 3 of 4.  Nikko runs out for a dunk.  Davison closes it out with 4 straight free throws.  Maple Grove comes from 11 down late to defeat Wayzata 67-59.  The Crimson close the game with a 22-3 run in the last 4:34.  Johnny Beeninga leads Wayzata with 24 points.  Jack Sowada 11.  Brad Davison leads Maple Grove with 16 points and 11 assists on my sheet.  I had him 3-8 FG and 10-12 at the charity stripe.  Not the usual night but did he come up big down the stretch.  This one likely locks Wayzata into the 3rd seed in section 5 but 2 vs 3 not really a big deal as the likely section semifinal rematch is at Rogers (Czar's Note: MSHSL says this but my spies tell me semifinals may be home site which is huge).  They'll want this one back after being in complete control going to the last 5 minutes.

A couple of wild happenings.  Maple Grove up 2 late in the JV game.  MG kids gets mauled, jump ball called.  Kid spikes the ball at the official's feet and correctly gets a T (quiz, what happens to the possession arrow).  Wayzata misses both free throws to tie.  They get the possession, kid bunny hop travels on the catch but buries the game winning 3 for a 1 point Trojans win.

Then late in the varsity game its Jack Sowada shooting in front of the MG students.  Kids are in front of the front row playing leap frog (fairly close to the baseline, remember the setup and its a junior high).  Free throw up and no good.  Refs direct the students to back up (OK fine) and get on the PA to calm them down.  But in a bit of insanity, they have Sowada retake the free throw.  Is that allowed?

Tigers put out the Blaze

Off to Burnsville to complete the season sweep of the South Suburban.  The Blaze hosting the hot Farmington Tigers.  Farmington with 4 straight wins after 3 straight losses that were by combined 6 points.  Burnsville on the other hand in a stretch of losing 6 out of 8.  Both teams 3-6 after 1 rotation in conference play.  This game would break that tie.  The Burnsville band on hand but only 8 pregame minutes from them.  But they make up for it by sticking around all game and performing post game (a rare site, most bands leave after halftime).   A bottle of Coke washes down a quality slice of Domino's cheese pizza.

Number of Teams I've Seen: 131 (48 courts)

Beverage Consumption Counter: 1072.9 ounces (65 days, 92 games, 2 scrimmages added on)
  • Pepsi: 536 ounces
  • Coke: 152 ounces
  • Dr. Pepper: 36 ounces
  • Sprite: 116 ounces
  • Sierra Mist: 12 ounces
  • Barq's Root Beer: 20 ounces
  • A&W Root Beer: 24 ounces
  • Red Powerade: 80 ounces
  • Red Gatorade: 80 ounces
  • Water: 500 ml
Hot Dog Counter: 12

Song of the Day
Daft Punk - Get Lucky

Game Time
Matt Anderson with 2 transition 3s in a quick 8-0 Farmington run.  Burnsville rebounds but Farmington keeps a 15-9 lead thanks to a running bank for a Wyatt Ferm 3 point play and a Zach Speikers reverse layup.   8-0 Burnsville run with guard Michael Gillen turning a steal into 2 freebies and adding a floater.  19-17 Burnsville at 7:40.  Jason Gumm with his 2nd 3 of the half for a 22-19 Blaze lead at 6:30.  But its 15-6 Farmington the rest of the half.  Ferm inside out look for 3 and Speikers with a 3.  Soph Sam Wilson beats the halftime horn for a 34-28 Farmington lead at half.

Burnsville comes out strong in the 2nd half with a 16-6 run in the 1st 4 and a half minutes.  Soph PG Jackson Martens with a line drive 3 and scores after a blocked shot on the other end.  Alex Davis ends the run with 1 3 and then a set play for 2 screens on the backside and skip it for another bomb.  44-40 Blaze after the run.  Lucas Berg scoop to the hoop and cut for a 3 point play.  Ferm also cuts for an easy bucket against the Blaze D.  49-48 Farmington back on top as we go back and forth the rest of the way.  Tucker Shepley a large portion of the offense for Burnsville in the 2nd half.  He puts back his own miss and counters a Speikers reverse layup with 3 more post buckets.  58-56 Burnsville with 3:54 left.  Anderson ties it with 2 free throws with 3:26 left.  Burnsville misses a 3 and Farmington takes time with 2:55 left.  Burnsville comes out of the timeout with their only possession of the night of zone.  Farmington very patient vs the 1-3-1 and its Speikers knocking down a straight away 3 off of good ball movement from the corner to the wing and across the top guy in the zone.  Tucker Shepley blocked at the other end and Burnsville needs a block of their own to stop the break coming back.  Farmington will hold with 90 seconds left.  They make the 1st bonus free throw but miss the 1st back end, then after a Blaze miss, they miss a front end.  Burnsville fouled with 34.8 left in a 4 point game, they miss the front end.  Speikers makes the play of the game by diving on the loose rebound and getting Farmington's final timeout to save possession.  But its not over as Farmington misses another front end.  Burnsville makes 1 of 2 at the other end as Tucker Shepley slips America's inbounds play.  That makes it a 3 point game with 18.3 left but Speikers seals it with a pair of free throws.  Farmington wins 65-59.

Post Game
Burnsville falls to 3-7 in the South Suburban and 7-11 overall.  They've now lost 6 out of 7 in the new year with the only win a 2 point home win vs Rosemount.  Tucker Shepley leads the Blaze with 14 points, 12 of those in the 2nd half.  Brett Shepley adds 10 and Jason Gumm had all 10 of his in the 1st half.  The upcoming schedule is rough as they have Eagan, at Lakeville North, at Shakopee, Apple Valley, Prior Lake.

Farmington is now 7-11 overall, 4-6 in the South Suburban.  They've now won 6 of their last 9 with the 3 close losses mentioned before.  Zach Speikers leads the way with 16 points and 4 boards on my sheet.  The hustle play to dive on that missed free throw was huge.  His jump shot wasn't there and his movement is clearly limited with the bad ACL in the right knee.  But the intangibles definitely impact the team even though its not a ton of minutes.  Wyatt Ferm held to 12 points on 4-12 FGs.  He's one of the most off the radar kids out there.  Matt Anderson added 13.  Next week is a big week for the Tigers with home games vs Lakeville North and Apple Valley.

Abbreviation Bowl 2015

Back to St. Paul for the 2015 Abbreviation Bowl as Fine Arts Interdisciplinary Resource School (FAIR) travels to The Sal to take on Christ's Household of Faith (CHOF).  As usual at The Sal minimal concessions but we have a Red Gatorade to keep the beverage counter rolling. Fairly small crowd but The Sal does a nice job of amplifying noise.  Funny moment in the JV game with kids passing a phone around on the bench during the game to look at pictures.

Number of Teams I've Seen: 129 (47 courts)

Beverage Consumption Counter: 1052.9 ounces (64 days, 91 games, 2 scrimmages added on)
  • Pepsi: 536 ounces
  • Coke: 132 ounces
  • Dr. Pepper: 36 ounces
  • Sprite: 116 ounces
  • Sierra Mist: 12 ounces
  • Barq's Root Beer: 20 ounces
  • A&W Root Beer: 24 ounces
  • Red Powerade: 80 ounces
  • Red Gatorade: 80 ounces
  • Water: 500 ml
Hot Dog Counter: 12

Song of the Day
Break my stride - Matthew Wilder

Game Time
FAIR gets off to a good start with a 9-3 lead just 3 minutes in.  Then its Laron Reynolds with an offensive board for 2 free throws, Armani Scott for 2 and KreSean Greert for 3.  That puts FAIR up 26-15 at the 7:12 mark.  Kit Piepkorn with a crazy scoop for 2 and Jacob Bluhm takes a turnover for a layup.  But a  CHOF 3 at the buzzer is waved off. That keeps the FAIR lead at 32-21 at the half.

FAIR adds the 3 of the 2nd half for their biggest lead of the night.  35-21 Falcons at 16:09 with Scott scoring his 7th bucket of the night.  Then the turnovers come and its all CHOF from there.  Anders Strandlund drives for a free throw, converts a 3 point play, adds an inside bucket and off a BLOB buries a foul line jumper.  Then a scramble situation and its Kit Piepkorn to Tomas Piepkorn for 3.  The CHOF run is 18-0.  Then its Tomas and Kit with 2 more bombs. Scott had a 3 piont play to break the 18-0 run and he puts back a miss to break a streak of only 1 FG in 10 min for FAIR.  A turnover turns into another Strandlund bucket.  33-7 CHOF run over 12 minutes.  54-42 Lions with 4 minutes left.  Free throws late make the final margin 66-51 CHOF.

Post Game
Armani Scott finishes with 21 to lead FAIR.  8th Grader KreSean Greert adds 16 with 4 3s.  Turnovers were a killer.  Some were vs the CHOF 1-2-2 and diamond presses, but many sloppy ones too.  The Falcons fall to 5-5 overall.  They visit Prairie Seeds in a Twin Cities Conference game tomorrow.

CHOF improves to 7-6 overall.  Kit Piepkorn struggled with his shot but still finished with 18.  Anders Strandlund had 12 of his 14 in the 2nd half and was a major factor in the 2nd half.  Tim Rohlf added 16.  Tomas Piepkorn with all 8 of his points in the 2nd half including a couple of dagger 3s in the big run.  The top 8 guys in the CHOF rotation all return next season.  They also have a quick road turnaround as they are at St. Croix Prep tomorrow.   They'll be looking at a borderline seed for a 1st round playoff game at home.

Rebelling against a doubleheader

Doubleheader week continues with a boys/girls double dip at Champlin Park on Tuesday.  Coaches vs Cancer night always a quality use of The Czar's wealth.  The Champlin Park students went Taylor University Silent Night for the boys game keeping quiet until the Rebels reached 10 points.  Nice touch to go with the pink shirts.  Great atmosphere for the big game.  I picked a bad viewing spot next to the Maple Grove students.  Rookie mistake.  But a corner slice of sausage from Jet's Pizza was one of the better slices of the season.

Then its Wednesday night action in the St. Paul City conference with Harding hosting Humboldt.  A hot dog keeps that counter moving.  Sprite on Tuesday and Powerade on Wednesday keep the beverage counter moving.  Rochester Community and Technical College looking on.  Thanks to the late finish at Champlin Park that's why this is up a day late.

Number of Teams I've Seen: 128 (46 courts)

Beverage Consumption Counter: 1032.9 ounces (63 days, 90 games, 2 scrimmages added on)
  • Pepsi: 536 ounces
  • Coke: 132 ounces
  • Dr. Pepper: 36 ounces
  • Sprite: 116 ounces
  • Sierra Mist: 12 ounces
  • Barq's Root Beer: 20 ounces
  • A&W Root Beer: 24 ounces
  • Red Powerade: 80 ounces
  • Red Gatorade: 60 ounces
  • Water: 500 ml
Hot Dog Counter: 12

Song of the Day
Rebel Rebel - David Bowie

Tuesday: #6AAAA Maple Grove at #1AAAA Champlin Park
This would appear to be the last serious challenge for the top ranked Rebels until a potential section final rematch (but Wayzata may have something to say about that, we'll see a preview of that on Saturday).  Brad Davison drew the assignment guarding JT Gibson.  Theo John with a dunk and then a block to a Jeremy Johnson 3 followed by a Gibson hoop.  11-6 Champlin Park at 14:20.  Then its Davison for 3 and John sitting with his 2nd foul.  Davison finds Reed Nikko for a 3 point play and buries another 3.  Nikko completes the 18-3 Crimson run with a tip dunk.  24-14 Crimson at 7:10.  Theo John back in and goes to the jump hook over Nikko before sitting out the last 5:43 with 3 fouls.  McKinley Wright spins for 2 and Gibson finds him for 3 to end a 7-0 run.  Champlin Park ends the half on an 8-1 run with Gibson setting a solid screen for a Marty Hill 3.  Hill with a steal for 2 and then finds Gibson for 3 just before the break.  31 all at the half. 

Heavyweight punches thrown by the teams (did you think I'd say media there?) for the 1st 11 minutes of the 2nd half.  That was interrupted by some early confusion over fouls at the scorers table.  Turnover for a Gibson layup and a Johnson 3 for a 43-41 Rebels lead.  That's countered by another Tywhon Pickford cut for a layup and a Davison steal for 2 freebies.  Champlin Park makes 4 bonus free throws but Jack Hutchinson converts a 3 point play and Davison to Pickford for a layup.  52-51 Maple Grove 7:40 left.  Then Champlin Park takes a timeout to avoid a turnover and that may have changed their fortune.

Gibson drives for an easy hoop.  Theo John comes back in with 4 fouls and 5:48 left in a bit of a gamble.  Gibson scores again and Davison picks up his 4th at 5:22 but you have to leave him him   Johnson with another 3 to stretch the lead to 58-52.  That's the 1st time all half the margin has been more than 3 either way.  Maple Grove timeout with 4:55 left and Champlin Park counters with a 2-3 zone (unseen so far this season).  That results in a couple of misses.  Gibson converts one of those.  Then a tick tack reaching foul on Davison with 3:48 left and he's gone.  Wright converts both free throws to push the lead to 10 and scores again to end the 13-0 run.  Only 1 Maple Grove FG in the last 7:40 and in the last minute after the result is decided.  Champlin Park closes the game on a 22-6 run in the last 6:50.  They maintain the top spot in the polls with a 73-58 win.  JT Gibson with 20 points, Jeremy Johnson outstanding with 18, McKinley Wright with 17.  Tywhon Pickford leads Maple Grove with 17, many off nice cuts to the rim.  Both him and McKinley Wright were very good crashing the glass.  Brad Davison scores 16 points to go with a handful of assists and rebounds.  I had him missing 7 of his last 9 shots.

The chess match in this game was could Maple Grove keep a 2nd big on the floor and play slow and physical vs a 4 guard Champlin Park lineup.  As it turned out, the answer was a resounding no as Maple Grove ended up having to go smaller to matchup with Hill and Johnson.  Mitchell Rekstad has been an effective shooter for the Crimson but didn't see all that much time.  I think he'd really help the lineup with more time and not just in guard oriented games like this.

Wednesday: Humboldt at Harding
No Demond Dawson for Humboldt which takes 20 points a night out of their lineup.  That doesn't both the Hawks as they go on a 12-0 run in just under 3 minutes.  Second leading scorer Marion Moore up to the task for the Hawks with 5 points in the run.  Harding's leading scorer Essa Adam doesn't disappoint.  He buries back to back 3s in a 8-0 Harding run.  Moore with 2 freebies and a 3 point play.  Then Adam continues to abuse the Hawks 3-2 zone.  High ball screen to a kick to him in the right corner (low guys not playing the corner and wing too high to get there for that cover).  He goes back to back from deep on that.  Then its Ben Thompson off the same action.  Adam with another bomb in the 18-2 Harding run.  Moore ends the half with 6 points and Jacob Andrew with a pair of 3s.  42-38 Harding at half with 8 triples.  Adam with 6 of them.

10-3 run for Humboldt to start the half before 2 more Knights bombs.  55-54 Humboldt at 9:58 after a layup from soph forward La'Vonta Bryant.  Adam still feeling it from the deep beyond with 2 more splashes.  Then he pulls out the drive and off-hand lefty floater on the baseline.  64-58 Harding inside 5 to play.  That stretches to 68-60 with 2:05 left but the end is still interesting.  Humboldt bucket and Bryant puts back a miss.    Harding misses with 55 ticks left for 1 free throw.  Then a jump ball to Humboldt with 41.35 left down 3.  Its all Moore isos late which was a bit strange.  No good look for the Hawks late.  Adam makes 2 free throws with 0.43 left to seal it.  Harding wins 70-65 thanks to 14 makes from 3.  Could easily have been 25 if they had run the high screen stuff more in the 2nd half.  The corners were lonely vs the zone.  Essa Adam 10 bombs and 34 points.  Marion Moore scores 18 of his 24 in the 1st half.  I really like him as a local JUCO guy but his left hand is limited.

Super 60 MLK Double Dip

Off to Roosevelt for their section of the MLK Dream Classic put on by Tim Williams (Mpls College Prep Head Coach and runs Super 60 Sports).  We get MLK quotes from each captain before both games.  Plus some honorary halftime entertainment.  Early dinner before the 6 PM game so just a bottle of Sprite for the beverage counter.  Good crowd for the early game and almost dead for the late game.

Number of Teams I've Seen: 124 (44 courts)

Beverage Consumption Counter: 992.9 ounces (61 days, 87 games, 2 scrimmages added on)
  • Pepsi: 536 ounces
  • Coke: 132 ounces
  • Dr. Pepper: 36 ounces
  • Sprite: 96 ounces
  • Sierra Mist: 12 ounces
  • Barq's Root Beer: 20 ounces
  • A&W Root Beer: 24 ounces
  • Red Powerade: 60 ounces
  • Red Gatorade: 60 ounces
  • Water: 500 ml
Hot Dog Counter: 11

Song of the Day
Fight The Power - Public Enemy (clean version)

Game 1: St. Paul Academy vs #1AA Caledonia
This was a rematch of last year's state AA quarterfinal.  Dalante Peyton starts the SPA offense with a 3.  Then Abdul Osman gets a dunked blocked and star frosh Owen King turns that into a triple for Caledonia.   Peyton coast to coast and another triple before King hits from deep in transition.  15-13 Caledonia at 8:15.  Peyton with the pullup at 5:10 before going to the bench with his 2nd at the 4:20 mark.  21-19 SPA leading.  Kyle Sorenson came off the bench for the Warriors in this one.  His late inside out assist for King's 3rd 3 of the half gives Caledonia a 27-24 halftime lead.

Inside out against for King's 4th bomb.  Then its the Spartans off on an 11-4 run with Peyton living at the foul line.  He goes 5-9 from the stripe and Kent Hanson ends the run with a pretty cut down the middle for a layup.  35-34 SPA regains the lead just inside of 12 to play.  Osman scores from the short corner and makes a free throw after an offensive board.  40-38 SPA with 8:44 left.  SPA with the 7-1 advantage in fouls.  Then a turnover and a blocked shot lead to a Colton Lampert layup and free throw.  King sets a backscreen for a lob and pops out for his 5th 3 of the night..  Then Sorenson misses inside, gets the miss back and kicks out to King for his 6th bomb of the night.  Backbreaker!  47-40 Caledonia with 4:29 left.  After an SPA free throw, Sorenson drives for 2 to push the lead to 49-41 with 3:15 left.  Lampert with an easy layup off the SLOB.  Caledonia makes 8-9 FTs to seal it.  Caledonia wins 58-51.

Owen King 2 big 3s in the late 11-1 run to win it and he had 2 of the late free throws.  He finishes with 20 points and 6 3s.  Another off night for Kyle Sorenson but he ends with a double double of 10 and 10.  Colton Lampart another quality performance of 10 points.  Dalante Peyton leads St. Paul Academy with 21 points but nothing in the last 9:35.   Kent Hanson also with a double double of 12 and 10 but he also struggled.  SPA really struggling to find offense outside of Peyton/Hanson.  Kent Hanson is in and out of the lineup and seems to not be right at the moment.  They need to figure it out quick as a Tuesday trip to Minnehaha lurks.  Caledonia continues to be bothered by teams with size.

Game 2: Blake vs Waseca
Its a hot start for Blake with freshman sniper Jack Moe going for a pair of 3s.  13-6 Blake at 12:45.  Then its Moe off the inbounds for 3 more.  16-10 Bears at 10:25.  Waseca had taken a timeout to get chewed out and come to life.  It took a couple possessions but it finally happened.  The Bluejays go on a 21-3 run over the next 8 minutes as Blake makes 1 3 during that stretch.  Waseca star Nick Dufault goes for 12 points with a couple of transition 3s during that run.  33-24 Waseca at half.  Blake with 6 3s to keep it close.

Shane Streich gets off to a hot 2nd half start for Waseca.  He knocks down a jumper off the high screen, converts a turnover and then 2 uncontested drives to the rack for easy hoops.  Despite all that, after a couple of Charlie Levitt jumpers, Waseca's lead is only 43-31 with 11:23 to go.  But the rest of the game is all Waseca.  They end the game on a 24-4 run and run away and hide.  Waseca wins 67-35.  Jack Moe and Charlie Levitt lead Blake with 9 points each.  Nick Dufault with 18 and a mitt full of rebounds to go with it to lead Waseca.

2015 Midwest Players Classic Thoughts

It the 5th annual Midwest Players Classic in La Crosse, WI.  Always great to return to the Old Kingdom and support a hometown event.  The day highlighted by a matchup of teams ranked #1 and a pair of high profile forwards matching up.  The Emperor joins me for the 2 of the 3 games.  His wisdom keeps the beverage counter at only 1 bottle of Pepsi.

Number of Teams I've Seen: 122 (44 courts)

Beverage Consumption Counter: 972.9 ounces (59 days, 85 games, 2 scrimmages added on)
  • Pepsi: 536 ounces
  • Coke: 132 ounces
  • Dr. Pepper: 36 ounces
  • Sprite: 76 ounces
  • Sierra Mist: 12 ounces
  • Barq's Root Beer: 20 ounces
  • A&W Root Beer: 24 ounces
  • Red Powerade: 60 ounces
  • Red Gatorade: 60 ounces
  • Water: 500 ml
Hot Dog Counter: 11

Song of the Day
Maroon 5 - Won't go home without you

I missed the opening game thanks to travel battles with ice but not much was missed as #7AA St Croix Lutheran steamrolled La Crosse Aquinas 58-21.  The Crusaders are seriously underranked at #7.

Game 2: #8AAAA East Ridge vs West Salem (WI)
The Emperor and I had a chance to see West Salem over the holidays.  They gave up 41 to a post player in that game and East Ridge has size and athletes.  Major problem brewing.  East Ridge with a very good strategy of taking Seth Green and having him faceguard Mankato commit Bailey Williams.  West Salem would score the 1st 4 points of the game and it was all East Ridge after that.  Freddie Gillespie and Kyle Junker would towers inside against the West Salem guards at the rim.  That led to a bunch of easy East Ridge buckets.  After those 1st 4 points, East Ridge would go on a 19-2 run that went into the 2nd quarter  Sid Tomes would scoop for 2 and a steal for 2 more to extend the run to 34-9.  Green would score the 1st 6 of the 2nd half.  Tomes with a couple of nice assists out of the post to Bobby Remke for layups.  The rout is on.  East Ridge rolls 66-33.  They hold Bailey Williams to 1 halfcourt field goal and 9 points.  His only other field goal was a steal.  Bobby Remke and Seth Green with 16 each.  Sid Tomes with a well-rounded game of 14.

Game 3: #1AA Caledonia vs #1AAA Waverly-Shell Rock (IA)
This matchup of top ranked teams did not disappoint.  15 all after 1 quarter.  WSR's leading scorer Jake Velky would pick up his 3rd foul at the 4:34 mark of the 2nd quarter and have to sit.  Caledonia would finish the half on an 8-0 run to take a 33-25 halftime lead.  Post Austin Phyfe is one of the top sophomores in Iowa.  He had a quiet 1st half.   But he would be the catalyst behind a 17-4 WSR run that would give them control.  WSR up 54-48 late before the fireworks started.  Caledonia makes 1 free throw, then misses the 2nd but gets it back for 3 and the lead is 2.  Then a pass to the nail goes right through the legs of the offensive player.  The turnover is converted by Kyle Sorenson into a post hoop.  54 all 36.8 left.  WSR holds and takes a pair of timeouts.  Then its a left wing iso for Velky and cold as ice he drills the step back 3 with 0.4 left to win it.  Waverly-Shell Rock wins 57-54.   Velky 16 points and big in crunch time.  Great footwork from the lefty post Phyfe on his way to 14 points.  Bemidji State commit Kyle Sorenson 13 points, frosh Owen King 8 for Caledonia (cold shooting).  Colton Lampert and Justin Burg with great role performances combining for 18.  They get a state tourney rematch with St. Paul Academy Monday night at Roosevelt.

Game 4: Rochester John Marshall vs #6 D2 Rice Lake (WI)
The highlight here was new Minnesota commit Michael Hurt taking on Marquette signee Henry Ellenson.  The game itself didn't live up to the hype.  Rochester John Marshall turned the ball over all day.  That turned into a 15-9 Rice Lake lead after 1 quarter and then a 16-2 run to open the 2nd quarter.  Rice Lake by 16 at half, 23 after 3.  They win 62-51 and it wasn't that close.  The Hurt brothers don't have as much help as I thought they did.  Rice Lake was hurt by guard play in their 2 metro losses, JM didn't have that.  Henry Ellenson didn't put up the ridiculous numbers we saw in 2 metro trips but still ended up with 25 and 4 blocks.  He had a sequence where he swatted both Hurt brothers on the same possession.  Michael Hurt finished with 21 and 8 with 5 of that bevy of Rockets turnovers.  Most of that offensive production was in the 4th quarter after the game was out of hand.  Matthew Hurt is already a nightmare 3 man and I like his ceiling much more than Michael's.  Gopher fans, I think you'll see a guy similar to Joey King.  Both very skilled but fair questions about their athleticism at the highest level.  Great for Minnesota to keep an instate kid home. In terms of basketball fit with coach Pitino, I think the jury is out on that one.

I skipped the 2 games of my alma mater (shameful) to take in the Minot State at Winona State game.  Many players in that game that I saw on the AAU circuit.  Riley Bambenek big down the stretch for Winona State to finally put the game away.  Isaiah Gray from those top Benilde-St. Margaret's teams with a very solid career for the Warriors.  St. Cloud Tech's Thomas Korf has turned into a knockdown shooter for Minot State.

Apple Valley takes South Suburban lead

Its a showdown for 1st place in the South Suburban as #5AAAA Shakopee visits #2AAAA Apple Valley. Both teams come in undefeated at 7-0 in league play.  Surprising that there wasn't a better crowd on hand as there was plenty of room available.  Maybe I'm spoiled by all those years of Tyus Jones home games.  The hot dog counter has been quiet so let's do that and a can of Coke.

Number of Teams I've Seen: 119 (43 courts)

Beverage Consumption Counter: 952.9 ounces (58 days, 82 games, 2 scrimmages added on)
  • Pepsi: 516 ounces
  • Coke: 132 ounces
  • Dr. Pepper: 36 ounces
  • Sprite: 76 ounces
  • Sierra Mist: 12 ounces
  • Barq's Root Beer: 20 ounces
  • A&W Root Beer: 24 ounces
  • Red Powerade: 60 ounces
  • Red Gatorade: 60 ounces
  • Water: 500 ml
Hot Dog Counter: 11

Song of the Day
The Lion Sleeps Tonight

Game Time:
Cam Kirksey as expected gets the duty on Steffon Mitchell.  Mitchell will take Gary Trent on the other end.  Tevin Killeen with a pair of early 3s and Mitchell starts his scoring night with a post hoop.  8-2 Shakopee at the 15:40 mark.  Killeen adds a layup and Apple Valley takes timeout down 17-11 at the 13 minute mark.  The Eagles respond with an 18-2 run in the next 4 and a half minutes.  Trent starts it with back to back hoops.  Kirksey puts back a miss.  Steve Christiansen runs for a dunk and then buries a 3.  Tre Jones drives baseline and no help.  Jordan Bolton finishes the run with a 3 point play.  29-19 Apple Valley at the 8:30 mark.   Tevin Killeen with a long 3, his 3rd of the night and after a turnover its an extra pass for a Booker Coplin 3 and then he adds a bucket.  35-31 Apple Valley just inside of 4 minutes left in the half.  Brock Bertram with 2 more buckets as he was a major problem all night.  Apple Valley goes to halftime with a 46-38 lead.  Bertram close to a double double with 10 and 8 in the half.  Mitchell with 12 to lead Shakopee, Killeen with 11 on 3 bombs.

Mitchell scores the 1st 7 Shakopee points on the half.  54-45 Apple Valley at the 14:40 mark.  Bertram and Kirksey score to force a Sabers timeout at 13:40, 58-45.  Then a flex look for a backscreen and Kirksey dunk.  Then Kirksey with a nasty crossover and drive for a 3 point play from the right elbow.  Where'd that come from?!   The Eagles run is 10-2 and the game has gotten out of hand for Shakopee.  64-47 Apple Valley with 11:51 to go.  Christiansen drives from the left wing and the Red Sea parts for another big dunk.  Bertram another post bucket and the lead is 20 with 8:40 left.  Shakopee never threatens the rest of the way.  Apple Valley wins 92-70.

Post Game
Shakopee falls to 12-4 over and into sole possession of 2nd place in the South Suburban at 7-1.  Steffon Mitchell leads the Sabers with 26 points and 6 boards on my sheet.  While he showed his usual craftiness, the jump shot was way off on this night.  Booker Coplin with 16, Tevin Killeen with 11 of his 13 in the 1st half.  They have a tough home date with Eastview on Tuesday to end the 1st rotation of league play.  They go on the road to Rosemount next Thursday.

Apple Valley remains undefeated in the league at 8-0 and takes sole possession of 1st place.  The Eagles are now 15-1 overall.  Brock Bertram had the smaller Taylor Triplett on him much of the night and took advantage of that with 20 points and 14 boards on my sheet.  Steve Christiansen with the best game I've seen from him in a while with 13 points off the bench.  Cam Kirksey also another very good outing with 16 points.  Jordan Bolton adds 14, Gary Trent adds 13.  Its fun to watch him work off of down screens and create.  Combine that with more pushing of the ball and I see strides on the offensive end for the Eagles.  The Eagles host Rosemount and Prior Lake next week.  Then they have only 1 home game the rest of the season with 7 of the last 8 on the road.

Hornets sting Hawks

Off to a matchup of former Classic Lake Conference rivals as Robbinsdale Cooper visits Edina.  Davanni's pizza on the menu is always an outstanding choice, though it was a bit like cardboard so it must have sat too long before I got to it.  A can of Sprite keeps the beverage counter moving.  We also get an appearance from the Edina pepband.  Plenty of Lake Conference and Metro West guys on hand to scout it as well.

Number of Teams I've Seen: 119 (42 courts)

Beverage Consumption Counter: 940.9 ounces (57 days, 81 games, 2 scrimmages added on)
  • Pepsi: 516 ounces
  • Coke: 120 ounces
  • Dr. Pepper: 36 ounces
  • Sprite: 76 ounces
  • Sierra Mist: 12 ounces
  • Barq's Root Beer: 20 ounces
  • A&W Root Beer: 24 ounces
  • Red Powerade: 60 ounces
  • Red Gatorade: 60 ounces
  • Water: 500 ml
Hot Dog Counter: 10

Song of the Day
Katy Perry - Roar

Game Time:
Max Lynch very productive early for Edina.  3 blocks and 3 buckets to go with a free throw.  10-9 Edina at 11:25.  Melvin Newbern on the bench for Cooper with 2 fouls.  Taron Pickford was a problem all night, he scores a couple hoops and Jayson Edwards drives for 2 and pulls a jumper for 2 more.  17-15 Cooper at 7:40.   But Cooper will only make 1 FG the rest of the half.  2 turnovers result in Walt McGrory running for layups.  Then Will Moreton runs for 3 layups, the last for an And 1.  After a Cooper 3 (that single FG in the run), Moreton with a pair of BLOB 3s and then a 3rd bomb off the always illegal elevator screen.  He scores 16 straight Edina points and adds another bunny during the 28-5 run that ends the half.  43-22 Edina at the break.

Cooper starts the 2nd half with a 9-2 run thanks to 5 from soph Damien Gordon.  Then 1 of the 3 man offiicating crew has to step off due to an apparent injury.  Lynch goes back to work inside as he puts back 3 misses and cuts hard for 2 easy layups.  He runs out for a 3rd bunny to push the lead back to 19, 60-41 at 11:27. Cooper needs a timeout as their transition defense lets them down again.  Ben Boone with a couple of nice tips, 1 on a rebound and 1 of a long pass to get Lynch that last layup.  The rest of the game is really never in doubt but Edina never slams the door either.  Taron Pickford carried the Cooper offense as nobody could guard him off the bounce.  Walt McGrory would control the Edina offense late and he was active on the glass as well.  Edina wins 85-65.

Post Game
Robbinsdale Cooper falls to 3-9 overall and they are 2-2 in the Metro West.  Junior Taron Pickford with 15 of his 21 in the 2nd half to lead the Hawks.  He was able to get to the rack for lots of lefty finishes.  Melvin Newbern had 13 of his 15 in the 2nd half thanks to 2 quick fouls in the 1st half.  Cooper's transition defense was painful at best and didn't get fixed at halftime which is disturbing.  The Hawks host St. Louis Park tomorrow before 3 tough games next week at Chaska, at Wayzata and then Jefferson at home.

Edina improves to 11-4 overall.  They are 0-3 in Lake Conference play.  They are at Woodbury Saturday night and then they travel to Duluth on Monday to play Cambridge-Isanti in the Breakdown's MLK Classic.  Max Lynch with 23 points, 16 in the 2nd half to lead the Hornets.  Kirkwood CC (a high level D2 juco in IA) was in to watch him tonight.  His defensive presence was definitely felt and he converted most things inside.  Will Moreton had 16 of his 20 in a row in a 4 minute stretch in the 1st half.  He had 3 3s as part of that 20.    Quiet but very solid all around game from Walt McGrory with 14 points, right around 10 rebounds and a mitt full of assists.  I like their spread offense stuff where they get their guards on the move with the willing passer Lynch in the middle.  Gets their guards going downhill and opens the basket up for some back cuts against pressure.  The John Beilein influence definitely shows.  Edina asst coach Chris Hopkins worked with Beilein at West Virginia

Aggies dim the Stars

A cluster of games in St. Paul fills the quiet Wednesday schedule.  I took the one less traveled by.  And that makes all the difference.  Enough poetry as its St. Agnes playing at the Charter Stars (Great River co-op) in this year's home gym at Metro Deaf School.  Great River in the past has played their home games at the old St. Paul Washington high school.  But this is a stone's throw away.  The Cheetahs (Metro Deaf's mascot) have almost the shortest road trip possible when they play at Hmong Academy which is 1 building away.  No programs tonight and no concessions.  Just a bare 2nd floor concrete box of a gym.  That means its BYOB night and I plan ahead by bringing a can of A&W with me.  No disrespect to the Stars tonight but no programs and no roster info online means nothing to add to the write up.

Number of Teams I've Seen: 117 (41 courts)

Beverage Consumption Counter: 928.9 ounces (56 days, 80 games, 2 scrimmages added on)
  • Pepsi: 516 ounces
  • Coke: 120 ounces
  • Dr. Pepper: 36 ounces
  • Sprite: 64 ounces
  • Sierra Mist: 12 ounces
  • Barq's Root Beer: 20 ounces
  • A&W Root Beer: 24 ounces
  • Red Powerade: 60 ounces
  • Red Gatorade: 60 ounces
  • Water: 500 ml
Hot Dog Counter: 10

Song of the Day
Billy Joel - River of Dreams

Game Time:
St. Agnes had their way inside in this one.  Frosh Gary Smith with a couple of inside hoops and a steal for 2.  Luther Missoh on the offensive glass all night.  13-12 St. Agnes at 10:40.  Then the Aggies are off on a 13-1 run.  Cahlil Golden with a 3 and runs out for a layup during that stretch.  Turnovers a killer for the Stars as they use their 3rd timeout of the half down 26-13 at 6:05.  The Stars make a run and force an Aggies timeout at the 2:47 mark.  St. Agnes responds with a 10-2 run and thanks to 2 more Missoh putbacks they'll go to half up 40-25.

Missoh continues his rampage inside as he scores 7 of 9 to stretch the lead to 21 at the 11 minute mark.  Then soph Darius Lopez with 3 straight bombs.  Smith adds a bucket to finish the run.  64-36 St. Agnes inside of 7 to play and they coast from there.  The Stars empty the bench with 5 minutes left and the rest is garbage time.  St. Agnes wins 81-46.

Post Game
Charter Stars fall to 4-5 overall, but they are 3-0 in the EMAC.  They have an important conference home game with league leader Nova Classical Academy (5-0 EMAC) on Friday night.  I like Nova in that game with their size but I can see the Stars athletes being a problem for Nova.  I had Wilson with 16 on my sheet to lead the Stars

St. Agnes improves to 6-8 with the win.  They are 0-2 in the Tri-Metro.  The Aggies end up with 5 players in double figures.  Senior forward Luther Missoh leads with 19.  Freshmend Gary Smith with 17 and Cahlil Golden with 10.  Alula Testfay with 11.  Soph Darius Lopez and his hot 2nd half finished with 13 points.  The Aggies had lost 4 of 5 coming in.  They play Concordia and St. Croix Lutheran in their next 2.  The Aggies are in a season where they will not play a home game.

The island clips another undefeated

An early arrival on the island for a weeknight game means I get my pick of spots in the upper deck.  You need an early arrival when #3AAAA and undefeated Eden Prairie is visiting #1AAA De La Salle.  Only a 20oz Coke so that we could keep the beverage counter rolling as we move into the 8th gallon of the season.  Late arriving crowd eventually fills in with the Mr Basketball crew being part of it.  Somehow our pals at AT&T decided that phone connections didn't want to work up in the crow's nest so that was super annoying not being able to follow anything all night.

Number of Teams I've Seen: 115 (40 courts)

Beverage Consumption Counter: 916.9 ounces (55 days, 79 games, 2 scrimmages added on)
  • Pepsi: 516 ounces
  • Coke: 120 ounces
  • Dr. Pepper: 36 ounces
  • Sprite: 64 ounces
  • Sierra Mist: 12 ounces
  • Barq's Root Beer: 20 ounces
  • A&W Root Beer: 12 ounces
  • Red Powerade: 60 ounces
  • Red Gatorade: 60 ounces
  • Water: 500 ml
Hot Dog Counter: 10

Song of the Day
The Eagles - Desperado

Game Time:
Eden Praire grabs 5 offensive boards before the Islanders get a halfcourt possession.  Thank the hustle of Josh Lanasa for that.  Grantham Gillard with a pair of 3s and Owen Chose chips in with 2 of his own.  17-8 Eden Prairie at the 10 minute mark.  De La Salle tightens the game up with a 12-4 run of their own.  Jarvis Johnson takes a turnover for 2 and then pulls for a long 2 during that run.  Sacar Anim ends a strong half with a beastly lefty drive and a floater in the last 1:15.  30-27 Eden Prairie leads at the break.  Lanasa picked up 2 quick fouls and his loss was felt

The De La Salle defense takes it toll as Eden Prairie really got pushed out on the floor and out of their offense.  That ignites a 10-4 run for DLS to start the half.  Anim with 6 in that run and then another jumper (it was working tonight).  Jarvis Johnson with a 3 point play countered by a pair of super deep 3s from Gillard.  46-44 EP with 9:33 to play.  Johnson drives and finds Jeffrey Daubanton for an elbow jumper.  Josh Collins was hard to keep off the glass and his offensive board results in a 3 point play.  That's Gillard's 4th foul and he has to sit with 8:11 left.  50-46 DLS with 7:24 left.

Then Blake Cashman goes strong for 2 and then takes the skip pass (an effective weapon against aggressive help defense) and drains a triple.    Then a mess as EP tries to set a down screen on the right block.  Its a foul on De La Salle and coach Thorson is not happy with the wooden scorer's table.  That gets him a T.  1 of the free throws is good and Lanasa turns the possession into a layup with 4:50 left.  That's an 8-0 run for a 54-50 EP lead.  Jarvis goes 1 on 1 for a 3 point play just before the 4 minute mark.  We go under 4 and that brings Gillard back in.

Jarvis grabs a miss and is fouled for 2 freebies to put the Islanders back on top with 3:30 to go. That starts the 1st D clap of the night.  Eden Prairie turns it over and De La Salle goes 2-3 to kill time.  Jarvis gets a right wing iso with the baseline cleared and he can't get the layup to go inside of 3 left.  Lanasa puts back a miss at 2:38 to put EP back up by 1.  Collins misses a 3 and Cashman makes both end of the bonus for a 58-55 EP lead with 2:22 left.  But the Eagles won't score again.  Anim buries another jumper, EP turns it over, Daubanton puts back a miss, Gillard misses 2 good looks at 3s.  Anim makes a free throw and a layup.  Goanar Mar with a layup after a missed EP layup to seal it.  De La Salle wins 66-58.

Post Game
Eden Prairie falls to 14-1 with the loss.  They visit #10AAAA Hopkins on Friday.  Blake Cashman leads the Eagles with 15 points.  Grantham Gillard with 4 3s for 12 but he never got it going.  Soph Owen Chose with all 10 of his points in the 1st half.  As mentioned above, Eden Prairie got pushed out on the floor and out of their offense.  They also had plenty of trouble vs pressure as there were no fewer than 3 5 second calls against them.

Sacar Anim leads De La Salle with 27 points.  He had the jumper going more than I've ever seen.  They used zipper action and backscreen to ball screen action to free him up.  That was in addition to the usual high flare screen they'll use.  He was outstanding.  Besides Gillard, Eden Prairie really didn't have anybody to put on him.  Jarvis Johnson had success going 1 on 1 and off high ball screens from Jeffrey Daubanton.  He finishes with 17 points.  Holy Angels visits the island on Friday.

Play of the Day
A very Atlanta Hawks concept for Kyle Korver is what we saw in tonight's play of the day from Eden Prairie.  Have 2 posts at the elbows and a shooter on the backside block.  Feed the right elbow.  Shooter back screens for the point guard going thru.  Then the backside elbow flares the shooter.  Good stuff.  You could run this such that the shooter goes to the ball 1st after the backscreen and then later in the game as a counter flare that.  You can have the ball side post step out to the corner and then go backdoor as the shooter comes high to make it look like that back screen.

City Journey

The rare weeknight double dip with an early start at Roosevelt and then off to Southwest.  No concessions for the early game.  But a quality walking taco and a bottle of Sprite take care of that issue.  John Lithgow got the duty for the early game, long time since I had seen him work.

Number of Teams I've Seen: 115 (39 courts)

Beverage Consumption Counter: 896.9 ounces (54 days, 78 games, 2 scrimmages added on)
  • Pepsi: 516 ounces
  • Coke: 100 ounces
  • Dr. Pepper: 36 ounces
  • Sprite: 64 ounces
  • Sierra Mist: 12 ounces
  • Barq's Root Beer: 20 ounces
  • A&W Root Beer: 12 ounces
  • Red Powerade: 60 ounces
  • Red Gatorade: 60 ounces
  • Water: 500 ml
Hot Dog Counter: 10

Song of the Day
You're The Best - Joe Esposito (Karate Kid)

Game #1: #8AA Brooklyn Center at #5AA Minneapolis Roosevelt
No Teddy Clark, Landon Kirkwood or Davonte Prince (and more) for Brooklyn Center.  New coach David Crowley at the helm.  Roosevelt with no mercy on the very JV like squad.  Landon Cobbs a couple of layups on turnovers as the lead grew to 18-7.  Then a 27-2 Teddies run blows the game out of hand.  Roosevelt leads 56-20 at the break.  Landon Cobbs with 21 of those.  Roosevelt wins 71-40.  Roosevelt just ripped the ball whenever they wanted for easy buckets.  Elijah Hannah had his way inside.

Game #2: Cloquet at Minneapolis Southwest
Across town to see Cloquet make the long trip south to Southwest.  Soph forward Brennan Hawkins with a 3 and a drive for 2 to put Southwest up 11-4 early.    Arthur Frazier good minutes inside as guards Keion Alexander and AJ Ray were in foul trouble.  31-20 Southwest at half.

The teams split the 1st 20 points of the second half. The its the Cloquet run.  Bronson Wehr 2 layups to start it.  Nathan Weets with a 3 point play on a turnover and then he knocks down 3 straight bombs.  He adds bonus free throws for 14 straight Lumberjacks points.  After a Frazier putback, its a Mason Brenner 3 and Weets going to the rack for 2 free throws.  55-49 Cloquet with 6:10 left after a 25-8 run in just under 5 minutes.  Frazier 2 free throws and a putback to cut the lead to 1.  Southwest with a turnover and a missed 3 that Zach Gerlach converts into a bucket and a pair of free throws for a 7 point lead.  Southwest with 3 late 3s to make it interesting but never a possession to win it.  Cloquet wins 71-69.

Nathan Weets with 24 of his 26 in the 2nd half including 3 huge 3s and a 14 straight point stretch for Cloquet.  Zach Gerlach adds 14 of his 22 in the second half.  Arthur Frazier leads Southwest with 24 points.  He was on the boards all night.

2015 Timberwolves Shootout Review

A busy January Saturday includes the 2015 Timberwolves Shootout and the state's leading scorer.  Plenty of Pepsi to go around.  Plenty of outstanding performances, let's get to it.

Number of Teams I've Seen: 113 (37 courts)

Beverage Consumption Counter: 876.9 ounces (52 days, 76 games, 2 scrimmages added on)
  • Pepsi: 516 ounces
  • Coke: 100 ounces
  • Dr. Pepper: 36 ounces
  • Sprite: 44 ounces
  • Sierra Mist: 12 ounces
  • Barq's Root Beer: 20 ounces
  • A&W Root Beer: 12 ounces
  • Red Powerade: 60 ounces
  • Red Gatorade: 60 ounces
  • Water: 500 ml
Hot Dog Counter: 10

Song of the Day
I'm a Believer - The Monkees

Timberwolves Shootout Review
#1AAA Apple Valley blew out Omaha Central (NE) 79-49 in the opener.  Omaha Central totally out of whack in the 1st half as they shoot 6-30 on the big floor.  Brock Bertram played well on the interior against Isaiah Chandler on his way to a 18 and 12 day.  Gary Trent with another impressive offensive day of 26 and 9.  Cam Kirksey 12 points 7 boards and 3 blocks and did a nice job on Magay Agau.  Agau finished with 15 and 5 for Omaha Central

Very solid 74-68 win for Cretin-Derham Hall over North Scott (IA) in game 2.  A Sam Neumann putback for a 3 point play followed by a Joe Rosga spin move for 2 would give CDH a 19-11 lead midway through the 1st half.  North Scott would finish the half on a 17-6 run with North Dakota commit Cortez Seales scoring 7 of those.  His NBA 3 at the halftime buzzer would send North Scott to the locker room up 28-25.  CDH would start the 2nd half on a 14-3 run.  Joe Rosga with 7 of those and Neumann with a critical 3.  North Scott would chip away with Seales and Creightom commit Marlon Stewart.  But Neumann adds a pair of late assists to break pressure and Rosga makes 4 late free throws to hold on.  Joe Rosga leads CDH with 20 points.  Sam Neumann with 19.  They combine for 28 of the 49 second half Raiders points.  Donnell Gresham adds 15 as he's now back in the CDH lineup.  Cortez Seales leads North Scott with 25.  Marlon Stewart with a quiet 15.

Game 3 started with the Marcus LoVett show for Morgan Park (IL) against De La Salle.  He goes off for 26 in the 1st half.  He buried 4 3s and was able to get to the rim with difficult scores as well.  "Eat Big Fella" and "Cook Him" just some of the commands from the Morgan Park bench during his ridiculous hot streak.  That and a 2-3 zone allowed Morgan Park to take a 35-25 halftime lead.  They ignored certain guys (very smart) but checking Jarvis Johnson at the 3 point line and not finding Sacar Anim in the middle of the zone wasn't smart.  DLS gets some big 3s from the role guys in the 2nd half (0-7 to 6-9 3s in the 2nd half).  Anim with a 3 off a great BLOB set and Goanar Mar ignored for 3 to end a 15-3 DLS run.  56-51 Islanders with 5:20 left.  Coach Dave Thorson does a masterful job of going offense/defense with Jarvis Johnson's 4 fouls in the last 8:24.  LoVett runs out of gas but keeps it interesting late.  Jarvis Johnson makes 9-9 FTs  in the 2nd half, Anim has a huge 2nd half.  #1AAA De La Salle wins 74-66.  Sacar Anim finishes with 31, Jarvis Johnson with 18.  Marcus LoVett goes off for 39.  Strange that Morgan Park got away from the side screen/roll action that was so effective later in the 1st half.

#1AAAA Champlin Park took on Rice Lake in the finale of the shootout.  Rice Lake star and Marquette commit Henry Ellenson would pick up 2 quick fouls and his 3rd late in the 1st half.  JT Gibson 4 3s in the half and a late spurt for Champlin Park would put them up 12 at half.  That lead would grow to 21 thanks to an 11-2 run to start the 2nd half.  Then Henry Ellenson goes off.  He buries 3 triples as the Warriors cut that lead to 8.  Marty Hill and Jeremy Johnson counter with 3s to push the lead back to 14.  Ellenson not done.  He catches the high low pass in the air and finishes in 1 motion.  Then a pair of bonus FTs and a long 3.  Then after the Rebels miss the front end of the bonus, he puts back 1 miss and converts a free throw on another.  Finally he's fouled on a 3 with 9.1 to go to cut the lead to 2.  But Gibson finally puts the game away with 2 clutch free throws.  Champlin Park wins 75-71.  Henry Ellenson goes for 39 and 18 (29 and 12 of those in the 2nd half).  JT Gibson leads Champlin Park with 24.  Jeremy Johnson with 20 despite a large chunk of the day trying to defend Ellenson.  McKinley Wright with 11 of his 14 in a very impressive 1st half.  He also had a fearless drive and finish at Ellenson in the 2nd half.

For the 1st time in the 19 years of the Timberwolves Shootout, Minnesota sweeps the day.

All Shootout Team
Henry Ellenson - Rice Lake
Gary Trent - Apple Valley
Marcus LoVett - Morgan Park
JT Gibson - Champlin Park
Sacar Anim - De La Salle

Then its Richfield at Holy Angels for bragging rights in Richfield.  Have to love the "You Don't Live Here" chant from the students.  Richfield stuggling this year as they're building for the future with a very young lineup.  Holy Angels starting a stretch of what looks like a couple of down seasons.  Soph Sam Boehne leading the Holy Angels offense as he controlled the paint.  He finished with 21 points.  Markest Brown is raw offensively but was active inside to lead Richfield with 14 points.  Holy Angels wins 71-63.

Then its off to New Life Academy for their game with Bjorn Broman and Lakeview Christian Academy.  New Life opened up a 14-4 lead and appeared to be doing an OK job on Broman.  Broman with back to back bombs and a pair of free thows and Lakeview Christian is back within 17-14.   Broman misses 4 of his next 5 as he appears to tweak an ankle and missed 34 seconds of time.  New Life goes on a 17-2 run for a 34-16 lead at the 7 minute mark.  Broman makes his last 6 of the half, including 5 3s.  Screen and roll, transition or seriously challenged didn't matter.  The Lakeview Christian run is 21-4 as then close the gap to 1.  46-43 New Life at the half.  Broman with 33 of those on 11-16 shooting and 7 3s.

New Life did faceguard Broman and then double him on a touch.  Conrad Engstrom with a couple of 3s to start his huge 2nd half.  That stretches the lead to 9. Broman with a pair of free throws to cut the lead to 7 before Engstrom scores on a give and go and then a great look inside out to find Simon Killeen for a back breaking 3.  75-63 New Life with 5 to play.  Broman scores 17 of the last 19 Lakeview points, many of tough shots and a couple cheap ones late.  Engstrom with a late layup and then fouled with 7.7 to go.  He makes both to reach exactly 1000 points for his career.  New Life wins 90-80.  Bjorn Broman finishes with 60 points on 19-38 shooting with 8 rebounds on my sheet, but only 2 assists as only 1 teammate had more than 4 points.  Broman continues his pace to break his brother's single season scoring record of 1311 points.  Conrad Engstrom finishes with 37 to tie the single game record for New Life Academy.  He's the 6th player in school history to reach 1000 career points.