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.
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
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?