East meets West

Prologue
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.

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