Mustangs win important IMAC clash

Its an early January IMAC clash as #9AA Breck hosts fellow league heavyweight St. Paul Academy.  Very nice crowd on hand.  That included a crazy adult that the entire section wanted to scream at.  Its the full meal deal with a hot dog, spicy nacho doritos and a can of Sierra Mist to add to the beverage counter.

Number of Teams I've Seen: 107 (35 courts)

Beverage Consumption Counter: 808.9 ounces (51 days, 70 games, 2 scrimmages added on)
  • Pepsi: 472 ounces
  • Coke: 100 ounces
  • Dr. Pepper: 12 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: 9

Song of the Day
Cold Shot - Stevie Ray Vaughan

Game Time
SPA gets off to a great start 8 in a row from Dalante Peyton.  He then caps the opening 17-4 Spartans run with his 3rd triple of the night.  Will Culliton missed his first 4 shots but then heated up with 3 bombs of his own in a 14-4 Breck run.  The SPA cut to 21-18 at the 7:40 mark.  Kent Hanson scores the next 8 via drives from the foul line area.  That opens the lead back to 11, 31-20 at 4:05.  Then Mo Lawal from the volleyball line and its Culliton with another bomb.  Breck goes 3-2 zone for the end of the half and its effective.  Meanwhile Culliton continues his run with a turnaround in the post and a steal for 2.  35-30 St. Paul Academy at the half.

After the Spartans open the half with a hoop, its Culliton coast to coast for a pullup and 3 point plays from Henry Cousineau and Mo Lawal.  Justin Bergerson goes with the running hook and Breck takes their 1st lead 40-39 4 minutes into the second half.  Emerson Egly with a wrap around pass to Sam Suzuki for a layup.  Hanson with a 3 point play and a steal for a dunk.  51-45 SPA with momentum at the 9:45 mark.  Then Henry Cousineau fouls out of a thin Breck lineup.  But SPA misses back to back front ends.  Will Culliton with the 3 and the harm and all the momentum has shifted.  Mo Lawal 5 in a row, Culliton and Lawal with bombs.  Another missed front end from SPA and the Breck run ends up being 16-2.  Breck in control 61-53 with 5:40 to go and they're back in the zone after pulling it out again with 8 minutes left.

Breck holding the ball up 4.  St. Paul Academy goes to a smart strategy of trying to foul anybody not named Culliton or Lawal.  That pays off as Breck misses 2 front ends and makes 1 of 2 on the 3rd one.  SPA converts one of those and with a chance to tie, Hanson grabs an offensive board and appears to get pushed down but its called a travel with 1:40 left.  Down 3, its an airball to a scrum for the board.  The foul gets called on SPA.  Player goes to the bench and untucks his jersey and the official takes it as a sign of disgust and gives him a technical.  Lithgow would justify this call by the book, but as a practical matter, its a terrible call.  Then the ref tries to make coach McKenzie sit for loss of bench privilege but the T wasn't on him.  Totally wrong (correctly by fellow ref) but more importantly why in the world is the official worried about that with 1 minute left?  Then another official gets involved for some unknown reason.   Really bad situational officiating and not understanding what's going on.  Culliton makes 2 of the 4 free throws and then is fouled on the possession and makes 2 more.  That stretches the lead to 7 and its too much to overcome.  Breck wins 71-66.

Post Game
St. Paul Academy falls to 5-6 overall and 1-1 in the IMAC.  Kent Hanson lead the Spartans with 23 and Dalante Peyton with 3 triples on the way to 21.  Hanson surprisingly quiet though and he was in and out the lineup in quick shifts.  Peyton had the quick early spurt but was also quiet.  The role guys couldn't make a shot and the zone drove them nuts.  Kent Hanson got middle catches and then would kick out for wide open looks that didn't go in.  This game started a brutal 5 game stretch for the Spartants.  Next week its at St. Paul Central on Wednesday and home with Rochester Lourdes on Friday.   Then an MLK Showdown with #1AA Caledonia at Roosevelt and then off to #10AA Minnehaha the following night.

Don't look now but Breck is now 11-3.  The Mustangs also lead the IMAC at 3-0.  Will Culliton goes off for 7 3s and 37 points.  Most of that coming off screens and quick releases.  Mo Lawal adds 4 3s and 21 points.  A couple of those bombs from a different area code.  SPA coach Kevin McKenzie won't be happy with letting the stars go off.  SPA threw almost everybody at Culliton but interestingly enough, not Peyton as they left him on Lawal.  Will be interesting to see how the chess match there plays out in the rematch.  Breck did a great job of understanding scorers vs non-scorers as well.  That kept them from overextending the defense, especially in the zone that was so successful.  Breck hosts Minneapolis South and then fun section matchup at Annandale next Thursday.  Chase Knickerbocker and Will Culliton could put on a shooting gallery in that one along with Mo Lawal.

Play of the Day
Today's play of the day is Breck's delay game.  A very nice concept of a standard 1-4 high.  Just leave the posts there and let the guards run off of them however they see fit.  That could be Iverson action over the top, could be over/under action, go low and come high off the elbow screen, whatever the defense allows.  It also clears out the lane for back cuts and you have to play those post guys as outlets.  Breck used that with Culliton and Lawal which forced SPA to foul the 3rd guard.  That's where the Mustangs will need to find that 3rd foul shooter.


  1. Spot on analysis on the Tech foul. Fellow ref here. A direct T to player does not cause coach to lose coaching box or standing priviledges.

    Obviously wasn't there but Tech foul in close game under 1 minute should be something extremely obvious. Was it unsporting or just a frustrated 17 year kid? Particularly because in High School- 2 shots + the ball. Time and score do matter on borderline tech fouls.

  2. Player untucked his jersey and I don't think it came up more than halfway (even if that). Not like he pulled it up over his head in disgust which I know was a point of emphasis in recent years. Never said a word, never really let on that he was upset with the official. May have gotten away with a ball slam right before slam (came right back to him). But it seemed more out of his own frustration not anything to do with the official

  3. Other part is that the personal was the kids 4th foul and the T was his 5th. So you basically eject the kid for that. Tough situation

  4. My question to you as an official, I often see the bench privilege thing not enforced. In a tight game like that, are you going to tell the coach to sit down even if that T had been on the bench?


Have a different take than mine? You can provide your take here.