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.
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
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.