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.
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
Song of the Day
The Eagles - Desperado
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.
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.