On the road in the metro for 3. From the Target Center to Hope Academy to Spring Lake Park for a PM trifecta. Full house at Hope Academy was a major surprise. Food on the run before and between games and I supplied my own beverages but we'll keep the counter ticking. The next couple of cans will put me at the 6 gallon mark for the season.
Beverage Consumption Counter: 744.9 ounces (45 days, 66 games, 2 scrimmages added on)
Pepsi: 472 ounces
Coke: 100 ounces
Dr. Pepper: 12 ounces
Sprite: 32 ounces
Barq's Root Beer: 20 ounces
A&W Root Beer: 12 ounces
Red Powerade: 60 ounces
Red Gatorade: 20 ounces
Water: 500 ml
Hot Dog Counter: 7
Song of the Day
Galvanize - The Chemical Brothers
Game 1: Mounds View vs Baldwin-Woodville
Baldwin-Woodville used hot first half shooting with 7 3s to stay close. But the Mustangs went on a 9-0 run to end the half to build a 13 point lead at the half. Then Mounds View decided to pound the ball inside with their triangle set (1-4 high back screens). 3 straight possessions of that and a couple of putbacks and the rout it on. They also defend the 3 point arc much better. The Mustangs hold Baldwin-Woodville star Logan Weyer to 4-18 and 12 points (6 boards, 5 assists with those) with Ryan Kaczynski doing much of the work. Mounds View's 1-3-1 was also effective. Kaczynski leads the way with 20 points for Mounds View. Nate Albers with 15, Max van de Werken with 14.
Game 2: Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg at Hope Academy
Deep in the heart of Minneapolis for the mid-afternoon session. I caught the boys portion of this varsity doubleheader. Both teams very young with KMS starting 2 freshmen and Hope starting an 8th grader with 2 sophomores. Hope Academy going with very quick 5 in and 5 out shifts with their 10 man rotation. They apply lots of pressure but will also give up layups. KMS couldn't handle that and this wasn't much of a contest. 23 point margin at the half expands to running time as Hope wins 89-53. Lefty soph Johnny Erickson leads all scorers with 25 for Hope. He showed off a nice lane floater. Junior PF Tobias Griffin with 17 with 5 3s.. Center Preston Mahlum was the top scorer for KMS with 18 points, mostly layups vs the press.
Game 3: St. Michael-Albertville at Spring Lake Park
STMA would have to slog their way through this one. They score the final 7 of the 1st half to finally take some sort of control with a 28-24 halftime lead. Junior forward Isaiah Weston started the JV game with a nasty turn and go for a dunk and then had a lob dunk just before half of the varsity game that helped to change momentum. An 11-4 STMA spurt after Corey Byrd left with a right ankle injury would give the Knights the needed margin. STMA would run for a couple of layups and get a transition post up during that run. Jake LeVahn had 1st half foul trouble but his post play forced STMA to double him midway through the 2nd half. Spring Lake Park was stubborn as usual. After the dreaded never save it under your own hoop turned into a 3 point play for Zach Ojile, STMA's lead was down to 46-41 with 6:22 to play. STMA would put it out of reach with a nice slice for 2 by Trevor Rothstein (Minot St commit) and the 2nd edition of a pretty backdoor set for a Jackson Greenwaldt layup (opened the game with it too). STMA makes their free throws and wins 63-51. Trevor Rothstein leads the way with 22 points. Jackson Greenwaldt adds 16. Jake LeVahn topped Spring Lake Park with 18 points.
Really fun game to watch for X and Os as there were no fewer than 4 STMA sets that had me scribbling play diagrams. The backdoor set is really slick because its a decoy pick and roll that looks much like the ball screen stuff they usually run (a very subtle and important point) but then turns into a blind pig backdoor. They ran it to perfection twice. The dunk for Weston comes out of a very European concept of high posts cross-screening for each other to get a high wing catch. Then a pair of 1-4 high sets (90 and 99) where the ball is entered to the high post and the other high post goes over the top of him to set a screen for the strong side wing (the only time I've ever seen that done in a high school game). In 99, its real. In 90 its fake and turns into an elbow iso.