Valentine's Day brings us a day full of private school showcases. First its the MCAA tournament championships at Maranatha. Only appropriate to be a setting with the colors of the day, red and white, in full display. Then off to the island for the big showdown between De La Salle and Cretin-Derham Hall.
Number of Teams I've Seen: 151 (62 courts)
Beverage Consumption Counter: 1437.8 ounces (87 days, 123 games, 2 scrimmages added on)
- Pepsi: 684 ounces
- Coke: 192 ounces
- Dr. Pepper: 48 ounces
- Sprite: 180 ounces
- Sierra Mist: 12 ounces
- Barq's Root Beer: 20 ounces
- A&W Root Beer: 48 ounces
- Red Powerade: 120 ounces
- 0 Calorie Fruit Punch Powerade: 20 ounces
- Red Gatorade: 96.9 ounces
- Water: 500 ml
Song of the Day
Private Eyes - Hall and Oates
Game 1: New Life vs Legacy (MCAA Tournament 3rd Place Game)
Legacy with 2 quick 3s countered by a nice inside/out play to Conrad Engstrom for a 3. 7-6 New Life at the 14 minute mark. But New Life wouldn't score another field for over 12 minutes. Meanwhile Legacy knocks down 4 more bombs as they go on a 16-6 run during that Eagles drought. Engstrom breaks that drought with a 4 point play for the last points of the half. 25-18 Legacy at the break. New Life would cut the margin to 4 on a couple of occasions before Legacy responses. Then its Engstrom with a bucket and foul with 4:23. He misses the free throw that could have cut the margin to 1. Then a Legacy layup and they put back their own missed free throw for a 3 point play. That extends the lead back to 8 just 34 seconds later. Engstrom tries to overcome that with as he scores the next 9 Eagles points. Then an Eagles 3 cuts the the lead to 3 with 14 seconds left. But 1 Legacy free throw seals it. 62-58 Legacy hangs on. Engstrom goes for at least 27 plus whatever he had in the 1st 2 minutes of the 2nd half when I was too busy finishing off some greasy pizza.
Game 2: SW Christian at #3A Maranatha (MCAA Tournament 1st Place Game)
SW Christian coach Kit Avery getting right into warmups with his guys. He was a big time player for the Stars with 2226 career points. Still looks like he could go for 40. MCA misses some good looks against the effective 1-2-2 matchup. 7-0 MCA run with a Damario Armstrong 3 to end it makes it look like MCA will take control but SWC doesn't go away. Soph Kyle Meinke goes spin cycle and adds a 3 to cut the lead to 1. Armstrong with another 3 and a pair of late free throws from Cam Monson give MCA a 28-22 halftime lead. Jack Jenson with a transition 3 to cut the MCA lead to 3. Then its an 18-4 Marantha run for a 48-31 lead with about 10 minutes left. SW Christian would cut that to 12. But they eventually fall 71-57 as I miss the rest to make sure I get a seat on the island. Jeremiah Hanson with 18 of his 28 in the 2nd half. Jack Jenson with 16 of his 22 in the 2nd half for SW Christian.
Game 3: #6AAAA Cretin-Derham Hall at #1AAA De La Salle
I do make the island before they close the doors. Rumor mill is that former Iowa Hawkeye Brad Lohaus got there late and was denied entry. He was coming to scout for the big De La Salle at Iowa City West game next Saturday. Unlike last year's 36-3 crash landing at home to start, CDH gets off to a great start with Joe Rosga hitting a jumper and running for a layup. 9-4 CDH 6 minutes in. Sacar Anim with a steal and dunk then he flexes for a weak technical. Then its another Anim steal and another dunk, this one a simply NASTY on the break. 16-14 CDH and they take time to quiet the momentum. Sam Neumann with a putback for a 3 point play and a tough 2 from Donnell Gresham to push the lead to 7. Then an 8-0 CDH run to end the half. 35-22 Raiders at the half. DLS not getting back in transition with Rosga finishing the run with a pretty reverse layup on the break.
DLS with a pair of hoops from Goanar Mar and Anim puts back a miss off a turnover to cut the lead to 7 with just over 13 to play. Sam Neumann with a 3 and tips in a miss to push the lead back to 12. Then DLS on the break and a late delivery causes the layup to be blocked. CDH back the other way and its a 3 point play for Neumann. Backbreaker to push the lead to 15 and its a DLS timeout with Dave Thorson not at all happy with his guys. DLS appears to respond with Anim and Jarvis Johnson attacking the rim for hoops. Then a MoKiller timeout from De La Salle? Anim runs for a layup and the lead is down to 9 but before you can blink its Rosga laying it on the other end. Anim another steal and dunk to cut the lead to 8. Another CDH timeout to stop momentum after a dunk. Well managed by Jerry Kline.
Donnell Gresham picks up his 4th with 7:50 left. Frosh Gabe Kalscheur getting important minutes down the stretch. His 3 cuts the lead to 5 with 7:30 to go. But CDH doesn't fold. Rosga with his own 3 and another jumper. Then he finds Jordan Ammons for a double clutch layup. The lead is 10 with 5:30 left. A little bit of jawing between the coaches cause an official to stop play and call both coaches to the scorers table for a chewing. Cretin-Derham Hall goes on to win 77-65. Sam Neumann leads all scorers with 24, Joe Rosga adds 20 and Donnell Gresham 15. Sacar Anim leads DLS with 22. Jarvis Johnson 13 but struggled from the foul line. CDH now 17-1 over the last 2 months (only loss was to Hopkins) and looking like the state contender we thought they'd be coming into the season. They close with East Ridge and Roseville at home with a chance to lock up the Suburban East. They look to be the #2 seed in 3AAAA behind Apple Valley. Write down that potential section final rematch on Thursday March 5th. De La Salle now 19-3 and still the heavy favorite to win class AAA.