Off to Farmington for another epic section final matchup. Its the 3AAAA final between #2 Apple Valley and #4 Cretin-Derham Hall. This is a rematch of last year's amazing final where CDH pulled the double OT upset. Early arriving crowd and we end up with a full house including the rails. Both bands on hand with outstanding work. CDH kids with a beach theme. AV students with business suits to match the team's Unfinished Business season mantra. Another quality game means we have to have a bottle of Pepsi. Tonight I don't pass on the pizza though. But this game should never happen until state. Having 2 of the 4 or 5 teams playing each other in the final 16 should be avoided and a reason why I'm a huge fan of a 64 team seeded proposal.
Number of Teams I've Seen: 159 (68 courts)
Beverage Consumption Counter: 1641.8 ounces (106 days, 142 games, 2 scrimmages added on)
- Pepsi: 844 ounces
- Coke: 192 ounces
- Dr. Pepper: 48 ounces
- Sprite: 200 ounces
- Sierra Mist: 12 ounces
- Barq's Root Beer: 20 ounces
- A&W Root Beer: 72 ounces
- Red Powerade: 120 ounces
- 0 Calorie Fruit Punch Powerade: 20 ounces
- Red Gatorade: 96.9 ounces
- Water: 500 ml
Song of the Day: Brown Eyed Girl - Van Morrison (AV Pep Band)
Interesting defensive matchups at the start. Donnell Gresham on Gary Trent, Trent on Sam Neumann. I felt Apple Valley need a good start and they got it. Gary Trent a couple of jumpers to get him going. Tre Jones converts a turnover and Brock Bertram scores to sandwich a 3 and free throw from Donnell Gresham. 12-10 Apple Valley 4 minutes in. CDH gets it going with Rosga free throws and putback. Sam Neumann 2 long 3s after another Trent jumper. Jalen Ousley-Brown 2 free throws to end a 12-2 CDH run and force an Eagles timeout at 10:38. 22-14 CDH on top. Apple Valley right back with their own run. Trent for 3, Jones a layup, Cam Kirksey converts a turnover, Jordan Bolton makes a free throw. The run is 9-0 and CDH gets the MoKiller timeout after 2 Rosga free throws. Those Rosga freebies come on Bertram's 3rd foul. 24-23 CDH with exactly 6 minutes left in the half. Neumann starts to post Trent inside and scores 5 straight CDH points out of it. Chris Perry tips in a miss for a 31-27 CDH lead at 3:20. Riley Parham goes spin cycle, Trent leaks out on a turnover and makes a free throw. Jones for 2 (misses the 3 pt play chance) and 2 late free throws to end a 9-0 run. But Gresham is fouled on a 3 with 0.1 left to put a dent in the run. 36-34 Apple Valley at the break. Gary Trent 15 efficient points. Sam Neumann 11, Joe Rosga 9.
Apple Valley keeps Trent with a transition 3 off a turnover, Kirksey a free throw and Jones for 2 to force a CDH timeout 94 seconds into the half. Bertram back to back inside hoops to end the 19-3 run across the half and 10-0 to start the half. Good work by Apple Valley to go horns into high low action and keep going to it. No CDH FG during that 6 minutes. Gresham with a 3 to cut the margin to 48-39 with 13 minutes left. Bolton for 3 to push the lead to 14. Ousley-Brown scores and Rosga adds a free throw to cut it to 11 with 10 minutes left. Kirksey and Bertram both sitting with 4 fouls. Big chance for a CDH run.
Neumann for 3 with 8:17 left and the Apple Valley lead is still 10, 57-47. But CDH just can't buy a hoop in the 2nd half. Trent scores, Steve Christiansen a right baseline drive for an easy 2 to push the lead to 14. Bertram and Kirksey come back in with 6:14 and 5:40 left and there went CDH's chance. Trent buries back to back 3s to slam the door. Then just for good measure Trent makes 1 free throw, grabs his miss of the 2nd and throws it off CDH. He'll score 1 more time as Apple Valley as its a 17-0 run to slam the door. Apple Valley wins 74-50.
Cretin-Derham Hall finishes their season 25-4. They have a 17 game winning streak snapped. The Big 3 of Gresham/Rosga/Neumann combine to shoot 10-39. The team shoots a horrific 6-29 (20.7%) in the 2nd half including 3-18 from 3. That leads to an overall mark of 15-51 (29.4%) for the game. Yikes. Hard to win any game with a shooting number like that. Donnell Gresham finishes with 13 points and 10 rebounds (3/11 FG). Sam Neumann 5/16 FG on his way to 14 and 6. Joe Rosga 10 points on 2-12 shooting.
Apple Valley advances to state where I would give them 2 seed behind Champlin Park (if the Rebels advance vs Wayzata, otherwise the top seed). Gary Trent comes up big with 29 and 11. 10-20 FG, 4-6 from 3. Tre Jones was outstanding with 14 points and had a couple of impressive finishes against size. Brock Bertram chips in with 10 and 8 despite the first half foul trouble. The Eagles shoot 53.8% for the game . They run away in the 2nd half 38-16. Apple Valley wins the points off turnovers margin 17-5 and holds CDH to only 8 points in the paint.