Its a rematch of a late January showdown between 3 seed Wayzata and 2 seed Maple Grove. Wayzata gave away an 11 point lead in the last 5 minutes in that meeting. A surprisingly late and not as full as expected crowd. An early arrival means plenty of time to add another hot dog to the counter and a can of A&W to go with it. The Wayzata band outstanding from start to finish. We get today's song (straight link, no rick rolling here) and then after the game we get Pharrell's Happy on the way out the door.
Number of Teams I've Seen: 159 (67 courts)
Beverage Consumption Counter: 1609.8 ounces (104 days, 140 games, 2 scrimmages added on)
- Pepsi: 812 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
Brad Davison was very quiet in the last meeting until the last 5 minutes. No such thing today. Off the ball screen for 3, a deuce and he'll bank home a long 3. Then another bomb and a drive. Then a pass for Jack Hutchinson free throw and a steal for 2. That means he's in on the 1st 18 Maple Grove points, scoring 16 of them. Wayzata would keep up thanks to Jack Sowada. Double curl BLOB for 3, a putback, a drive and a 3. 18 all at 9:40. Then back to back 3s from soph Ryan Lindberg and a 3 from Ty Gelinske to end a 14-2 run. 27-20 Trojans at 5:30. Davison pulls off the ball screen, scores again and then buries another 3 in a 9-2 Crimson run to cut the margin to 2. He adds 4 free throws to cut the lead to 1 before Sowada drives and reverses to end the half's scoring. 36-33 Wayzata at half. Davison with 27 of the 33 and a pass that became 2 free throws.
Johnny Beeninga quiet in the 1st half but he drives for 2 and then finishes off glass over Reed Nikko. Soph Gavin Baumgartner with a 3 and Beeninga with a pair of hoops to push the lead to 9. 50-41 Wayzata with 13:13 left and Maple Grove needs a timeout after the 11-3 run. Austin Slater with a putback and Baumgartner with a great hustle play to grab an offensive board and finish all in 1 motion while taking the hit. 55-43 Wayzata after that 3 point play. Davison with 4 in a row to cut the lead to 6 and Wayzata takes time with 8:44 left. Baumgartner sandwiches a Davison hoop with a layup and 2 free throws. But out of the free throws, Davison goes over the top of the 1 time only Wayzata 2-3 zone to Nikko for a dunk. Davison then for 3, MG draws and offensive foul and Davison finds Tywhon Pickford all alone for a layup on the inbounds. Timmy Bishop drew that charge and then gets a steal and a timeout. 61-58 Wayzata lead with 5:34 left but Maple Grove has the momentum and the ball with a chance to tie. They can't convert and Slater puts back a miss with Nikko helping on a drive. Lindberg then hits another big 3 and Davison gets called for a charge at the 3:50 mark. Bishop forces another turnover for a Davison layup with 3:33 left. 68-62 Wayzata lead. But Maple Grove wouldn't score again. Slater with 2 free throws after he grabs another miss. Beeninga 2 free throws going to the rim, Slater 2 layups vs traps and Wayzata puts it away. Wayzata wins 77-62 but it was much closer than that.
Maple Grove finishes the season 23-4. Brad Davison goes for 42 points on 14-23 shooting with a handful of rebounds and assists. Reed Nikko with 11 of the other 20 and a handful of blocked shots, mostly early in the game. No other help on this night though. Timmy Bishop came in and committed 3 quick fouls with about 10 minutes left but then his defensive energy became a factor forcing at least 3 turnovers. I would have liked to see more Mitchell Rekstad to help space the floor for Davison.
Wayzata moves on to play Champlin Park in the 5AAAA final at Rogers on Friday night. Great balance from the Trojans. Jack Sowada goes for 21 points, Austin Slater 17, Johnny Beeninga 13, Gavin Baumgartner 12 and Ryan Lindberg 9. Ty Gelinske with quality energy guarding Davison in the 1st half. I loved the tactic of forcing Davison left on everything, ball screen or not. No double teams to let his passing become a major factor, stay home fight over the screen and get back. Despite giving up 42 to him, he wasn't the same threat going left as when going right. More of a passer going left than a scorer. But he's still crafty enough to get steals and get himself to the line to create offense. Add that with 5 made 3s and you still end up with a big night.