Its the first of 2 jamborees on The Czar's preseason schedule. The first is the usually impressive Cretin-Derham Hall/Howard Pulley/St. Thomas Jamboree. 8 contests on the schedule with a lower group of 4 in the upstairs gym. I took in the big 4 in the main gym. These were 2 10-minute halves of hoops. Now from the sublime to the ridiculous, we bring back the world famous Beverage Ticker. This year we add in calories.
Beverage Ticker: 12 ounces (150 Calories)
Pepsi: 12 ounces (150 Calories)
Scrimmage 1: Minnehaha vs Hopkins
Hopkins started slow which allowed Minnehaha to jump out to a small lead. But after that Hopkins awoke and ran away. 31-15 at half on the way to a 54-26 win. JaVonni Bickham and Jalen Suggs had the production for Minnehaha but didn't get much help. Solid all around performance from Hopkins. They played their young guys the last 6 minutes or so and have plenty coming up behind their current group. Guys like Blaise Beauchamp, Joe Hedstrom, Anthony Davis etc will be the next building blocks.
Scrimmage 2: Cretin-Derham Hall vs Maple Grove
This one was tight all the way. Fun battle inside between CDH's soph Daniel Oturu and Missouri commit Reed Nikko. Nikko's length did bother Oturu but the youngster was not deterred. CDH would be within 2 with about 3 minutes left. But after a quiet night, Crimson PG Brad Davison would close it out with 3 free throws, a 3 point play, assist and defensive rebound. Maple Grove has gone more 4 out which I like. CDH will be interesting to watch as they don't have a point guard and don't dribble, pass or shoot all that well. But they are so much more athletic than most teams they play.
Scrimmage 3: Apple Valley vs Eden Prairie
No Owen Chose for Eden Prairie due to injury. They started a super small lineup of Ryan Jacobus, soph Kyler Kluge, Nick Geolat and Brady Rudrud on the perimeter. That means no answer for Brock Bertram inside and he was all over the offensive glass. Eden Prairie had a heck of a time generating offense and trailed 11-2 before back to back Rudrud 3s. 17-11 Apple Valley at half. They played their young guys most of the 2nd half and won 26-18. Very quiet night for Gary Trent. Tre Jones continues to impress.
Scrimmage 4: Minnetonka vs De La Salle
Nice to see Dan Rubischko back on the De La Salle bench as an assistant. He spent the last 3 years as the head coach at St. Thomas Academy and Prior Lake. The always stout Islander defense was all over Minnetonka early. DLS jumped out to an 11-2 lead and looked like they could run away against the Tonka bench. But Minnetonka would come back and hold De La Salle to 1 hoop the rest of the half. 15-2 to end the half for a 17-13 Skippers lead at half . De La Salle would go on a 7-0 run capped by a Goanar Mar 3 point play. Islanders 26-24 with 3:14 left. Amar Miller took over down the stretch scoring the last 10 Minnetonka points. A pair of difficult 3 point plays in that stretch. Minnetonka wins 34-31. Minnetonka used some half court run and jump to bother De La Salle a bit.