Ponies mash the Spuds

Prologue
After a brief holiday trip to The Old Kingdom, I hustle back to my domain for the quiet Friday after Thanksgiving schedule.  The choice is a trip to The Stable to see Moorhead take on host Stillwater.  A quality walking taco on the menu.  Something different about the beef, but no complaints.  Since it is the season of calorie intake, I did grab my 1st Pepsi of the regular season as well.  The holiday does keep a big crowd from showing up.  The scouts were out in full force though including CDH, Mahtomedi and Tartan all there to see Stillwater.

Song of the Day
CCR - Travelin' Band

Number of Teams I've Seen: 12 (5 courts, 2 new, 1 TV game)

Beverage Ticker: 24 ounces (190 calories) + 500 ml (210 calories) + 2 liters (0 calories)
9 days (7 possible game days), 6 games, 2 scrimmages added on, 1 TV replay added

  • Pepsi: 12 ounces (150 Calories) + 500 ml (210 Calories)
  • Sprite: 12 ounces (140 Calories)
  • Water: 2 Liters (0 Calories)
Hot Dog Ticker: 0
Pizza Ticker: 3
Walking Taco Ticker: 1

Game Time:
Early on its all Matt Bye for Moorhead.  He starts with a putback.  Then adds a 3 point play and drives for a pair of freebies.  Then he takes a defensive rebound coast to coast for 2 more free throws and converts a steal for a layup.  That's all part of a 9-0 Bye run while Stillwater couldn't throw it in the ocean.  11-6 Moorhead at the 13:06 mark.  Bye picks up his 2nd foul right after that.  While he didn't go to the bench it did take away from his aggressiveness.  Stillwater struggled with rebounding on this night but a tip out for an Isaiah Dobson 3 and a Joe Haggard putback spark a 7-0 run to put the Ponies back on top.  Post Leif Engen breaks the press for a 3 point play at the 7:40 mark and the Spuds are still within 1.  But that is the only Moorhead field goal in the last 13 minutes of the half.  Turnovers and poor shooting are the culprits.  A quick 9-0 late in the half finally allows the Ponies to pull away.  29-18 Stillwater with the lead at the break

Halftime doesn't help Moorhead.  Wyatt Blinkhorn starts the 2nd half after not starting the game.  He attacks the rim for a free throw and an easy hoop.  Plus he adds a transition triple.  Dobson with a steal and jumper to end a 17-2 spurt across halftime.  37-20 Stillwater with 15:25 left.  Engen still attacking inside for Moorhead as they try to hang around.  Stillwater slams the door with Dobson knocking down 3 straight bombs.  Ben Ratte adds a layup on a backdoor set and hits a 3 to push the lead to 26 with 9:20 left.  Matt Jenkins aggressive for Moorhead as they try to generate offense but its cruise control for Stillwater the rest of the way.  Stillwater wins 62-36.
 
Post Game
Matt Bye scores the 1st 11 points of the game for Moorhead.  But he would not score again the rest of the night.  That leads to major problems for the Spuds as they don't have much in the way of other offensive options.  Matt Jenkins would earn his way to the charity stripe 9 times on his way to 11 points.  They did hurt Stillwater on the offensive board but that was really the only offense they generated.  Moorhead falls to 0-2.  They have a pair of critical section games coming up.  They'll play Elk River tomorrow in the ARCC Showcase.  Then Buffalo makes the trip north on Friday.

Isaiah Dobson makes 3 of his 4 triples in the 2nd half on his way to a game high 17 points.  Wyatt Blinkhorn added 13 in limited minutes due to foul trouble.  He was very productive attacking off the bounce.  Forward Adam Bruggers with only 6 points but he was effective rebounding and challenging shots inside.  Ben Ratte also chipped in with 10 points.  They won't be happy with their defensive rebounding and they did give up some easy buckets via their trap.  But the pressure more than paid off as they really took Moorhead out of any good offense.  I liked their old school Shuffle Offense look out of transition.  One thing that becomes evident though is having guard able to play in the post.  If its not a layup when the guard catches off that cut, then what.  Can that guard make a play there?  Very often, play bogs down from there.  For you local Rodent fans, the name Shikenjanski is back.  Freshman Nick Shikenjanski plays JV for the Ponies and saw some garbage Varsity minutes tonight.  He'll be a very productive player for Stillwater in the years to come.  The Ponies play Marshall in the ARCC Showcase tomorrow night and then host Rogers on Tuesday.  On Friday they'll open Suburban East play at Forest Lake.


Play of the Day
Stillwater uses a lot of side dribble handoffs and ball screens.  They'll get into that Euro ball-screen action via a Horns look.  One thing they'll do out of the Horns set is run a side guard-guard DHO.  Then come off 2 high ball screens from the bigs and then look for the backdoor on the opposite side while the 2 bigs pin down for a throw back 3.  Look for the regular Horns signal turned sideways as the call.

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