Its the start of the 2015-16 season. Once again it takes me to the Wright County Conference for a non-conference opener. This year its Monticello at Orono. But we get the Intermediate School gym thanks to a concert at the high school. Its jersey night in the Orono student section and we get some classic McGrady and Carter original Raptors jerseys. Plus an old school Larry Bird Indiana State jersey to boot. Cheese pizza from Dominos and I bypass the Gatorade (WHAT????) for a healthy bottle of water. Today's tune comes to us courtesy of the sound system.
Song of the Day
X Ambassadors - Jungle
Number of Teams I've Seen: 2 (1 court)
Beverage Ticker: 40.907 ounces (190 Calories)
1 day, 1 game, 2 scrimmages added on
- Pepsi: 12 ounces (150 Calories)
- Sprite: 12 ounces (140 Calories)
- Water (Aquafina): 500 ml (0 Calories)
Pizza Ticker: 2
The start is slow but Tommy Schyma puts back a miss just over 3 minutes in to break the ice for the season. Orono finally gets their offense going. Sam Sustacek with a pair of jumpers. Soph Thomas Lecy off the "Badger" BLOB for 3, Cody Stoe with a bomb and Max Bjorklund to the rim. Sustacek goes to the post spin move to finish the 14-2 run over 5 and a half minutes. 14-4 Orono just outside the midway point of the half. Schyma with a stepback 3 to break that run. Lecy with back to back bombs and Stoe converts a steal. 22-9 Orono at the 6:17 mark. Orono's 1-1-3 zone causing some grief. Monticello star PG Matt Todd ignites a 7-0 Magic run with a triple and a layup off a turnover. Orono lead down to 22-16 at 5:10. Noel Mshihiri with a nice cut for 2 a drive for 2 more. Orono takes a 33-22 lead to halftime. Lecy with 4 bombs for 12 points off the Orono bench.
Schyma carrying the Magic offense to start the 2nd half. He makes a free throw, a 3 and 2 more all in the 1st 2 minutes. Stoe with a nice post feed and follows it baseline side and gets it back for an easy deuce. Then Monticello misses a layup and Mshihiri converts a bunny on the other end in a critical 4 point swing. Jack Anderson with a 3 and 2 easy drives with no help D coming over. Monticello coach Jason Schmidt not happy with his squad's defense. 44-30 Orono with 12:45 left. Lecy then adds his 5th and final 3 of the night to push the lead to 17.
Todd tries to bring the Magic back with a slick assist to Schyma and 4 free throws in an 11-2 run. 49-41 Orono with 10:05 left. Stoe with a bomb to push the lead back to 13. Schyma with a steal and score before Sustacek picks up his 4th foul. 54-43 Orono with 8:29 left at that point and maybe there's 1st last chance. But the Magic defense doesn't hold up. Bjorklund give and go for 2, Nick Perinovic off the Princeton chin cut for a layup, Stoe runs for a layup after a bad Magic miss and Bjorklund another cut for a bunny. Then an offensive rebound is tipped out to the foul line, 1 more pass to Stoe on the right wing. That 3 is the final backbreaker. 65-49 Orono with 3:30 left and they are out of danger. Orono wins the season opener 70-55
Monticello gets 21 points from their soph point guard Matt Todd. He struggled from the field (I had him 6-19 or so) and had some moments where he was clearly pressing trying to bring his team back. But when he turns it on, he is really fun to watch. Tommy Schyma gave him some help with 16 points. Beyond that, the Magic really struggle to find offense. Defensively, they didn't get stops to get themselves back in it. The schedule doesn't get easier as they host #3AAA Rocori next weekend in their Thanksgiving tourney. Then a trip to #6AAA Mahtomedi looms in 2 weeks.
Orono gets great balance from their crew. Cody Stoe 3 triples on his way to 17 points to lead the Spartans. Soph Thomas Lecy 5 3s off the bench for 15 points. Sam Sustacek 11 points inside. He took a nasty spill in the 2nd half and had his head bounce off the floor but did return. Jack Anderson gives them an inside/outside threat at the 4 spot, Noel Mshihiri gives them an athletic defender. Colton Codute was in foul trouble trying to guard Matt Todd but he gives them another shooter and ball handler. Scary to think that the only senior in their rotation is Sustacek. That 8 man crew includes 3 sophomores. While the offensive execution wasn't there on opening night, the Spartans still showed plenty of cutting acumen for easy hoops. Cody Stoe also was able to sneak out in transition too. They visit #2AAA Marshall on Saturday then a matchup over Thanksgiving vs under appreciated Chisago Lakes in the Monticello tourney.
Play of the Day: Badger
Start 4 low with a shooter on the backside block. Ballside block spins out and screens across, ballside corner screens in for the shooter. Screeners slip as needed. Simple and very effective.
They'll also get you on SLOBs with a double backscreen for their big after he inbounds it They can also get their post over the top on the ballside block or have him flash to the ball for a blind pig look.