A rare Saturday during the season where there's no day long of event of games going on. So its a chance to mosey around the metro for 3 (1 boys/girls doubleheader so we only get 2 boys games). We get mascots from across the spectrum, bees, elks, lions and centaurs. We also get good and bad on the meal spectrum. Cozy crowd at 1 gym, good crowd in another cavernous gym. Teams from a 1 man band to run up and down to slow it down and grind it out. Many tunes from the 80s spectrum during the late games. We'll pick this classic.
Song of the Day
Was (Not Was) - Walk the Dinosaur
Number of Teams I've Seen: 72 (25 courts, 3 new, 1 TV game)
Beverage Ticker: 244 ounces (2030 calories) + 4 liters (250 calories)
31 days (26 possible game days), 42 games, 2 scrimmages added on, includes 1 TV replay
- Pepsi: 104 ounces (1300 Calories) + 500 ml (210 Calories)
- Coke 12 ounces (140 Calories)
- Dr Pepper: 36 ounces (450 Calories)
- Sprite: 12 ounces (140 Calories)
- Water: 3 Liters + 80 ounces (0 Calories)
- Gatorade: 500 ml (40 Calories)
Pizza Ticker: 8
Walking Taco Ticker: 4
Game 1 - Brooklyn Center at Spectrum:
Its my first trip ever to The Hive. Nestled away in Elk River's industrial park, its a cozy setup, but props for the lunch meal. Pulled Pork combo with chips and drink for only $3. An early candidate for best value of the year. These teams could meet again in the 5AA East playoffs in February. Spectrum starts out with a passive 1-3-1. Both teams with sloppy early play. Devonta Prince for 2 and takes a turnover for 2. Landon Kirkwood with a BLOB 3 and dunks a lob. 27-15 Brooklyn Center at 8:50. Spectrum switches to man and makes a run. Frosh Cole Elrod for 3 on a kickout and Sting star forward Zach Knollenberg with 2 bombs. Spectrum cuts the BC lead to 32-28. Then its Kirkwood with 2 triples around another Knollenberg 3. Kirkwood 4 free throws before Knollenberg beats the halftime buzzer with another 3. 47-36 BC at the break. Spectrum hanging around thanks to 9 3s in the half.
A big 2nd half for 8th grade guard Lu'Cye (pronounced Lou-Kai, like Cobra Kai - FINISH HIM!) Patterson with 2 hoops and 2 free throws. Kirkwood with a tough reverse finish of a lob and the lead is quickly 18. Patterson 2 layups and its 62-43 with 12:50 left. Knollenberg picks it up again after a quiet start to the half but the margin hovers around 20 the rest of the way. Brooklyn Center 91-70. Spectrum forward Zach Knollenberg 33 points with 7-18 3s on my sheet. For a guy that big in class AA to not do any work in the post surprised me. Played like a pure 3 man. Landon Kirkwood with 21 of his 29 in the first half to lead the Centaurs. 8th grader Lu'Cye Patterson with 13 of his 18 in the 2nd half. I like his feel for the game. Brooklyn Center did a much better job of defending the 3 in the 2nd half. Brooklyn Center is now 4-2 and hosts Cristo Rey and Jericho Sims on Dec 30. Spectrum hosts Annandale on Monday before playing in the Mounds Park Academy Holiday tournament.
Game 2 - Elk River at Rogers:
This game is a district rivalry played for the gigantic River Battle trophy. It also has 8AAAA implications with Rogers already losing to Brainerd and Elk River having to play Brainerd yet. I take the girls game as a chance for dinner. The pizza, not good but the meal deal included candy and a beverage as a consolation prize. I should have had the Maynard's chili instead. Rogers missing jumpers early and Elk River jumps out to a 7-0 lead. That expands to 13-3 thanks to a pair of 3s from Matt Keller. Rogers starts to attack the rim (something we mentioned here on Monday). That keeps them within 9. Allen Wilson a pair of late 3s for the Royals. 30-19 Elk River at the half.
Wilson with another bomb off the Rogers version of THE WORLD'S WORST OFFENSE. Keller counters with another 3. Wilson 2 drives that result in a hoop and 2 free throws. Matt Carik for 3 and the Elk River lead is down to 37-33 with 10:47 left. Zeke Delain 2 hoops countered by 2 more Wilson 3s. Rogers can cut the 4 point lead further but a 3 goes in and out with 7 minutes left. Keller for 3, Wilson scores and then its Delain on a backdoor set for 2 and then he hits a 3. 51-43 Elks with 3 minutes left. Wilson hits 1 more 3 but its not enough. Elk River wins 60-51. Matt Keller with 5 3s and 28 points to lead Elk River. Zeke Delain with 9 critical points (of his 11) in the 2nd half. Allen Wilson 6 3s and 27 points to lead Rogers. He had 20 of those in the 2nd half. Rogers is now 5-4 and play next in the Granite City Classic. Based on the Brainerd loss, the St. Cloud Tech win and this game, I think you can almost lock them into the 4 seed with a likely home rematch with Tech in the 1st round. Elk River improves to 7-1 and they'll play Minneapolis South on Dec 29th. The lone loss is to Maple Grove but this is their best win to date. Early drafts of the CzarPI had them behind Rogers and Brainerd coming into this one.
Play of the Day
I did want to mention that I love the flow on offense that Elk River has. Double backscreen on the secondary break looking for a layup. Then directly into their Kansas High/Low look for half court offense. If you deny the wings in that, its an automatic counter to flash the bigs to the elbows and flare screen the PG away. Nothing new here but the flow from A to B to C happening seamlessly is a joy to watch.