Another Top-Ranked Classic

Prologue
Its an overflow full house crowd at St. Croix Lutheran to see the #1AA Crusaders take on #1AAA De La Salle in a girls and boys doubleheader.  Crowd in the lobby, crowd standing everywhere there was space, all the seats packed, full parking lot.  Plus somebody kept the Minnetonka Fire Marshal away.  The girls got the crowd warmed up, then we rev it up with Austin Powers and 50 cent music for intros.  Its a basketball atmosphere at its finest.

Number of Teams I've Seen: 133 (50 courts, 2 new, 2 TV games, 94 varsity games)

Beverage Ticker: 588 ounces (4950 calories) + 7 liters (880 calories)

  • Pepsi: 280 ounces (3250 Calories) + 2 liters (840 Calories)
  • Coke: 24 ounces (280 Calories)
  • Dr Pepper: 60 ounces (750 Calories) 
  • Mug Root Beer: 20 ounces (260 Calories)
  • Sprite: 24 ounces (280 Calories)
  • Water: 4.5 Liters + 160 ounces (0 Calories)
  • Gatorade: 500 ml (40 Calories) + 20 oz (130 calories)
Hot Dog Ticker: 8
Pizza Ticker: 9
Walking Taco Ticker: 8
Pork Sandwich Ticker: 5

Game Time:
Early on its all St. Croix Lutheran.  Ade Murkey to the rack for 2, Trenton Krueger backdoor for 2.  Krueger with 2 more layups to force a De La Salle timeout.  Krueger with a putback and Aage Rovney with his 2nd triple of the night.  18-4 St. Croix Lutheran less than 8 minutes in.  De La Salle would grind their way back.  Goanar Mar for 3.  Gabe Kalscheur drives for 2 buckets.  26-16 St. Croix just inside of 6 minutes left in the half after a Murkey hoop.  Then the rest of the half is all De La Salle.  Kalscheur putback, a 3 and a long 2 plus a Mar 3 to tie it.  Then Sage Booker with a 3 point play to give the Islanders their 1st lead.  Its a 13-0 run to propel De La Salle to a 31-28 halftime lead.

Keep that momentum going to start the 2nd half.  Austin McGeheran banks in a 3, Kalscheur another hoop and Dom Bledsoe for 3.  41-32 Islanders with 14:43 left and the Crusaders need a timeout.  Its a 25-6 De La Salle run across halftime.  Too much big men for St Croix Lutheran.  Murkey 2 free throws, Krueger posts for 2 and spins for 2 more plus another post up.  Frosh Tyrell Terry off the De La Salle bench with a 3 and De La Salle is still up 7.  Murkey still has it going with 2 free throws, a jumper, a 3 point play and a putback.  53-51 De La Salle with 7:44 left and its game on.

Krueger 2 straight hoops and Murkey with a putback after the Islanders miss a front end.  57 all inside of 5 to play.  Murkey grabs a miss and goes coast to coast to put St. Croix up 59-58 with 3 minutes left.  Mar makes bonus free throws but its another St. Croix Lutheran putback to counter.  This one by Krueger.  De La Salle takes timeout down 1 with 1:49 left.  They miss and Murkey attacks on the other end and grabs his own miss for 1-2 free throws with 1:29 left.  Kalscheur with a clutch jumper to tie it.  But its Krueger again on the offensive board.  He tips in a miss with 52 ticks left.  Kalscheur makes 1 free throw with 42.8 left.  64-63 St. Croix Lutheran up and with possession.  But they turn it over at half court.  Murkey saves that with a block with 15 seconds left. 

De La Salle gets it in and its Mar with a jumper with about 8 ticks left.  65-64 De La Salle leads.  St. Croix Lutheran rushes it back without a timeout.  Its Murkey fumbling it and he appears to grab it and he's fouled as the buzzer sounds.  What do we have here?  Its a 3 shot foul on Sage Booker with 0.7 seconds left.  Oh my.  Murkey makes the 1st and De La Salle takes a timeout.  After the timeout, coach Dave Thorson appeals to his fans to calm down as they're about ready to riot after the foul call.  Murkey misses the 2nd.  Murkey steps up for the 3rd and its no good, but soph Garett Maag goes over the top and puts it back at the buzzer!  St. Croix Lutheran wins the 2nd battle of number ones 67-65.

Post Game
Gabe Kalscheur leads De La Salle with 20 points.  Goanar Mar adds 19.  Samm Jones with 10.  The defensive pressure did allow the Islanders to get back in it.  But the big elephant in the room struck them again, size.  They couldn't keep St. Croix Lutheran off the offensive glass.  The final play of the night was just a fitting end based on the rest of the night.  The loss breaks a 9 game winning streak for the Islanders.  They are in the Border Battle vs La Crosse Central on Saturday.  They are 11-4 overall, 7-1 in the Tri-Metro.

For St. Croix Lutheran, the big 2 (sizewise) come up big inside.  Ade Murkey with 19 of his 29 in the 2nd half.  No answer for him in the lane.  Trenton Krueger with 16 of his 26 in the 2nd half.  They score all but 4 of the Crusader points in the 2nd half (2 Maag putbacks).  They total 55 of the 67.  If you're going to take a small school kid for the Mr Basketball final 5 (and the committee was at the game), hard to imagine there's anybody with a better case than Ade Murkey.  He's played at a consistently high level all year and they've been hugely successful against a killer schedule.  St. Croix Lutheran now 6-0 in the Tri-Metro, 17-2 overall.  They play #8A Battle Lake in the Super 60 event at Hopkins on Saturday.

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