To St. Paul for the Twin Cities Game and the EMAC championships. I miss out on walking tacos at Central but pulled pork deal cheap at Nova is a great replacement. The atmosphere of EMAC Championship night always fun to see. Great touch to hand out the all-conference awards at the half (boys at half of the girls game and vice versa).
Game 1: #1A Minneapolis North at St. Paul Central (Twin Cities Game)
Jack Beckman back in the Central lineup after sitting out on Thursday against Johnson. Story of this one is that North would make a run, then get sloppy to keep Central in it. That was either via ill-advised turnovers or ill-advised shots. Central cut 3 first half leads of 7 or 8. They'd have 2 free throws missed that would have cut the halftime margin to 2. 40-36 North at the half. Abdi Muse carrying the Central offense with 15. Isaac Johnson with 13 for North.
Jamal Galato for 2 and then a transition 3 to cut the North lead to 49-48 with 13:30 to play. But Central never got over the hump. They did try the 1-3-1 zone that helped them against Johnson to no avail. Isaac Johnson runs for 2 free throws, a blocked shot on 1 end leads to a high flying tip dunk from Tyler Johnson. Isaac Johnson with a 3 point play and Jamil Jackson runs for a dunk. 64-52 North after an 11-0 run. Central down 8 when they miss 2 free throws with 3:09 left. Odell Wilson scores on the other end to go back to double digits and North is out of danger. North wins 83-70 to avenge losses the last 2 years in this game. Great balance from North with all 5 starters in double figures. Isaac Johnson with 18, Jaquan Sanders 17, Odell Wilson 16, Jamil Jackson 13, Tyler Johnson 12. Abdi Muse with 15 of his 19 in the 1st half to lead Central. Sam Gubbrud 16 points, Jack Beckman 12.
Game 2: Hope vs International School of MN (EMAC Championship)
The top 2 seeds make it thru in the top bracket. Hope won the regular season meeting 98-60. 5 seed Nova Classical won their half easily by defeating Calvin Christian 63-30. Soph Isaiah Boudreaux with 24 points to lead Nova. Christian Life girls ran away with the girls title game. In the boys game, the story was Johnny Erickson. Maybe a little venom in his game after not being named EMAC MVP. He scores 14 of the 1st 18 points for Hope. That was via a pair of 3s and a hang and bang 3 point play. Hope jumps out to an 18-8 lead. Soph Micah Hjelle for 3 and ISM is within 29-23 with 2:45 left in the 1st half.
But its all Hope after that. They score the last 10 of the 1st half with 4 from Tobias Griffin and 4 from Erickson. 39-23 at the half. The teams trade 3s to start the 2nd half before Hope scores 12 more in a row. Hjelle scores but its Nate Elifson for 3 and 2 transition layups from Dashon Holcomb. 61-28 Hope with 8:50 left after a 32-5 run across halftime. Erickson leaves right after that and running time soon follows. Hope wins 75-36. They hold ISM to only 3 2nd half field goals. Ultimately Hope was still able to play the game at their fast pace and ISM had no answer. Johnny Erickson with 25 points and 7 rebounds to lead Hope. Nate Elifson with 11 points via 3 triples. He also added 6 blocks as his length was a factor inside. Tobias Griffin with 17. ISM star Rich Berkley held to 4 points with 11 rebounds. Jason Sheppard leads ISM with 9 points.
As mentioned earlier, the all conference teams were announced at halftime of the girls game.
EMAC All 1st Team
Rich Berkley - International School of MN (MVP)
Johnny Erickson, Nate Elifson - Hope
Ontario Chapman - Community of Peace
Romello Wilson - Charter Stars
Coach of the Year - Shun Tillman (International School of MN)