Big clash in St. Paul again. This time its the final game of the St. Paul City season with Central visiting Johnson. Central trying to clinch the league outright. Their win on Tuesday guaranteed them the home rematch vs North in the Twin Cities Game on Saturday. Johnson needing a win to keep their consecutive conference championship streak alive. Very disappointing crowd on hand. But we do get the Johnson pep band and The Governor mascot as a rare bonus. The pricey walking taco well worth it with a can of Pepsi.
Song of the Day:
Justin Bieber - What do you mean
Number of Teams I've Seen: 155 (60 courts, 2 new, 2 TV games, 123 varsity games)
Beverage Ticker: 790 ounces (7060 calories) + 8.5 liters (1170 calories)
- Pepsi: 356 ounces (4200 Calories) + 2 liters (840 Calories)
- Coke: 68 ounces (800 Calories)+ 500 ml (200 Calories)
- Dr Pepper: 60 ounces (750 Calories)
- Mug Root Beer: 40 ounces (520 Calories)
- Sprite: 56 ounces (660 Calories)
- Water: 5.5 Liters + 200 ounces (0 Calories)
- Gatorade: 500 ml (40 Calories) + 20 oz (130 calories)
Pizza Ticker: 11
Walking Taco Ticker: 11
Pork Sandwich Ticker: 5
The offense is slow early on. Carlin Clarke with an offensive board for 2 free throws, a pair of 3s and another hoop for Johnson. Central's star Sam Gubbrud with a hoop inside and a 3 point play plus a jumper off a ball screen. 15 all at 10:40 of the 1st half. Central showing plenty of THE WORLD'S WORST OFFENSE tonight. Saivon Parker with 2 free throws and a hoop as Johnson scores 6 in a row. 21-15 Johnson at 6:59 with momentum and wise timeout from Central coach Scott Howell. Johnson really swarming defensively. Jamal Galato with back to back 3s and we're even at 23 outside of 4 left in the half. Soph Lorenzo Smith responds with 2 bombs of his own. Central turns it over right at the end of the half and Andre Smith beats the buzzer for 3. 36-34 Johnson at halftime.
Central comes out incredibly sloppy in the 2nd half. Derek Siedschlag turns that into his own layup drill for Johnson with 2 putbacks and 2 layups. 46-38 Johnson with 14:26 left and a Central timeout. Abdi Muse picks up the Central offense with 2 inside hoops. Savion Benton with a layup, Parker drives again and Andre Smith converts a turnover into another layup. 53-43 Johnson with 11:07 left. Coach Howell not at all pleased with the poor play of his squad.
But the Minutemen don't go away. Muse 2 jumpers and a drive to cut the lead in half. Gubbrud with a postup for a 3 point play. 58-54 Johnson inside 6 to play. Central goes 1-3-1 and Johnson struggles with it. Central misses 4 straight free throws but they'll get one of those back for a hoop. 59-56 Johnson with 3 minutes left. Johnson turns it over and Central makes 1 of 2 freebies. Central finally has to come out of the 1-3-1 with about 90 seconds left. Parker drives and gets bailed out for 2 free throws with 1:27 left. Gubbrud makes 2 freebies of his own and Clarke beats the Central press for a layup. Timeout Central down 63-59 with 53 seconds left.
Gubbrud gets 3 chances at it inside and can't convert but he ends up being fouled. He makes both. Then Johnson airmails a cross-court pass for a turnover. Central has it back with 25.9 left down 63-61. Gubbrud to the rack and misses a layup that wasn't all that challenged (surprising for this game). Johnson misses a front end and back come the Minutemen. Its Gubbrud on the left wing and he is fouled with 0.1 left. Johnson takes timeout to ice him. Gubbrud steps up and makes the first. Now the 2nd to tie and its no good. Johnson wins 63-62 in stunning fashion.
Central misses 9 free throws in the 2nd half so it wasn't just the last free throw that did them in. The 1st 7 minutes of the 2nd half plus the end of the 1st half were an absolute mess to get down by 10 after having the lead. Great rally with the 1-3-1. Sam Gubbrud with 21 points to lead the Minutemen. Abdi Muse with 12 of his 14 in the 2nd half to lead the rally. Jamal Galato with 8 of his 10 in the 2nd half. Central is now 18-6 and they share the St. Paul City title with Johnson at 10-2. They host Minneapolis North Saturday in the Twin Cities Game. Even as a conference champ, they are likely looking at the 7 seed in 4AAAA. The loss to Roseville who finished behind East Ridge and Stillwater in the Suburban East makes that reasonable.
Johnson looked down and out with their 2-8 start. They've now won 8 out of 9 to end the regular. They are conference champs for the 13th straight season (144-8 conference record in that time). 4 of those are shared titles. Last 3 of those with Central, 1st one was shared with Highland Park. Carlin Clarke 10 of his 14 in the 1st half. Derek Siedschlag 10 of his 12 in the 2nd half. Saivon Parker 12 points, Andre Smith 9. Johnson finishes 14-12 overall, 10-2 in the St. Paul City. Seeding them will be interesting as they had some tough non-conference games but tonight is arguably their best win. Then again the rest of the contenders for those seeds have the wins but bad schedules and almost no good wins either. They should end up somewhere in the middle range of 3-5 in the 4AAA bracket.