Mustangs are road warriors

Its Mounds View again, but this time the Mustangs are on the road at Champlin Park in the 5AAAA semifinals.  Great crowd on hand.  Quality hot dog and the 1st Powerade of the season from the concession stand tonight.

Number of Teams I've Seen: 171 (65 courts, 2 new, 2 TV games, 141 varsity games)

Beverage Ticker: 910 ounces (8300 calories) + 9.7 liters (1370 calories)

  • Pepsi: 432 ounces (4850 Calories) + 2 liters (840 Calories)
  • Coke: 92 ounces (1080 Calories)+ 500 ml (200 Calories)
  • Dr Pepper: 60 ounces (750 Calories) 
  • Mug Root Beer: 40 ounces (520 Calories)
  • Sprite: 56 ounces (660 Calories) + 500 ml (200 Calories)
  • Water: 6.2 Liters + 200 ounces (0 Calories)
  • Gatorade: 500 ml (40 Calories) + 40 oz (160 calories)
  • Powerade: 20 oz (130 Calories)
Hot Dog Ticker: 20
Pizza Ticker: 15
Walking Taco Ticker: 12
Pork Sandwich Ticker: 6

Game Time:
Zeke Thompson 6 early points for Mounds View as they jump out to a 14-9 advantage 6 minutes in.  Champlin Park counters with an 11-2 run.  Theo John starting that with a post up for a dunk and he adds a putback in the run as well.  20-16 Champlin Park inside 9 minutes left in the half.  Then Nate Albers takes over with a 3, then he kicks out of the post for a 3.  He makes a free throw and then back to back bombs as he contributes to all 13 points (10 scored, assisted on other 3) in a 13-4 run.  McKinley Wright picking up his 2nd foul during the run but he has to come back in at the 4:26 mark before the game gets away.  29-24 Mounds View leading.  Theo John in the post again and a tip in.  Josiah Strong with a jumper and a steal that he finishes with a nice euro step.  Thompson with a floater over John to finish the scoring in the half.  36-32 Mounds View at the break.

John with a free throw and a putback to keep Champlin Park within 5.  2 more Mounds View hoops countered by a Wright 3 point play.  Thompson with a back cut on the baseline for an easy layup.  48-38 Mounds View with 10:14 left and the Rebels need a timeout.  McKinley Wright then heats up while Nate Albers is ice cold.  Wright drives for 2 and puts back a miss.  Albers breaks a streak of 8 straight misses before Wright scores again.  John and Wright each add a free throw.  Then Wright scores again.  52-50 Mounds View with 4:24 left and they need a timeout.  Champlin Park run is 10-2.  Wright sits with his 4th foul with 3:53 left.  John misses a front end but the Rebels get it back and Aaron Kloppner spins for 2.  John then fouled inside and makes 2 free throws with 2:51 left to bring the game to even at 54.  But Albers counters with a huge 3 and he is pumped up.  Champlin Park takes a timeout and gets Wright back in the game with 2:34 left.

Champlin Park goes right inside to John who immediately scores.  The Mustangs then hold and almost turn it over with 1:30 left.  They take a timeout to save possession with 1:16 left.  Steven Skwarek makes clutch bonus freebies with 52.7 left to push the lead back to 3.  Wright puts back his own miss with 39.6 left.  Lots of 1-4 low down the stretch with Wright crossing over to his left to finish or step back (mostly finish tonight).  Mounds View misses a front end with 26 seconds left and here we go.  We go flat again and Wright goes left again.  He rises up from 10 feet and Albers with great defense to not foul just does get a piece of it. The jump ball goes to Mounds View with 8.7 left.  Thompson makes 2 free throws.  Champlin Park last chance is Wright pushing it straight to the top of the key, no Mounds View foul in this Foul or Defend situation.  Wright raises up from at the top of the arc and its no good at the buzzer.  Mounds View wins 61-58.  The Mustangs will play Osseo in the 5AAAA championship Friday in Rogers.

Post Game: 
Champlin Park finishes their season 21-7.  McKinley Wright with 14 of his 19 in the second half to lead the Rebels.  I liked the idea of using Marcus Hill and DJ Hunter (big athletic guys) on Albers and it proved fairly effective in the 2nd half.  Then again the officials allowed them to mug people off the ball.  But that's all the idea that they had for Thompson and Albers.  They did get Theo John some post touches but with no guy over 6-3 playing (if you believe the roster sizes), demand a post touch on every possession.  But only 1 senior graduates so expectations will be even higher next year.

Mounds View just continues to find ways to win.  They are now 22-6.  Nate Albers with another big night.  He makes 5 3s and finishes with 24 points.  I had him only 3-12 FGs in the 2nd half but he came up with the huge 3 once Champlin Park rallied from 10 down to tie it.  Zeke Thompson adds 18.  They made Champlin Park work for absolutely everything and hurt themselves with mistakes.  Very patient offense and they got quality looks.  Love the matchup with Osseo.  Both teams grind you out defensively, take care of the ball to get quality shots and don't have a major post threat.  Osseo deeper and more athletic but no Zach Theisen is a major loss of outside shooting for the Orioles.  Kameron Bettie is my X-Factor in that game.  He came up big in their win over Champlin Park taking advantage of their small lineup with Theo John in foul trouble.


  1. Ok- this is your blog. You clearly put more time and effort in high school basketball than everyone else combined. This should be commended. However- I am a fellow basketball official who attended the MV/CP game tonight. Your blog did not mention the officials much but your tweets did. I have zero problem with holding officials accountable but you simply lack both knowledge and perspective.

    Take this game- because the CP coach and fans went bezerk this means they were right? The crew on this game was very experienced. 2 of the 3 officials are working the state high school tournament for a reason. Take the out of bounds time out call. You tweet a sarcastic response to the play....guess was 1000% correct at the high school level. Federation rules allow for a player to call a time out falling or going out of bounds. You may not like the rule and it is not allowed in college/nba but you tweet like you know the rules. Further- you claim that CP mugged MV all night on the ball. This is a more reasonable take- it's true CP was very aggressive but do you REALLY want the refs calling borderline hand checks in an epic AAAA match up?? MV coaches were relatively pleased with officials despite your claims.

    Look- your nickname of John Lithgow is so very good but do you understand that he is the MSHSL lead clinician? He is enforcing and teaching the rules the MSHSL want enforced yet you rip him like he is Steve Wonder. The NBA did some research and found that 70% of calls out of an official's primary were incorrect. I am wondering how many times you ripped a call only to be out of position to really see the play? Take tonight's game- there was a wonderful 4 possession rally in which huge action at each end with steals, block shots and great defense and NO whistles. Funny you didn't tweet "Great job by officials...avoided quick whistles or cheap foul during great sequence". Whatever- it's your blog but at least know the rules and know what officials think when they officiate.

  2. The comment on the out of bounds play is fair and I deserve the criticism on that one. My tweet was more intended to show that the crowd wasn't happy at that point. With that in mind, I've asked countless officials questions on strange rule stuff and do make a point of being informed on it, more than the average fan. Not saying I have the same knowledge as an official, very far from it, but don't say I don't work at it.

    I thought the crew was completely out of their league and never should have been assigned the game based on what I saw tonight. 1 guy was invisible and the other 2 were just terribly inconsistent. Major contact inside, no whistle but a technically correct handcheck out front. That drives people nuts. That said its a 1 night evaluation, not every one is 100% all of the time.

    As to the stuff off the ball, you ask a fair question about not wanting to see that. Many fans wouldn't. I don't fit that mold. I'm a firm believer in the idea of advantage/disadvantage. That's why I absolutely despise Lithgow as an official. He calls things solely because they are technically correct (and I've said he's very good technically). For the record, I'm aware of Steve's role and it makes me sick. I think his brand of officiating is bad for the sport. Though I did take timeout of a game last week to tweet that I actually agreed with a call of his. Its funny you ask the question about wanting to see all of that stuff called and then defend Lithgow who calls more of that stuff than anyone. Hopefully Jason Nickleby can help move things along in his new role with the league.

    In tonight's case, being allowed to mug cutters (Albers in particular) did provide CP with an advantage and I absolutely would have wanted to see all of those fouls called under the freedom of movement point of emphasis.

    The whole "they work state for a reason" argument is hogwash and I think you know those politics better than I do.

  3. Fair responses but let me counter with a few points. Believe it or not- most officials I know subscribe to the advantage/disadvantage theory that you claim to you do. Take the contact inside vs outside. CP John is simply so freaking strong that contact on him really doesn't affect him and no disadvantage whereas less contact on a guard would be a bigger disadvantage. Thus call/no call is not inconsistent it is the official determining advantage/disadvantage.
    Fair points about contact with cutters (Albers). But Albers was flopping a bit and I know I saw him at least once grabbing the defender's jersey. These plays are much more difficult to officiate than you think because rarely do fans watch the defense (like officials are trained).
    Sorry but agree to disagree with this crew and their work on this game. The game had a great flow, important calls were called and the players really decided this game. It is an experienced crew working high level games assigned by their association. Unlike your comments about the politics of state tournament- section is assigned by merit.
    Lastly- Agree that Lithgow can be too technical however he simply is highly respected in all officiating circles. You have every right to disagree but everyone I know in officiating respects his skills. I think you need to sometimes judge a crew by what NOT goes wrong. Take the CP/MV game- we are debating borderline handchecks and bumping cutters- fair points but in the whole scheme actually pretty minor qualms. Thus- the crew did at least a reasonably good job.
    Either way- appreciate your blog and willingness to debate this subject. I challenge you to officiate 10 games at any level- I bet $100 your attitude about officials will change quite a bit.

  4. Czar, thanks for all of posts and info you keep up to date for the world. As an official (one you've nicknamed) I appreciate the ability to have scouting reports on teams to be better prepared going into games. The more you know, the better you can understand the game.

    I will say that you have gotten much better at focusing on the game and have moved away from the officiating on your posts. I have been following for years and I have noticed that change recently. You have some officials that grind your gears and that is understandable, it happens.

    I hope you take up Rex's challenge! As for Albers, he can get held all night and still drop 40 points, holding is the only way to mildly stop him without great defenders.


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