Its the cliff notes edition of big game basketball tonight. A full house at Tartan for their rivalry doubleheader showdown with district rival North St. Paul. Great entertainment from the admin shootout at halftime with the principal and ADs shooting for bragging rights. Plus another round of xylophones, gongs and mime masks from the combined North Tartan drum line.
An 18-4 Tartan run early would set the tone. Joevon Walker 2 power hoops inside. Jordan Horn 2 3 point plays and another hoop. Noah Whalen and Jordan Thompson with 3s via kickout and turnover respectively. 20-8 Tartan at 11:10. Adreon Wadlington with a super burst and Jake Weber with a couple of inside buckets to cut the Tartan lead to 22-16. Jarvis Thomas with a 3 point play and a block that leads to a hoop. Then Thomas adds another hoop and makes a free throw after grabbing an offensive board of a free throw.. Tack on another 3 point play for him as well. 40-24 Tartan at the half.
The game was physical inside with minimal whistles. North St. Paul would hang around in the 2nd half but never get it closer than 12. That was with 10:25 to go. Then Horn with a nasty spin move for a 3 point play. 2 more hoops push it to 17 before Goodnews Kpegeol goes back to back. Elijah Johnson counters for 3, Thomas with a tip dunk and Horn with 2 free throws off a turnover and the lead grows to 21 with 5:44 left. That's enough to slam the door. Tartan wins 76-62.
With the win, Tartan improves to 21-4 overall. They'll finish with Edina at home on Friday. The Titans finish 15-1 in the Metro East. That guarantees them at least a share of the conference title. Jarvis Thomas played very well with 17 points 12 rebounds and 4 blocks on my sheet. Easily could have had 10 trips to the foul line if the physical play would have been called. Jordan Horn adds 16. Elijah Johnson with 12 off the bench. Jarvis Thomas and Joevon Walker too much to deal with inside.
North St. Paul is now 14-1 in the Metro East, 20-5 overall. They can share the league title with a win at Mahtomedi on Friday. Soph wing Goodnews Kpegeol with 15 points to lead the Polars. 11 of those in the 2nd half. Adreon Wadlington chips in with 11. North St. Paul did have some success off the bounce, especially early. But that was something I thought they could have exploited better with some isolations (something a WI disciple like coach Janquart would abhor). Beyond that, Tartan put their defenders in and the Polars generated very little offense.