From one side of the metro to the other as its the 5AAAA final in Rogers. Undefeated Osseo taking on Mounds View for a chance to go dancing. The usual horrible parking and exit strategy but quality organization including a credit card line for entry fees (no one using it). What's in your wallet? I sent a pal to the concession stand and ended up with cheese pizza and Diet Pepsi (stand was out of Pepsi???). Moral of the Story: Friends don't let friends buy their Pepsi. Excuse me while I hit Dacha de Czar's vending machine for a can of the pure to satisfy the addiction.
Number of Teams I've Seen: 172 (66 courts, 2 new, 2 TV games, 145 varsity games)
Beverage Ticker: 950 ounces (8540 calories) + 9.7 liters (1370 calories)
- Pepsi: 432 ounces (4850 Calories) + 2 liters (840 Calories)
- Diet Pepsi: 20 ounces (0 Calories)
- Coke: 92 ounces (1080 Calories)+ 500 ml (200 Calories)
- Dr Pepper: 60 ounces (750 Calories)
- Mug Root Beer: 40 ounces (520 Calories)
- Sprite: 76 ounces (900 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)
Pizza Ticker: 16
Walking Taco Ticker: 12
Pork Sandwich Ticker: 6
No Zach Theisen for Osseo as he's still nursing a nasty ankle sprain from the regular season finale 2 weeks ago. Osseo gets off to a great start. Thanks to pressure defense forcing turnovers and 3 early 3s (2 from Damario Armstrong), Orioles jump out to a 15-5 lead just under 5 minutes in. All 5 Osseo starters already with a field goal. Mounds View would hang tough with a 10-3 run. Nate Albers with a nice split of defenders for 2, Zeke Thompson 2 drives for hoops and a Albers putback to finish the run. 24-19 Osseo with 6 minutes left in the half. Mounds View still struggling with the pressure and the lead grows to 30-19. Osseo goes 3-12 from the charity stripe. Mounds View turns it over 13 times. Osseo leads 34-27 at the break but it felt like it should have been much worse.
John Bezdicek for 3 and Kyle Williams with 2 free throws to push the lead to 13. Kameron Bettie 3 putback chances before he makes 2 free throws. That's Zeke Thompson's 4th foul with 11:30 left. Bettie with 2 more and the lead is up to 54-39 with 10:40 left. Albers take over the Mounds View offense. 2 free throws, a hoop and a bomb and 2 more freebies for 9 straight Mustangs points. Osseo lead down to 58-50 with 7 left. Then its Albers overplayed and the nice backcut to earn 2 more free throws. 60-54 Osseo with 5 minutes left as Mounds View chips away. They get the ball back but throw it away for an Armstrong layup to lose momentum. Cole Jurek with another 3 off the Mustangs bench and its down to 5 with 4 minutes left. Osseo makes 2 free throws and then its a backbreaking 3 point play from Matt Bezdicek with 3:21 left. Mounds View misses 2 free throws on the other end. Allan Anderson makes 3 of 4 free throws and the lead is back to double figures. 70-57 Osseo with 2:47 left. Albers makes a couple more 3s but Osseo is out of danger. Osseo wins 76-65.
Nate Albers ends his career with 31 points, 21 in the 2nd half. His toughness and work ethic and basketball smarts were major reasons why this team won 22 games. Zeke Thompson held to 8. Nick McMillan with 10. Cole Jurek with 2 3s and 8 points off the bench. Turnovers and inability to find other offense were the factors.
Osseo remains undefeated at 29-0. The eye test might say they're the 3 seed but hard to argue against them for the 1 seed. Damario Armstrong leads the Orioles with 21 points. Plus he had the task of holding down Zeke Thompson. Kameron Bettie 15, Allan Anderson 13. Osseo shoots 21-31 from the foul line in the 2nd half after 3-12 in the 1st half. Their defensive pressure and ability to switch most screens really took Mounds View out of any offense. 2 guys would come together for a backcut, they communicated the switch and still took offense away, great team defense. Kyle Williams quality minutes off the bench.