To the Pirate Ship to see Park Center host Columbia Heights. Park Center jumping into the class AAAA poll this week at number 10. Willie Braziel back at the helm for Columbia Heights and these teams had some very entertaining games during his initial tenure (see this classic from 2009). Jet's Pizza (Sausage) is on tonight's menu with the 500 ml Pepsi. We get an appearance from the always high quality Park Center pep band. There were decked out in skull and crossbones t-shirts. High class even if they didn't play any Tchaikovsky to appeal to my Czar sensibilities.
Song of the Day
Lady Gaga - Bad Romance (Park Center Pep Band)
Number of Teams I've Seen: 38 (9 courts)
Beverage Ticker: 200.9 ounces (2070 Calories)
19 days, 19 games, 2 scrimmages added on
- Pepsi: 56.9 ounces (710 calories)
- Coke: 40 ounces (480 calories)
- Sprite: 20 ounces (240 calories)
- Red Gatorade: 84 ounces (640 calories)
Walking Taco Ticker: 2
Solid start for a youthful Columbia Heights squad (4 junior starters). Deaundra Roberson with a layup and 2 free throws off a putback to put Heights up 6-0 a minute in. Thomas Chatman for 3 off the youthful Park Center bench of 3 sophs and a freshman. That frosh is big Dain Dainja. He challenged shots inside and got on the glass early in this one. He scores inside before a big Roberson dunk. Wendell Matthews goes at him for a runner and spins for 2 more. 22-13 Heights opening it up at the 7 minute mark. Then Park Center star Losini Kamara (Idaho commit) turns it over. In the scramble for the loose ball it appears the foul is on Columbia Heights. But after a referee consultation, it goes against Kamara and in the process he also gets a technical. That's his 2nd and 3rd fouls and he'll have to sit. Roberson makes the technicals and on the long possession Matthews scores in the post. Roberson adds another hoop to extend the Hylanders lead to 28-15 with 4:50 left. Its a 13-3 run starting with that Roberson dunk. Timeout Park Center at the 4:50 mark as they look to be in trouble with Kamara sitting. But the Pirates counter with a 12-2 run of their own to end the half. Xavier Bonner with 2 freebies and a triple in that run. 30-25 Columbia Heights with the lead at half.
Kamara starts the half with a 3 to end a 15-2 run across half time. Then he scores off a pick and roll plus converts a turnover to give the Pirates their 1st lead at 36-34 just inside of 15 minutes left in the game. Quentin Hardrict with a pair of bombs for Heights plus a Matthews tip. 44-40 Columbia Heights inside of 13 left. Hardrict jumper and a lob to Roberson countered by soph Emmanuel Tamba for 3 and a free throw. 49 all midway thru the 2nd half. Matthews with a mean block of his own that leads to points along with 2 more Roberson buckets. Park Center keeps pace with Kamara to soph Khari Broadway and Tamba for 3s. 57 all with 6 minutes to go. Christian Kelly jumper and a high low post up to match a Tamba floater and putback. Broadway with 2 layups to put Park Center back on top but its Kelly with a triple with 90 seconds left to put Heights up 66-65. Roberson adds bonus free throws only to see Broadway tie it with a triple with a minute left. Heights with a long possession as they'll play it out. Hardrict may have pushed off but gets the call and makes both ends of the bonus with 12.1 left. Out of a timeout, Park Center pushes with Kamara. He gives it up and doesn't get it back. But somehow the lane vacates and Broadway is all alone. He gets the pass and finishes just before the horn. 70 all as we go to overtime.
In the OT, Roberson puts back a miss after a possible charge was let go. 73-70 Heights inside 2 minutes left. Kamara drives to cut the lead to 1 but Matthews with a nice off ball cut down the lane and he'll finish. Kamara goes hard just inside a minute left and is rejected. But Dainja cleans it up. Park Center elects to not foul and its Tamba with the strip and he'll go the distance with under 40 seconds left. Hardrict called for a charge with 23.9 left to give the Pirates the ball back with the lead. Heights goes diamond press and they don't foul. Kelly gets the steal but can't finish the bunny. Park Center rushes back the other way and Kamara puts back a miss with just under 10 left. Heights down 3 and Kelly gets a good look to tie. The line is straight but its front iron. Kamara rebounds and makes 1 of 2 to seal it. Park Center wins 79-75 in OT.
Columbia Heights falls to 1-2 with the loss. Both losses to ranked AAAA opponents which is no shame. But the Hylanders will definitely want this one back as it was there for the taking. They'll host Burnsville on Tuesday. Deaundra Roberson with 29 points to lead all scorers. 16 of those in the first half. Quentin Hardrict adds 19 with a pair of 3s. Wendell Matthews with 16 inside. Aggressive play from the guards for Heights. While Nathan Sheferaw gave them defensive minutes of the bench going at Kamara. Problem for Heights though is that they got 0 points from the bench.
Losini Kamara leads Park Center with 21 points despite the early fouls. He outscored the starters. But the young bench was terrific as they scored 42 (37 for the starters). Sophs Khari Broadway and Emmanuel Tamba with 18 and 15 respectively off the bench. Frosh Dain Dainja has big upside. 6 points, almost double digit boards plus blocks and contesting shots. The run without Kamara in the 1st half was critical. Senior Xavier Bonner an important stabilizing factor with the youngsters. Next up for the Pirates is district rivalry week as they visit #9 Osseo on Tuesday and host #4 Maple Grove on Friday to open play in the Northwest Suburban. Those should be outstanding games.