A January Section Miracle

Prologue
To the top of the hill to see Columbia Heights host #7AAA Mahtomedi.  This one is a battle of teams in surprisingly deep section 4AAA.  Sausage pizza and the always difficult to find Mug Root Beer on the concessions menu tonight.  Mug Root Beer with the highest calorie count of any beverage so far (260 in 20 ounces).  Which means its perfect of course. 

Number of Teams I've Seen: 95 (28 courts).  14 out of state, 8 girls

Beverage Ticker: 542.7 ounces (5815 Calories)
45 days, 61 games, 2 scrimmages added on
  • Pepsi: 220.9 ounces (2760 calories)
  • Coke: 84 ounces (1000 calories)
  • Dr. Pepper: 12 ounces (150 calories)
  • Sprite: 20 ounces (240 calories)
  • A&W Root Beer : 16.9 ounces (240 calories)
  • Mug Root Beer: 20 ounces (260 calories)
  • Red Gatorade/Powerade: 168.9 ounces (1165 calories)
Hot Dog Ticker: 7
Pizza Ticker: 6
Walking Taco Ticker: 5

Game Time:

Columbia Heights can't take care of it early as 3 turnovers lead to 3 Zephyrs buckets and a quick timeout from Willie Braziel.  Parker Fox with a hoop, dunk and a pretty assist as he goes nutmeg on the bounce pass.  16-7 Mahtomedi at 11:02 and the Hylanders need another timeout.  Will Tuttle with the back door layup and another hoop to push the lead to 12.  Heights counters with 11 straight.  Deaundra Roberson with a turnaround, Christian Kelly puts back a miss, a block leads to a Jarvis Wright triple and Kadeem with a putback after a turnover.  22-21 Mahtomedi at 3:03 and they need time.  They respond with the last 9 points of the half.  Fox with a hoop and putback in that run plus the Zephyrs make 2 sets of 1 and 1 free throws.  8-1 fouls in favor of Mahtomedi in the half and Coach Braziel not pleased.  31-21 Mahtomedi at the break.

Mahtomedi can't take care of it to start the 2nd half.  Quentin Hardrict with a NBA 3 and a double clutch jumper.  Roberson scores and Wendall Matthews puts back a miss and adds a free throw.  The run is 13-2 and Heights takes their 1st lead 34-33 with 12:57 left.  Tuttle makes 2 free throws as Mahtomedi scores the next 6.  Roberson with a layup and putback for Heights.  41 all with 7:15 left.  Mahtomedi scores the next 5 but Heights gets another Hardrict bomb and a sweet and smart Roberson give and go on the SLOB.  46 all with 5:15 left. 

Shayne Frost makes 1 of 2 free throws and buries a critical 3.  Heights turns it over and Fox dunks.  53-46 Mahtomedi in control with 3:20 left.  Roberson counters with 2 free throws, Mahtomedi misses a layup and Hardrict makes both ends of the bonus.  53-50 Mahtomedi with 2:34 left.  They take timeout and come out in a 1-3-1 trap.  Mahtomedi turns it over and its Kelly for 3 with 1:45 left to tie.  How fitting for him after being snake bitten in the Park Center game.  Mahtomedi takes time to set up a play with 1:32 left.  But Fox gets stripped with just over a minute left.  Columbia Heights gets it to the front court and takes time with 54.2 left.

Heights goes 5 out and moves the ball until about 12 seconds remain.  They make a play at the top and the ball ends up in the right corner.  The play is all messed up and Mahtomedi goes for the opportunity trap.  Heights swings it out of the trap and around the horn to the left wing to Roberson.  He immediately goes hard to the rim.  As he rises up from about 8 feet, he loses the ball high up in the air.  It goes 15-20 feet high and falls through the net as the buzzer sounds.  Columbia Heights wins 55-53 in most improbable fashion.  They go on a 9-0 run in the last 3:10.
 
Post Game
Mahtomedi suffers their 1st loss of the season to fall to 8-1 overall, 1-0 in the Metro East.  Parker Fox with 20 points, 14 rebounds and 3 assists to lead the Zephyrs.  Will Tuttle with 8 points.  This loss has big section implications as it now means Mahtomedi will be no higher than 3 (barring a Totino-Grace collapse).  But the QRF could save them despite the head to head loss (the #1 reason why I despise doing seeding via computer only).  The game vs St. Anthony on February 21st will likely determine that 3 seed in 4AAA.  That's the only non-conference game left.  They jump headfirst into league play next week at South St. Paul and hosting Henry Sibley.

Quentin Hardrict leads Columbia Heights with 17 points and 3 triples.  Deaundra Roberson with 13 of his 15 points in the 2nd half including the accidental game winner.  Heights on ball pressure really bothered Mahtomedi and did allow the Hylanders to get out for easy hoops.  But clutch plays down the stretch too which has to feel good after the Park Center loss.  As for Heights section prospects, hard to see them any lower than 2 in 4AAA assuming they take care of business.  Columbia Heights now 7-2.  This very difficult 9 day stretch of the schedule continues at Cooper tomorrow.  Then its home games with Brooklyn Center (previously ranked in AA) and #1AAA De La Salle next week.

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