A clash of Metro East Titans

Prologue
We're into the 2nd week of February and this is where rubber meets the road in league play.  Tonight its a Metro East showdown between the leaders of the Metro East.  That's league leader Mahtomedi visiting Tartan.  Tartan 1 game back after giving up an 18 point lead in the 1st meeting.  Big crowd on hand means Tartan has to open the extra section of bleachers that are rarely opened.  Tons of interested folks for section play in the house too.  De La Salle, St. Anthony, Columbia Heights and almost all the players and staff from Totino-Grace there to see Mahtomedi.  Cretin-Derham Hall staff there to watch Tartan.  Rare to see that on a Friday night but they all played last night.  No walking tacos at Tartan tonight but a solid hot dog.  And if there's Pepsi, I'm all over that too.  We'll take this 1 hit wonder from a timeout for our daily dose of tunes.

Song of the Day: Baha Men - Who Let The Dogs Out

Number of Teams I've Seen: 138 (48 courts + 3 online).  22 out of state, 9 girls

Beverage Ticker: 883.6 ounces (9725 Calories)
81 days, 106 games, 2 scrimmages added on

  • Pepsi: 276.9 ounces (3460 calories)
  • Coke: 200 ounces (2380 calories)
  • Dr. Pepper: 48 ounces (600 calories)
  • Sprite: 52 ounces (620 calories)
  • A&W Root Beer : 28.9 ounces (410 calories)
  • Mug Root Beer: 20 ounces (260 calories) 
  • Barq's Root Beer: 32 ounces (430 calories)
  • Red Gatorade/Powerade: 221.8 ounces (1565 calories)
Hot Dog Ticker: 14
Pizza Ticker: 11
Walking Taco Ticker: 7

Game Time:
Kaleb Siekmeier doing a nice job sealing inside for Mahtomedi.  He scores 2 early hoops for an early 7-5 Mahtomedi lead.  Then Tartan off on an 11-2 run thanks to a pair of Jordan Thompson 3s.  Noah Whalen bangs home a 3 off a turnover in between those.  18-11 Tartan at 11:10.  The Tartan lead gets to 26-18 before the Zephyrs counter with a pair of 3s.  The stars are quiet early but do contribute here.  Jordan Horn for 3 (his last FG of the night, foreshadowing) and a pair of FTs.   Those are countered by 2 BLOB buckets by Parker Fox.  33-28 Tartan at 4:15. Then its Trey Newman off the Mahtomedi bench with 3 bombs in a personal 9-0 run and he's stoked.  Thompson with another 3 and runs out for 2 free throws.  Fox converts a turnover to end the half.  42-41 Tartan at the break in a very entertaining half. 

Kingston Myles started the game for Thompson.  Both would get the assignment on Parker Fox.  Its Myles who gets it to start the 2nd half as the Titans go diamond and 1 on Fox.  Siekmeier scores inside, Andy Voyen posts for 2 free throws and scores another bucket.  Fox dunks a turnover.  Its a 10-1 run across the half.  Mahtomedi leads 49-43 with 13:26 left and Tartan is reeling.  But Mahtomedi gives up that momentum with an off ball foul and a technical added on.  That costs Mahtomedi possession.  Horn makes the free throws and Whalen buries a 3 on the possession.  Thompson with his 4th bomb of the night to take the lead via a 9-2 run.  Mahtomedi scores and takes the MoKiller timeout with 9:10 left.  53-52 Mahtomedi back on top.

Parker Fox was the only hoop in the last Tartan run.  He tacks on 2 more hoops.  Then he finds Lincoln Rock and Siekmeier for easy hoops.  Horn with 3 free throws during this time for his only offense of the 2nd half besides the technical free throws.  63-57 Zephyrs pulling away with 6:10 left.  The lead hovers there but its Thompson scoring and then a Whalen 3 with 1:06 left to tie the game at 65.  Horn with a reach around foul with 31 seconds left.  Shayne Frost buries the bonus free throws to put Tartan up.  Tartan goes to a set they know well, a high double ball screen for Horn going left.  Mahtomedi defends it so Horn has to go it and create.  He misses with about 10 seconds left and then fouls out on the miss.  Will Tuttle makes both ends of the bonus.  Mahtomedi wins 69-65.

Post Game
For #10AAAA Tartan, Jordan Thompson leads the way off the bench with 17 points.  He knocked down 4 3s.  Noah Whalen also with 4 3s on his way to 15 points.  Jordan Horn with 14 points but no field goals after the 7:30 mark.  He missed his last 9 field goal attempts by my count, 0-7 2nd half.  Those were mostly contested shots too.  But there's wasn't much offense to be had.  The box and 1 was a surprise.  Mahtomedi went to high ball screen against the top guy as a counter.  Tartan falls to 18-3 overall, 9-2 in the Metro East.  That's tied for 2nd in the loss column with North St. Paul.  Tartan goes on the road for 4 of their last 5 including the trip to district rival North St. Paul 1 week from Tuesday.

#4AAA Mahtomedi improves to 18-1 overall, 11-0 in the Metro East.  This win likely clinches the Metro East title for the Zephyrs.  Parker Fox leads the way with 19 points and 7 rebounds.  He got 3 easy ones out of special situations.  Andy Voyen adds 11.  Lincoln Rock with 8 and Trey Newman with the 3 big 3s in the 1st half for 9.  Those 2 off the bench were critical.  Tartan's pressure bothered them early but as they settled in they got better looks.  Everything the Zephyrs made in the 2nd half was in the paint.  Defensively they were hard nosed and made Tartan work hard for looks.  The irony of Tartan's box and 1 was how effectively Mahtomedi has used it against Jordan Horn in the past.  Mahtomedi hosts St. Thomas Academy and visits Hill-Murray next week in conference play.  Then a section 4AAA showdown next Saturday vs St. Anthony.

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