Its semifinal Saturday Night for the big school metro teams with 4AAA, 6AAA, 1AAAA, 2AAAA, 4AAAA and 6AAAA all playing semfinals Saturday night plus 8AAAA having the afternoon session at St. Cloud State. I took in the 4AAA games.
Semifinal 1: 2 Columbia Heights vs 6 St. Paul Johnson
Very light crowd for the early part of this one. Johnson with the strong start thanks to a Shemar Tucker-Adams 3 ball. 9-4 Govs just under 5 minutes in. Columbia Heights would go on a 20-4 run to take control after that. The Heights lead would stretch to 16 thanks to Wendell Matthews inside. Johnson would cut a 20 point margin to 13 at the break with the last 7 of the 1st half. Add in the 1st bucket of the 2nd half for a 9-0 run but Johnson would never get the lead to single digits in the 2nd half. Columbia Heights wins 88-76. Too much Quentin Hardrict as he goes for 31 to lead Columbia Heights and all scorers. Wendell Matthews with 19 inside. Justin Yang with 16 to lead Johnson. But ultimately not enough firepower for the Govs. Both teams end with 5 players in double figures. Heights played without leading scorer Deaundra Roberson due to injury.
Semifinal 2: 1 Mahtomedi vs 4 Totino-Grace
Tied at 6 early but TG would knock down 4 straight bombs to open an 18-8 lead. Rocky Kreuser doing the rest for TG. Parker Fox struggling for Mahtomedi. That allows TG to take a 28-22 lead to halftime. They add 6 in a row to stretch the lead to 45-31 with 11:59 left. Then the Parker Fox show began. Shuffle cut for a 3 point play, reverse dunk and a quick technical, drive off and inbound and tip in a miss. He scores 13 straight Mahtomedi points. TG keeps the lead with a Nathan Kavolak for 3, Charlie Jacob for 3 and Kavolak scoring the quick inbounds lob. 58-44 TG with 6:45 left.
Then it all falls apart for TG. Jacob sits with his 4th foul and Mahtomedi turns up the press. Lincoln Rock converts a turnover and Fox with a strong dunk. Jump ball to Mahtomedi and Fox with the tough 2 on Kreuser inside. Another TG turnover leads to Mahtomedi free throws. They miss a front end but get it back for another Fox dunk. 61 all with 2:13 left. Braeden Mischke with a free throw and a clutch triple around a Fox hoop and TG is up 2 with 1:13 left. Crowd on their feet.
That Mischke triple is the only TG FG in the last 6:45. Fox spins for a 3 point play and Andy Voyen runs for 2 after a TG miss. 68-65 Mahtomedi inside 30 seconds left. TG runs a set to get Kavolak a look for 3 but its no good inside 10 ticks left. Fox makes 1 of 2 free throws to seal it. Mahtomedi wins 69-65. The Zephyrs trailed by 14 with 6:45 left and finish the game on a 25-7 run. Parker Fox goes for 29 of his 37 in the 2nd half. TG had absolutely no answer for him. Nobody in double figures for Mahtomedi. Rocky Kreuser with 21 points, 16 in the 1st half. No points in the last 13 minutes which was very surprising considering his dominating 1st half. Nathan Kavolak with 5 triples and 22 points to lead Totino-Grace. 16 of those points in the 2nd half. Charlie Jacob added 13.