Another Crimson nailbiter

To Robbinsdale Cooper for another non-conference game that features an NW Suburban team.  This time is a road non-con game with Maple Grove making the short trip.  Maple Grove coming off a 57-50 overtime win over Rogers last Friday.  No back to back Jet's pizza as I settle for a hot dog and more Sprite.  Its a surprise how loud the building at Cooper is, especially when the students get into the end of a tight JV game.  Today's tune is another dance step tune.

Song of the Day: Cupid - Cupid Shuffle
Number of Teams I've Seen: 56 (33 games, 14 days)

Beverage Ticker: 192.9 ounces (1970 Calories)

  • 7 Up: 12 ounces (140 calories)
  • Coke: 32 ounces (380 calories) 
  • Pepsi: 48 ounces (600 calories)
  • Sprite Zero: 20 ounces (0 calories) 
  • Sprite: 60.9 ounces (720 calories)
  • Red Powerade: 20 ounces (130 calories)
Food Ticker:
  • Hot Dogs: 6
  • Walking Tacos:2
  • Pizza: 4
Game Time:
Jalen Miller with 2 early 3s for Cooper and we're tied at 10.  Cooper adds a FT to go up 11-10 at the 7:51 mark.  Then a quick 10-0 Crimson run with Jared Rainey scoring 5 of those.  20-11 Maple Grove at the 6:30 mark.  The run breaks when Maple Grove tips a rebound in their own basket.  Rainey adds more bonus free throws before Cooper breaks a 5 minute drought of their own field goals.  Maple Grove with the last 7 of the half thanks to a couple Alex Battist hoops.  33-20 Maple Grove at the half.

Cooper increases their pressure and cuts into the lead.  Nate Hill 2 on a turnover and a Trokon Massey dunk to cut the margin to 7.  Then Jalen Justice heats up for the Hawks.  His layup and triple cut the margin to 5 before a big inbound dunk from Battist.  Hill 3 of 4 free throws.  Justice with a pair of triples to counter a pair of Jordan Stensland hoops.  He is then fouled and has to leave for 10 seconds of game time.  The free throw he doesn't take ties the game at 50 with 6:26 left.  Massey with a putback and then 4 straight Maple Grove turnovers.  But Cooper sloppy in the stretch as well.  Hill converts one of those turnovers into points.  Then another Massey dunk with 2:12 left and Cooper is up 56-52.  Hill with clutch bonus free throws to keep the lead at 3 before a nice cut from Rainey for a 3 point play.  That ties it at 58 with 47.7 left.  Cooper holds for 1 shot and draws a play up out of a time out.  That results in nothing and we'll play OT.

Almost all free throws in the extra session.  Hill with 2 more freebies to put Cooper up 63-59 with 1:32 left.  Battist makes 1 of 2 free throws and the Crimson get the miss which Battist turns into a bucket.  Hill makes 1 of 2 and its still a Cooper 2 point lead with 43.7 left.  Then the critical sequence.  Maple Grove draws up a backdoor set and turns it over.  Cooper in their haste turns it over and then commits an intentional foul with 27.6 left.  Stensland makes the 2 free throws to tie it and the Crimson keep possession.  After an offensive rebound and Crimson timeout, Rainey gets fouled way out top with 3 seconds left.  He makes the 2nd of 2 and Cooper's halfcourt heave is no good at the buzzer.  Maple Grove wins again in overtime 65-64

Post Game
Jalen Justice leads the Hawks with 21 points and 5 3s.  16 of those points and 4 of those 3s in the 2nd half when he was hot.  Nate Hill chips in with 16 points making 5 of his last 5 free throws after starting 2-6.  Cooper falls to 0-2 with the loss.  The 2 home losses are by a combined 4 points.  Back to back trips to Prairie Seeds Academy and Burnsville end the week for the Hawks.  They are then off until the Rochester holiday tournament. 

Maple Grove is 2-0 with both wins in overtime.   Forward Alex Battist scores 21 points.  PG Jared Rainey adds 17.  He had 13 in the 1st half then the last field goal of regulation to tie it and the final free throw to win it.  Jordan Stensland scores 11.  Maple Grove continues a 3 game road trip on Friday at St. Michael-Albertville.  Then a tough NW Suburban matchup at Park Center on Tuesday.

Strategy Session
We've talked offense in the previous strategy sessions.  Now let's talk some defense.  Tonight's game was a great contrast of man to man styles of defense.  Maple Grove staying in gaps and not trying to apply much pressure.  Robbinsdale Cooper on the other hand using their athletes to extend their man defense.  They were out in passing lanes and picking up full court.  Plus they threw in some run and jump traps.  Both styles not only making sense for their talent but also for the opponent.  Cooper trying to use their athletic advantage to turn Maple Grove over and get to the rim.  Maple Grove trying to keep a quicker Cooper roster out of the lane while forcing them to hit outside shots.  It shows there's no 1 way to do things.

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