Cougars overcome a foul fest

Prologue
To Roseville for a section 5AAAA matchup between Centennial and the host Raiders.  Solid but quiet student section on hand.  A very basic concession menu as always.  But I'm more and more a fan of prewrapped hot dogs.  My looked disappointing immediately on opening but actually turned out to be good.  Add in the daily dose of battery acid (Coke) to keep the beverage counter rolling.  Lots of older music on the public address including Journey and the Bee Gees but we'll pick the 1st and oldest song of the night for today's tune.

Song of the Day: Let Your Love Flow - Bellamy Brothers
Number of Teams I've Seen: 4 (2 games, 2 days)

Beverage Ticker: 32 ounces (380 Calories)
  • 7 Up: 12 ounces (140 calories)
  • Coke: 20 ounces (240 calories)
Food Ticker:
  • Hot Dogs: 1
  • Walking Tacos: 1
Game Time:
The stars of the night get started right away.  Soph Carter Anderson for 3 for Centennial countered by a Roseville 3 from Drew Adams.  2 quick fouls on Gary Smith for Roseville and he'll sit for the rest of the half after only 3 minutes.  Adams with another 3 before Anderson splits 2 pairs of free throws.  Then its Matt Wyffels for 3 on a throwback pass and shooter Ricky Eason with a triple to break a 13 all tie.  Quick Roseville timeout at 10:28.

Fouls all over the place and lots of guys with 2 in the 1st half.  The lead hovers in that 6 point range until Anderson makes 4 straight free throws and adds a hoop in an 8-2 run.  That extends the lead to 37-26 late in the half.  The 12th guy Roseville used in the 1st half was JV starting center Spencer Nath.  He makes 2 free throws and a hoop late.  That cuts the Centennial lead to 42-33 at the half.

The lead gets to 12 before Roseville goes to their "Hawkeye" 1-2-2 3/4 trap.  Adams with a putback and 3 point play off a turnover thanks to that trap.  Its part of a 10-0 run over 3:40 and gets the Raiders right back in the game.  45-42 Centennial with over 12 minutes left.  Then an up and down sequence with the teams racing back and forth but no points.  Adams with 2 blocks during that stretch.  Daevonte Munson with good minutes and his 3 keeps Roseville within 54-50 with 5:46 left.

Wyffels counters with another throwback 3 off the dribble handoff.  Then a post feed and Andrew Nordquist comes from the weakside and just takes it away for an Eason layup.  Nordquist then adds a runner for a 61-50 lead with 3:40 left.  At this point, the game should have been over.  Smith finds Munson for 3 and he makes a free throw.  Adams adds a 3 point play and Roseville still has life down 6 with 2:30 left. 

It only gets worse for the Cougars.  Centennial turns it over, misses a front end and then takes 2 horrific shots quickly with Roseville not trapping or fouling.  All of that allows a Smith drive to cut it to 3 and then after an offensive rebound its Adams from the deep beyound and we're all tied at 63 with 1:06 left.  That's a 13-2 Raiders run in just over 2 and a half minutes.  Wyffels immediately scores on the other end to put Centennial on top. Roseville takes timeout and draws up a baseline double screen. 

The play said the ball had to go there so the pass went there.  Unfortunately, a defender was already there for a Roseville turnover.  Anderson makes 1 of 2 free throws, Centennial fouls and Roseville misses both freebies.  Centennial makes only 1 FT again and Smith goes quick to the rim for 2.  Still a 2 point game with 14 seconds left.  Centennial gets out on the break and its an intentional foul from behind (new emphasis this year) with 7.9 seconds left.  Centennial makes 1 and then on the inbound they are fouled and miss both.  Roseville has 1 last chance but is out of timeouts.  2 desperation 3s are no good.  Centennial wins 68-65.

Post Game
For Roseville, Drew Adams was outstanding with 25 points and 3 triples to lead all scorers.  He was very active on the glass and was at the top of the 1-2-2 trap that got Roseville back in the game. Daevonte Munson with quality minutes for the Raiders as well with 4 triples and 3 free throws for 15 points.  Gary Smith with all 9 of his points in the 2nd half after missing most of the 1st half with 2 fouls.  Roseville starts the season 0-1.  They'll continue their 5 game homestand to start the season with a visit from Rosemount on Tuesday.

For Centennial, soph Carter Anderson scores 16 of his 21 in the 1st half to lead the Cougars.  Shooter Ricky Eason adds 16.  Starters Matt Wyffels and Andrew Metz also in double figures with 13 and 11 respectively.  Centennial's run and jump style traps were effective in the 1st half.  I liked what I saw and the Cougars will be better than I expected.

Neither team with a post presence and that showed in the strange stat of the night.  The starting "big" for each team was scoreless and fouled out.  Of the 11 bench guys who played, none of them had more than 1 field goal.  67 FTs in the game, 16-30 for Roseville, 18-37 for Centennial.  Note that I count missed front ends as 2 attempts and misses.  That was due to over 50 fouls called.

Strategy Session
In the last strategy session, I talked about how Johnson gets their guards going to the rim.  Tonight showed another way to do that.  Its the Bethel Dribble Drive inspired offense that is a local rage right now.  Thank you MN Heat guys for going to this after using THE WORLD'S WORST OFFENSE for ages.  A fundamental concept is cuts to the corners to create the idea of "double gaps" for driving.  What you end up with is a player passing and cutting to a corner.  Then the pass receiver immediately drives thru the area where the passer was.  The passer's cut creates extra space for the driver to attack.  Shooters then spot up in the corners for 3s or cut to the rim if their defender turns their head.

There were 3 permutations of this that Centennial showed tonight out of a 4 out dribble drive look.

1) Guard to guard pass, passer follows to the same side corner but also tries to cut off of the receivers defender.  Receiver has a ton of room as the spot where the passer is vacated and the other player on that side is a shooter spaced to the corner.

2) As a counter to the 1st, after the guard to guard pass the passer cuts to the corner on his side.  The corner player then clears under the rim to the opposite side of the floor.  This creates the same exact look as the 1st.  But it puts more stress on the passers defender and helps eliminate a double team option.

3) Centennial also used the post player to come set a ball screen. Then the other guard could fill behind the drive or to the basket while the post player would pop.  Only saw it once but it was a nice look.

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