Opening Saturday Action

The opening Saturday as is recent tradition included a set of boys games as part of the girls tipoff classic.  Rather than stay thru the early girls games I took in a separate boys game.  Here's a look at the 5 games that I saw.

Game 1: St. Cloud Apollo at St. Louis Park 
This game was setup due to some rescheduling required by ESPN taking the Apple Valley vs Minnehaha game.  Apollo would shoot a ton of 3s in this back and forth game and made 12 of them.  St. Louis Park used a 12-2 run in the 1st half to take an 8 point lead.  Apollo would see an 8 point lead cut to 1 but one of those triples would extend the lead to 65-56 with 4 minutes left.

Both teams would squander late chances with very sloppy play.  Apollo with 4 turnovers in the last 2:15.  That would help St. Louis Park would score 13 in a row before a meaningless 3 at the buzzer.  St. Louis Park wins 69-68.  Cire Mayfield with the last 6 Orioles points and finishes with a team high 17.  Aiden Doherty with 16 now playing out of the post.  DaShawn Emerson with 13 and hounding defense off the bench.  Renell Edwards carried the Apollo offense with 18 points and 3 3s.  As they get older and more used to the new system plus refining their shot selection, they can be a dangerous team to play against.

Game 2: #1AAA De La Salle vs Iowa City West
Now the 4 boys games at the girls tipoff.  Iowa's top ranked team in town to take on the 6 time defending AAA champs.  Full Gophers staff on hand to watch all 3 of their commits in 3 straight games.  Gabe Kalscheur with 20 of his 31 points in the 1st half (4 3s) as the Islanders would take a 4 point lead to halftime.  But he was also attacking the rim aggressively.  Patrick McCaffrey with 13 of his 23 in the 2nd half including a late hoop and 2 free throws.  Difference here was the interior play of Seybian Sims.  He finished with 20 points and was a problem on the offensive glass all day.  Tyrell Terry with a late 3 to tie the game and got bumped late for a debatable no-call with DLS trying to win it.  Iowa City West wins a battle 65-62.  The rebounding issues and the integration of Jamison Battle are issues to watch for the Islanders.

Game 3: #2AAA Orono vs Robbinsdale Armstrong
Armstrong with a very scrappy 1st half to take a 29-26 halftime lead.  They kept the ball out of Jarvis Omersa's hands.  The hot shooting of Thomas Lecy, particularly from the left corner, was a problem all day.  He hit 4 of his 6 3s in the 1st half to keep the Spartans close.  Then Omersa was too much in the 2nd half.  He scores 6 points in a 16-0 Orono run early in the 2nd half.  That turns a 4 point deficit into a 12 point lead.  Add in another hoop plus a 3 point play and the lead grows to 16.  Orono in no danger after that.  They win 64-50.  Jarvis Omersa with 18 points and 17 rebounds on my sheet with a double double in the 2nd half alone.  Also showed some nice passing ability.  Thomas Lecy 6 3s for 18 points.  Soph Jake Breitbach with 11 off the bench to lead Armstrong.

Game 4: #2AAAA Cretin-Derham Hall at #4AAAA Hopkins
This was the surprise of the day.  CDH would jump all over the Royals to the tune of 21-5 in just over 6 minutes.  Then Daniel Oturu would leave the game with an injury and not return.  Jaeden King knocking down shots and Sy Chatman continuing his progression.  Both score 15 in the 1st half as the lead grows to 19 and is 43-27 at the half.  17 point game inside 9 minutes to play before quick 5 in, 5 out rotations allows Hopkins to rally.  Joe Hedstrom dunks a turnover to end a 14-2 Royals run and the lead is down to 7 with 4:24 left.  CDH would score the next 9 to put the game away.  Chatman with 6 of those on his way to a game high 33 points.  Jaeden King with 22, Ryan Larson with 19 for CDH.  DJ Davis a bright spot for Hopkins off the bench with 16.  Zeke Nnaji also with 16, Anthony Davis 13 for Hopkins.  Hopkins will likely want to burn the black jerseys they used for the game after how they looked in the 1st half. 

Game 5: #1AA Minnehaha vs #6AAAA East Ridge
East Ridge keeping this one at a slow pace.  Combine that with a quiet 1st half from Jalen Suggs and Minnehaha only had 3 field goals in the 1st 13 minutes.  That was part of a 12-2 East Ridge run to take a 15-9 lead.  Minnehaha would end the half on a 10-2 run of their own with East Ridge not scoring a field goal in the last 4+ minutes.  Courtney Brown with a quick triple and hoop as East Ridge would go up 5.  Then a 15-3 Minnehaha run with Suggs asserting himself.  Minnehaha would stretch the lead to 47-37 after Javonni Bickham converted a turnover.  Courtney Brown for and the 4th and 5th 3s from Zack Zebrowksi.  East Ridge within 3 with 4:29 left.  Bickham bonus freebies and a Suggs FT for a 7 point lead inside 2 left.  But Courtney Brown isn't done.  He hits a pullup and a triple. Then a tough catch to finish a pick and roll to cut the margin to 2.  Bickham puts back a miss and Brown with another 3 to cut the lead to 1.  After a Minnehaha free throw, the teams trade turnovers and East Ridge doesn't have a time out.  Nothing good on the last shot.  Minnehaha wins 60-58.  Courtney Brown went off in the 2nd half with 22 of his 29 points for East Ridge. He scored in the post, midrange and hit 5 3s.  Zach Zebrowski with 5 3s for his 15 points.  Only 4 players score for the Raptors though.  Jalen Suggs with a quiet 8 points for Minnehaha.  Javonni Bickham leads the Redhawks with 19 points.  Terry Lockett adds 10.  Big difference at the charity stripe with Minnehaha shooting 17-31 to 1-2 for East Ridge.

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