Eagles soar past the Polars

To Minneapolis North for a showdown between the #2AA Polars and #4AAAA Eden Prairie.  This was after seeing a 44-40 nailbiter for Trinity at St. Paul Academy yesterday.  Not much to cover there so I'll leave just the score here.  The cold weather limiting the crowd size on both nights.  Hot dogs pre-wrapped and ready to go with the usual Sprite at North.  We get the Old Spice Guy and of course The Rev calling the game. 

Game Time:
Eden Prairie raining in 3s early from their group of sophomores Drake Dobbs, John Henry and Connor Christensen.  Fellow soph Austin Andrews adds a spin move for 2 plus 2 freebies.  Good start for the Eagles up 19-8 at 13:05.  Odell Wilson with all of the North offense to that point.  But the Polars would get a couple of 3s from Eli Campbell but another 3 from Christensen helps to keep the lead at 32-20 at the 7:25 mark.  But the North defense holds the Eagles without a field goal for over 6 minutes and a 13-0 run ensues.  Odell Wilson posting out of the Swing Offense for 2.  Back to back bombs for Nasir El-Amin and Trejuan Holloman.  A Taylor Johnson run out for a layup and Wilson spinning in the post for 2 more to put North on top.  Henry buries another 3 and that sends Eden Prairie to the locker room with a 35-34 lead.

Slow pace to start the 2nd half and offense hard to come by.  The clock sits at 42 all for over 4 minutes.  But its the Eden Prairie shooting that comes back to life.  Henry for 3, Kyler Kluge for 3 (the senior must have felt left out) and another Dobbs triple all in about a 90 second span.  That puts Eden Prairie up 9 with 8 minutes left.  North would try to rally from that.  Holloman with a nice cut for 2 and a Wilson offensive board for a 3 point play cuts it to 5 with 3:49 left.  Eden Prairie comes out of a timeout a minute later and tries a SLOB for Dobbs layup (more below).  That gets knocked away but on the BLOB Dobbs pops back and buries a dagger triple to push the lead to 8 with just over 2:30 to play.  North gets 1 last bucket but no more danger.  Eden Prairie with a quality road win 69-57.

Post Game
Odell Wilson leads North with 20 points.  He was once again a handful using his body inside.  Tayler Johnson with 11, Trejuan Holloman with 10.  I really liked Holloman's on ball defensive pressure. But they never really turned Eden Prairie over which was a huge key.  That helped to keep the pace manageable and not ideal for how North wants to play.  North did play without PG Zion Sanford.  North falls to 3-2 overall.  They will play next in the late game Saturday night at the Pentagon in Sioux Falls in the Samaritan's Feet Barefoot Classic vs #1A Tea (SD)

For Eden Prairie, they only played 6 players and started 4 sophomores so a bright future.  Forward Austin Andrews leads the Eagles with 24 points.  Drake Dobbs and John Henry each add 14.  Connor Christensen chips in with 12.  They combine for 9 of the 10 Eden Prairie 3s.  Very good poise from all the youngsters handling the North defense.  Eden Prairie improves to 8-1 overall and they have 3 section games on the schedule next.  That includes a dangerous Shakopee team in the 1st of those on Saturday afternoon.  That's before a brutal 3 week stretch starting in a couple of weeks where they have Hopkins, Woodbury, De La Salle and Delano at home followed by trips to East Ridge, Edina and Wayzata.  All of those teams have spent time in the state polls.  YIKES! 

Play of the Day
No full blown strategy session here, just the late game SLOB from Eden Prairie.  They also showed this earlier in the game.  Andrews on the ball side block, guard on the back side block.  Dobbs in the back of a stack at the top of the key.  Andrews screens away for the guard who clears to the ball side corner.  Andrews then immediately flashes back to the ball.  On his catch, Dobbs cuts backdoor to the now empty basket area.  Simple and effective.  You could even add the inbounder taking off for the rim as another option as he would be on the other side of the play.

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