The bright lights of 4AA

Prologue
Dashing thru the snow, drifts up to my waist.  Uphill into the wind, freezing all the way.  Its a cold and snowy trip to Concordia to see the Beacons take on Cristo Rey in a 4AA section battle.  The Pumas stepping out of TCAC play for a challenge.  Concordia trying to separate themselves from a jumbled pack in the middle of the section.  Another venue with 1/4 lb hot dogs,  there's incentive for me to appear more often.  More Red Gatorade to go with it.  Kevin Hart and the 3 man crew get both the JV and varsity games.  A very different but very satisfying music mix on the speakers tonight.  From that we get this tune.

Song of the Day: Optimus - Nail
Number of Teams I've Seen: 103 (84 games, 43 days, 28 buildings, 14 online)

Beverage Ticker: 531.6 ounces (5820 Calories)
  • Pepsi: 170.7 ounces (2130 calories)
  • Coke: 96 ounces (1140 calories) 
  • Dr. Pepper: 36 ounces (450 calories)
  • Sprite Zero: 20 ounces (0 calories) 
  • Sprite: 104.9 ounces (1240 calories) 
  • 7 Up: 12 ounces (140 calories)
  • Red Gatorade: 60 ounces (420 calories)  
  • Red Powerade: 20 ounces (130 calories) 
  • A&W Root Beer: 12 ounces (170 calories)
Food Ticker:
  • Hot Dogs: 13
  • Walking Tacos: 4
  • Pizza: 13
  • Chipotle: 1 (thanks to Bethel staff)
Game Time:
An early 7-0 run for Concordia puts them up 12-8.  After 5 in a row from Cristo Rey allows the Pumas to reclaim the lead, the Beacons score the next 10.  James Sommer with a triple and bucket to break those 2 runs.  Franklin Doyle with a triple and a free throw and that keeps Cristo Rey with 25-20 at the 6:35 mark.  But the rest of the half is a wreck for the Pumas.  Concordia finishes the half on a 24-2 run.  That starts with 14 in a row and finishes with the last 10 of the half.  Only 2 field goals in the last 10:40.  Barnabas Preble and Essay Hagos with triples in the last minute.  That sends the Beacons to the locker room with a 49-22 lead.  13-5 foul differential in favor of Concordia during the half.  That forced a bunch of lineup manipulations. 

The teams slowly go back and forth and its still 57-30 game with 12 minutes left.  Snooze fest.  But then again maybe not.  Concordia goes something like 10 straight possessions with a turnover and couldn't even get into any offense let alone get a shot up.  That was thanks to Cristo Rey throwing all caution to the wind and trapping everywhere make or miss.  Franklin Doyle with 2 triples around 2 Victory George layups via turnovers.  Shots start falling for the Pumas too.  Derek Burgess off the bench for 3..  Doyle and George convert more turnovers.  The Cristo Rey run is 17-0 in 3 minutes and all of a sudden we have a game again.

Cristo Rey would have a chance to cut it to 8 but not convert.  Sommer fouls out and Derek Burgess hits another 3 to keep the Pumas within 62-52 with 6:15 left.  But Gavin Harbo will put the game out of reach for Concordia.  He makes 4 free throws and assists on 2 layups to start a run.  The Beacons add 2 putbacks and convert a turnover.  That run is 16-3 and puts the game out of reach with 2:30 left.  Concordia wins 84-64.

Post Game
Cristo Rey falls to 8-2 and loses their second game in a row.  Victory George leads the way with 15 points.  James Sommer with 13 before fouling out.  Franklin Doyle adds 3 triples and 12 points.  Good move by coach Clay to go small without center John Williams in the 2nd half and really pick up the pressure.  The fouls in the 1st half may have prevented him from going to it earlier.  The TCAC schedule may rack up wins but not many quality wins.  This loss has the potential to knock the Pumas down a notch later.  Will be interesting to see.  Its a busy time on the schedule too.  International School comes calling tomorrow and then they play Minneapolis Henry in the MLK Classic at Totino-Grace on Monday.

Concordia improves to 8-5 overall.  5 of their 6 scorers were in double figures so great balance.  Forward Barnabas Preble leads the way with 24 points.  Senior guard Gavin Harbo with 22 points and some big assists.  5 of the 7 players in the rotation are back next year, Harbo being the biggest loss.  They'll definitely need to find a way to handle pressure when more athletic clubs come after them.  This win definitely gives Concordia a notable section victory.  They are back in Tri-Metro play next week with a tough trip to St. Croix Lutheran and a visit from St. Agnes.

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