2018 MCAA Championship Day

Its the 2nd to last Saturday of the regular season.  That means the traditional finals of the MCAA tournament which takes place during the 2nd to last week of the season.  Its high seed Maranatha hosting the 3rd place and championship games.  Thanks to the weather, its moved up to a matinee schedule.  The MCA concession stand always high quality and the pizza and Pepsi lived up to the standard.  Now one could be confused with the day.  All 4 teams playing will be moving to the new Skyline Conference starting with the 2019-2020 season.  Plus you have another Skyline team, Concordia Academy, on hand scouting.

3rd Place Game: Trinity 56 St. Croix Prep 54
Trinity would jump out to a 10 point 1st half lead thanks to a 7-0 run.  19-9 Tri-Hawks at 8:30.  SCPA would rally with hustle.  An offense rebound leads to a high percentage kickout 3 for Sam O'Neill.  Then a great block by frosh Addison Metcalf on the break and Daniel McCarrell buries a 3 in transition on the other end.  Nolan Grubisch drives for a 3 point play and SCPA has the lead.  Its an 18-6 run in 5 minutes for a 27-25 lead. 

Trinity counters with a 11-2 run across halftime. Anthony Rumpza with a 3 early in the run and late in the 1st half.  Forward Oliver Waldron starts the 2nd half with a 3 point play in that run.  Grubisch with a jumper out of the Euro ball screen offense and 2-3 FTs.  That pulls SCPA within 2 when they go to a 2-3 zone with 11 minutes left.  Trinity unable to buy a shot but grabbing a ton of those misses.  McCarrell backs it up to the 3 point line for 3 and another jumper for a 46-44 SCPA lead.  Jacob Masek goes glass for 2 and adds bonus free throws for a 52-48 Trinity lead with 3:40 left.  Then 2 SCPA FTs and a Trinity foul on a 3 and technical.  McCarrell makes the technicals and just over 20 seconds later SCPA is up 2.  McCarrell then has a dagger 3 go in and out with 2:40 left.  SCPA misses a layup before the teams trade turnovers.  Michael Ennis turns that SCPA TO into 2 FTs for a 56-54 Trinity lead with 1:27 left.  After Trinity misses a front end, SCPA has 2 late chances.  They'll take a timeout with 25 seconds left.  They call a regular flare set for McCarrell but that's well defended.  Trinity forces a miss but then their long pass is intercepted.  SCPA gets it back with 2.5 left.  They'll get a timeout with a chance to go 3/4 court.  No look and Trinity hangs on.  McCarrell with 4 3s and 22 points for SCPA.  Wing Jacob Masek and forward Oliver Waldron with 15 each for a nice inside out punch to lead Trinity.  Trinity wins despite shooting 2-18 from 3 in the game

Championship Game: Maranatha 72 New Life 54
The story here was turnovers.  Turnovers by the boat load.  That allowed Maranatha to play their frantic run up and down pace.  Plus they get the ball off the glass and push it as well as anybody.  That also turned into a ton of easy buckets.  When New Life was able to get into offense, they had the ability to get great post looks with Zach Thor and Drew Wynia.  Thor even showing impressive 3 point range as well.  New Life's strategy of wanting to play 2-3 zone was the right one.  Maranatha didn't hit a 3 all day and the New Life size would wipe away most of the misses.  But too many easy buckets running and full court pressing.  That forced New Life to play man but it didn't matter.  25+ New Life turnovers lead to about 30 Maranatha points.  A 19 point game in the 1st half is 14 at half.  Maranatha stretches that to 27 in the 2nd half before clowning around.  Clarence Daniels and Lincoln Banks with 16 points each for Maranatha.  Beijan Newbern with 10 of his 12 in the 1st half despite foul trouble.  Drew Wynia 16 points and Zach Thor 14 (3 3s) lead the scoring for New Life.

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