A Rebel Yell

Prologue
A Billy Idol reference just never gets old even if it is too obvious.  Its another trip to Park Center for a showdown between the 6th ranked Pirates and Champlin Park.  These teams come in on top of their respective divisions of the Northwest Suburban.  An unrecognized 3 man crew was an interesting choice for the game.  The Jet's Pizza appeals to me more and more each time I have it.  But the 500 ml bottle idea for Pepsi is not my cup of team.  The Pirate pep band was missing last week vs Osseo but they are in attendance tonight.  As is custom, we'll take today's tune from their set list.

Song of the Day: Your Mama Don't Dance - Multiple artists

Number of Teams I've Seen: 124 (110 games, 65 days, 41 buildings, 20 online)

Beverage Ticker: 843.2 ounces (9360 Calories)\
  • Pepsi: 280.5 ounces (3500 calories)
  • Coke: 149.8 ounces (1780 calories) 
  • Dr. Pepper: 36 ounces (450 calories)
  • Sprite Zero: 20 ounces (0 calories) 
  • Sprite: 156.9 ounces (1860 calories) 
  • 7 Up: 12 ounces (140 calories)
  • Red Gatorade: 100 ounces (700 calories)  
  • Red Powerade: 40 ounces (260 calories) 
  • A&W Root Beer: 36 ounces (510 calories) 
  • Mug Root Beer: 12 ounces (160 calories)
Food Ticker:
  • Hot Dogs: 23
  • Walking Tacos: 5
  • Pizza: 18
  • Pulled Pork Sandwich: 1
  • Chipotle: 1 (thanks to Bethel staff)
Game Time:
The story of the night was Champlin Park's Josiah Strong.  He gets started early with a pair of hoops plus a pair of assists that put 6 points on the board.  Park Center their offense from Dain Dainja inside and Tommy Chatman outside.  Strong will add a couple other hoops in  there as well.  24-19 Champlin Park at the 8:17 mark as both teams scoring at a high rate.  Strong then with bonus freebies and a 3 around a Dainja hoop and the lead grows to 8  Bennett Otto converts a turnover and Strong adds another hoops for a 35-25 lead.  Park Center answers back with Jarius Cook to the rack for 2 and bonus free throws after a Khari Broadway 3.  Strong responds with a 3.  We go to half with Champlin Park leading 42-36.  Strong 18 and 3 assists for 8 more carrying the offense.

No Chatman to be found in the 2nd half as Emmanuel Tamba starts for him.  Dainja with a dunk and nice baseline spin for a jumper sandwiched around aStrong 3.  Otto for 3 and Strong another bucket to push the lead to 9 before a nice extra pass finds Broadway for 3.  Strong coast to coast with the lefty finish and Otto finds soph Jared Walter on the skip pass for 3 in transition.  56-45 Champlin Park leads with 14:01 left and Park Center needs a timeout.

Dainja then picks up his 4th foul with 11:43 left.  Strong immediately goes coast to coast again for a hoop and then a turnover for Park Center and Strong hits the transition 3.  68-52 with 11:05 left and Park Center takes another timeout to stop the hemorrhaging.  They'll take Tamba and have him faceguard Strong for the rest of the night.  That does an effective job of taking him out of the offense.

Meanwhile on offense Park Center gets it going.  The Warriors Cyclone set for a DJ Purnell hoop.  Levonte Parker flying around on the glass off the Park Center bench.  Plus Jarius Cook hocks down a couple of 3s to get the game back to single digits.  70-63 Champlin Park inside 8 to play.  Parker on the offensive glass for 2 free throws plus both ends of the bonus after Purnell puts back a miss.  That's a 15-2 Park Center run in 3 minutes.  72-69 Champlin Park with 6:24 left.  Strong finally back in the scoring column to stop the run.  Cook makes 2 free throws after Park Center rebounds their own missed free throw.  Then Purnell a putback and the foul for a chance to tie with 5:26 left.  But the free throw is no good.  Dainja returns just after that with his 4 fouls.

Juwan Grant off the Rebels bench for 3 of 4 free throws.  An offense rebound leads to a Tamba bucket.  Strong counters that but Cook buries a 3.  Champlin Park turns it over and Park Center has it.  Tamba makes 1 of 2 free throws and the 16 point lead is gone.  79 all with 2:41 to play.  Champlin Park misses and Park Center takes timeout for another shot at the lead.  They come out incredibly passive against the Rebels 2-3 zone and eventually turn it over with 1:31 left.  Strong then penetrates and kicks out to Otto for a go ahead 3 with just under a minute left.  After a Park Center free throw to cut the lead to 2, they will play for a trap before fouling.  Champlin Park moves the ball despite some possible hacks that weren't called.  It ends up in Strong's hands with 30 seconds left and he'll shoot an ill-advised wide open 3.  That's no good and Park Center rushes the ball back down the floor.  But its Otto with a great strip on defense to get it back.  He makes 4-4 free throws the rest of the way and that's your ball game.  Champlin Park pulls the upset 86-81.

Post Game
For Park Center, Jarius Cook with 18 of his 25 in the 2nd half.  He had 4 3s on the night.  DJ Purnell with a nice outing of 16 points working inside.  Dain Dainja 13 despite some foul trouble.  Despite the huge numbers from Strong, I liked what Emmanuel Tamba did defensively to take him away in the last quarter of the game.  Levonte Parker's energy off the bench was a big factor as well.  Dainja I thought was under utilized as there wasn't much resistance to getting him post touches.  The Pirates fall to 14-4 overall and 9-2 in the NW Suburban.  That drops them a game behind Osseo in the West division.  Plus Osseo already beat Champlin Park on the road.  Park Center hosts Coon Rapids on Monday and then visits Maple Grove on Thursday.

Josiah Strong was outstanding for Champlin Park with 36 points, 18 in each half.  But the guy who saved the bacon was Bennett Otto.  He handled the ball a lot down the stretch with Strong being denied.  Not to mention he scored the last 7 of the game and had the big defensive play in the last 30 seconds.  He was also outstanding with 27 points and 3 3s and 12-14 FTs.  22-27 from the charity stripe plus 4 late FT misses for Park Center were critical.  The Rebels improve to 11-5 overall.  They stay 1 game ahead of Blaine in the North division at 9-2.  They visit Elk River on Monday and host Coon Rapids on Thursday.  Then the big rematch at Blaine in 10 days.  Blaine won the 1st meeting by a point. 

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