A Saint, A Spring, A Louis, A Lake and 2 Parks

Its all about the letters SLP the last 2 nights.  1st a NW Suburban crossover game with Spring Lake Park hosting Elk River.  Then the other SLP is St. Louis Park as they host Chaska in a matchup of Metro West leaders.  Both teams coming off upset losses earlier in the week to make the Metro West race a total mess with 4 teams tied at 5-2 coming into Friday night play.  John Cena on the call Friday night to keep order in the big game.

Thursday: Spring Lake Park 53 Elk River 46
Scoring a real struggle in this one.  Elk River playing without forward Jack Burger.  Spring Lake Park playing without Walker Steward.  Spring Lake Park would have straight FGs be 3s to carry their offense.  They score 11 of the last 15 of the half to take a 30-23 halftime lead.  Elk River rallies with a 10-3 run to start the half and tie the game at 33 with 13 minutes left.  But the Elks go the next 4:40 without a FG and give up the next 9 points.  Panthers center Elijah Elkerton sitting part of this stretch with 4 fouls and Elk River would get the lead back down to 3 with just over 5 minutes left.  Elk River with chances down the stretch thanks to 3s from Brock Burdine and Dylan Fruth.  That cuts the lead to 2 with 1:27 left.  But Elk River won't score again.  Brock Burdine the only Elk River player in double figures with 15 points and 3 3s.  Sophomores Blake Remme and Gabe Myren with 14 and 11 points respectively.  But it was the 3 3s (all 1st half) and 11 points from senior Ben Whann that were a difference maker. 

Friday: Chaska 92 St. Louis Park 68
These 2 teams plus Bloomington Jefferson and Robbinsdale Cooper all 5-2 with 5-3 Benilde-St. Margaret's 1 game behind them for the league lead.  The 1st half story was the outside shooting of Chaska.  They knock down 11 3s including 6 from junior Connor Krenos.  Cole Nicholson not only scoring but also being the hub of the offense finding those shooters.  But St. Louis Park had their offense working too.  Joey Whitlock making shots and the jet speed of Cire Mayfield always a factor.  He used that (how fitting) to score his 1000th career point during the 1st half.  2 of those Chaska 3s to end the 1st half and expand the lead to 50-37 at the break.

St. Louis Park clamps down on Krenos in the 2nd half.  But the inside play of Chaska is too much.  Parker Bjorklund 7 early points inside and it also draws Mayfield's 4th foul with 12:20 left and he has to miss a big chunk of time.  That stretches the margin to 23.  A minor St. Louis Park rally with Anthony Odens going inside for a 3 point play and 2 more free throws.  The margin is 16 after a Mayfield triple with 4:19 left.  The game is at 17 when St. Louis Park head coach Dave Breitenbucher gets a pair of technicals and gets tossed with 2:54 left.  Mayfield makes his 2 free throws but Krenos knocks down the 4 technicals.  That starts an 8-0 spurt and the rest is garbage time.  Connor Krenos with the 4 late FTs and a couple late hoops to end up with 31 points.  He had 6 of his 7 3s in the 1st half.  Parker Bjorklund's length a factor scoring 22 inside.  Cole Nicholson with 20 plus he added a bunch of assists (at least 6).  Cire Mayfield with 26 to lead St. Louis Park despite missing a bunch of time in each half with foul trouble.  Aiden Doherty with 15.  Joey Whitlock with 13 but all in the 1st half. 

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