A tale of two halves in 1 city

To St. Paul Johnson for a top city showdown with rival Central.  1st place in the conference on the line in this one.  And while it is a Monday night game (thank you caucuses), I was surprised at the sparse crowd.  Quality walking taco as always with 7-Up as the drink of choice.  Solid officiating crew on hand.

Number of Teams I've Seen: 124 (111 games, 68 days, 41 buildings, 20 online)

Beverage Ticker: 855.2 ounces (9500 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: 24 ounces (180 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: 6
  • Pizza: 18
  • Pulled Pork Sandwich: 1
  • Chipotle: 1 (thanks to Bethel staff)
Game Time:
It was the best of halves, it was the worst of halves.  It was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity.  Central comes out and gets all up in Johnson and opens up a 20-5 lead at the 12:38 mark.  Johnson with 2 timeouts already burned trying to figure things out as Central is doing to them what they usually do to teams.  3 turnovers for hoops plus a strong start for Daveonte Davis of Central.  Not to mention a bunch of other Johnson turnovers early.

Johnson picks up their intensity and grinds their way back.  Shemar Tucker-Adams on a BLOB for a corner 3.  Jordan Mobley with 2 offensive boards to give him 2 free throws and a bucket.  The 13-2 Governors run pulls them back within 26-25 at the 6:46 mark.  Luke McElroy on the bench for Central with 3 fouls.  That brings in soph Caron Crowe off the bench.  He scores 9 points during the rest of the half.  Central opens the lead back up to double digits as they go on a 10-2 run in the last 1:35.  Crowe with a putback and 3 in that run.  49-37 Central leading at half.

After a Kyle Lee steal and hoop to start the 2nd half, Central scores the next 6.  PG Ronelle Porter knocking down an open 3 from Davis.  55-39 Minutemen back on a roll.  Then a Johnson turnover and Davis takes it all alone the other way and misses the dunk.  Rest of the game is all Johnson.  3 turnovers for 2 Tucker-Adams layups and 1 from Lee.  Tons of contact in this stretch of the game and nothing being called.  Feels like any whistle that is blown goes against Central.  Plus they're missing bunnies.   It doesn't get any better.

Mobley with 2 hoops.  Another turnover results in Lee grabbing a miss for 2 free throws.  Then he runs for a layup.  Then a steal and he'll let Tucker-Adams finish it.  Then a steal that he keeps for a 3 point play.  All of a sudden Johnson is up 62-59 with 12:11 left.  The smaller portion of the run is 11-0 in 1:10, typical Johnson fashion.  The bigger run is 23-4 in over 4 minutes.  Luke McElroy was sitting with a quick 4th and comes back in.  But he gets a cheapy and is gone with 10:06 left. 

Then the Johnson layup line starts.  Mobley on a BLOB, Lamont White 2 hoops on dump offs, Sean Hubbard on a dump off.  Keylon Jackson takes a dish for a 3 point play.  He'll miss a layup on a dish, but promptly put back the miss.  Hubbard a 3 point play on you guessed it, a dump off.  Jackson another layup.  Then bonus material with White going to the reverse layup to finish off a turnover.  Mobley runs for a layup.  84-71 Johnson with 5:38 and its all Govs in the last 10 minutes.  Central goes 8 minutes without a field goal after the Porter 3 early in the half.  Then they just can't stop the guards of Johnson from penetrating.

Central with 1 last gasp as they score the next 8.  Porter attacking for 2 free throws and puts back a miss.  Then he gets a steal and finds Dion Ford for 2 free throws.  Ford adds a putback to cut the margin to 5 with 4:25 left.  But Central would get no closer.  Jackson 2 layups and Johnson makes 11 of 16 free throws the rest of the way.  Johnson wins 101-90 after being down 12 at half and 16 early in the 2nd half.  They score a crazy total of 64 points in the 2nd half.

Post Game
For Central, Daveonte Davis had a terrific 1st half with 20 of his 33 points.  But his 13 in the 2nd half was quiet as he had a late 3 and 3 FTs.  Dion Ford adds 19, Khai West 16.  Soph Caron Crowe with 9 of his 10 off the bench in the 1st half.  Central had been rolling along during the 2018 calendar year but this is the 2nd loss of that stretch to Johnson which has to sting.  Especially when they were just out toughed and outworked and didn't defend the ball.  Central falls to 11-8 overall and more importantly 5-2 in the St. Paul City.  Even a win most likely wouldn't have sent them to the Twin Cities Game but this loss almost certainly eliminates the Minutemen from the conference title discussion.  That's a disappointment for the preseason favorites.  They visit Highland Park on Thursday.

For Johnson, we've talked about their guard play in the past.  Tonight it was outstanding.  Kyle Lee with 24 points (14-15 FTs), Shemar Tucker-Adams 18, Jordan Mobley 17.  With all 3 getting it going, that's tough to defend.  Keylon Jackson was the main beneficiary with 24 points of his own.  Many of easy feeds from the guards.  Jackson gives Johnson an import physical dimension as their best rebounder and interior player.  Its a different feel when he's not on the floor.  Johnson takes total control of the conference race with the win.  They are now 6-0 in the league and 14-4 overall.  Those 4 losses all by single digits.  They should coast through their final 7 games into hosting the Twin Cities game vs Minneapolis North.  Up next is a trip to Como Park on Thursday and then Centennial comes to the east side on Saturday afternoon.

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