2018 6AAAA Semis

Prologue
To Osseo for the 6AAAA Semifinal matchups.  Light student crowd for the early game.  Excellent jerseys for the Wayzata student section.  One of their members got a scolding for shooting a game ball that came into the stands.  Quality pep band music from the Lake Conference reps.  Wayzata band digs out the classic "Rhythm is gonna get you" by Miami Sound Machine (Gloria Estefan's band).  Jet's Pizza with Pepsi always an outstanding menu pair. 

Game 1: 1 Hopkins vs 4 Robbinsdale Armstrong
Zeke Nnaji a handful inside with 10 points for Hopkins in the 1st 6+ minutes.  Soph Jake Breitbach with a triple and then 2 steals from the top of the 1-2-2 zone that lead to buckets.  17-14 Armstrong at the 10:50 mark.  The Falcons keeping the game at their pace by spacing the floor and looking for cuts.  Hopkins counters with an 11-2 run thanks to a couple of Kerwin Walton bombs.  One of those on a post kickout from Joe Hedstrom who also added 3 FTs during the run.  Breitbach backdoor and reverses it home plus 2 FTs to start a 6-0 run.  25 all inside 4 minutes to play in the half.  Hopkins gets the last 2 hoops for a 29-25 halftime lead.

Armstrong comes out of the locker room with a 9-0 run.  Isaiah Miller with the rainbow, an assist for a layup, then a ridiculously good left handed backdoor pass from halfcourt.  That pass results in an even more ridiculous reverse layup finish high off the glass by Breitbach.  34-29 Armstrong inside of 14 minutes to play.  Nnaji scores to break the run but leaves with some kind of apparent leg injury.  Hopkins always seems to have a big run in them.  Tonight was no exception and they go off on a 29-6 run after being down 5.  Blaise Beauchamp 2 triples and another bucket in the run.  Dane Zimmer with 2 inside hoops.  Armstrong 1 FG in a 6:40 stretch after their last lead.  58-40 Hopkins with 5:16 left.

Armstrong isn't done as Hopkins turns it over on 4 straight possessions.  That results in a 9-0 run with 2 layups and a dunk.  58-49 Hopkins with 3:35 left and they miss a front end.  But Hedstrom puts it back and Armstrong only scores 1 more bucket.  Hopkins advances with a 66-51 win.  Joe Hedstrom with 16 points.  Blaise Beauchamp 3 triples and all 13 of his points in the 2nd half.  Zeke Nnaji 12 points in limited minutes.  Dane Zimmer with 10 off the bench.  Soph Jake Breitbach with 15 points to lead Armstrong.  Ben Inniger and Nashiem Lozier with 10 each.  This was coach Greg Miller's final game for the Falcons.  A terrific run for one of the more highly respected coaches around.  Congratulations and best wishes on the next journey.

Game 2:  2 Wayzata vs 3 St. Louis Park
Hot shooting early for St. Louis Park.  Cire Mayfield for 3, then he'll find Luke Peterson for the 1st of 2 triples for him.  9-2 Orioles jump out to the lead.  Mayfield then picks up his 2nd foul at the 14:22 mark.  Coach Breitenbucher has to go offense for defense with him for most of the rest of the half.   Keaton Heide helping Wayzata hang around with a 3 and another bucket.  Wayzata within 2 at the 6:11 mark.  Frosh Kody Williams off the bench with a couple of hoops.  Then after the teams exchange the lead each way, Williams with 2 more hoops.  Heide makes bonus free throws for a 27-25 Wayzata halftime lead.

Heide keeps it going early in the 2nd half.  He drives for 2, hits a 3 and drives again for 2 more.  On the other side center Anthony Rayson with 2 hoops and 2 free throws.  Then Jacob Beeninga comes on after a quiet 1st half.  He buries a handoff 3 on an inbounds and drives for 2 more to stretch the Trojans lead to 41-31 with 11:30 left.  Mayfield converts a turnover for a layup as the Orioles look to shift the momentum but on the next possession he gets caught with a hand in the cookie jar holding a cutter off the ball.  Its his 4th foul with 10:44 left and he has to sit.  Wayzata turns that into a triple to keep the lead at 9.  Williams with 2 more drives very unchallenged to the basket and the margin stays at 9.  Mayfield returns at 7:22 and immediately scores.  Williams to the rack again for another easy bucket.  54-45 Wayzata with 6:20 left.

St. Louis Park rallies with Jacob Houts for 3 after a Rayson hoop.  St. Louis Park pulls within 54-50 with 5:15 left.  Then the main scoreboard goes out and we have to light up the old fashioned boards.  Wayzata scores and St. Louis Park gets 3 chances on the offensive glass but cannot convert.  The long stretch of trading continues.  Mayfield to Aidan Doherty for a layup, Drew Galinson makes bonus free throws.  Rayson 2 free throws, Williams another easy drive for 2.  60-54 Wayzata with 1:54 left. Mayfield and Beeninga trade 2 free throws with Mayfield fouling out on the Beeninga freebies with 1:32 left.  Doherty grabs a miss and makes 1 of 2.  Wayzata holds and gets a driving chance for an easy layup but its no good.  Doherty converts that with 47.1 left.  1 possession game.  Then a baseline drive and a drift pass finds Beeninga all alone in the right corner.  NOOOOOOOOO, NOOOOOO, NOOOOOOOO, great shot! is the dagger 3-pointer with 32 seconds left. Williams gets a swat on the defensive end and that's the last gasp.  Wayzata wins 66-59. 

Freshman Kody Williams with 16 points off the Wayzata bench to lead all scorers.  He was as good as anybody on the floor all night in a notable performance.  Jacob Beeninga with 14 of his 15 points in the 2nd half.  Keaton Heide adds 14.  Cire Mayfield and Anthony Rayson 13 each to lead St. Louis Park.  Joey Whitlock adds 12.  Wayzata will take on Hopkins in the section final at Osseo on Wednesday night.  Hopkins won both regular season meetings.

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