I'm blogging with the most recent post at the top. If you want to read through a given game, start at the bottom. And the previous game is below this one.
Tomorrow's AAA semi-finals will match St. Paul Johnson vs. Winona and DeLaSalle against Grand Rapids.
St. Cloud State beat #3 ranked Midwestern Texas 90-88 in the D2 Elite Eight. Taylor Witt scored 41 points for the Huskies.
Class AAA All-Stars, Day 1
Alec Brown, Winona, C 35 points
Mark Blacklock, Winona, F 25
Estan Tyler, St. Paul Johnson, G 16
Jordan Smith, Osseo, G 30
Michael Johnson, Grand Rapids, G 16/8 rebounds/4 assists/2 steals
6th man: Jalen Jaspers, DeLaSalle 26
Benilde-St. Margaret's vs. Grand Rapids
Benilde got as close as 50-46 but the Thunderhawks built their lead back as high as 64-51 at 2:30. Grand Rapids shot 72 percent in the 2nd half and 58 percent for the game, and out-rebounded Benilde 32-24. Eric Stark led Grand Rapids with 21 points while Michael Johnson had 18 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals.
Benilde went ahead 29-26 early in the 2nd half. Grand Rapids responded with a 19-5 run to lead 45-34 at 11:08, as Austin Pohlen scored 8 points and Michael Johnson added 5 and a pair of assists.
And that's how the 1st half ended, with Grand Rapids leading 26-24, as one Seth Marx lay-up for Benilde was the only scoring in the final 5:57 of the half. Thunderhawks guard Eric Stark was the leading scorer for the half with 10 points.
Now 26-24 at 1:11.
2:14 Grand Rapids timeout. Neither team has scored now for almost 4 minutes. Both teams getting good shots, defensive pressure is not particularly intense. These are just good athletic teams that put more of their energy into the offensive end.
Approaching 6:00 Grand Rapids 26 Benilde 22. The Thunderhawks still shooting over 70 percent. Only 4 turnovers between the 2 teams. A well played game. Eric Stark of Grand Rapids leads all scorers so far with 10.
Who is that with the word "FAMILY" on their warm-up tops? Did Holy Family move up a class and I didn't hear about it? Nope, it's Grand Rapids. There must be a story behind it, but I haven't heard it.
13:11 Grand Rapids 11 Benilde 2. Benilde is 1-for-9 shooting including 0-for-6 from 3 point range. Maybe not getting the shots they want right now. The Thunderhawks sure are, making 5 of their firrt 6 attempts.
You probably know that Hopkins beat Forest Lake 75-51 at Target Center. We've got those #1 seeds out of the way, hopefully now we'll get some close games.
Henry Sibley edged Eastview 50-47 at Target Center. Jake Golberg came off the Sibley bench to contribute 5 points and 5 boards to the Warriors' cause. Sibley will play Hopkins in tomorrow's first AAAA semi-final. Eden Prairie defeated Owatonna 61-46 at Target.
DeLaSalle 66 Little Falls 61
Final: DeLaSalle 66 Little Falls 61. Trailing badly at half-time, 38-22, the Little Falls Flyers gave the Islanders some of their own medicine in the second half with a full-court pressure defense that gave DLS fits. The Islanders had just 3 turnovers in the 1st half but finished with 23. Still, the Flyers never quite caught up. From 50-29 down, they got within 2 at 52-50(a 21-2 run). But their own turnovers (11 in the 2nd half and 18 altogether) kept them from catching up.
DLS was saved by a 68 percent FG shooting percentage that helped negate the turnovers and a 52 percent FT shooting performance. The Flyers shot just 50 percent from the charity stripe themselves.
Jalen Jaspers scored 26 for DeLaSalle, Dan Kornbaum scored 18 and added 13 rebounds for the Flyers.
1:16 61-57 on another Mustonen 3 for the Flyers but they turned it over on their next 3 possessions.
2:50 DLS 59-54. The Flyers' comeback has been based on full-court defensive pressure which the Islanders have had serious trouble handling. Their turnovers are now 23 to Little Falls' 14.
4:01 Now 59-51 but Travis has just fouled out in a flurry under the Little Falls basket. His push looked to be about the 3rd or 4th in a sequence but those are the breaks of the game. Grant Bell made 1 of 2 throws and it's 59-52.
4:47 DLS 59-50. Just that fast, after a DeLaSalle timout, the Islanders ripped off 7 straight points with the help of a pair of Flyers' turnovers.
5:44 Suddenly the Flyers are within 10, or 7 even, or make that 2, at 52-50 after a 12-0 Little Falls run. Ethan Mustonen and Dan Kornbaum both exploited the DLS baseline defense for driving lay-ups from the right wing. Mustonen then hit a 3 from the right wing, and Mitch Dorn hit a fast-break lay-up, forcing the Islanders' turnover. Right now Little Falls is out-hustling the Islanders, and all of this happened exactly when Jonah Travis went out with his 4th foul at 8:28.
Timeout at 9:44 DeLaSalle 5o Little Falls 33. The highlight of the 2nd half so far is the DLS band's version of Led Zeppelin. Seriously, they're scrapping out there to the extent that there's no flow. The turnovers are frequent, the players are on the floor more than they're on their feet. The difference is still DLS' 70 percent shooting vs. Little Falls' 40 percent. The turnovers are about even, but Little Falls has a 12-3 edge in offensive rebounds, but the shooting percentage is negating that advantage.
At the half: DeLaSalle 38 Little Falls 22. Let's not over-sell DLS' quickness. If Johnson is a 9/10, DLS is just an 8. But it's plenty to disrupt the Flyers' offense. There've been just 7 Little Falls turnovers but plenty of hurried and contested shots from spots where the Flyers maybe didn't want to shoot. Dan Kornbaum looks great and has gotten off 8 shots, but the Flyers would probably like him to have a lot more touches than what he does, while the Islanders will continue to try to keep the ball out of his hands.
On offense that quickness mean 70 percent shooting, 12 points off turnovers, 6 fast break points, stuff like that. Jalen Jaspers leads all comers with 12 points on 5-for-5 shooting. Of course, DLS is shooting just 46 percent from the FT line. They would probably like it if somebody would come out and guard it.
6:30 De La Salle 26 Little Falls 14. The Islanders are getting the shots they want against the Flyers' zone and are hitting 69 percent (11-of-16) of their FGs, including a spirit-crushing 5-of-8 from 3 point land.
12:07 Ouch. This one has the look of a game that is getting out of hand early, as DLS has run out to a 14-3 lead. Jonah Travis scoring at will down low, while the Flyers are having a devil of a time establishing their offense against the Islanders' man. Dan Kornbaum had just 2 touches in the first 5 minutes, a bucket and a turnover.
Winona 70 Orono 57
Final: Winona 70 Orono 57. Alec Brown scored 35 points and Mark Blacklock 25 as Winona pounded the ball inside all day long and Orono just couldn't find a way to stop it. Winona shot 70 percent from the field. Brown added 12 rebounds and Winona had a 30-22 edge on the boards overall.
Winona also got great floor games from guard Erik Chapman and forwards Martin Fedderson and John Scheevel who only scored 10 points among them but had 4, 7 and 6 assists respectively.
Jordan Smith countered with 30 points including 6 buckets from 3 point land but it wasn't enough.
But Orono's defensive pressure is nothing next to St. Paul Johnson's. Can Winona protect the ball and get it to their big guys against Johnson's pressure? We'll find out in about 24 hours.
1:13 Winona starters come out at 70-57 at 1:13.
5:47 Orono won't go away, it's now 57-46. Smith now has 28, and Winona has missed half of it's 18 FT. Brown has 29, Blacklock 20.
8:51 Winona 52 Orono 39. Orono has been turning the ball over while Winona just keeps pounding it inside. Brown and Blacklock have 45 of Winona's 52 points. Jordan Smith has 25 for Orono, but not enough help.
At the half: Winona 34 Orono 23. Orono, starting 3 juniors and sophomore Jordan Smith, came out tentative and Winona took advantage in running out to early leads of 6-0, 18-4 and 22-7. Orono closed to within 26-18 before the Winhawks asserted their inside game again to take a 34-20 lead. Orono scored the last 3 points of the half, including a put-back off of a steal and transition attempt by Chase Myhran at 0:14.
Winona has dominated in the paint as 7-footer Alec Brown has 18 points and forward Mark Blacklock 11. Smith leads Orono with 11. Both teams have been turning the ball over, but the Winhawks are shooting 60 percent to the Spartans 39 percent, which is what happens when most of your shots are from inside of 5 feet, as Winona's are. Winona leads in rebounds 19-8.
3:37 That technical foul got Orono going. Down 22-7, they got on an 11-4 run as Winona turned it over 4 times. They got as close as 26-18 before Brown converted a 3 point play.
8:38 Blacklock missed a dunk and hung on the rim. Technical foul. 2 FT by Orono's Jordan Smith who has all of the Spartans' points 22-9.
9:28 Winona 20 Orono 7. Well, this is different. A different pace, that is, than game one. Winona is totally dominating in the paint and not just with 7-footer Alec Brown who has 8 points. But forward Mark Blacklock also has 11 and none of those 19 points, well, except for FT, have come from more than about 4 feet out. 4 of the buckets are put-backs.
Johnson 80 Hutchinson 37
Final: Johnson 80 Hutchinson 37. Johnson scored 30 points off of 25 Hutch turnovers, and the Johnson bench scored a mind-boggling 39 points. Marcus Marshall came off the Governors' bench to lead all scorers with 17. The alpha Governor, Estan Tyler, added 16.
9:00 Running time commenced with the score 69-31.
9:50 67-31. The offensive boards have slowly evened up, and Johnson's shooting percentage has climbed now to 45 percent while the Tigers' has gone the other way to 28 percent. And the Hutch turnovers continue to mount up.
11:00 Johnson 62-27.
13:41 Johnson 51 Hutch 25. At Arkansas, you might remember they called it 40 minutes of hell. The main difference here is it's only 36 minutes, but it's still hell playing against the kind of quickness and aggressiveness Johnson brings. As a result there have been 17 hutch turnovers, 14 Johnson steals, 6 blocked shots by the Governors. All in all, a very difficult day at the office for Hutch and coach Paul VanderHagen.
Still it was tight through the 4:00 mark, as Hutch offensive rebounds and 2nd chance points to some degree made up for its turnovers and the Governors' points off of those turnovers. Neither team shot well, Johnson 38 percent and Hutch 35. But transition baskets and Marcus Marshall have been the difference. Marshall leads all scorers with 15 points on 4 of 6 3s including that 35 footer at the end of the half. Bench points are 27-6 in favor of Johnson.
2:47 Johnson by 10, 32-22.
8:12 Hutch timeout. Johnson scored on back to back transition opportunities, a 4-on-1 breakout and then a 2 +1 after an acrobatic layup by Prince Williams. It's 17-11. The turnovers are mounting up.
10:07 Hutch sticking with Johnson at the 10:07 mark, Johnson leading 12-10. Hutch has 2 starters on the bench with 2 fouls and went several minutes without any points on the floor.
First up #1 seed St. Paul Johnson (29-0) vs. Hutchinson Tigers, making their 1st tournament appearance since 1968. Hutch, 24-4, lost to only 2 teams all year--Shakopee twice and Holy Angels twice. They start 5 seniors. Hutch has a huge throng of fans here and it is noisy. Both teams have bands, Johnson has cheerleaders. Great atmosphere.