Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Big Game 1-17-12: Eastview boys 65 Rosemount 45

The host Eastview Lightning started and finished in high-flying mode Tuesday night. In between, the Rosemount Irish turned it into a grinder but, hey, Eastview grinds, too. The result was a decisive 65-45 win against a not-bad Rosemount team.

6-9 Joey King opened the scoring for the Lightning with an easy 7-footer in the lane. He then fed 6-9 junior Ben Olberfeld on the give 'n go. Chris Narum drilled a 3 off of an offensive board and assist by Quinn Trusty, and King scored on a fast break alley oop from Darin Haugh to make it 9-0 after just 3 minutes of play.

By half-time it was 31-11, and 42-19 at 12:31 of the 2nd, but Rosemount fought back. Then, inside of 4 minutes in the 2nd half, King hit a couple of dunks about a minute apart--1 off a Narum steal and assist, and another from Olberfeld on yet another fast break. Olberfeld then scored off the offensive glass, and Narum and Haugh applied to coup de grace with a 3 apiece. Suddenly, it was 62-41 at 1:28, and all the starters came out for the victorious Lightning.

Eastview shot an unconscious 12-of-18 in the 1st half, 10-of-14 (71 percent) from 2-point range, all this with King largely ineffective and/or on the bench. He barely played the last 7 minutes after picking up his 2nd foul, and he didn't score again in the 1st half after the 1st 3 minutes. Haugh and Olberfeld picked up the slack with 13 and 8 points respectively. (All are my unofficial stats.)

Then, even with King back on the floor, the Lightning were largely grounded in the 2nd half, shooting just 9-of-30. If the 1st half was this-is-how-we-played-against-Tyus-Jones, then the 2nd half was this-is-how-we-beat-Lakeville-North.

But Eastview dominated the possession game both halves to more than make up for any shooting issues. The Lightning had 13 offensive boards and 13 turnovers, the Irish 8 offensive boards and 19 turnovers.

More to the point, Rosemount shot just 3-of-20 in the 1st half. The Irish wanted to work the ball inside to 6-8 Matt Nelson and 6-5 Brandon Forcier, but everytime they touched the ball inside, Eastview's 6-9/6-9 offered them absolutely nowhere to go. And Eastview was quicker on the perimeter, and so the Irish had a hard time moving the ball around, running their sets and getting the ball to people where they wanted them to handle it. The 2nd half was better, however, as Rosemount started out 3-of-3 and finished 12-of-25. The Irish had 7 assists in the 2nd half to just 1 in the 1st.

Still, on the night, Eastview was 21-of-48, Rosemount 15-of-45.

The officials nearly lost control of this one, by the way. It got way too rough and then way too chippy in the 2nd half, and it was lucky that nobody got hurt. But, hey, Eastview does chippy, too, and collected several more chips than Rosemount did. But for about 5 minutes there they were collecting chips instead of buckets, and that's when the Irish pulled within 50-35. Eastview finally took to the air again and put it away.

Haugh scored 22 points overall, King and Olberfeld 12 each. 6-5 Tyler Liermann came off the Rosemount bench to score 11 points and guard Charlie Broback added 10.

Three Questions

1. How good is Eastview? Can they really beat Hopkins? Well, of course, they can. They beat Benilde, who beat Hopkins. But will they? Well, Zach Stahl does just about everything Joey King does, and the Royals' guards are way quicker than Eastview's. That leaves 6-9 Ben Overfeld as the Lightning's main possible difference-maker against Hopkins. He is just a load. He is a reasonably skilled player, but mainly he's just very very strong under the hoop. But can Eastview's guards get him and King the ball against Hopkins' pressure defense?

2. How good is King? Now, don't get me wrong. Joey King is terrific, though he only had 2 short runs of high-flying dominance. It's just that, so is Zach Stahl. What I don't get is how in the heck Joey King is going to Drake, and Stahl is going to Lehigh. Both of these kids are Big 10 players. They both do it all. They run, they jump, they score inside and out, they defend, they hit the boards. King, of course, is 6-9, Stahl is 6-6. But if you've seen Wally Ellenson, and Tubby Smith has recruited Wally Ellenson, WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH JOEY KING? Is it too late to talk him into staying at home at the U?

3. How good is Rosemount? The 6-8 Nelson is a very very nice player who has a nice D2 career ahead of him. He can play faced the hoop, he can score from the inside and out. His teammates are well-schooled and play hard. Rosemount is now 7-6 with losses to Minnetonka, Benilde, Jefferson, Prior Lake, Kennedy and Eastview. Middle of the pack. In other words, a 20-point margin at home was a good night's work for Eastview and should do nothing to diminish their #1 ranking.

Player of the Day

Darin Haugh

Coach of the Day

Bryan Schnettler, Rosemount, had his kids ready to against #1