Saturday, January 21, 2012

The Big Game 1-20-12: East Metro Showcase Gets Underway

St. Paul Highland Park 98 St. John’s Lutheran, Ocala, FLA, St. John’s 36

It’s called the East Metro Showcase, and it certainly started out showcasing St. Paul Highland Park’s quickness in a 98-36 rout of the visitors from St. John’s Lutheran, Ocala, FL.

St. John’s turned the ball over 19 times in the 1st half alone, resulting in 22 Highland points and a 54-17 score. The 2nd half was not quite as bad for the simple reason that it went to running time at 90-32 at the 8 minute mark, but still there were 11 more turnovers for 12 Highland points. Most of the turnovers came off of half-court traps near the 10-second line, resulting in fast break lay-ups for the Scots. (All of the numbers are my unofficial stats.)

Junior guard Dion Bradley was St. John’s chief tormenter. He and senior guard Elijah Jackson forced the turnovers, mostly, and it would be Bradley who would take the ball to the rim or dish it off at the other end. He made 7-of-9 2s, mostly lay-ups, but also 4-of-7 3s and 11-for-11 from the FT line for 37 points, and added 4 assists. One of Bradley’s many highlights was the rare 3+1 to make it 71-24 at about 13:15 of the 2nd half.

But everybody got into the act. 9 Scots scored in the 1st half alone, 12 overall. Seniors Ty’shaun Williams and Nate Anderson also got into double figures with 10 points.

Highland put the game away about half-way into the 1st half. It was 19-10 at about 11:30. At about 8:00 it was 33-10. 9 of the 14 points came in transition, the 1st 7 directly off of steals by Anderson, Isaiah Brower and Anderson again, with Bradley, Bradley (for 3) and Mark Koenig finishing.

Only 1 point in this sequence came off the offensive glass, but overall 18 did. Many came on 2-on-1 fast breaks, when the initial shot was missed by nobody from St. John’s got back quickly enough to rebound or defend the follow.

Highland’s next run closed out the half, as St. John’s failed to score inside of 4:00 and it went from 43-17 to 54-17. There was not much to do in the 2nd half but wait for running time, which prevented the Scots from hitting the century mark.

Later That Night....

From here, well, I hope you understand I just had to go back to the island, where I saw the Hopkins girls pull away from a 26-24 lead late in the 1st half to defeat DeLaSalle going away 76-53. I sent my report on that game to my buddy Kevin at 

And so I missed the rest of the bill at St. Paul Johnson, where it was much less an east metro showcase as the night wore on. Milwaukee Riverside trounced St. Paul Central 72-48 and the Hopkins boys defeated host Johnson for the 2nd time this season 99-83 though at it was apparently a much better game than the 100-74 game at Augsburg in December. Siyani Chambers scored 31 for Hopkins.

Player of the Day

Dion Bradley, St. Paul Highland Park, though I'm tempted to go with Nia Coffey, Hopkins girls. My numbers showed her with 20 points, but the official scorekeeper didn't agree with me. S/he showed Sydney Coffey with 20 and Nia with 18. But I also have Nia with 21--count 'em--rebounds and 5 steals. So I liked Nia as the top player in that game.

Coach of the Day

Jon DePerry, St. Paul Highland Park

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