Park Center picked a bad time to have a dreadful shooting night, making just 19-of-62 FG (31 percent) and 17-of-31 FT (55 percent) in losing to Apple Valley 74-57 in the Class AAAA final. Otherwise the numbers were reasonably close. Apple Valley took 50 boards to Park Center's 41, but offensive rebounds were just 17-16 for the Eagles. Turnovers were Apple Valley 15 Park Center 14.
But 2nd chances and transition opportunities don't matter much when you can't put the ball in the basket.
The Eagles quickly ran out to an 11 point lead at 23-12 as Park Center made just 5-of-its-first-22 shots. It still led by 11 at 32-21 at 1:36 but Apple Valley missed its last 4 shots while Quinton Hooker finally came alive for the Pirates, hitting 3 straight shots, and then Joshua Mathews scored to get Park Center back within 7.
But Park Center then started the 2nd half like they did the 1st, ice cold from the field, making just 5-for-their-1st-15 in the 2nd half to fall further behind. Jones outscored Park Center star Quinton Hooker 28-18 but most of that came on last FT. Equally, Jones' teammates were vastly more productive than Hooker's. Hooker made 9-of-11 FT, his teammates 8-of-20, just by way of illustration.
Dennis Austin was a force in the paint on both ends, finishing with 15 points and 15 boards. Brock Bertram was a force on the defensive end with 5 official blocks and a lot more intimidations of Park Center shots.
Player of the Day: Tyus Jones, if you had to ask 28 points 11 boards 5 assists
Park Center started the 2nd half like they did the 1st, ice cold from the field. After shooting 27 percent in the 1st half and trailing 32-25 at the half, the Pirates are now 5-for-15 in the 2nd half and have fallen further behind Tyus Jones and Apple Valley. Jones has outscored Park Center star Quinton Hooker just 15-13, but his teammates have been vastly more productive than Hooker's. Dennis Austin has been a force in the paint on both ends, and Brock Bertram on the defensive end with 4 official blocks and a lot more intimidations of Park Center shots.
Apple Valley dominated Park Center for most of the 1st half, or so it seemed, yet came out of it leading just 32-25. Park Center could not buy a basket through much of the half, though it led briefly at 5-3 and 8-7. The Eagles quickly ran out to an 11 point lead at 23-12 as Park Center made just 5-of-its-first-22 shots. It still led by 11 at 32-21 at 1:36 but Apple Valley missed its last 4 shots while Quinton Hooker finally came alive for the Pirates, hitting 3 straight shots, and then Joshua Mathews scored to get Park Center back within 7.
The turnovers are 7 each and offensive boards just 8-7 Apple Valley, and the 2nd chance points and points off turnovers are about even. But Apple Valley leads 20-10 on points in the paint. It all comes down to shooting percentage: Apple Valley 12-of-34 (a not grand 35 percent) but Park Center just 9-of-33 (27 percent). In fact the Pirates were getting good looks in the early going but could not get anything to fall.
As a result, the Pirates upped the defensive intensity and got some stops and steals late in the half to fuel their mini-run.
Hooker leads all scorers with 11 points, Tyus Jones has 10. Dennis Austin came to play and was a real man in the lane early on, getting 7 points and 7 boards in the half. Jones also has 7 boards, Hooker 6. Harry Sonie's defense on Hooker and his 2 steals was a key to Apple Valley's success.
In the 2nd half, Park Center just needs to hit some shots while Apple Valley will try to get a little more production from Tyus Jones.