Friday, March 22, 2013

Maranatha Christian 61 Rushford-Peterson 46

Maranatha was too big, too quick, too athletic and easily pulled away from Rushford-Peterson to win 61-46 in the 1st Class AA semi-final. Isaiah Hanson set the tone in the 2nd half, scoring 3 of the Mustangs' 1st 4 buckets, all in the paint. Then Garrison Gillard followed with a FT, a steal, a 3 and a 2, and Josh Goldschmidt added a pair of steals and home run passes for transition baskets. After leading just 20-18 at the half, suddenly Maranatha was up 37-25.

RP never got with 10 and another 6 minutes later it was 52-31 and garbage time broke out.

In the 1st half, RP had actually had an 8-6 edge in 2nd chance points. Not so in the 2nd, as Maranatha grabbed 5 offensive boards and outscored RP 7-2 on 2nd chances. More than that, the Mustangs simply dominated inside. After outscoring RP in the paint 10-8 in the 1st half, the edge was 22-14 in the 2nd.

On the Maranatha offensive end of the court, RP grabbed 11 defensive rebounds and Maranatha 10 offensive. On the other end, Maranatha's edge rebounding RP's misses was 26-7.

And Maranatha used its size and athleticism to even greater effect on the defensive end, it's 6-foot-2 guards preventing RP's 3-point shooters from getting any good looks. RP made just 6-of-23 3s, 4-of-15 in the 2nd half.

Isaiah led Maranatha with 18 points, while brother Jeremiah scored 17. The other set of brothers, Garrison and Grantham Gillard, added 12 and 13 points. Point guard Josh Goldschmidt didn't score but led with 8 boards, 5 assists and 4 steals, and even 4 blocks.  Seth Thompson was RP's only consistent threat with 20 points.

Player of the Game: Isaiah. When you add it all up he had 1 more point + boards + assists - fouls and turnovers than Jeremiah.

Maranatha scored the last 6 points of the 1st half to take a 20-18 lead over Rushford-Peterson in what has been a defensively-oriented struggle from the get-go. Maranatha's man defense and RP's 2-3 zone have both stymied the opposition, not so much in turnovers (though Maranatha has 9) nor in missed shots (though RP has 10) but just by making the offenses work for anything that they get. Neither team is playing it slow, but they're finding it slow going against the solid defenses.

Maranatha took a quick 5-0 lead before RP found their legs, but RP quickly came back to lead 6-5. The Mustangs went back ahead 9-6 and 11-8 but RP completed an 18-9 run on Cole Kingsley's 6th point of the game at about 4 minutes. But RP did not score again, while Isaiah Hanson got his 3rd and 4th buckets to put Maranatha up 20-18.

Maranatha shot 56 percent from the field, RP jsut 33 percent, but RP outscored the Mustangs 4-1 from the line. RP also outscored Maranatha 8-4 on 2nd chance points and 13-4 off turnovers.

Hanson led all scorers with 8 while Garrison Gillard and Jeremiah Hanson for Maranatha and Kingsley and Alex Vix for RP all had 6 points. Isaiah leads the rebounders with 5, Seth Thompson of RP in assists with 2 and Josh Goldschmidt of Maranatha in blocks with 2.

Maranatha's size advantage is not insignificant. RP will probably keep it slow unless they get behind.

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