Friday, March 28, 2014

Minnesota Player of the Year 2013-2014

Yeah, I know, I've been pretty much MIA this year, here on MN Hoops. I hope I saw all of you girls hoops fans over at But now it's time for our annual Minnesota Player of the Year Award.

As always we'll pick a winner. But we'll also let our readers--thanks to those of you who have persevered to keep coming back despite the lack of new content, by the way. But we'll let our readers pick their own winner as well.

The only catch is the you, the voters, have to vote for one of ten finalists that we've selected. The finalists are, in alpha order:

Player of the Year Finalists

Rachel Banham, Minnesota Gophers, junior guard--led the Big Ten in scoring at 22 ppg

Chase Coley, Mpls. Washburn, senior post--averaged 25 points, 18 boards, 9 blocks, 6 assists, 5.5 steals, earned Minnesota's Gatorade Player of the Year Award and is a Ms. Basketball finalist

Austin Hollins, Minnesota Gophers, senior guard--scored 12 ppg, with 5 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals

Tyus Jones, Apple Valley, senior guard--the Duke recruit scored 27 ppg with 9 assists, and has won every major Player of the Year award, including Mr. Basketball

Kevin Love, Minnesota Timberwolves, forward--the perennial candidate scored 26 ppg this year, with 13 boards, 4 assists and a steal, though his team failed to improve as expected and missed the playoffs for the umpteenth time

J.P. Macura, Lakeville North, senior guard--the Xavier recruit is the #2 scorer in the state with 33 points per game, and led the Panthers to their first state title, shocking Hopkins with 2 late 3s and 43 total points in the final

Zack Monaghan, Mankato State, junior guard--named to the 2nd D2 all-American team, he scored 15 ppg with 8 assists, best in the nation in D2

Jordyn Sammons, Hamline, junior guard--Sammons led the MIAC with 21 ppg, and added 10 rebounds and 3 steals

Carlie Wagner, New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva, senior guard--Wagner scored a record 53 points in a state tournament game and a record 130 in three tournament games, and finished with more than 3,900 career points. More importantly, her Panthers successfully defended their Class AA state title.

Amanda Zahui B., Minnesota Gophers, freshman center--the 6-5 Swede was the Big Ten freshman of the year with 15 ppg, along with 12 rebounds and 3 blocks per game.


And, just to jog your memory, our Players of the Year have been:

2011--our official winner and our readers' choice were both Kevin Love, Timberwolves forward

2012--we picked Lindsey Whalen, Lynx; readers picked Taylor Young of St. Thomas

2013--last year we picked Carlie Wagner, NRHEG; readers picked Anders Broman of Lakeview Christian

The Four-Class Era in Review

Minnesota Players of the Year

1997--Bobby Jackson, Minnesota Gophers
1998--Kevin Garnett, Minnesota Timberwolves
2000--Jake Sullivan, Tartan
2001--Rick Rickert, Duluth East
2002--Lindsay Whalen, Minnesota
2005--Janelle McCarville, Minnesota
2006--Isaiah Dahlman, Braham
2007--Angel Robinson, St. Paul Central
2008--John Smith, Winona State
2009--Tayler Hill, Mpls. South
2010--Rachel Banham and Cassie Rochel, Lakeville North

2011--Kevin Love, Minnesota Timberwolves
2012--Whalen, Minnesota Lynx
2013--Carlie Wagner, New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva girls
2015--Maya Moore, Minnesota Lynx; Amanda Zahui, Minnesota Gophers (tie)
2016--Rachel Banham, Minnesota Gophers

Moore and Zahai are the 4th PoY pairing. The 1st was Trent Tucker and Darryl Mitchell 1982, and the 2nd was Coco and Kelly Miller in 1995. Banham and Rochel were the 3rd in 2010. Moore and Zahui are the first such pairing who were not teammates.

Top 4C-Era Players

C- Janelle McCarville, Minnesota Gophers
F- Kevin Garnett, Minnesota Timberwolves
F- Maya Moore, Minnesota Lynx
G- Lindsay Whalen, Minnesota Gophers, Minnesota Lynx, 21C MVP
G- Tayler Hill, Mpls. South Tigers
6th- Rachel Banham, Lakeville North, Minnesota Gophers

Team of the Year

1997--Minnesota Gopher men 31-4
1998--Mpls. North girls 29-0
1999--St. Ben's women 28-2

2000--Mpls. Patrick Henry boys 28-1, state AAA champions
2001--Osseo boys 30-1, state AAAA champions
2002--Minnesota Gopher women 22-8
2003--Minnesota Gopher women 25-6
2004--Minnesota Gopher women 25-9
2005--Braham boys 33-0, state AA champions
2006--Winona State men 32-4, NCAA D2 champions
2007--St. Paul Central girls 32-0, state AAAA champions
2008--Winona State men 38-1, NCAA D2 champions
2009--Mankato State women 32-2, NCAA D2 champions
2010 (tie)--Lakeville North girls 32-0, state AAAA champions, and St. Paul Johnson boys 32-0, state AAA champions

2011--St. Thomas men 30-3, NCAA D3 champions
2012--Minnesota Lynx 27-7 (regular season), WNBA champions
2013--Hopkins girls 31-1, state AAAA champions
2014--Minnesota Lynx 26-8 (regular season)
2015--Minnesota Lynx, 3rd WNBA championship in 5 years
2016--St. Thomas men 30-3, 2nd NCAA D3 title in 6 years

2010 saw the 1st ever co-Team of the Year.

Top 4C-Era Teams

1. Minnesota Lynx 2011-2015
2. Minnesota Gopher women 2002-2004
3. Minnesota Gopher men 1997
4. Winona State men 2006-2008
5. St. Paul Central girls 2007
6. Minnesota Timberwolves 2004

Coach of the Year

1997--Clem Haskins, Minnesota Gopher men
1998--Kevin McHale and Flip Saunders, Minnesota Timberwolves
1999--Mike Durbin, St. Ben's women

2000--Larry McKenzie, Mpls. Patrick Henry boys
2001--Dan Smith, St. John's men
2002--no award
2003--Mark Hanson, Gustavus Adolphus men
2004--Pam Borton, Minnesota women
2005--Myron Glass, Rochester Lourdes girls
2006--Mike Leaf, Winona State men
2007--Matt Marganthaler, Mankato State men
2008--Paul Fessler, Concordia (St. Paul) women
2009- Pam Gohl, Mankato State women
2010--Vern Simmons, St. Paul Johnson boys

2011--Steve Fritz, St. Thomas men
2012--Rick Adelman, Minnesota Tmberwolves
2013--Brian Cosgriff, Hopkins girls
2014--Mandy Pearson, St. Mary's women
2015--John Tauer, St. Thomas men

Top 21C Coaches

1. Steve Fritz, St. Thomas men
2. Mike Leaf, Winona State men
3. Brian Cosgriff, Hopkins girls
4. Mike Durbin, St. Ben's women
5. Myron Glass, Rochester Lourdes girls
5. Matt Marganthaler, Mankato State men
6. Paul Fessler, Concordia (St. Paul) women

Game of the Year

1997--Wabasso 117 Red Lake 113 (OT)
19978--Anoka Ramsey CC 73 DePage, IL 73-48
2000--Litchfield boys 74 Tartan 49
2001--St. Michael-Albertville girls 63 New London-Spicer 48
2002--Minnesota Gopher women 92 Wisconsin 85
2003--Mpls. North boys 82 Osseo 73 (2OT)
2004--Minnesota Gopher women 82 Duke 75
2005--Hopkins boys 71 Eastview 60 (2OT)
2006--Winona State men 74 Minnesota State-Mankato 71
2007--Winona State men 69 Minnesota Gophers 64
2008--Minnesota Gopher men 59 Indiana 58
2009--Minnesota State-Mankato women 103 Franklin Pierce 94
2010--St. Paul Johnson boys 86 Hopkins 78

2011--St. Thomas men 78 Wooster 54
2012--Osseo boys 87 Hopkins 86 (3OT)
2013--New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva girls 60 Braham 59
2014--Lakeville North 84 Hopkins 82
2015--Minnesota Lynx 80 Indiana Fever 77, 3rd game WNBA final, Maya Moore hits buzzer-beater
2016--Minnesota Gopher women 112 Northwestern 106 (2OT), Rachel Banham scores 60

Top 21C Games

1. Minnesota Gopher women 82 Duke 75, 2004
2. Hopkins boys 71 Eastview 60 (2OT), 2005
3. Osseo boys 87 Hopkins 86 (3OT), 2012
4. Winona State 74 Minnesota State-Mankato 71, 2006
5. New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva girls 60 Braham 59, 2013
6. Mpls. North boys 82 Osseo 73 (2OT), 2003

Friday, March 14, 2014

Class A Boys Hoops at Target Center Friday afternoon March 14

Rushford-Peterson (31-1), the #3 seed, will meet Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa (30-1), the #1, in the Class A final

Rushford-Pete hangs on 53-51 

The Trojans led 29-19 at the half and scored the first 4 points of the 2nd half, and looked to be in control. But Maranatha picked up the defensive intensity and rallied to tie at 44 at 5:15 and 51 at 1:50.

But Rushford Pete responded each time. Cole Kingsley drove to the rim for a 2 + 1 the first time, and Jorli Hauge followed with a 2 off the offensive glass for a 49-44 lead at 3:00. But Maranatha came back on 2 throws by Jake Meyen, a 2 off the dribble drive by Damario Armstrong, and a 3 from the left corner by Josh Goldschmidt.

But Austin O'Hare scored off the offensive glass at 1:25 to make it 53-51 and neither team could score the rest of the way. A Goldschmidt 3 from the left wing bounced away at the buzzer.

O'Hare and Kingsley scored 14 and 13 for RP, Goldschmidt, Armstrong and Meyen 13, 12 and 11 for Maranatha. RP shot 51 percent for the game, but Maranatha had 7 3s to 3 for RP, and the Mustangs also made 8-of-8 FT to stay in the game.

Rushford-Peterson in command of Maranatha 29-19 at the half-way point

Rushford-Peterson's disciplined offense has produced a 50 percent shooting performance so far, exemplified by a last second basket by Cole Kingsley to account for the half-time score. RP held the ball for 54 seconds, then with 1 second left in the first half Kingsley took it into the lane for an easy 8-footer.

The turnovers are 8-2 and the points off turnovers 8-0 in favor of RP. Alex Vix leads all scorers for RP with 9 points.

Belgrade-Brooten-Elrose advances to its third state final in four years

BBE defeated Fond du Lac Ojibwe 76-58 to advance to the Class A final. It was an entertaining game that often made the fans at Target Center smile. But FDO's high risk/high reward game didn't click quite often enough. The Ogichidaag shot 34 percent from the field, 29 percent on 3-pointers and had 22 turnovers.

Of course BBE shot just 3-of-19 3-pointers and so were unable to put FDO away until midway through the second half. BBE led 45-32 at the half. FDO got within 45-38 and 54-46 when the shots really stopped falling. A 12-3 BBE run with Brian Goodwin scoring 9 made it 66-49 at 7:30, and FDO never challenged after that.

Goodwin scored 25 and Billy Borgerding 21 for BBE. Davonte Williamson scored 18 for FDO but fouled out 75 feet from the hoop at 6:56 to pretty much put an end to the hopes of the Ogichidaag (Ojibe for warrior).

At the half: BBE 45 FDO 32

FDO has lived up to its billing on the offensive end of the court with some 3-point shots and some great slashes to the basket. Then there was an alley oop dunk by 6-3 junior forward Davonte Williamson. Win, lose or draw, FDO is giving fans a reason to smile.

But BBE is getting to the rim at will both with the ball and on the offensive glass. FDO is plenty quick horizontally, but they don't get off the feet and up in the air after the rebound on either end of the floor with any alacrity at all. So if BBE misses on its initial offense, it's scoring off the glass.

BBE is shooting 47 percent to 37 for FDO, rebounds are 25-19 BBE, turnovers are 12 for FDO and 7 for BBE. Billy Borgerding has 14 for BBE to lead all scorers. His teammates Brian Goodwin has 12. FDO's Williamson has 13, Trevontae Brown has 12. Jordan Diver, who scored 25 per game on the year, has just 2.

Class A Semi-Finals: A Very Short Preview

It can't have the drama that we had yesterday with 7 OT and two game-winning buzzer-beater shots totaling 90 feet, but the Class A semis should be interesting games.

Fond du Lac Ojibwe's run and gun team vs. #1 seed Belgrade-Brooten-Elrose, who have no problem with running. First to 80 wins? 90? 100?

And Maranatha scored 95 yesterday, too, so you could see some scoring there. Except Rushford-Peterson will probably try to slow 'em down if it feels that Maranatha as too much of an advantage up-tempo.

We'll have a half-time report and a final report for each of today's Class A semis.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

A Conversation with Minnesota basketball legend, Bob McDonald, and son Tom McDonald

Chisholm coach Bob McDonald

This is the first time I’ve seen your team, so how well would you say they played tonight?

We didn’t play fluidly, we didn’t play with one another. That’s been a big item this year, they don’t play well together. They’re dysfunctional that way. They have very little in common with one another, and that’s the mark of a good team. (One day) we were sitting there in the locker room and I asked, now, who’s your friend on the team? Not one kid could point at another kid on the team and say, he’s my friend.

So this was fairly representative of how they’ve played all year?

Yes, erratically.

They had some nice runs and then some that weren’t so nice.

That’s it. How in the world can these guys…. You can’t believe they play stinko, but they’ve done that regularly. It’s an up and down situation. So it’s not unexpected. But some way or other, and I don’t know if it can be done, it can’t be done by coaches, but they have to get a feeling for one another. All good teams that we’ve had in the past were tight. But this team is going to be very difficult to bring in to the conclusion that they have to have….

As an outsider I thought, well, maybe they’re a little out of sync because they knew this was your last night, it’s a special occasion. Were they at all upset by that?

No. I think they realize…I play to win. I don’t want anybody’s sympathy. And they’re good kids. They want to do something for me. But I’ll do something for me. They should do something for themselves. And they failed in that respect tonight to a great degree. But they’re fine kids. I don’t have a dummy in the bunch. Intellectually they’re sound, and they’re good to be around.  But they haven’t been able to put it together on the court.

Now, they did play an awfully good opponent tonight.

Yes, they were, Ely is good. Tom has a disciplined team. One thing about Ely is they’re isolated. They’re within themselves. Everybody knows everybody. They’re like fingers in a glove. They live in Ely. It’s for Ely’s sake that they play. So they have a feeling for each other and a closeness that we don’t have. Tom does a nice job coaching them.

Sometimes they look like Chisholm, the fast break, they push the pace….

That’s right. He played that way, see. Paul played that way. Mike played that way. The whole bunch plays that way. So I’m getting stung by the skills that I would expect our kids to have. They all do a good job coaching.

As you think beyond tonight to the whole 52 years, how do you summarize the experience?

It’s been wonderful. Losing doesn’t bother me, it’s the quality of the kids that keeps you going. I’ve had losing teams that were fine people. But I could go off the court knowing we were competitive. We were good people. Scholastically sound, no trouble makers throughout my career. That is what I rest on.

How do you think the game of basketball—boys basketball in Minnesota—has changed in 52 years?

I think the jump shooting is the big change. That is it. All other things are basically the same. You’ve got your post play. You’ve got your kids shooting the set from the three-point line. But now we can’t stop that. I used to tell my kids to get up in their face because they’re shooting the set. But now they get up on the jump shot and shoot it over you, you can’t do a thing with that. The jump shot has made the big difference in high school basketball in Minnesota. Do with strategy what you will. But it’s that shot and your ability to put it up on the fly….

Who are the people you admire that you’ve interacted with in your career?

In high school ball, that would be O.J. Belluzzo, who was my father. And Harvey Roels. They were tough as nails, those guys were tough. They would look at you cross-eyed, but Harvey would paddle your hind end. He never did that to me. But they didn’t tolerate any insolence or going half speed. It was expected, not that kids wouldn’t screw up, but….

Times have changed. We have more people that try to react with finesse in the game of basketball as young people that they can’t quite attain. The jump shot is the big item, that is it. If you have a good jump shooter… and we’ve had some good ballplayers.

As I look at the kids who played for me, I revel in the fact that they’re fine citizens, tough basketball players, athletically inclined, and we got another set of kids coming along, the little kids, to take their place. And that’s the way life is, too. Somebody will come along to take my place.

And, now, do we know who that is?

No, but I would presume that it would be Larry Pervananze, who’s been around. The only thing that might hang him up is he’s not a school (teacher). A lot of people want a school man, someone who’ll be around the kids all the time. He’s a good man. But how much time you can spend with young kids….

Who was the best player you ever coached?

(Laughs) I’m not going to say. I’ve had lots of them. I look to see what they do with the ability they had. We’ve had some tremendous ballplayers.

Ely coach Tom McDonald

This is the first time I’ve seen your team, so how well would you say they played tonight? Was this a great effort, an average effort…?

I thought we played pretty well under the circumstances, all the emotion of my dad’s last game. We kept our discipline on defense pretty well. And, we like to run and gun and those minute possessions that they had kind of tested us a little bit, but I thought they played well.

Did you execute your game plan, or were there any surprises tonight?

I think we did what we needed to do. Sometimes we don’t use our big guys inside and I thought Justin Poderzay and Sean Jordan held their own against Chisholm’s big front line. So it was really really nice…. Usually when we run and gun Justin gets behind us and doesn’t get involved and it was nice to see him have a really nice game for us.

In the second half you scored probably four or five times off the offensive glass, and (Justin and Sean) looked really strong.
Justin is so strong and not only on the offensive glass, but whenever Chisholm was making a run at us, Justin came down with the defensive boards, too, with big guys draped all over him, so that was key for us.

I was impressed with the way your big kids catch the ball. They’re really strong with the ball.

Justin has really good hands for a big kid, not that he’s really big, he’s big for northern Minnesota, but he’s got really good hands, and so does Sean. Sean is more of a finesse player, Justin is more of a grunt player for us, but they were both really key.

And Matt Vanderbeek, that’s funny looking shot, but it’s effective.

Yeah, we tried to correct him on that many times but finally we decided to let him go because he’s so effective at what he does. We call him the Microwave because he just starts heating up, but sometimes the microwave doesn’t work very well, he missed some shots. But he’s so good for his size at going into the lane and making those shots.

Sometimes it looks like he’s passing the ball to himself off the glass. He misses, and he just goes and gets it.

That’s not by design. But he had two or three offensive rebounds and he’s not usually in line to get those rebounds.

You said your kids were aware of the significance of tonight’s game. Did they feel any extra pressure with that? And I’m sure you did.

Yeah, I did, too. It’s sad to see him go after so many years. I was a part of this program for so many years, and now watching it from the outside, it’s a sad day to see dad go. Even thought I think it’s time. But he’s put so much into the program here and the culture of basketball here.

A lot of times our guys are a little afraid of Chisholm because of the mystique. In 24 years of coaching at Ely, this is only the second time I’ve won here. So the wins are few and  far between here, so somehow we got over that (tonight).

You’re familiar with the Chisholm team as well. How do you feel they played?  Did (Bob’s retirement) get to them, too?

I think they’ve been through it so many times. Every time they’ve played the last two months they’ve had going-away parties. I think they’re used to it. I’m sure it entered into their mind. But I thought our defense kept them on their heels. They hit some big shots to get within ten, but every time we needed a stop we got one.

Do you play that 1-3-1 all the time?

No, we mostly play man, but we didn’t think we could match up with them very well.

They looked like they’ve played that 1-3-1 before.

Oh yes, but we played it very well tonight.

And you tended to match up, so it looked like a 2-3 a lot of the time.

It’s a 1-3-1 match-up, and sometimes it’s hard for the opponents to figure it out, and that’s part of the idea.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Boys Class AA from Williams Arena, Wednesday, March 12

Williams Arena All-Stars for Wednesday

C- Justin Dahl, Holy Family 15 pts-10 boards-3 blocks
PF- Reid Travis, DeLaSalle 20 pts-7 boards-3 blocks
SF- Kory Deadrick, Esko 24 pts-14 boars-3 assists-3 blocks-3 steals
PG- Zach Wessels, Austin 23 pts
SG- Sacar Anim, DeLaSalle 21 pts

2nd Team

C- Jim Warmack, East Grand Forks 24 pts--11 boards
PF- Joe Hanel, Holy Family 14 pts-9 boards
SF- Tom Steidler, St. Peter 19
PG- Geno Crandall, DeLaSalle 13 pts-5 assists-3 blocks
SG- Riley Sharbono, Marshall 22 pts-5 boards

3rd Team

C- Sam Sustanek, Orono 21 pts-8 boards-3 steals
PF- Jon Vogeler, Alexandria 13 pts-6 rebounds- 2 assists-2s teals
SF- Ajuda Nywesh, Austin 15 pts
PG- Cole Hennings, Orono 23 pts
SG- Mitch Pfingsten, Fairmont 17

Final score: Fairmont 58 St. Peter 54

Steidler finished with 19 for St. Peter, Pfingsten and Ruen 17 for Fairmont.

Now it's 57-54 with 6.8 seconds left

And Fairmont is on the FT line with a chance to ice it. Two controversial calls: On the inbound pass, a Fairmont defender deflected. It appeared then to go off of white, but the official gave the ball back to St. Peter. Then Steidler went up for a shot, found a defender in his face, passed the ball, but the official said he came down with it first and called traveling.

Fairmont 55 St. Peter 53 with 20.7 ticks on the clock

Steidler has 1 more FT coming which will bring St. Peter within 1. Whether it's 1 or 2, they'll go for a steal and then foul.

Fairmont 53 St. Peter 50 at 3:39

It's pretty intense. Kids are getting of some pretty good shots but the scramble for the rebound is pretty brutal out there right now. St. Peter is going from a man to a 2-3 zone, Fairmont is in the zone. Fairmont has the ball.

6:47 St. Peter timeout, Fairmont leads 49-46

After St. Peter took the lead 46-45 with a pair of steals, it was Fairmont's turn to steal the ball back on 3 straight Saints possessions. They scored on two of them to take back the lead.

Tom Steidler having the game of his life

Imagine dunking the ball in Williams Arena. Steidler just did, not image it, he did it in transition to get St. Peter within 45-43. He then got a steal and a 2 + 1 (but no dunk) to put St. Peter ahead 46-45. He then stole the ball again and dunked again but it was waved off on a foul further up court. His team then turned it over and Fairmont's Luke Becker scored off of that steal to put Fairmont back ahead 47-46.

11:46 Fairmont back ahead

They're back trading the lead. Fairmont took its first lead sine 23-22 at 38-37. St. Peter answerd with a 3 but now its Fairmont 45-39.

From the halftime stats

Fairmont would be in trouble without their "special teams." They're ahead 7-2 in points off turnovers and 6-0 on 2nd chance points. St. Peter has a big advantage in initial half court offense.

Halftime and it's Fairmont 34 St. Peter 34

There is nothing to suggest that Fairmont (24-4) is ten games better than St. Peter (14-14). Apparently St. Peter's top scorer, Kolin Bartlett, missed a month or so of the season. In any event, the two teams traded the lead on 19 of the 23 separate scoring plays from tip-off to 4:23. Then the Saints pulled ahead 28-23. Fairmont tied it up on a long 3 by Mitch Pfingsten. In fact Phfingsten scored 7 points inside of 1 minute tying it first at 32 then at 34.

Pfingsten has 13, Tom Steidler of St. Peter 10.

6:17 to go in the first half…

And there's not much to choose between these two teams. they're trading the lead on every basket.

At the halfway point in the first half 14-14

Jay Ruen has 6 for Fairmont, Tom Steidler has 5 for St. Peter.

They're off

Will it be three on a match? Fairmont has beaten St. Peter twice by 14 and 11, the second time with St. Peter's top scorer, Kolin Bartlett, out.

Up in about a half hour Fairmont vs. St. Peter

Esko 57 EGF 54 (OT) is the final

Miaselek missed a 3, then the Wave got the ball back out to Frydenlund who got off a 3 inside of 1 second. It went about 1/3 of the way down and around and popped out.

Deadrick and Warmack each scored 24, Peterson 16. Casey Staniger sat out the OT with what looked like leg cramps. Jake Lindstrom took Warmack out of the offense for a good part of the middle of the second half when Esko came from behind to take the lead. He also scored 5 points.

0: 10.9 EGF gets the ball back, down 3

Deadrick double-dribbled just before nailing a 3 that of course did not count. EGF now bringing the ball in-bounds. Last time it was do or die, they went to Warmack for the 3.

0:13.2 Esko leads 57-54

Ty Misialek made 1-of-2 FT to get the Wave within 3. Esko took timeout and will be bringing the ball in-bounds.

0:25.8 Esko leads 57-53

Warmack missed a 3 that would have put EGF ahead, the Mark Peterson made 2 FT. Deadrick previously made 1-of-2, making him 2-of-6 dFT down the stretch.

0:48 left in OT Esko leads 54-53

Deadrick scored a 2 + 1 on a dribble drive up the right side of the lane. Warmack countered with 2 FT. Then Deadrick stole a lob pass to Warmack in the lane, and Esko called timeout. Esko has the ball.


Jim Warmack hit a 3 in a set play as he screened up high then stepped out. His shot hit the front of the rim, then the backboard, then the front of the rim again before dropping through. Esko was unable to get off a shot in the final 8 seconds as the Wave knocked the ball loose in the backcourt.

It's a 4:00 OT.

0:21 EGF timeout Esko leads 51-48

Esko missed 4 straight FT before Aaron Olson finally connected for his 1st point of the night, and EGF took a timeout. Will EGF look to tie it with a 3 or go for a quick 2 and another foul?

0:40 left EGF within 50-48

Junior reserve guard Micah Friez made a FT, then took the ball the length of the court for a layup to get the Wave within 2. The latter came after an unlikely Kory Deadrick miss of both FT.

1:59 still 46-42

Esko just ran 2:00 off the clock as EGF had to commit 3 fouls to get to the bonus, and then who do you foul? Deadrick, Peterson and Staniger are handling the ball and all are terrific foul shooters. Staniger makes 2 and EGF takes timeout, it's now 48-42.

3:21 EGF timeout

Deadrick made another spectacular play, grabbing an offensive rebound and spinning in the lane to get off a right-handed floater, to make it 46-42.

4:46 Esko 44 EGF 40

Trading 3s again--Grant Frydenlund for the Wave, and Casey Staniger for Esko.

7:05 Esko timeout, leading 41-35

Jim Warmack and Mark Peterson traded 3s. Jake Lindstrom came off the bench to guard Warmack and is doing a great job, but Warmack stepped outside to hit the 3. Peterson has the last 2 Esko buckets. Like Deadrick, he has a great jump shot with good elevation and a nice high release.

9:00 Esko 38 EGF 32

Halfway through the 2nd half and Esko has outscored the Wave 13-6 to lead 38-32. The Esko defense is beginning to wear on EGf, they are not finding good looks, even when they score.

11:52 of the 2nd half Esko 33 EGS 28

Esko is on an 8-0 run. EGF scored the 1st bucket of the half for a 28-25 lead, but Warmack is not getting any looks at all while Kory Deadrick has hit a couple buckets with that beautiful sweet stroke of his.


EGF leads Esko 26-25. Jim Warmack has outscored Kory Deadrick 14-11.

8:30 EGF leads 17-14

Esko has adjusted on Warmack, and he has not scored since those first 12 points. Meanwhile Kory  Deadrick has 7 for Esko.

6 p.m. Esko 26-3 vs. East Grand Forks 20-9

EGF started out going to  6-7 Jim Warmack who averages 19 ppg. He scored the Wave's first 12 points. The Wave leads 14-8 at 11:30.

Tip-Off #1

Esko starts 3 seniors with 6-6, 6-4, 6-2 size. The Wave starts 5 seniors and has some size in 6-7 Jim Warmack. AFter that it's 6-2, 6-1, 6-0, 5-11.

So for all of you shut-ins out there, especially in the Frozen North of Esko and East Grand Forks, this game is not on TV. Maybe it's on your local radio. Maybe not. Either way we've got some color commentary for you here: Blue and Green. The Esko Eskomoes in Blue, the Green Wave in, well, what else. There's your color commentary: Blue and Green.

8 p.m. Fairmont 24-4 vs. St. Peter 14-14

Boys Class AAA at Williams Arena Wednesday March 12

Class AAA All-Stars (Today)

C- Justin Dahl, Holy Family 15 pts-10 boards-3 blocks
PF- Reid Travis, DeLaSalle 20 pts-7 boards-3 blocks
SF- Joe Hanel, Holy Family 14 pts-9 boards
PG- Zach Wessels, Austin 23 pts
SG- Sacar Anim, DeLaSalle 21 pts

2nd Team

C- Sam Sustanek, Orono 21 pts-8 boards-3 steals
PF- Jon Vogeler, Alexandria 13 pts-6 rebounds- 2 assists-2s teals
SF- Ajuda Nywesh, Austin 15 pts
PG- Geno Crandall, DeLaSalle 13 pts-5 assists-3 blocks
SG- Riley Sharbono, Marshall 22 pts-5 boards

3rd Team

C- Adam Laine, Cloquet 13 pts-11 boards-3 blocks
PF- Andy TenEyck, Orono 12 pts-3 assists
PG- Cole Hennings, Orono 23 pts
SG- CD Douglas, Marshall 16 pts-3 assists
SG- Bret Lukes, Austin 10 pts

Final Score: Holy Family 63 Cloquet 41

Cloquet led last at 19-18 late in the first half, and got outscored 45-22 from there. 6-7 Cloquet post Adam Laine outscored Holy Family's Justin Dahl 12-6 in the first half, but Dahl ended up outscoring Laine on the day.

Up Next: Class AA: East Grand Forks vs. Esko and St. Peter vs. Fairmont

The first of those will be starting in about 45 minutes.

1:37 Holy Family 59 Cloquet 40

They're still grinding this one out, but it's been over since my last post at 8:08. Cloquet just doesn't have enough firepower.

8:08 Holy Family 46 Cloquet 32

Nice feed from Nathan Weets to Dillon Johnson for the latter's 10th and 11th points, but Cloquet is just not finding enough ways to score. Justin Dahl has finally gotten active for the Fire and he has caught up to Cloquet's post Adam Laine at 12 points apiece.

13:15 Holy Family 38 Cloquet 28

Unsung hero for Cloquet is 6-0 senior guard Maxx Brenner who is guarding 6-6 Fire forward Joe Hanel man-to-man. Well, he's getting some help, but he's the front line.

Halftime Holy Family 34 Cloquet 21

Halftime stats highlights include Fire shooting 45 percent, Jacks 37 percent, but the bigger difference is 31 shots to just 19. Holy Family has just 3 turnovers and 6 offensive boards, Cloquet 9 turnovers and 3 offensive boards.

And along with the point totals below, Colton Stenerson of Holy Family has 6 points and 5 assists, almost half of the combined total for both teams. Laine leads everybody with 7 boards.

Cloquet had the led at 19-18 at 5:54 but down the stretch it was all Fire as they ran off 14 straight points before the Lumberjacks were able to score again. Joe Hanel has 12 points, Justin Dahl 6.

4:25 Holy Family 24 Cloquet 19

Cloquet timeout, Holy Family is finding it way too easy to score. Joe Hanel has been unstoppable with a scoop shot in close and a little jumper out to about 10 feet. Laine is outplaying Dahl in the post.

9:16 Cloquet 13 Holy Family 12

It's 6-11 Justin Dahl of HF vs. 6-7 Adam Laine of Cloquet. So far Laine leads 4-2 but Dillon Johnson with a couple looooong 3s is the real star so far. The Fire's guard Joen Hanel looks great with a couple scoops and a big dunk.

There's a bit of history in the house (in Class AAA)

An all-time all-star team from these 8 schools would be pretty star-studded.

C- Burdie Halldorson, Austin 1951, went on to a stellar college career at Colorado
PF- Hal Haskins, Alexandria 1943, already described above
SF- Ben Johnson, DeLaSalle 1999, two-time state champ, played at Minnesota
PG- Dave "Mouse" Meisner, Cloquet 1963, had a nice career at Winona State
SG- Terry Porter, Marshall 1963, had an equally nice career or maybe better at St. Cloud State

Second Team

C- Ray Buffalo, DeLaSalle 1931, led the Islanders to the national Catholic championship
PF- LeRoy Gardner, St. Paul Central 1965, played at Minnesota
SF- Mike Forrest, Cloquet 1963
PG- Tom Kezar, Austin 1959
SG- Jim Hill, St. Paul Central 1967

Austin of course won 3 state titles in the single class era (1935-1946-1958). Marshall beat Austin in the first round en route to its title in 1963, then beat Cloquet 75-74 in what is regarded as one of the best finals ever. 

Alexandria was runner-up in 1943 with the great Sleepy Hal Haskins who set a tournament scoring record of 57 points in 3 games that stood for all of one year. But Haskins went on to earn all-America honors in college at Hamline, but not "little all-America" or anything like that. He was named to the same all-America team as the guys from the Big Ten, the SEC, etc. In fact, he was chosen as the best college player to play in Madison Square Garden that year.

Of course, there's some more recent history as well. Holy Family won Class AA back in 2007 on what is regarded as one of the best championship Saturdays of the 4-class era, though that's more because of the Ellsworth-Cass Lake and Armstrong-Buffalo games. And DeLaSalle, well, you probably know some of their recent history and longer term, there's just to much history to give justice to it right now. And Orono took Class AAA a few years ago.

That leaves St. Paul Central which played in the 1965 and 1967 tournaments with 2 of the greats of that era--LeRoy Gardner and Jim Hill--and then they played in six straight and 7-of-8 tournaments from 1979 to 1986.

Final Score Austin 61 Alex 50

 Austin shot 41 percent, Alex 31. 2nd chance points kept Alex in the game (17 for Alex, just 6 for Austin), but points off turnovers were 15-8 Austin and the Packers made 13-of-16 FT in the last 7 minutes. Zach Wessels scored 23 points and is the obvious Player of the Game.

0:57 Austin 58 Alex 50

Austin is on its way to the semis, and the punctuation was a big block of an Alex 3-point attempt by Gach Gach. Austin has been winning a free throw shooting contest the past few minutes otherwise.

2:57 Austin 51 Alex 46

Vogeler got a steal then missed the breakaway layup for Alex, but each team has made 2-of-2 throws.

3:19 Austin 49 Alex 44

Alex failed to score on 6 straight possessions while Austin scored 3 straight times but then had a pair of dry ones, too. So Dave Krivanek scores for Alex and they're still within 5.

6:57 Still 43-42

Bistoeau a huge offensive foul with a chance to tie at 7:08.

8:24 Austin 43 Alex 42

Alex got within 41-40 on a pair of transition buckets, now a couple FT by Vogeler gets it back to 1.

9:43 Austin 41 Alex 36

Well, Alex isn't going away.John Vogeler and Chase Kohler each hit a 3 and Joe Gorghuber and Brandon Bistodeau each scored 4 points in the last 5 minutes.

16:07 now 37-21

Alex is in trouble. 0-for-1 with 2 turnovers this half and both turnovers were home runs for Zach Wessels. I admit that Wessels did not impress me last year, his role mostly being to feed the Aases. Now he is showing tremendous quickness, super moves to get to the rim, quick hands and feet on D, just a great all-around 1 game.

 17:31 it's still 29-21

Alex shot 7-of-24, Austin 12-of-25 in the first, both teams were 3-of-10 from long range, and they're perfect at the FT line so far.

Halftime Austin 29 Alexandria 21

Wessels has 12, Nywesh 11 and Austin's aggressive D has caused Alex to shoot 7-of-25.

1:19 Austin 27 Alexandria 19

4:34 Austin 22 Alexandria 15

Austin much quicker and very aggressive on D, have caused some turnovers, challenged some Alex shots. And when Zach Wessels scored on a pretty fancy spin move to the rim in transition (for his 9th and 10th points) Alex took a timeout. Wessels to the rim and Ajuda Nywesh on the 3 are a pretty good 1-2 puch.

8:28 Austin 13 Alexandria 10

Alex timeout as they're having trouble with Austin's aggressive fullcourt defense. Still they're within 3 as Austin is 6-of-13 (4-for-their-last 4). Alex is 3-of-11.

It's early, Austin leads 4-0

It's fun to see two teams who could have and did play one another back in the day.... But as for today, Austin is dominating so far though it is of course early. But they've got the only buckets and the only offensive rebounds.

Shakopee 54 Osseo 51

I did not of course see this game but I did notice that the favorite, Osseo, lost by 3 while making 4-of-10 FT. Ouch!

Up Next: The A's have it--Alexandria (15-11) vs. Austin (26-3)

DeLaSalle 81 St. Paul Central 48

Finally got the stats for this one. The Islanders led 18-3 and 38-17 at the half and were never threatened. Sacar Anim scored 21, Reid Travis 20 and Geno Crandall 13 for DeLaSalle. Rayeon Williams scored 11 on 4-of-17 shooting and Jon Gubbrud added 10 off the bench for Central. The Islanders shot 70 percent from the field, Central just 28 percent.

Orono 77 Marshall 72

Orono shot 51 percent from the field and 88.5 percent from the line, including 20-of-23 in the 2nd half, to hold off the Marshall Tigers. Marshall got down by as many as 10 (twice) but never went away. But the Tigers didn't get many stops.

Cole Hennings scored 23, Sam Sustacek 21 and Andy TenEyck 12 for Orono. Riley Sharbono scored 22, CD Douglas 16 and Connor Winkelman 12 for Marshall.

0:05.7 Orono 76 Marshall 72

Riley Sharbono finally scored on a tip-in, the Tigers 5th offensive board in this sequence. But it's still a two-possession game. Marshall takes timeout.

0:31 Orono leads 74-68

Orono finally missed a throw but then Marshall did the same. The the Spartans drained another pair.

1:11 Orono 69 Marshall 65

The Tigers scored 5 quick points on a 3 and a steal-and-2. Orono hit a pair of free throws--they have been absolutely deadly from the charity stripe. But Marshall came back with a quick bucket. But they need a stop and haven't had many.

3:37 Orono 63 Marshall 57

Marshall timeout. The Tigers are scoring plenty of points to win, but they haven't gotten too many stops. Cole Hennings now has 21 for Orono and Sam Sustacek 18. Riley Sharbono has 16 and CD Douglas 14 for Marshall. The Tigers have picked up the defensive pressure a bit but Orono is for the most part handling it.

6:03 Orono leads 57-51

Riley Sharbono just hit a 3 for Marshall which would have made it 53-51 but it was waved off due to an illegal pick. Orono scored 2 quick buckets before Marshall got one of them back, and quickly took  timeout.

8:25 to play Orono 52 Marshall 48

Orono had a small lead when I arrived, led at the half 35-26, it is now 52-48, which is about as close as the Tigers have gotten. Cole Hennings has 19 for Orono and has outplayed Marshall star Riley Sharbono, who has 12.

1: 00 p.m. 

Hey I got held up in traffic, sorry. Just getting settled in and learned that DeLaSalle easily won the days's first game 81-48 over St. Paul Central. And right now the MSHSL Web site appears to be stuck in traffic as well, meaning no data on the game is available at the present time.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Boys State Tournament Coverage

We will be blogging and reporting live from the Boys State Tournament as follows:

Wednesday March 12 Williams Arena

Class AAA

10 a.m. #1 DeLaSalle (23-3) vs. St. Paul Central (22-3)
Noon #4 Orono (21-8) vs. #5 Marshall (24-4)
2 p.m. #2 Austin (26-3) vs. Alexandria (15-11)
4 p.m. #3 Holy Family (27-2) vs. Cloquet (24-4)

Class AA

6 p.m. #2 Esko (26-3) vs. East Grand Forks (20-9)
8 p.m. #3 Fairmont (24-4) vs. St. Peter (14-14)

Thursday March 13 Williams Arena

Class A

1 p.m. #4 Canby (25-4) vs. #5 Fond du Lac Ojibwe (23-3)
3 p.m. #2 Maranatha (25-3) vs. Red Lake (23-7)

Friday March 14 Target Center

Class A

12 Noon and 2 p.m. Semi-Finals

Saturday March 15 Target Center

Four state championship games

12 Noon Class A top seeds are BBE and Maranatha

2 p.m. Class AA tops seeds are Esko and Annandale

6 p.m. Class AAA top seeds are DeLaSalle and Austin

8 p.m. Class AAAA top seeds are Hopkins and Lakeville North