Tis' the season for a ton of hoops. I tend to spend a ton of hours in the gym this time of year and this past weekend was no exception. I dubbed it "my 24 hour hoop fest" with a Friday night main event that featured five girls that I had or will coach during AAU season. It would end over 24 hours later with a great match up of two of the top boys teams in the state.
In a word, it was amazing.
24 Hours of Hoops:
6:15PM Friday December 6:
After being bogged down in traffic, I made it to Woodbury to watch Minneapolis Washburn and Shakopee. Of all the rewards of being a coach, watching a player grow on the court and seeing their hard work payoff is amazing.
Millers head coach Tylor Coley is one of my absolute favorites. A year after taking Washburn to the state tournament since the 1980's, they step up in class (AAA), but are aiming to use the experience last season to take the next step. Coley's daughter Chase led the way for Washburn with 32 points, 18 rebounds and 8 blocks…another day at the office for the soon to be Iowa Hawkeye.
Junior point guard Lucia Renikoff proved why she is one of the best in the state as she scored 22 points and shot a blistering 3-for-4 from three point range (she shot 50% from deep during the AAU season as well). Junior forward Emma Shepherd scored 10 points for the Millers. After trailing by 18 at the half, the Sabers cut the lead to 9 early in the second half before Washburn regained control and pulled away.
Saturday December 7
In a word, frigid would describe the weather outside. Inside was a completely different story for the Breakdown Tip Off Classic. I have known the Breakdown guys for years and there aren't better one day events in the state than the two they put together to open the season.
Maple Grove faced Rochester John Marshall in the lid lifter in a battle of two young teams. The difference in the game came down to guard play and Maple Grove junior Haylee Barker played a huge part in the Crimson 57-42 win. Barker finished the game with 8 steals to go along with her 7 points and 5 rebounds.
John Marshall's Jamie Ruden led all scorers with 20 points while her counterpart in the post, Julie Hagert finished with a strong 12 points.
Lakeville South vs. Eden Prairie:
I always like watching Chris Carr and EP play. I love the way his teams defend and they didn't let me down despite a 42-39 loss. After trailing by 11 at half, the Eagles held the Cougars to just 13 points in the second half. Katie Quandt led all scorers with 13 points, but I walked away impressed with how EP's Rachael Platt defended and nearly equaled her point total scoring 8.
Gophers vs. New Orleans
After making the trek downtown to watch the Gopher mens squad against a New Orleans team that isn't exactly a powerhouse in college hoops. Actually, I had no idea what they were even called until I walked into Williams Arena. It wasn't exactly a pretty game and despite leading at one point by 27, the Gophers lead dwindled to as few as 9 late in the second half. Andre Hollins led six Gophers in double figures with 18 points.
Center Elliott Eliason played sparingly and guard Malik Smith did not play in the game, both are working through ankle injuries.
Back to the Lindburgh Center where the Hopkins boys were blowing out St. Michael Albertville 77-36. Leading by 31 at half, the Royals had five players finish in double figures including Jake Wright with 18, Kamali Chambers 14, Stephon Sharp 13, Treyvon Edwards 12, and Amir Coffey 11 for the Royals.
The Hopkins Royals girls team jumped out to a big lead on Anoka only to watch the Tornadoes climb back and take the lead in the first half. The Royals answered in a big way, outscoring Anoka 43-24 in the second half en route to a 68-57 win.
Ashley Bates led the way for Hopkins with 28 points and 10 rebounds while Nia Hollie added 12. Kyrah Fredenburg paced the way for Anoka with 13.
Apple Valley vs. DeLaSalle
The main event lived up to the hype as in front of a packed house, the Eagles ran through the Islanders layup line as the defending AAAA champs seemed to send a message to the AAA reigning title holders.
The Eagles would work their way to a 10 point win, but the footnote to the 73-63 score was that Reid Travis, the Stanford commit didn't play due to a foot injury. Tyus Jones stole the show finishing with a game high 29 points in the win while freshman Gary Trent jr, added 18 in the win.
Geno Crandall did his best to keep the Islanders in the game scoring 23 while junior guard Jarvis Johnson scored 15 points with Gopher coaches Richard Pitino and Kimani Young watching courtside.
Boys Breakdown: Saturday December 14
9:30 am- Holy Angels vs. Hayfield
10:15 am- Elk River vs. Waconia
11:00 am- Bloomington Kennedy vs. Austin
11:45 am- Shakopee vs. St. Francis
12:30 am- Rice Lake (WI) vs. Tartan
1:15 pm- Rochester John Marshall vs. Holy Family Catholic
2:15 pm- Eden Prairie vs. Champlin Park
3:00 pm- Robinsdale Cooper vs. Lester Prairie/Holy Trinity
3:45 pm- Roseville vs. Robbinsdale Armstrong
4:30 pm- Rochester Lourdes vs. New Prague
5:15 pm- Lakeville North vs. Hopkins
6:00 pm- Belgrade Brooten Elrosa vs. Minneapolis North
7:00 pm- Osseo vs. DeLaSalle
7:30 pm- Prior Lake vs. Blake
8:30 pm- Minnetonka vs. Cretin-Derham Hall