Note: photo galleries coming soon
Hopkins was well aware of who the Cedar Falls playmaker was, number 4 AJ Green. The Royals sent a lot of pressure at the junior early and forced some quick misses. Green was just looking for a feel for the defense and after he understood their approach AJ exploded with step-backs and pull-ups that went despite defense all over his jersey. Hopkins defenders off the ball started to cheat in and then Cedar Falls was able to find several off-ball cutters (Ben Gerdes and Isaiah Johnson) for open scores and a 44-42 lead.
Coach Ken Novak Jr of Hopkins is one of the best defensive coaches in the state so the halftime locker room noise included an elevated verbal message. The player that heard the motivational speech the most was Ishmael El-Amin who exploded for a quick 18 second half points and a 66-55 second half lead. Double-double contributions from Simon Wright (16 and 10) and Zeke Nnaji (12 and 10 in his first varsity game) were also key parts to the lead, and eventual win as was the all around game from Anthony Davis.
A continuing onslaught of AJ Green kept the game within five scores down the stretch but his overall 42 points wasn’t enough. Hopkins finished with four in double figures led by El-Amin’s 32 (freshman Blaise Beauchamp had nine) and they won the rebounding battle 33-19.
— Ryan James
Cedar Falls: 44-33 - 77
Hopkins: 42-43 - 85
Cedar Falls: Green 42, I Johnson 9, Campbell 2 , Gerdes 14, Wolf 6, Frericks 4
Hopkins: Beauchamp 9, El-Amin 32, Wright 16, Mayfield 3, Davis 10, Nnaji 12, Hedstrom 3
Champlin Park is the preseason number one at the Breakdown and Northstar Hoops because of their size, depth, and weapons all over the floor. Brian Smith hit seven of his first eight shots, McKinley Wright scored on six of his first seven, and then Josiah Strong hit four of first five perimeter jumpers. The final total was Smith with 22, Wright with 27, and Strong with 13 and the Rockets simply couldn’t match. When you can get 62 points from your starting backcourt (much of it early) and then have DJ Hunter come off the bench and give you another 14 it’s tough to guard all of those weapons.
The JM Rockets have some southern firepower to counter but the Rebels threw Marcus Hill at five star sophomore Matthew Hurt from the start. Hill did a decent job defending one on one but was at his best when the Rebels went to a 1-3-1 and Hill reeked havoc everywhere (Hill had 11 points, 10 boards, and 5 assists as well). The Rebel defense sent two or three at Hurt all game and Matthew did score 24 points on 24 shots but his teammates couldn’t keep up with the Rebel weapons.
The Rebels also got 19 points, seven boards, and seven assists from Theo John (who made all of his shot attempts) who is headed to Marquette. Dayton bound McKinley Wright finished with 27 points on 18 attempts, ten boards, and six assists.
— Ryan James
Rochester JM: 42-32 - 74
Champlin Park: 57-56 - 113
Rochester JM: Walden 15, Adams 6, Chan 16, Hurt 24, Stai 7, Antione 6
Champlin Park: Smith 22, Hill 11, Strong 13, T John 19, Hunter 14, Wright 27, Scott 2, Russell 2
The first pair of boys games at the Girls Tip Off Classic saw a rapid pace push but when DeLaSalle took the floor possessions were extended and calculated. George Mason bound Goanar Mar was the catalyst attacking a Hoover front line that didn’t have the man power to keep Mar from drawing contact. Mar made all nine first half foul shots and a couple treys plus the Islanders allowed only two Hoover players to score in the first half.
Tyrell Terry controlled the second half pace and did a nice job of getting the Islanders fast break baskets or slowing down and grinding the Hoover defense. Tyrell made all four of his field goal attempts and helped Gabe Kalscheur get going with 11 second half points (he finished with 15). CJ Dickson was strong on the glass grabbing a team high eight boards, Mar totaled 27 points for the game, and all of the Islanders defended.
Hoover got 20 points from Devonte Thedford and a double-double of 22 points and 12 boards from Douglas Wilson but the only other player on the team to score was Aldeias Campbell. The rest of the team shot 0 for 15 from the floor so the Islanders took away most of the options.
— Ryan James
Des Moines Hoover: 28 – 22 - 50
DeLaSalle: 37 – 28 - 65
Des Moines Hoover: Wilson 22, Thedford 20, Campbell 8
DeLaSalle: Kalscheur 15, Booker 5, Mar 27, Bledsoe 4 , Dickson 5, Terry 8, Moore 1,
Minneapolis North had control of the game early and it became an honest wonder if the Eagles were going to be able to get enough good shots. The North Polars turned every turnover and long miss into a transition score that Isaac Johnson or JaQuan Sanders-Smith would finish the other way. It was some of the best defense the Polars will play as the Eagles simply had no angle to score.
With about six minutes to go in the second half everything changed. After a dead ball the Eagles put together some ball movement that became Mohamed Kone and Luke Martens threes. Tre himself was attacking past the first defender and frustrating the Polar defense. The Eagles earned a 42-35 halftime lead the question became, can they continue to control the pace?
Tre Jones controlled the pace. He controlled the defensive end. Jones pushed for open floor baskets, he attacked guards that weren’t able to deal with his strength, he moved the ball to open shooters for threes, and finished the game with a triple double at 29 points, 13 boards, and 11 assists. Martens and Kone had 15 and 10 points off the bench respectively while Nathan Macho scored 10. North received 21 from Isaac Johnson on 22 shots and 20 from Jaquan Sanders-Smith on 19 looks.
— Ryan James
Minneapolis North: 35 – 35 - 70
Apple Valley: 42 – 42 - 84
Minneapolis North: T Johnson 4, Sanders-Smith 20, Holloman 2, Da’Koi Hines 4, Wilson 19, I Johnson 21
Apple Valley: Kone 10, Macho 10, Jones 29, Martens 15, Hendrickson 6, Morse 6, Totusek 2, Thomas 3, Rolland 3