The Skippers and Polars are similar teams in terms of size, talent, and coaches preaching defensive effort. This is why the game was expected to be close, and was close all the way to the final seconds. Goodnews Kpegeol attacked and scored a clutch basket to tie the game at 63 with 16 seconds left and the game had the feel of overtime. But with four seconds to go Burt Hedstrom caught, and was fouled. The call, questionable for sure but the Skippers knocked down the game winning foul shots to get their first win.
Minnetonka coach Ryan Freeberg has his team competing very hard. They scrapped with Chaska and Apple Valley in losses so getting this win was important, and it was earned. Burt Hedstrom has grown into a leader as a senior on both ends. He had 22 points, six boards, three assists, and made the game winning foul shots. Loved the effort from Matt Haas who battled for 16 points and 13 rebounds and fellow senior Isaiah Carver-Bagley scored 18 with seven rebounds. Goodnews Kpegeol led the Polars with 19 and fellow junior Bryce Phillips had 17.
— Ryan James
Minnetonka 36-31 – 67
North St. Paul 31-32 – 63
Minnetonka: Jalen Dearring 7, Isaiah Carver-Bagley 18, Burt Hedstrom 22, Matt Haas 16, Jon Martens 2, Spencer Bonnette 2
North St. Paul: Goodnews Kpegeol 19, Jaquas Towns 10, Bryce Phillips 17, Josh Steckler 7, Michael Geving 3, Gary Dixon 2, Brenden Lankford-Johnson 2
The Spring Grove/Browerville clash started off about as slow and ugly as a game could with good field goal attempts being rare, and makes uncommon. Spring Grove is the much bigger team and the eye test says that USF signed Chase Grinde has a lot more to work with than MSU-Moorhead signed Bryce Irsfeld, even with Lion junior Ethan Matzke not able to play today. Spring Grove did a nice job on Irsfeld forcing him into six straight misses to start the game. Grinde hit three of his first four treys and Spring Grove took a 31-22 lead into the half.
Half two belonged to Alex Folz. Bryce Irsfeld had a small run but not enough to get his team over the hump. The guard that controlled the game was Spring Grove’s strong, vocal leader Alex Folz. He scored seven times on physical basket attacks simply fighting his way to space and completing plays. Folz also did a great job directing his team and joined Grinde in doing a solid job on Irsfeld defensively. The end score was Spring Grove 58, Browerville 48 in a key Class A battle.
— Ryan James
Spring Grove 31-27 – 58
Browerville 22-26 – 48
Spring Grove: Brock Schuttemeier 12, Chase Grinde 14, Noah Myrah 9, Alex Folz 16, Devon Nerstad 2, Zach Rains 3, Adin Solum 2
Browerville: Bryce Irsfeld 16, Brendan Emery 9, Griffin Webster 7, Jordan Gorder 9, Ryan Warwick 7
The loss of Minnehaha Academy’s JaVonni Bickham was a blow to this game. There is no other way to look at it. Without the division one level 6-foot-6 big the Red Hawks just didn’t have the size position by position to defend a very long and talented Minneapolis North team.
Polar junior Odell Wilson had 21 points and eight rebounds as the Hawks just couldn’t move him out of the post. Isaac Johnson is a 6-foot-5 wing playing the three and Johnson’s length edge of five inches allowed him to get good looks all contest for 22 points. Tayler Johnson plays the two and at 6-foot-3 he put together a double-double of 13 points and ten rebounds as the Redhawks couldn’t keep Tayler away from the basket when he had the ball, or when he moved to the rim without it. Sophomore Polar guard Nasir El-Amin contributed another nine points.
Minnesota Head Coach Richard Pitino and three of his assistants, Iowa State head Coach Steve Prohm, plus assistants from Baylor, Nebraska-Omaha, and North Dakota State all watched the game looking at all the young talent. The high major programs have all offered Jalen Suggs and they watched the ninth grader score 32 points making 10 of 20 shots including three treys and 9 of 12 foul shots. Kaden Johnson supported with another dozen points.
— Ryan James
Minneapolis North: 43-36 – 79
Minnehaha Academy: 37-37 – 74
Mpls North: Jaquan Sanders-Smith 6, Da’Kei Hines 2, Tayler Johnson 12, Odell Wilson 14, Isaac Johnson 22, Emmanuel Jones 1, Nasir El-Amin 11
Minnehaha Academy: Jose Williamson 6, Jalen Suggs 32, Kaden Johnson 12, Terry Lockett 4, Lorenzo Smith 7, Jeff Stordahl 1, Luke Burnham 9, Prince Aligbe 3
When you get teams like Tartan and Robbinsdale Armstrong together you can expect that there will be well coached units (Mark Klingsporn and Greg Miller do a great job) and there will be experienced players stepping forward to bring depth. Tartan played nine guys this evening, eight of them seniors. Several of the names are known but guys like Damien Goergen and Terrell James came off the bench to provide depth and make an impact. Same thing can be said for Falcon senior Calvin Green and junior Quinn Smith who have stepped up early this season and played big.
The Titans had a 64-49 edge coming down the stretch but Armstrong went on a 17-2 run highlighted by four long jumpers from Race Thompson (a pair of them three-pointers) and attacking scores from senior Isaiah Rollins and Calvin Green. The game was tied at 66 but then Jordan Horn stepped forward and knocked out a key three and several foul shots. A transition push led to a King Myles And1 that ended the Armstrong run. Overall it was a quality game from both.
Thompson made 8 of 13 field goals and 7 of 8 foul shots for his 25 points with 13 rebounds while Green and Rollins each had 14. Tartan was led by the 23 points from Jordan Horn, the 15 points and 8 boards from Joevon Walker, and the 14 points from Jordan Thompson.
— Ryan James
Tartan: 51-26 – 77
Robbinsdale Armstrong: 40-31 – 71
Tartan: King Myles 6, Antwan Kimmons 5, Noah Whalen 5, Joevon Walker 15, Jordan Horn 23, Jordan Thompson 14, Damien Goergen 4, Terrell James 3
Armstrong: Isaiah Rollins 14, Gabe Hostetler 2, Isaiah Miller 2, Camron Draper 2, Calvin Green 14, Race Thompson 25, Quinn Smith 11, Ben Inniger 2
The Hopkins Royals were just too deep for the John Marshall Rockets from the opening tap. The Rockets have some strong players of course: Matthew Hurt scored the 1,000th point of his young career early in the game (totaled a double-double of 30 points and 10 rebounds) and Dedoch Chan gave the team 16 points. But the defending champions are blessed with talent at all positions and at all ages.
Freshman Blaise Beauchamp came off the bench to run the offense and hit three treys (scored 11 points). Sophomore Zeke Nnaji scored a dozen active points, grabbed seven boards, and was one of the guys that was putting a lot of defensive pressure on Hurt. Junior Anthony Davis blew by the Rockets for his 13 points with eight rebounds while 6-foot-10 post Joe Hedstrom had a dozen points and seven boards. The top play came from the seniors starting with Ishmael El-Amin who has been scorching hot all season. The Ball State signed guard 11 of 16 field goals for his 22 points. Elon signed Hopkins senior Simon Wright had another Breakdown double-double 16 and 10 which was his exact numbers on this floor last week against Cedar Falls.
— Ryan James
Hopkins 46-50 - 96
Rochester JM 26-36 -62
Hopkins: Ishmael El-Amin 22, Simon Wright 16, Anthony Davis 13, Zeke Nnaji 12, Joe Hedstrom 12, Blaise Beauchamp 11, Antion Watson 2, Darryl Mayfield 2, Akeen Woods 2, Josh Fogel 2, Dane Zimmer 2
Rochester JM: Isaiah Walden 10, Ray Adams 4, Dedoch Chan 15, Matthew Hurt 30, Jacob Rindflesch 2, Benjamin Karls 1
Lakeville North and Cretin-Derham Hall played one of those games that A) captured your attention and B) had you asking your neighbor “when did they take the lead?” There were momentum swings between the Panthers and the Raiders throughout the contest and it kept the crowd locked in throughout.
A big reason the crowd was locked in was the play of Wisconsin signed Nathan Reuvers of Lakeville North. The 6-foot-10 power forward who just finds ways to produce points. Reuvers is ultra confident in what he can do with the ball and that includes range on his jumper, his ability to find space to score in the post, and Nathan will go after the offensive glass with a motor. Facing off with CDH big Daniel Oturo, Reuvers put a couple fouls on the younger player which allowed him the freedom to boost his production late in the first half. Both players were good, both swatted each other three or four times, and both showed why they are nationally ranked top 100 prospects.
The other quality battle was at point guard where Ryan Larson and Ethan Igbanugo went at it. Igbanugo got the upper hand defensively forcing turnovers plus he scored 23 on a solid shooting night. Larson was at the foul line all night making 12 of 13 leading to his 18 points. Both had late game scores but neither could push their team to the win in regulation. So after Larson missed, and Trevor Schermann missed in the last five seconds the game went to overtime tied at 67.
In overtime Trevor Schermann made his first field goal of the contest scoring a corner trey and then he had a smart skip pass to Jalen Lucas for a corner jumper giving the Panthers a 74-69 lead. Igbanugo’s catch of a ball reversal followed by an attack finish give North a three score lead heading into the last minute. The Panthers eventually put the game away from the foul line and won 82-74. Reuvers scored 35 points with 15 rebounds and six blocks and Igbanugo had 23 points.
— Ryan James
Lakeville North 35-32-15 – 82
Cretin-Derham Hall 32-35-7 - 74
Lakeville North: Trevor Schermann 5, Ethan Igbanugo 23, Tanner Tuna 3, Tyler Wahl 6, Nathan Reuvers 35, Michael Dooney 2, Jalen Lucas 6, Owen Blascziek 2
Cretin-Derham Hall: Ryan Larson 18, Jake Prince 18, Sy Chatman 12, Daniel Oturo 15, Michael Carter 2, Griffin Gamble 2, Jaedan King 7
The Maple Grove vs DeLaSalle 2016 game will go down as another memorable classic from the many years of Breakdown Tip Off Classic classics. With 25 seconds to go in the game and the score tied at 64 the Crimson came out of a timeout and put the ball in the hands of their leader. Brad Davison moved to the right side of the floor, watched the clock, dribble separated against the long arms of Goanar Mar, and nailed an NBA three over the length of well positioned Mar. The shot was made, the game was won 67-64, and the video can be found all over the place on Twitter right now.
This is a game where Davison scored 28, but didn’t score his first basket until ten minutes were off the clock in the first half. Tywhon Pickford opened the game with four three pointers early on his way to 23 points and an even high of 15 rebounds. This win was a complete team effort as the Crimson don’t win without the hard work on both ends of Ryan Bredensteiner and Bubba Horton plus the nine points and work of Jack Hutchison. Davison made 8 of 18 attempts from the floor and 10 of 11 free throw shots.
For the Islanders junior Gabe Kalscheur scored 29 points and his quality night started with four baskets moving off the ball into position to make scoring plays. Gabe moved away from the basket for the rest of the night earning his 29 points on 10 of 18 shooting (8-11 free throws). Goanar Mar dealt with constant foul trouble but scored ten points with six boards. Dominic Bledsoe scored eight and was quality on the defensive end while CJ Dickson was the team high rebounder again with eight.
— Ryan James
Maple Grove: 40-27 – 67
DeLaSalle: 32-32 – 64
Maple Grove: Ryan Bredensteiner 4, Tywhon Pickford 21, Jack Hutchison 9, Bubba Horton 5, Brad Davison 28.
DeLaSalle: Tyrell Terry 3, Gabe Kalscheur 29, Goanar Mar 10, Dominic Bledsoe 8, CJ Dickson 8, Sage Booker 6.
In the match-up of top guards it was the frontcourt talent that made all the difference. McKinley Wright and Tre Jones were the opposing lead guards and both put up huge numbers: McKinley scored 27 points with 11 rebounds, and 8 assists, Tre Jones totaled finished with 28 points, 10 rebounds, and 9 assists.
On the wing both teams got solid contributions. The Rebels picked up another big defensive effort from Marcus Hill plus 10 points and Josiah Strong hit for 14 points (DJ Hunter and Brian Smith had key plays as well). The Eagles countered with four treys from Ely Hendrickson for 14 points, Mohamed Kone scored 10, and Luke Martens 15.
So where were was the difference? The Eagles got more from the three point arc but got little to nothing inside. Meanwhile Marquette signed Theo John dominated the paint with 22 points, 17 rebounds, and five blocks. There was nothing in brown and gold that could match the impact John made inside and the Rebels walked out of the Breakdown Tip Off Classic a three score winner.
— Ryan James
Champlin Park: 44-47 – 91
Apple Valley: 36-48 – 84
Champlin Park: Brian Smith 8, Marcus Hill 13, Theo John 22, DJ Hunter 5, McKinley Wright 27, Josiah Strong 14, Chris Davis 2, Sam Dubois 3.
Apple Valley: Mohamed Kone 10, Tre Jones 28, Luke Martens 6, Mason Morse 3, Spencer Rolland 3, Nathan Macho 5, Ely Hendrickson 12, Kevin Totusek 4, Logan Wangerin 4
Faribault High School defeated an undermanned Sauk Rapids-Rice team 62-37 Saturday in the opening game of the Breakdown Tipoff Classic at Hopkins.
The Falcons opened the game with a 9-0 start and took a 31-13 lead into halftime before coasting to the 25-point victory. The Falcons showed no signs of fatigue after playing the night before.
Cody Ehlers led the Falcons in scoring with 19 points, burying five 3-pointers in the winning effort. Kade Hart came off the bench to score 10 points. Hart was on a minutes restriction after just recently getting cleared to play after dealing with mono. Cody Landwehr led Sauk Rapids with 14 points but without Tyler Kranz and Deng Deang, the Storm were simply too undermanned to hang in with the veteran Falcons team.
— Matt Bigelow
Faribault 31 - 31 — 62
Sauk Rapids-Rice 13 - 24 — 37
Faribault: Ehlers 19, Ernste 11, Hart 10, Jackson 8, Hunt 8, Dozark 4, Grevious 2
Sauk Rapids-Rice: Landwehr 14, Milton-Baumgardner 8, Waldorf 5, Hemker 5, Merriman 2, Massman 2, Seley 1.
In the second game of the Breakdown Tipoff Classic, Watertown-Mayer got 30 points from senior guard Trae Berhow on the way to a 70-59 win over St. Charles.
In a matchup between two of the top Class AA teams in the state, the Royals cruised out to a 40-24 halftime lead behind Berhow and senior big man McKinley Gehlhausen.
The Saints made things interesting in the second half thanks a combination of pressure defense and a flurry of 3-pointers from Keagan Maloney and Kaden Vaughn but ultimately, Berhow and the Royals were too good in the halfcourt.
Berhow was terrific, scoring in transition, off the dribble and with the 3-point shot. The Pepperdine commit dominated the game for stretches offensively and got help from Gehlhausen, who added 21 points and strong defense inside. Maloney led the Saints with 20, Vaughn added 18 and senior forward Carson Jensen added 13. The Saints were without top guard Justin Ruhberg who has been sidelined with a knee injury.
— Matt Bigelow
Watertown-Mayer 40 30 - 70
St. Charles 24 35 - 59
W-M: Berhow 30, Gehlhausen 21, Alger 10, Theisen 5, McCleary 2, Thibault 2.
St. Charles: Maloney 20, Vaughn 18, Jensen 13, Leistikow 5, McCormick 3.
In a matchup featuring two of the top teams in Class AAA, the Marshall Tigers made it a one-sided contest.
Marshall took control of the game from the tip, jumping out to a 22-7 lead 10 minutes into the game and taking a 25-point lead into halftime.
Zach Bloemker lit up the scoreboard for the Tigers, hitting eight 3-pointers on his way to 32 points. Mitchell Sueker added 15 points and Weston Baker Magrath controlled the paint on the defensive end.
Never able to get the tempo in their favor, the Patriots struggled to handle the length of the Tigers in the halfcourt. Jordan Lynn led the team in scoring with 15 points and Devontaye Spates chipped in eight off the bench.
— Matt Bigelow
Marshall 43 31 - 74
Mpls Henry 18 24 - 42
Marshall: Bloemker 32, Sueker 15, Winkelman 9, VanMoer 4, Baker Magrath 4, Klaith 3, Lance 3, Hess 2, Andries 2.
Mpls Henry: Lynn 15, Spates 8, Wood 7, Scott 4, Johnson 2, Sanner-Robinson 2, Smith 2, Childs 2.
In the first truly back-and-forth game on the East court at the Breakdown Tipoff Classic, it was Woodbury outlasting Chaska 87-80 in a double overtime thriller.
Chaska had all the momentum in the first half, getting four 3-pointers from Myles Hanson on the way to a 37-30 halftime score.
But Woodbury responded with a big second half, knocking down eight 3-pointers in the second half to force overtime.
One overtime couldn’t settle it but in the second overtime, Woodbury hit 11 free throws and forced enough turnovers to get the win.
Hanson led Chaska with 26 points while Michael Jones led Woodbury with 33 including 26 in the second half and overtimes. Jeremiah Coddon scored 24 and was a menace on the defensive end and Ike Thilgen chipped in 19 points to lead the Royals to a win.
— Matt Bigelow
Woodbury 30 34 8 15 - 87
Chaska 37 27 8 8 - 80
Woodbury: Jones 33, Codden 24, Thilgen 19, Fleming 5, Bursch 4, Alston 2
Chaska: Hanson 26, Nicholson 17, Kallman 12, Rodriguez 10, Strazzanti 10, Reineke 3, Bjorklund 2
The Spartans showed Saturday night why they should be considered one of the contenders in Class AAA.
Orono took on Fergus Falls in the Breakdown Tip Off Classic and the depth of the Spartans was fully on display in an 81-68 win.
Thomas Lecy provided the early spark, knocking down five 3-pointers to ignite an early lead for the Spartans. Then Colton Codute took over in the second half, scoring 16 of his game-high 24 points.
In the team’s first weekend it was Max Bjorklund and Griffin Sage carrying the scoring load. The Spartans got 16 points from those two combined and still beat the defending state runner-up Otters by 13.
Nathan Rund led Fergus Falls in scoring with 18 points and Elijah Colbeck added 15 in the loss.
Fergus Falls took a brief 51-50 lead halfway through the second half but a 14-2 run ignited by Codute tipped the game back in the Spartans’ favor.
— Matt Bigelow
Orono 36 45 - 81
Fergus Falls 30 38 - 68
Orono: Codute 24, Lecy 21, Bjorklund 14, Thomas 10, Mshihiri 6, Anderson 4, Sage 2
Fergus Falls: Rund 18, Colbeck 15, Johnson 12, Monke 11, H. Christensen, Christenson 4, Breen 4
The Caledonia Warriors used a strong start to beat Esko 63-54 in a battle between two teams ranked in the top five in Class AA.
Noah King led the way for Caledonia, scoring 20 of his game high 26 points in the first half. The Warriors led 42-24 at halftime.
Esko junior center Adam Trapp scored 21 points and guards Ryan Pantsar and Camden Berger added 16 and 14 respectively.
Esko made the game interesting late thanks a flurry of buckets from Berger and Trapp but Noah and Owen King made enough plays down the stretch to preserve the win.
— Matt Bigelow
Caledonia 42 21 -63
Esko 24 30 - 54
Caledonia: N. King 26, O. King 17, Morem 10, Goergen 4, Heim 3, Kearney 2, Gavin 1
Esko: Trapp 21, Pants are 16, Berger 14, Bottila 3
The Delano Tigers defeated the Mankato East Cougars 77-63 in the Breakdown Tip Off Classic at Hopkins High School.
Calvin Wishart had a whale of a game, scoring 23 points while making seemingly every big play down the stretch.
Delano lead 35-34 at halftime in a back-and-forth affair but back-to-back 3-pointers from Wishart and Keagan O’Neill gave the Tigers a nine-point lead with four minutes to go and they hit free throws late to win by 14.
Damani Hayes led the Cougars with 18 points and Kong Kong was a big spark off the bench, knocking down five 3-pointers for 15 points. Derek Techam scored 16 points and Nick Cayler added 12 for the Tigers.
— Matt Bigelow
Delano 35 42 - 77
Mankato East 34 29 - 63
Delano: Wishart 23, Techam 16, Cayler 12, Kurtz 10, O’Neill 9, Gilmer 5, Schneider 2
Mankato East: Hayes 18, Kong 15, Busuri 8, Ochan 8, Oyet 8, Nussmeier 4, Ziegler 2