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Tip Off Classic recap: Orono vs. Eagan

By Ryan James, Northstar Hoops Report, 12/13/14, 1:00PM CST


Orono jumped out ahead of Eagan early expanding to a double figure lead within minutes and building the advantage to as much as 30-9 in the middle of the first half.  Ethan Larson scored five times around the rim early and both Alex Hill and Cole Hennings hit deep perimeter jumpers creating such a big Orono gap. The Spartans had a 26-4 run early that was helped by Eagan’s top scorer Bryndan Matthews sitting in foul trouble and shooter Chase Seiberlich being out of the line-up. 

Eagan had zero energy as a team until both GT Johnson and Cole Hibbard found space around the basket to score while also taking contact for foul shot attempts.  With the Wildcats able to complete plays the score was tightened to 30-17. 

Barry Wohler called out his “Rubio” set for the second time and the NBA action of post entry screen to the corner and quick pitch to the corner cutter (all on one side) resulted in a Cole Hennings pull-up jumper giving Hennings his fifth made jumper of the half.  Eagan carried a 34-22 lead into the break.

One of the bright spots for Eagan was junior forward Sam Schbuerg whose three second half scores combined with Johnson scoring twice actively brought Eagan back within seven at 47-40.   Orono’s lead slowly dwindled in the second half as a travel here, a quick shot there, and bad transition defense all combined to help the Wildcats.

With six minutes to go Eagan ran a simple double screen that opened up senior Tyler Buresh at the arc with all the time, and room a player would need for a shot.  Buresh made the attempt despite it being only his first field goal make of the game.  Seeing a major turn in momentum Orono Coach Barry Wohler switched from his man to man defense to a zone.  That did little good as future UST wing GT Johnson found space to tie the game at 49.

A year ago Cole Hennings had a memorable state tournament running scoring huge buckets on the big stage.  When it comes to the regular season, there isn’t a bigger stage than the Tip Off Classic as all peers, basketball die hards, college coaches, etc are at the game.  Hennings once again performed at a high level when needed scoring twice to open the Orono lead late.  His acrobatic reverse lay-up had friends and family members bouncing out of their seats in excitement.

Ethan Larson made the scoring plays early that opened the game early but in half is big contribution was a charge take when his squad was up two scores.  Bryndan Matthews attacked the rim looking to close the gap but Larson was first to position and took a charge that was of the elite plays in the game.   From there Orono put the game away at the foul line and despite losing a 21 point lead, Orono left the Breakdown Tip Off Classic with a victory. 


Score by half: Orono 34-25--59, Egan 22-31--53

Orono: Matt Hirschberg 4, Ethan Larson 12, Alex Kill 12, Patrick Codute 7, Cole Hennings 22, Cameron Bentrott 2

Eagan: Bryndan Matthews 7, Sam Schuberg 17, C4ole Hibbard 9, Danil Stahlut 4, GT Johnson 11, Tyler Buresh 6

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