We kept eyes and ears on the 2008 Gatorade Timberwolves Shootout at Target Center from Saturday morning on, as some of the best H.S. players in the nation face off against MN squads.
St. Paul Central vs. Long Beach Poly (California)
- Long Beach Poly opened the season ranked #1 in the USA Today preseason girl’s basketball poll and finished as the No. 2-ranked team in the final 2006-07 USA Today Super 25 girls rankings, and they showed why on Saturday morning in beating a solid St. Paul Central team 66-51. April Cook (heading to Washington State) led the California squad with 15 points, while Monique Oliver added 11. Forward Jasmine Dixon was terrific with nine points and 14 boards, in addition to eight assists.
- St. Paul Central won the 2007 girl’s state title as they went undefeated (32-0) and finished #18 in USA Today's final poll. They won their first Minnesota state title since 1979, beating Minneapolis South 81-63 in final and Edina 79-41 in semifinals. They are 7-1 this season with a 60-56 loss to Centennial. The Minutemen have four double-figure scorers in Kiara Buford (15.3 points per game), Theairra Taylor (13.5), Megan Howard (13.1) and Georgie Jones (11.1). Buford signed with Minnesota and Jones inked with Marquette. Central got 19 points from Buford ,with five boards, and Jones put up 13 and 11, but it wasn't enough to catch LBP.
- The Jackrabbits of LBP (good nickname, yeah?) have played in several of the country's top tournament such as the Nike Northwest Invitational, Dec. 6-8 in Beaverton, Ore.; the Nike Tournament of Champions, Dec. 18-21 in Phoenix; the T-Mobile Invitational, Dec. 28-29 in Albuquerque along with the Gatorade Timberwolves Shootout.
- St. Paul Central made just 14-of-52 shots (27 percent) while LBP converted 22-of-50 (44 percent). Central also turned the ball over 22 times and were beaten by 12 on the glass (42-30).
LeFlore, Alabama vs. Princeton
- Apparently, LeFlore is called the "Rattlers" for a reason: Their ball pressure is both intense and incessant, with players covering every square inch of court, a tactic rendered more effective due to the length and athleticism of the kids from Alabama.
- Princeton's counter to LeFlore's rampant pressure and athleticism was to slow the game down and patiently look for backdoor cuts to the hoop, while taking advantage of open looks "resulting from the Rattlers overplaying of passing lanes. WCCO's Mike Max contends that Princeton has only three or four thousand people, but most seem to be here at Target Center.
- (From our Shootout preview contributed by scout.com:)Princeton is led by Wisconsin signee Jared Berggren, a 6-foot-10 center. Berggren is determined perhaps the top player in the state in the Class of 2008. Berggren shined in last Saturday's St. Thomas Jamboree, scoring 20 points and limiting Iowa signee Andrew Brommer to just four points. He is averaging 24.4 points per game this season as the Tigers are off to 7-2 start. Ryan Fay, a 6-foot-2 senior, is contributing 14.0 points per contest.
- Fans witnessing last year's Shootout saw Alabama's best team defeat Minnetonka 72-66. They went on to finish 32-3 last year to win the Class 6A title. The Rattlers won the White Division championship of the Iolani Classic as they finished 4-0 and defeated national powers Jacksonville (FL) Arlington Country Day, Los Angles (CA) Westchester, Rockville (MD) Montrose Christian. They lost to Milwaukee (WI) Vincent 69-66 in the WBY Shootout this past weekend to fall to 15-1, snapping their 22-game winning streak. LeFlore is currently ranked 14th nationally by USA Today, and we can see why.
- LeFlore has a stud center, 6-11 DeMarcus Cousins, who was named the Most Outstanding Player of the White Division, and is ranked as the #2 junior by Hoopmasters.com. He is averaging 18.0 points per game, and introduced himself to Princeton's fans early with a monster one-handed jam in transition.
- LeFlore also has 6-5 Nick Williams, who signed with Marquette, and is averaging 22.5 points per game, but it was Cousins and Demario James who led an early 10-run before Princeton's Phillip Klaphake hit his second three of the game to make it 14-8.
- At the 11:54 mark in the first half, James threw down an alley-oop from Cousins that looked like something you'd see at Duke, Kansas or North Carolina. Maybe in a few years...
- Princeton head coach Eric Bjurman and LeFlore head man Otis Hughley have styles as different as their teams. Bjurman appears a calming director of traffic, while Hughley is very clearly the most animated person in the building.
- Game update: LeFlore's athleticism started to wear on Princeton as the first half came to an end, with the Rattlers getting far too man good looks in the paint. The Tigers scratched and clawed defensively, but struggled limiting Rattler penetration. The largest lead was 36-24 with 2:25 remaining, and the teams traded baskets down the stretch to make it 41-29 at half.
- Is Princeton running the Princeton offense? It certainly looks like it at times, with ball movement around the perimeter and frequent backdoor cuts. The latest resulted in a wide-open layup and got the lead back under double digits.
- In the underground at halftime, 'Bama big man Cousins asked me if he could have a bite of my pizza. Uh, sure? Then he declined, but asked for some after the game. OK, DeMarcus. Cousins had six points, five boards, a steal and a dime in the first half. LeFlore had NINE players score at least two points. Squad is deeper than a snippet of Confucius doctrine.
- LeFlore must be sponsored by Nike. They're wearing some slick matching orange and white Air Max bits that highlight Miami Hurricane-like kits.
- With its crowd roaring, Princeton really started to turn the tide at the ten-minute mark of the second half, reeling off a solid run that made it 51-47 with 7:46 remaining in the game. LeFlore had maintained a ten-point lead up to that point, but the Tigers were capitalizing on Rattler gambles as they had for moments in the first half.
- However, LeFlore responded with four-straight points, and a massive swat from Cousins on Berggren's one-handed slam attempt. Yikes. That was real, real aggressive, and Berggren looked like he came down awkwardly.
- The Rattlers trap even in their own defensive end, trying to catch a Tiger defender in the corner if possible, but Princeton's done well to move the ball quickly out of danger, and capitalize with easy hoops.
- Berggren checked out with 4:35 remaining in the game, and limped over to the end of the bench to stretch. His squad's trailing 58-51. He must be OK, because he checked in a minute later and immediately hit a baseline jumper.
- Not sure how we didn't see this before, but Princeton's hockey team is in the house. We know this because they're wearing their entire uniforms, helmets included.
- LeFlore sub Gerald Watkins was huge in the second half, hitting several shots from seemingly the same spot in the far corner for 10 points. His three with 2:35 remaining may have been the dagger, as it extended the lead to 65-53. A noble effort indeed by tiny Princeton against one of the nation's best teams, but it wasn't quite enough.
- Cousins finished with 11 points, nine rebounds and four steals (blocks weren't kept as a stat) while future Marquette guard Nick Williams led the way with 20 points. LeFlore shot a healthy 62 percent from the field and outrebounded Princeton 25-22. The Tigers were led by 20 points from Angelo Fraboni (9-of-11), and Berggren added 14 on 6-of-17 with 10 rebounds.
- Cousins, just a junior as we mentioned, is going to make some college coach very happy in two years. What a beast. Right now he's more athletics than fundamentals, scoring most of his points off offensive rebounds or seals, but has time to develop some back-to-the-basket moves. It seems like he still wants to face up on people, but his coach isn't a fan of that, as we found out after the 71-55 final score:
LeFlore Head Coach Otis Hughley
On being disappointed in his team's effort:
"I'm disappointed in me. They're not prepared. They looked like we had 13 new kids. (Cousins) allowed himself to be frustrated. He wasn't using footwork. He's making a big adjustment of playing inside, and it's tough on him. He wants to face, but I don't let him. That's his frustration. He has to learn to stay low, play with his feet, use his body. He's just not doing it because he's never had anybody to teach him. That's the biggest frustration. The turnovers, the impatience, lack of preparedness of the box-and-one ... Those are disappointing."
"They shot the ball well, they were patient, and they played upon our frustrations. When our guys decided to play tough defense, they couldn't execute. But when you give guys free shots like that, what do you think they're going to do? But when we decided to play in-your-face, no-nonsense defense, they couldn't even get a shot off. I think the difference in the game is valuing the basketball and changing schemes fast enough to set your defense."
LeFlore Center DeMarcus Cousins
On if he gets challenged much in the lane:
"Yes, and I enjoy it."
On keeping Berggren from getting touches close to the hoop:
Coach teaches us to play in front of our man and defend the pass.
On his passing ability:
I believe it's one of my best abilities. It's underrated.
On if he's narrowed down his choices for college at all:
It's still wide open. I've been trying to calm down that situation with school and just focus on high school. It will really be about my education and what's best for my family.
On the biggest difference in his game this year:
I understand the game better this year.
Princeton Head Coach Eric Bjurman
On the game as a whole:
"I though overall it went pretty well. If we had finished some easy shots, maybe it's a closer game and we don't have to come back. That could have changed the complexion of the game. We made a nice little run in the second half, and we didn't back down. That was the biggest thing. We weren't intimidated by the size or athleticism."
On being proud of his guys:
"Oh yeah. We can't ask for more. That's a nationally ranked team in the country, and we're just a little 3A school from Minnesota. We're happy with what our kids did."
On LeFlore's pressure defense:
"The biggest thing we talked about was taking care of the basketball and shortening our passes, because they were trapping everywhere. You know they're going to steal some and get some dunks, but we told our guys not to get rattled by it. Overall I thought we handled the pressure pretty well."
On Jared Berggren playing against a quality big man:
"That's what he's going to see in the Big 10. You look at the big guys Ohio State brings in every year ... It's good for him to see what that level is like in a game. When we play a lot of times, he's not getting single-covered like that, so it's nice offensively for us to have space to move."
On the experience as a whole:
"It was just a great experience for our guys and our community. It seemed like we had half our town here, with our pep band, and the crowd really got into it in the second half when we made our run. That's when Jared cramped up, but no, it's been a great experience, and something our kids will always be able to remember."
Princeton Center Jared Berggren
On the LeFlore Rattlers:
"It's definitely different from playing hometown Minnesota basketball. DeMarcus Cousins is a great player, and he has to be the best player I've ever gone head-to-head with. They had some other good athletes all-around, so it was a tough matchup. Our coaches told us they were going to be real athletic, that they were going to pick us up full court, and we had to be ready for it. We watched a little tape on them, but we worried more about ourselves and what we do."
On LeFlore's pressure:
"That's pretty much what we expected. It's a little bit of a surprise just how athletic and big they are, but I think we prepared pretty well and I thought we played all right for the most part. We just sort of ran out of gas at the end. I was cramping up at the end, I guess I was just running out of gas."
On Bo Ryan and the Wisconsin Badgers:
"I've always just liked him as a person, from day one, and their whole system: their team, their players, everything is a perfect fit for me. That's where I feel comfortable. Me and Jordan Taylor are good friends, we played AAU together and kind of committed together, and it's a lot of guys there that I can get along with and want to spend four years of my college career with. I'm just working hard to get ready for next year and finish this season strong."
Cass Lake-Bena vs. Memphis (TN) White Station
- Both teams made a statement before the laptop even came out: Run, run, run. That shouldn’t come as a huge surprise for those that follow Minnesota high school basketball. Cass Lake scored 100-plus points in its first four games of the season, an impressive feat given that games are only 36 minutes long.
- Cass Lake took their first lead, 13-12, five minutes in. Neither team is taking their time offensively, and early, good looks at the basket will fly today, it seems.
- The Panthers’ Nate Howard’s up-and-under move with 14:01 remaining displayed Cass Lake’s ability to get to the rim.
- Every defensive rebound, White Station looks to run. This time, a three-quarter court outlet pass resulted in an easy two, and if this fast pace is to continue, you wonder how it may affect conditioning, especially on a longer 94-foot NBA floor. White Station is clearly the more athletic team, but in the early going, Cass Lake looks like they are able to match at least some of it.
- An 11-1 White Station run thanks to a pair of Joe Jackson jumpers forces a Panther timeout. Out of the timeout, Cass Lake went to a 2-3 zone in an attempt to contain White Station’s considerable height advantage. However, after one minute of solid defense (where’s the shot clock when you need it?), White Station’s Andrew Hollins was able to penetrate and capitalized on a five-foot jumper. 25-16 White Station, 8:30 left.
- White Station’s full-court press is causing trouble for Cass Lake’s guards … another turnover and layup.
- A Martin Wind 3-pointer was just what the Panthers needed after going scoreless for two minutes. 27-19.
- White Station’s quickness, athleticism and ability to finish near the basket has them on a 14-6 run. Cass Lake chose to mix up their defenses mid-possessions (from a man-to-man to a 2-3 zone), which briefly created some confusion on the part of White Station. Ultimately, however, ball movement and transition basketball has White Station up by considerable margin at the half.
- Jackson leads White Station at the break with 15 points on 6-of-14 from the field and two assists. For the Panthers, Joel Salscheider has12 points on 3-of-6 shooting and 2-of-4 from three-point range.
- Play began sloppy with both teams committing two turnovers each before a Julian Barton layup off a fastbreak extended White Station’s lead to 17.
- In an attempt to counter White Station’s inside presence, Cass Lake went to a 2-3 zone that seemed to be effective in the first half. White Station settled for an outside shot, missed, but on the outlet, the Panthers committed yet another turnover. Worse yet, Cass Lake guard Travis Heusers was injured on the play and had to head to the bench.
- Clearly, Cass Lake is use to running, but White Station’s transition D is really impressive. They match up really well in transition and their length causes deflections and havoc for a team so used to scoring at ease in transition.
- Finally, Cass Lake scores in the second half on a Martin Wind six-foot pull-up jumper.
- Woah, a no-look, underhand pass from Jackson, but Marquette Murrell was caught by surprised, and missed the easy layin.
- Another Jackson trey makes it 61-37. Jackson gets many open looks because White Station runs a very nice high pick-and-roll that leaves Jackson open from the perimeter. And, it’s fair to say he doesn’t miss many when he gets to look at the basket for three seconds.
- On three-straight possessions, Cass Lake went inside to Nate Sacscheicder, a good strategy because that is the one matchup that the Panthers have a slight height advantage. Salscheider converted on two-straight possessions, but another Jackson jumper re-extended the lead to 67-45.
- Following a Nate Salscheider fade-away miss, again White Station looked to run … but this transition basket has been the most impressive yet. Jackson streaked downcourt, received the basketball on his lap after a terrific outlet from Patrick Coleman and finished with a one-handed tomahawk slam. 72-45 White Station, 9:15 left.
- Jackson, again, hand in his face and unfazed, nails another three.
- A nice bounce pass in transition from Wind to Wilson results in two for Cass Lake, and ever since Cass Lake head coach Dan Ninham called timeout early in the half, the Panthers have been much smarter with the basketball and White Station has had fewer opportunities off Cass Lake turnovers.
- That was a rim-rattler—literally. Jackson saw a clear path to the basket and attempted an even more impressive tomahawk stuff, but this time missed. White Station coach Jesus Patino was not impressed, called an immediate 30-second timeout. After all, two points is two points, right?
- Jackson is all over the place. He ran 20 feet three times faster than any Cass Lake player who were streaking down the floor and intercepted a length-of-the-floor outlet. He doesn’t only score, but he hustles on defense.
- With 4:17 to go, White Station has a more than convincing 85-60 lead, but Cass Lake is not out of gas. Every rebound, they are looking to run despite White Station’s impressive transition D. They tried slowing it down a bit towards the end of the first half, it seemed to work, but perhaps a bit out of their comfort zone.
- 93-67, White Station with 1:39 to play. Cass Lake has implemented a half-court trap, but quick ball movement resulted in an easy look for White Station.
- Final: White Station 99, Cass Lake-Bena 68.
White Station Head Coach Jesus Patino
On playing in the big arena:
"We play in the Memphis Grizzlies’ arena so for us, we are used to this. They run but we are athletic enough to counter it and get to our spots quickly. We gave up some early buckets early from inside but that is what we exactly wanted to do because we didn’t want them to get hot from outside. They can some shoot threes."
On Joe Jackson's performance:
"Jackson was special, as always. We just got back from seven days off, so this was good. In the second half, you saw the real Jackson when he got into his flow. He jumped better and shot the ball better. He has matured. He’s the real deal. He plays the whole game. You saw when he hit the jumper and intercepted that pass a second later. I’m lucky to have him."
Hopkins vs. DeMatha
Time for the heavyweights.
- The Hopkins Royals have become, arguably, Minnesota's best program in the past several years, winning the big school title in 2005 and 2006 before getting upset in sections last year by Minnetonka. Though Hopkins lost three players to college programs, including current Gopher Blake Hoffarber (25.2 points a game), reloading hasn't been a problem.
- Hopkins is off to a 7-0 start this season, outscoring opponents by 24 points a game in the recent Joe Hutton Classic. The Royals feature forward Raymond Cowles, a 6-4 forward averaging 15.5 points a game that was the MVP of the Hutton tourney, and has received scholarship offers from several D1 schools. Mike Broghammer, a 6-8, 220-pound forward, also has several D1 offers, while Trent Lockett and Anthony Di Loreto have committed to Arizona State and Cal Poly, respectively.
- As for DeMatha from Hyattsville, Maryland ... The Stags feature a litany of former NBA players: Adrian Dantley, Keith Bogans (now with the Orlando Magic), Joe Forte and Danny Ferry. According to scout.com, "legendary coach Morgan Wootten had more than 1,200 wins as head basketball coach at DeMatha, who this year are led by a 6-5 junior guard named Naji Hibbert (we're not sure, but he might be a Roy Hibbert cousin), and 6-2 sophomore Josh Selby. DeMatha will be without forward Kenny Tate, a standout wide receiver, who is going to miss the Shootout to play in the U.S. Army All-Star Game."
- With Minnesota teams starting the Shootout 0-3, the Land of 10,000 Lakes needed a great performance from Hopkins to start to even things out. Apparently, the Royals knew this, opening up a 12-2 lead and barely missing a shot in the first few minutes to force a DeMatha timeout.
- The Royals kept their lead at around 10 for most of the first half, with DeMatha getting as close as 32-27. Hopkins added a point to that margin to take a 34-28 lead into halftime. For a high school basketball team, it's hard to spot a weakness in Hopkins. They're huge, they can shoot, they attack the glass, they get back in transition, they're deep and they're athletic. Impressive group...
- Cowles was, without reservation, outstanding in the first half, scoring 18 points on 7-of-14 shooting, including 3-of-6 from three. Broghammer added seven points and seven boards, and as a team the Royals shot 41 percent.
- DeMatha countered with 10 points from Selby, and got seven points and four rebounds from Hibbert.
- Hopkins head coach Ken Novak senior had his troops pressuring the ball heavily coming out of the break, resulting immediately in a DeMatha turnover as Broghammer (who begs comparison to Hopkins alum and current Toronto Raptor Kris Humphries) released to hound the wing.
- Wouldn't it be great to watch the Rhino play in this contest? I'd have to put him down for 50 and 25.
- On second thought, maybe it'd be more fun to watch Bassy Telfair dribble circles all over everybody with his old-school Coney Island game...
- Devin Harris has a nice stroke ... Oh wait, that's Hopkins forward Trent Lockett, the future Sun Devil whose looks and No. 34 jersey begs a comparison to the current Mav and former Badger.
- Wolves VP and local legend Jeff Munneke, the man responsible for the Shootout, sat down to catch a breather: "Obviously a great opportunity not only to showcase MN's top players and teams, but it's great to see teams from legendary programs across the country come in and show what they can do," said Munn. "The event is what we thought it would be - a lot of great basketball and high-level talent. As for a team like LeFlore, they're very athletic, and seriously talented. Picking them up at the airport, it's almost like snatching up an NBA team with how big they are."
- Sub Marvin Singleton, a talented 6-4 freshman for Hopkins, converted a nice leaner in the lane to put his squad up 49-39. Talent for days in the western 'burbs.
- Here's a quick point on high-school transfer rules, instituted just this year: Once you get into high school as a freshman, if you transfer to another school, you have to sit out a year ... Just like in college, where if you're a Golden Gopher as a freshman, you'd have to sit out a year to be able to play for the Badgers. Essentially, you have to declare what school you're going to as an eighth grader. An educated guess suggests that not all of the Royals grew up in Hopkins...
- The Royals controlled the flow of the second half much like they did the first, maintaining a lead of around 10-to-12 points for the first nine minutes (51-40 with 9:18 left).
- Hopkins wins the award for "Best Dressed Coaching Staff." Solid mix of suits and ties, indeed.
- With 5:50 left, it's 58-45 for the home team, whose fans almost seem to take strong play from the royal blue team for granted. For once, DeMatha might not have the guns to compete here. But to be fair, it's a "rebuilding" year if there ever was one in Maryland. All five starters from last year's squad are playing Division 1 basketball this year.
- Just as Hopkins seemed to have things well under control down the stretch, DeMatha went on a run to make it interesting, drawing within four (66-62) with under two minutes left, and stealing the ball on the next possession. Hopkins responded with a steal of its own, then got the ball into its 7-footer, who got fouled and converted one of two FTs.
- The play of the game came on DiLoreto's second FT, which rimmed out, but was rebounded by Lockett and put back in, plus the harm. That huge play made it 70-62 with about 40 seconds left, and DeMatha was done. Great effort from the Maryland kids, and hey ... There's plenty of action remaining, including one of the best players in the country (Jrue Holiday) taking on an excellent Minnetonka team next.
FINAL SCORE: 73-66 Hopkins.
Hopkins Head Coach Ken Novak, Jr.
On the Shootout:
"It's great. It's fun. The kids love to play on this court, and you just can't get this experience anywhere else, because we're not going out of state. This is as good as you can get in Minnesota."
On pulling out a win despite playing sloppy late:
"I thought we were careless down the stretch. They threw a lot of junk defenses at us: one-three-one, three-quarter/half-court, extended two-three zone looking to trap ... That's something that we weren't ready for and should have done a much better job of. We also didn't defensive rebound as well as we should have. It was nice to win, but it was a little sour how we ended it. We just have to take care of the ball better. We normally board pretty well, but we didn't do as well (today). I didn't play as many guys as I normally do, and we got tired in the second half, probably because of those junk defenses. That might have been part of the decision-making process late."
On his program at Hopkins:
"We've done well. All the assistant coaches on the bench played for me, and our guys are very loyal to our program. Our kids have made some really good strides, and some are playing completely different positions than they were a few years ago. That's tough to do."
On scouting rival Minnetonka against Campbell Hall:
"We're definitely taping it on TV. Minnetonka is really good, and will give (Campbell Hall) a game for sure. Minnetonka is the team to beat, and we're going to have to get a lot better before we beat them. More than anything else, we have to take care of things with ourselves. We're working hard, but our efficiency isn't as good as it should be. We're not really economical, but we're young. We only have one senior, so we expect (to get better).
Minnetonka vs. Campbell Hall (CA)
- If there were a featured matchup here today, we found it. This one features local and top-ranked (4A) Minnetonka and the two-time defending California state-champ Campbell Hall, out of North Hollywood. The crowd has been steadily increasing in numbers and Tonka even brought a pep band. We’re in for a treat.
- Many are on hand simply to see Jrue Holiday, considered the Shootout’s best player and destined for UCLA.
- Tonka is down early, 5-0, before an Anthony Tucker three cut the lead to two. Holiday has only taken one shot, a six-foot fade-away jumper that rimmed out.
-On Wednesday, Tonka head coach John Hedstrom said that it is impossible to prevent a guy like Holiday from scoring, but it’s the type of looks and second chances that will determine the Skippers’ fate. We’ll see.
- Tonka’s CJ Erickson, headed to Evansville, tried to wow the crowd with a tomahawk dunk. But he missed badly.
- Cold shooting in the early going for both teams (9-3 Campbell Hall, 13:22 to play).
- After two made free throws, C-H implemented a full-court press that resulted in a turnover and Holiday steal before turning it over himself.
- CJ Erikson ended a long Minnetonka scoring draught, hitting a long two and cutting the C-H lead to 13-5 with 12:30 remaining.
- Holiday has yet to score, but he does have two assists, his latest coming with 11:58 to go … a no-look pass to fellow guard Austin McBroom who nailed the 12-footer. Hedstrom was forced to call a 30-second timeout.
- Tonka’s Erikson has been all over the place. His steal eventually led to a three of his own. 17-8 C-H.
- Another Erikson three cuts the lead to 17-14, and the Skippers are on a mini 6-0 run.
- Holiday’s first basket came with 9:30 remaining. A crossover dribble left a Tonka player in the dust, leaving him open for a trey. 20-14 C-H.
- Wisconsin recruit Anthony Tucker has been slow to get going offensively (three points), but he was given the tough task of guarding Holiday … and given Holiday’s numbers in the early going (three points), he’s done a pretty good job.
- A Tucker three and a Sedric McBounds jump-hook cut the lead to 22-20, and this is turning out to be a great first half. Seven to go.
- Wow. Campbell Hall’s Dallas Rutherford just hit an NBA-range three. 25-20.
- The floor needs to be wiped. There is nothing quite like loose-ball hustle, and we just saw it. But a Tonka player had the awareness to quickly call timeout, saving a possession.
- Another 'wow.' Holiday just drove untouched and threw it down with his left hand. Immediately, Tonka’s Andy Burns answered with a 15-footer. Tonka isn’t intimidated today, folks.
- Oh my. Erikson just sprinted 60 feet and rejected a Max Rose layup. We’re in a dogfight: 32-26 C-H after a Holiday three.
- The little things … Tonka’s Taylor Nelson got his feet set and got in the way of a driving Holiday who was about to throw one down. Hedstrom and the Tonka bench love it.
- Hedstrom also talked about conditioning potentially being a factor on a longer floor, but so far his players are responding and look like they want to run.
- C-H closed the half on a 23-12 run, extending their lead to 38-31 at break. Stay tuned.
- First-half stats: Holiday has only eight points, while teammates Dallas Rutherford has 14 and Keegan Hornbuckle has 10. CJ Erikson leads Tonka with nine including 2-of-3 from deep.
- Following a C-H two, Tonka’s Andrew Latzke answered with a pull-up jumper of his own. 40-33 C-H.
- I just saw something about as rare as a Shaq 3-pointer. Sophomore James Johnson earned his way to the charity stripe after a beautiful Holiday dish, but was charged with a 10-second free-throw violation. Don’t see that everyday.
- Johnson (somewhat) redeemed himself with a nice drop step in the low post and threw it down with two hands. 47-36 C-H, and if Tonka isn’t careful, this could get out of reach.
- This could get interesting. Johnson’s third foul forces him to sit, making Hall’s lineup considerably smaller. A Tucker three cuts the lead to 47-40 before a media timeout.
- Holiday just said ‘no way’ to Latzke, swatting him but more importantly, sending C-H flying in transition. The initial block resulted in a Holiday layup.
- Hedstrom talked about second-chance points becoming a factor. Hornbuckle just had four looks at the basket before finally capitalizing. 51-42 C-H, 11:47 to play.
- Holiday has really picked it up in the second half, his latest a steal and drive the length of the floor for an easy layin … and only a layin, to the crowd’s disappointment.
- 61-48 C-H with 8:03 to go, in large part to Holiday doing it all: steals, blocks, assists, points.
- C-H head coach Terry Kelly really felt like his team had the conditioning advantage going in, given their schedule and history of games played on longer NBA floors. He may have been right, and has just implemented a full-court press that resulted in a 10-second backcourt violation. If they continue to apply this type of pressure, it’ll be tough for Tonka to compete with such athleticism and talent.
- A couple Holiday makes and pressure D forces Hedstrom to call a full timeout, but at this point, what can you do with Holiday?
- Nothing, further suggested by an and-1 from the UCLA recruit. UCLA coach Ben Howland has to be pleased with his recruiting class, currently ranked no. 1 by Scout.com. Holiday is the frontman of that crowd.
- Holiday just picked a pass out of the air, seemingly effortlessly and threw it down with one hand. We do realize that nearly every bullet point here is Holiday-related, but really, not much else is happening. Promise.
- With C-H up 86-55 with 1:45 to play, Kelly is still coaching. He just finished telling sophomore guard Aaron Curry to beat a driving Tonka player to “the spot.” Great coaching from Kelly, who despite his team’s enormous advantage is still teaching.
- Okay, finally. Kelly finally finds his seat on the C-H bench. He must have a rule that says that his team must have a 28-point lead for him to take a break. Oh wait, he’s up again.
- Your final: 90-61 Campbell Hall. We’re searching all over for a stat sheet, because this will be one impressive box.
- Final stats: Holiday finished with a game-high 30 (as well as 13 boards, 6 assists and four blocks), including 23 in the second half. Dallas Rutherford added 23. For Minnetonka, Anthony Tucker led the way with 14.
Campbell Hall Guard Dallas Rutherford
On playing alongside Jrue Holiday:
"I really don’t think I’m playing in the shadow. But I will say that he’s the one getting all the attention so it really helps me out that not a lot of people know about me. I didn’t play last year really. He creates for me. Everyone is looking at him which leaves me open. I personally ran 61 sprints, up back, up back at practice the other day."
On the key to winning big:
"We are just a very conditioned team. They average 88 points per game, but they didn’t get that today. We average more than that, and we play a shorter game, so we just like an up-tempo game."
Campbell Hall Head Coach Terry Kelly
On his teams’ conditioning:
"One of the things that we work on almost every day of the year. We sense when teams get tired. Our advantage is 94-feet. We love big floors."
On the Rutherford-Holiday combo:
"Dallas and Jrue have played together for a while. They have traveled to China together. Dallas didn’t play last year and felt like he missed out on an opportunity to get on the floor. He was big for us early and let people know that we are not just Jrue Holiday."
"Phenomenal. Best player in the country. No doubt."
Campbell Hall Guard Jrue Holiday
On his play:
"I became a smarter player after I picked up three early fouls. It just made me think that I had to do something to stay in the game. Offensively, Dallas had it going in the first half and then I figured it out and got back in it in the second."
On running the floor:
"That’s what we’ve always done … all four of my years. Conditioning. We do it all year. That’s what gets us the dunks."
Benilde St. Margaret's vs. Madison (Wisc.) Memorial
In the Shootout's final game, Benilde took an early lead and withstood several Memorial comebacks to win 71-57. Benilde's two D1 recruits, Jordan Taylor and Armond Battle, led the way for the Red Knights with 15 points each.
This was a very impressive victory for BSM, as Memorial went into DeLaSalle on Friday night and won by 25 points.
"We were very pleased with this year's Shootout and have already been contacted by several teams in Minnesota and around the nation to be a part of the 2009 event," said Wolves youth coordinator Todd Landrum. "We were also very pleased at the tremendous support we received from so many people in the Timberwolves organization. "
Madison Memorial was led by Erick Blue's 23 points, and got 19 from Devonte Maymon. Matt Thomas added 13 for Benilde.
FINAL SCORE: 71-57 Benilde. Minnesota teams finished 2-4 on the day against some of the nation's best high school squads.