Posted On: 02/21/18 1:22 PM
Maple Lake recently earned their way into the Class AA top ten but then ran into the Breck Mustangs who controlled an odd game from start to finish.
One. All Josh Roddy All the Time. Maple Lake came into this game worried about junior David Roddy and rightfully so. But what they got was a healthy dosage of older brother Josh Roddy, from start to finish. Josh is having a nice year at 11.6 points, six boards, and three assists a game but this game was different right from the start. Roddy had two active scores followed by a three on each wing give Breck a double figure lead quickly with Josh scoring ten in the first 5-6 minutes. From there Josh built his numbers to 11 of 17 shooting from the field and 4 of 4 foul shooting for his 28 points. Josh’s scores were a mix of putbacks, transition finishes, off ball cuts to catch and score, and dribble drives beating the Maple Lake team to the rim for buckets. Roddy likely would of had 30 plus if a certain official hadn’t become so flustered with Breck, but we will get back to that. This was an excellent game for Josh as the Irish simply didn’t have a player that had the right combination of strength and agility to deal with Josh anywhere on the floor.
Two. Leg Injury Slows David. It was instantly clear that something was a bit off Breck frontcout standout David Roddy. He wasn’t moving as well as usual and was favoring his left leg. David is averaging 25.7 points and 13.5 rebounds a game so clearly last night’s 2 for 5 shooting for five points with seven rebounds and three assists was an off day. David’s first score was a bullish attack and finish at the rim and his second field goal was a first half buzzer beater from 17 feet. But after that shot David instantly went to the ground and stretched his leg. Roddy didn’t start the second half getting a wrap put on his leg which he was clearly favoring. David finished the game playing the last 12 minutes of the second half but his bigger contributions became strong ball movement, game high seven rebounds, and at times a decoy drawing attention away from others. Also for Breck, freshmen point guard Jared Morton has a chance to be very good with his strong handles, quick first step, and court vision. Joey Ganley was three of four from the field scoring in his usual active ways (averages 12-13 a game) and senior Jefferson Slocum was dangerous for Breck hitting three deep jumpers including two threes. All of these players did a great job in the Breck zone which worked very well.
Three. Maple Lake. The Irish came into this game having won 16 of 17 games and their contests are usually a slower grind. They win games by an average of 59 to 50 on a nightly basis but this was different. Maple Lake had played one metro team all year (Holy Family who beat them 77-59) and nobody from the Minneapolis-St Paul area (or schools within 15 miles of the downtown area). Breck’s zone had the Irish perplexed at times and when Maple Lake had good shots, they bricked in ugly ways. Maple Lake missed 16 of their 19 shots and key scorers like Mitch Hoistad and Joseph Stokman – both juniors who score a dozen a game – had terrible shooting nights. Hoistad was 1-9 from the field scoring five points with five rebounds and four assists. Stokman was 1 from 8 from the floor scoring six points with one rebound. Cole Treger gave his team a dozen points with seven boards but he shot 4 of 12. It was an ugly shooting night for Maple Lake any way you look at it. They simply weren’t comfortable.
Four. Example of Why Rankings are Just Talkers. I love rankings of all kinds. They are a fun way to think about basketball, to talk about basketball, and to research basketball. I do several of them. The one flaw in a team ranking is that sometimes teams that are having great seasons with strong records play teams that don’t have as good of a record but play tougher teams and those tougher teams make their ranking look worse. Maple Lake came into the game 18-4 and Breck was 13-8. Maple Lake’s year looks better and they’ve had some good wins. But Breck has played better teams, played the better game, looked like the better team, and they won convincingly on a night where a top five junior in state (David Roddy) was hobbled and unable to give his normal production. So last night was an example of where rankings can be misleading.
Five. Weird Night. I enjoy checking out private schools because as a set-up they are just generally different. Last night though was as different as a game atmosphere can be. It was simply odd at times, and weird. Walking into the building Breck was holding a really nice banquet to the left of the stairwell and it felt very weird walking by it in a basketball outfit when all these kids are presenting to a crowd in suits and tuxedos. I felt odd, but it was pretty cool to see that presentation. Then, another cool part of the Breck school is that you don’t have to pay to see the game. I’ve never seen that in high school hoops before.
Then there was the game. David Roddy produced about 20 percent of his normal numbers but Josh Roddy gave 250 percent of his normal contribution. Maple Lake couldn’t shoot and the game was quite slow. But then things really got weird. At one point Cole Trager had blood on his jersey and he had to go get the extra jersey, only it was really big. So the Breck trainer – who looks like Bobby from Sons of Anarchy only in much better shape – taped Trager’s new pants to his waist as the gym watched closely.
This was a nice break because the parents were letting the officials have it. Constantly. These are officials who come to a gym like the coaches and players, hoping to do their best but with the knowledge that performing perfectly is tough. But in America a player can be forgiven for mistakes most of the time, coaches can be forgiven for mistakes if they win, but officials are never forgiven, even if they are right on 19 out of 20 calls, 11 out of 12 calls, or whatever.
At one point one official became very irritated with Breck’s entire building of people. He gave the Breck coach – who had a team up 16 points – a technical foul. This same official called a couple charges against Breck and the foul count quickly rose to Breck with seven fouls and Maple Lake three. With everyone from Breck complaining this fired up official called some very weird offensive fouls saying players separated with their arm on dribble attacks too aggressively (I can see maybe one of them getting the call but there was 3 or 4). Then there was a questionable travel or two (most of this was from the same official).
So here you have a coach that received a technical, fans that are screaming at everything, and players getting flustered. Keep in mind the team is up anywhere from 14 to 18 points in the second half in a slow game this whole time. So now the two young girls at the end of the Breck bench, they start complaining to the officials. Why not? The coach, players, and fans are, why shouldn’t they? Well, this overly flustered official threw the two stat keeper girls out of the building which was a first for me. So these young girls and the official are waiting for somebody to tell them what to do from there but the Breck coach didn’t move, the official really didn’t specify who he was talking about, and no building admin said anything, so the girls just left. Meanwhile players are mocking the ref’s “you are outta here” motion.
Then the Breck fans gave the girls a standing ovation. Seriously! It was maybe the most ridiculous thing I’ve seen from fans who weren’t kids, these were adults standing and applauding high school managers/stat keepers for being thrown out because they were yelling at the refs. Then with Breck still up 14-16 points the fans kept yelling at everything this flustered ref did. The game finished with Breck up 14 throwing a full court pass to a starter trying to hit a buzzer beating three. It was that kind of night.
It was so weird.