Posted On: 02/5/18 3:35 PM
In a match-up of two of the best Class A teams in the state, Mayer Lutheran knocked off Cleveland 66-59 led by 16 each from the Crusader 6-foot-6 agile pair Baden Noennig and Garrett Tjernagel.
One. Agile Crusader Size. Cleveland is not a very big team nor are they very deep (played one guy off the bench most of the game) and the one frontcourt player they have is 6-foot-3 Ben Holden who is a freshmen. Ben had a nice game playing an intelligent game scoring seven points with five boards on his four shots. But Mayer Lutheran has 6-foot-6 low post jumping jack Garrett Tjernagel and 6-foot-6 agile and skilled Baden Noennig and the Clippers simply had no match for them. Garrett finished the game completing 7 of 9 field goals with five rebounds including an alley-oop where Garrett jumped with his back to the rim and he caught and dunked with his back to the rim. Cleveland had no answer. Then Baden scored his 16 points on 6 of 14 field goals plus he scrambled after 13 rebounds and dished out four assists.
Two. Beautiful Atmosphere. The second I walked through the doors of Mayer Lutheran High School on Saturday night it just felt different. There were lines of people making purchases that went towards cancer research, there was drawings that went to cancer research, and this was a guy/girl double-header that packed the gym. The fans brought their passion to each and every play so the atmosphere was fantastic. Sure, the officials likely could of done without the fans losing their minds with every call or the Cleveland staff getting on them, but overall the atmosphere was terrific and the players competed at a high level every play.
Three. Mayer Lutheran a Step Ahead. These are both top ten teams but Mayer Lutheran simply looked better in many ways. Teams try and zone the Crusaders because of their size edge but ultimately the Crusaders make threes and hurt zones and that all starts with their ball movement. This has happened in every game I’ve seen them play, or others have seen them play. The Crusaders got multiple threes from Kobey Woolhouse, Eli Johnson, Brendan Feltmann and the Crusader defense was able to get enough stops on the constant Cleveland sets. The only reason the game was as close as it was is Mayer Lutheran had such a gross night at the foul line. They simply could not hit free throws in the clutch leading to an ugly 15 of 32 foul line night.
Four. Tough Night. Kobey Woolhouse of Mayer Lutheran and Carter Kopet are very good basketball players that had tough nights. Woolhouse shot 2 of 10 for the game and 1 of 6 from the foul line, but he did make two key threes in the second half that were crucial and Kobey moved the ball very well. The same could be said for Kopet. Carter is the ultimate team guy and he does an excellent job of performing all of the pieces to a set for his team to get a great shot. Carter grabbed eight boards, had 2-3 assists, but had a tough day shooting making 2 of 8 shots for six points.
Five. Cleveland Rocks. The Clippers prepare themselves for the state run better than most. They aren’t a Class A team that sits in their area and pounds local teams. That’s not Cleveland. They travel and play the best they can. Games with Brooklyn Center and Comer Prep in the Minneapolis North tournament, Springfield, Mayer Lutheran, and others, the schedule is tough. Also tough was Austin Plonsky, an active player who is as good moving without the ball as anyone. Austin shot 8 of 19 from the floor and 4 of 5 from the floor scoring 21 points. Mitch McCabe hit four threes and scored 14 points.