Posted On: 03/17/18 11:15 AM
The championship games for Sections 5AA and Section 6AA were held last night inside of Halenbeck Hall on the campus of St. Cloud State University.
In the first matchup of the night, St. Cloud Cathedral and Eden Valley-Watkins battled to the very end, literally. The Crusaders clung to an eight-point lead at the half, but the Eagles came out strong in the second, trimming it to a one-point lead within the first two minutes of the half. EVW would take the lead with one minute to go. The score was 54-52 EVW as the Eagles missed a free throw, Michael Schaefer collected the rebound, passed it ahead to Nick Schaefer, who then buried a three as time expired to give Cathedral the 55-54 victory and a trip to the state tournament.
The second game of the night was between Brooklyn Center and Minneapolis North. It was back-and forth for most of the first half, however, Lu’cye Patterson took over with seven straight points as the half was coming to a close, sending the Centaurs to the locker room with a 37-27 lead. BC came out of halftime aggressive and on a mission as they would push their lead to 19 at one point in the half. North battled back in the final minutes behind a number of steals and quick buckets but fell short by a final score of 81-76.
Here are ten standout performances from the championship matchups on Friday:
Tayler Johnson, Minneapolis North, Sr. – The athletic 6’3” wing kept the Polars in the game at the end, knocking down a couple triples and coming up with a steal on his way to 30 points on the night. His athleticism is unquestionably superior to most, and when he is hitting shots from outside he is extremely tough to guard, you can’t sit back on the drive and you need to get a hand up on him. He’s meant a lot to Polar athletics and will leave big shoes to fill.
Lu’cye Patterson, Brooklyn Center, So. – Patterson had arguably the most impressive all-around performance of the night. The 6’2” sophomore combo guard finished the night with 24 points, 9 rebounds, and 4 assists on 8-14 shooting, including 2-2 from three. At times he took the game over last night, toward the end of the first half he had 7 straight points to help the Centaurs go into the half with a ten-point lead. He maintains good body control on his drives to the rim and can finish with a hand in his face. Patterson has a bright future in front of himself.
Mitchell Plombon, St. Cloud Cathedral, Sr. – Plombon got things going for the Crusaders on Friday night, with 10 points in the first 9 minutes of the game to get Cathedral out in front. He would finish with 22 points and 6 rebounds, displaying smooth ball handling on the perimeter and sound footwork down low. The combination of size and skill that he and fellow senior Michael Schaefer bring to the Crusaders lineup is rare in Class AA.
Dominic Schlangen, Eden Valley-Watkins, Sr. – The 6’1” senior wing finished the night with 21, leading EVW in the scoring column. He did a lot of nice things, buried a number of open triples, took the ball strong to the basket against the big front line of Cathedral, and played scrappy defense. He will be tough for EVW to replace next season.
Odell Wilson IV, Minneapolis North, Sr. – At times last night, the 6’6” big man looked like he couldn’t be stopped. If the defender couldn’t get around front or the double-team was late, it was game-over when Wilson caught the ball. Wilson displayed solid post moves and footwork on his way 21 points on the night. His big frame and nimble footwork are an uncommon combination.
Adreone Sprinkles, Brooklyn Center, Jr. – The 6’3” junior had a big night for the Centaurs, finishing with 17 points, 9 rebounds, and 5 assists prior to fouling out in the last handful of minutes. He shot a very efficient 7-12 from the field in the game. For a team that doesn’t have a lot of size, Sprinkles is able to play much bigger than 6’3”. He crashed the boards with a ferocity and finishes at the rim through contact. BC will need Sprinkles to be a factor in the coming week.
Michael Schaefer, St. Cloud Cathedral, Sr. – The 6’6” senior forward has been a double-double machine all season, and Friday was no different. After a somewhat slow start in the first half, Schaefer finished the game with yet another double-double, ending up with 16 points and 16 rebounds on the night. Possibly the most impressive sequence was a very McHale-esque up-and-under move in the second half for two. However, the most important moment was his rebound and lead pass to Nick Schaefer for the game winning triple.
Nick Schaefer, St. Cloud Cathedral, Jr. – Schaefer ended the game with 8 points and 4 rebounds, but his biggest moment came as time was expiring. Down two points, the 6’3” wing took an outlet pass at the three-point line from Michael Schaefer and buried the game-winner for the Crusaders. The junior plays a solid floor game, he takes the open shot when he has it, plays good team defense, and makes good decisions. He will be a big piece of the Crusaders puzzle next season.
Jackson Jangula, St. Cloud Cathedral, Jr. – The 5’10” junior point guard didn’t have a stat line that jumps out, but his steady hand at the lead guard position is critical for the Crusaders. He finished with 3 points and 7 assists on the night, but continuously got the Crusaders in their half-court offense, pushed the ball up the floor when they had numbers, and got into the lane to create for others on many occasions. A very solid floor-general.
Various Underclassmen – The BC vs. North game, in particular, featured a lot of up-and-coming talent. Patterson was mentioned above, but fellow BC sophomore, 6’4” forward Amahn Decker, had 10 points and 8 rebounds for the Centaurs. For North, 6’2” 8th grade guard Tre Hollomon finished with 12 points, his speed and athleticism will make him a handful the next four years. North played another 8th grader last night, 5’10” guard Willie Wilson, as well as 6’6” freshman Davon Townley Jr. As long as they stay in the same section, I have a feeling that the Centaurs and Polars will meet again with a state tourney trip on the line.