Apple Valley won their opener 76-70 but they had to fight the full 36 minutes against a scrappy bunch from St. Louis Park. The Eagles were led by a big time scoring night from William & Mary commit Thomas Schalk as well as floor controlling effort from freshman Tyus Jones.
"I thought we played well in segments," said Apple Valley coach Zach Goring. "For me, I need to remember this is the first game of the season, and everything will not be perfect. I thought offensively we did some good things, especially in transition. We need to continue to understand what we are in offensively and keep working on our sets.
"Defensively, I feel there is room for plenty of improvement. We didn't control the ball-handler very well. I give St. Louis Park credit, they have some kids who can really get to the rim and that gave us a lot of problems. All in all, it was a typical opening night game, I hope we are much better three months from now."
The Orioles are definitely a speedy bunch with several scoring parts. Four players finished in double figures for St. Louis Park led by the 18 points from senior Aaron Ziman and the 14 from sophomore Kashif Hayes. Also, senior forwards Quintin Wagner and Marquealis Edwards scored 13 and 12 points respectively.
Despite their balance the Orioles weren't able to slow down the Apple Valley attack.
"We transitioned very well in our win over St. Louis Park," said Goring. "We also got to the line a lot, we didn't shoot a great percentage, but we certainly put pressure on them around the rim. In the second half, we got some good stops and coupled those with some transition threes to get us over the hump.
"Tom Schalk stood out in my mind with 36 points and 15 rebounds. Tyus Jones controlled play for the most part with 19 points and 11 assists."
Apple Valley's next opponent is Tartan this Saturday at Minnetonka High School. Freshman Tyus Jones will go head to head with Tartan sophomore standout point guard Darrion Strong.