When it comes to rivalry games there are few in Minnesota that can match the intensity, atmosphere, crowds, talent level, and thrilling moments of Robbinsdale Armstrong versus Robbinsdale Cooper. This weekend the Hawks outlasted the Falcons 84-79 in another exciting encounter.
"Saturday's game was a memorable moment for Cooper High School and our community," said Cooper coach Dave Johnson. "The support was appreciated so much by staff, our band, and students. Our team was really excited to play this game for it is a special senior moment for them."
Cooper hit a stressful part of their season that had them playing two Saturdays ago (a 72-54 win at Moorhead), last Tuesday (a 90-82 loss to Minnesota Transitions), last Wednesday (an 85-66 win over Totino-Grace), last Friday (a 85-67 win over Chisago Lakes), and Saturday (the win over Armstrong). Despite the barrage of games Cooper went four of five.
"We were so concerned about our game for we have had to play five games in seven days and the stress of each game was very high as we try to improve in the classroom and on the basketball court," said Johnson. "The main reason for our success is that we but the good of our team over the good of ourselves."
Cooper definitely had scoring balance on their side against Armstrong with four players in double figures led by the 27 points of Raheem Tyner, the 21 of Handful Pour and the dozen points from Terrance Averyheart. Rashad Vaughn chipped in ten while Charles Williams scored eight points.
Marquel Curtis scored 30 for Armstrong while K.J. Bluford put up 28.
"The key parts of Saturdays game started on Friday evening against Chisago Lakes as we had to come together as one with two important players missing that evenings game," said Johnson. "Other (key) parts were 1.) The way we approached Saturday's games after only 16 hours of rest, 2.) Our senior leadership, 3.) Our roles were all completed by everyone, and 4.) Our Free-throw shooting in the second half."
At 6-3 in the North Suburban Conference Robbinsdale Cooper is sitting in a three-way tie with Columbia Heights and Irondale for third place. They are chasing 8 - 1 St. Louis Park and undefeated 9-0 conference leader Benilde-St. Margaret's.
Cooper is 12-6 overall this season and they have road games at North Branch and Fridley this week.