Basketball action for the 2009-2010 season opened this weekend with action in the Magic and MBA fall leagues. The first action of the season understandably had plenty of ragged moments. However, there were plenty of close games and impressive performances to go around. The weekend also featured a top class AAAA team losing all 3 of their games.
At the Magic fall league on Sunday, Holy Family got off to a quick start against a western Wisconsin all star squad. But this one quickly turned ugly. The all-stars finish the first half on a 18-3 run over the last 6:41 for a 40-18 halftime lead. They roll to a 88-29 win. Luke Tweed of Fall Creek, WI with a huge game of 32 points and 10 rebounds. 22 of those points were in the first half. He's overshadowed by fall and high school teammate Jordan Reetz, but this performance with a pair of steals and blocks and showing he can finish in traffic was really an eye opener. Star center Evan Anderson with a quiet day of 8 points, 7 rebounds and 3 blocks as he returns from a late July ankle injury.
In the day's other action, Prior Lake used a 10-2 run to jump out to a lead in the second half only to see Southwest christian make a pair of free throws to tie the game with 30 seconds left. Prior Lake almost turned the ball over with 9.3 seconds left, but after inbounding sophomore Jack Harrison rebounded a miss and converted with 3 seconds remaining to give the Lakers a 42-40 win. A scrappy Baldwin-Woodville team from Wisconsin gave Minnesota Transitions all they wanted in the late game. Baldwin-Woodville came from 6 down at the half to lead 43-38 with 12 minutes left before Transitions made a come back. But this one was still close, 53-50 Transitions, with 3 minutes left before 3 straight long-range bombs gave the Wolves a 62-50 lead they wouldn't give back. Junior Kyle Noreen struggled from the field but still finished with 12 points and 8 rebounds. Kevin Noreen finished with 26 points and 14 rebounds.
Saturday featured a full day of games at Minnehaha Academy in the MBA fall league. Champlin Park held off DeLaSalle 53-50 in an outstanding opener. The Rebels were down 6 with 2 minutes remaining before pulling out the win. The Rebels followed up that win with a 61-43 win over Orono. Orono played without junior sharpshooter Jordan Smith. DeLaSalle rebounded from the loss with a 47-41 win over Maple Grove.
In the afternoon, Hoops Training put up the first 33 points of their game against Norwood-Young America as the Hurricanes won 88-25. Edison finished 2-0 with wins over Blake and Breck. The evening session is what provided the biggest highlights of the day.
An unheralded Hoops Training squad was ahead buzzer to buzzer and knocked off class AAAA powerhouse Henry Sibley 49-47. Sibley was down 13 at the half but immediately cut the lead to 5. Hoops Training kept the lead at 9 with 4:25 left before Jordan Jackson tried to bring the Warriors back. He converted an offensive rebound and then had a great tip of a rebound to Mike Rostampour for 2 more. Then a jumper followed by a drive plus the foul with 1:39 remaining. Rostampour then made 1 of 2 free throws with 1:27 left to cut the lead to 42-39 but the Hurricanes withstand the storm. Jackson's triple at the horn makes the final score 49-47 Hoops Training. Rostampour still not at 100% after a bout with mononucleosis in July. Very effective use of the 2-3 zone by Hoops Training in this one.
Sibley was ahead 31-25 at the half against Minnehaha but couldn't find the basket in the second half as Minnehaha jumped out to a 43-34 lead with 8:30 remaining. Sibley closed to within 1 with a 7-0 run but could never get over the top. Minnehaha's Austin Brown drained both ends of the bonus with 16 seconds remaining to seal the 50-47 Minnehaha victory. Football had a major impact on this one as Sibley played without guards Jimmy Ryan and Dante Grant. Minnehaha played without star post Taylor Hanson.
A great finale to the day with Duluth East taking on Henry Sibley. East sophomore Johnny Woodard with 13 points out of the chute and he had the daunting task of guarding Jordan Jackson for most of the game. 34-30 East at half, Woodard with 15 in the half, Jackson with 16 in a mano-a-mano battle. Mike Rostampour fouls out with 3 minutes remaining in a tight game which hurt the Warriors. Dyami Starks with a layup and then 3 free throws in the last 1:06 to give East a 55-47 win. Starks finishes with 21 points, Woodard with 20 points and 7 rebounds. Jordan Jackson with 24 points and 4 steals for Sibley in the loss. Sibley finishes 0-3 on the day in a major shocker. Woodard was also outstanding in an earlier 73-34 win over St. Anthony as he lead the Greyhounds with 21 points and 7 rebounds. Woodard is very athletic, has shooting range and is arguably the premier finisher in the Minnesota class of 2012. Keep an eye on Woodard and the Greyhounds this season as they return most of last season's roster.