football

Preps Game Blog: Cooper vs Benilde-St. Margarets

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PREGAME
Everybody here is talking about the news on Royce White and Carrington Tankson so best wishes to both of them with their futures. Carrington now has a collapsed lung amidst tragedy so the best wishes go out to him and his health…Last BSM vs Cooper game the Hawks built a 20 point lead in the first half as Rodney Williams hit deep three-pointers to ignite his team. From there Rodney's teammates caught momentum and built on their advantage at home…the Red Knights came back but it wasn't enough…Crowd is really spilling in for one should be a packed house…Cooper is on a four game winning streak and is 17-6 on the year…BSM has won ten straight after they dropped back to back games in January to Cooper and Minnetonka…The Red Knights have a one game lead on Cooper in the conference. The Red Knights clinch at least a tie for the North Suburban Conference with a win tonight…
FIRST HALF
Joe Bright on Jordan Taylor to start the game…Bright hits a three and has rebounded tough. Nice start for Bright leading the team to an 8-4 advantage….Quincy Bethea and Freddie Burton have given Cooper the edge outside of their stars. Just like last game Cooper starts out hot as Bethea had a nice tip-in and Burton hit a wide-open three. Cooper up 17-6….The Hawks 1-2-2 press has given BSM some fits as Armond Battle misses his first three looks of the game, all jumpers…
Rodney's inside game has worked so far with a dunk from right under the hoop as well as a lay-in but he's missed his deep looks so far….Jordan Taylor has helped bring BSM back with a three from the corner and two real acrobatic lay-ins in traffic. These were strong moves by the Badger recruit…24-20 as Spencer Bata hits a Red Knight three…Cooper switches to man but nobody guards Taylor and he hits a wide open three but then that bucket is countered with a Williams alley-opp as he cut back door without the Red Knights talking or cutting him off. Rodney now has three dunks but Red Knights have fought back to keep this a four point game…
Kenquane Brown, a 6-foot-3 junior, has given Cooper a big edge. With so much attention being paid to Bright and Williams, Brown is cleaning up around the bucket with lay-ins and put-backs…Battle has now hit three or four shots in a row including a three and a fade where he was shoved. Plus Peter Crawford scored with a baby hook and then a lay-in while being fouled which gave BSM the lead…Williams hits a second three and his jumper is looking good this evening…BSM gets the running game going and a lay-up for Taylor pushes the Red Knights into the half with a 42-35 lead…
SECOND HALF
Benilde coming out moving the basketball extremely well and because of their offensive chemistry and ball movement its Taylor, Battle and Crawford all getting lay-ins on the Cooper zone and its 48-35. Plus Battle had a monster block off the board as he leaped from behind Rodney Williams to smack the ball against the glass. It was a very impressive block from Battle and it charged up the crowd, his teammates, and the bench. Then Crawford scores again and it's a 15-point lead for the Red Knights…
After missing his first couple shots Battle has played quite well offensively. His latest highlight was a spot-up three-pointer he hit with Williams fully stretched in his face. Armond had to put some extra arc on it and it was released pretty finishing nothing but net. Then he scored again inside to make the score 59-44…Bright has shown to be more versatile then I had thought in past games. He's more explosive off his feet then I thought allowing him to block shots and board plus he handles a little…Red Knight shooter Matt Thomas for three and this game is getting away from Cooper as its an 18-point advantage…
Cooper is all out of sorts right now not getting back and throwing the ball away. Meanwhile, Jordan Taylor is taking full advantage. First he cut hard to the open spot in the lane then finished with a smooth lay-in, he ripped one Cooper player of the ball and sent it ahead to a streaking teammates, then the next possession he grabbed a board and sent it ahead for another full-court pass turned lay-in. Its 70-44 with nine minutes to go…
Second half sequence of note started with the most effortless reverse dunk I have ever seen. Battle was defending Williams inside and Rodney caught. With Battle one side Rodney just turned over his shoulder and reversed dunk from under the bucket in completely effortless style. But back the other way Battle catches on the block and turns to the hoop. He was being held down but stretched out to finish strong with a lay-in while being fouled and it is still a 20-point game…
Jordan drives and gets a three-point play to pretty much send everybody home…Its now 83-55 and the bench is coming in with a minute remaining…Score remains the same and Red Knights get huge win…
POSTGAME
I am convinced that Benilde-St. Margaret's is playing the best I have ever seen them as their chemistry as a group looks outstanding. I have not seen all the AAA contenders yet this year but those I have seen do not look like they contend with his Benilde team. Jordan led the Red Knights with 27 points while Armond had 25.
Cooper looks like a different team from the games I have seen them earlier this year and the two games I watched on video. They just don't seem to be playing with much fire on both ends right now. Some of their players appeared frustrated and I though there was some coasting on plays some of which helped the Red Knights scoring easily in transition.
Jordan Taylor was simply outstanding this evening. First of all, his defense was very good as he was swiping, trapping, stepping in, and basically doing what ever it takes. And offensively he, Armond, and Crawford started the comeback with their offense and then the offensive ball movement and chemistry in the second half buried Cooper fast. Jordan was at the head of all this ball movement as the Red Knights are just making that extra pass to finish things. Jordan finished real smooth going at the basket tonight and he hit the open threes. Plus one thing that stuck out tonight was his quick hands. The ball handling has always been obvious but he has lighting quick hands that you notice when he's defending. Taylor scored that 27 on ten of 18 looks including a pair of three pointers with seven assists.
Armond had two great highlight plays tonight that I will always recall when I think back on his high school career. First was the vicious block he had exploding up with Rodney on a dunk attempt. Armond pounded the basketball into the backboard and it caught everybody's attention. And then the second half three-pointer he hit while fading into his bench and it had major arc. The ball had to be shot at a high angle because Rodney was right inside his shooting space and with those longs arms in his face Armond had to release high with great arc, which he did.
For Williams is was another 20 plus point game with a couple lay-ins, five dunks, and a pair of three-pointers. Rodney was playing at the top of the 1-2-2 zone Cooper was playing at the start and that did help cause some problems for awhile as his long arms were cutting off passing angles. His one-handed flush from the baseline was sick, his reverse from underneath the hoop was done with ease, the alley-opp saw his head looking down at the rim, and then twice he was under the hoop and just went straight up two dunk with two hands. Plus he hit a pair of three-pointers as his stroke looked better tonight then it did against Minnetonka. The official total was 22 points and a high shooting percentage, officially I was given ten of 14 by one person and another count had him shooting ten of 15 for the game.
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