How do you make a four and a half hour trip each way for a basketball game worth the evening? By defeating the sixth ranked team in the state of Iowa! Minnetonka picked up their third victory in four games with a strong defensive effort limiting Iowa signed Josh Oglesby to four second half points. Skipper junior Tommy McDermott scored 20 points with six assists.
Cedar Rapids Washington is ranked 6th in Iowa led by Josh Oglesby, averaging just under 21 points a game, and Wes Washpun, scoring just over 18 a night. Oglesby had hit 25 of his 45 three-point attempts this season and he started Friday night's game on fire.
Minnetonka face-guarded Oglesby with a rotation of players but his ability to put the ball on ground and pull-up to hit in very quick fashion as well as his quick back-cuts transitioned into quick pull-ups still netted him 13 first half points. Josh also made jumpers with contesting hands of 6-foot-5 wings in his face but Oglesby's bounce, touch, and ability to release quickly had him hitting early. That, combined with Washpun's pull-ups, kept Washington a bucket or two ahead of Tonka for a decent potion of the first half.
However, Tonka defenders Joe Risinger, Andy Jones, and Blake Nelson rotated every couple minutes on Oglesby resulting in a long, fresh defender trailing the future Hawkeye in front of his future coach Fran McCaffery. Add in improved help defense and clutch steals from Risinger and the Skippers limited Oglesby to four second half points. Improved help defense in the lane also took away the penetrate and dish from Washpun resulting in turnovers.
Meanwhile, junior Andrew Turnblad turned up his motor on the glass finishing most attempts at the rim and grabbing ten boards meaning a double-double (12 and 10). Nick Latzke nailed a couple timely three-pointers plus scored off the bounce at the rim for 17 points.
There were several key contributors on both ends for the Skippers but McDermott may have topped the list. Tommy controlled the ball against active pressure from the speedy Washpun and even speedier Alex Carr. Washington put pressure on McDermott throughout the second half and not only did he keep turnovers to a minimum, McDermott was able to find space to hit pull-up jumpers, create shots for others, and hit clutch free throws late.