football

State Tournament Game Blog: Burnsville vs Cooper

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FIRST HALF
Why on earth does Burnsville have such a tiny crowd supporting them?...Joe Bright is clearing the boards early as Burnsville is struggling from the field. Bright did just pick up his second foul early…Guarding Tarell Clark for Cooper has been 6-foot-3 junior KenQuane Brown. On the other end checking Rodney Williams Jr is Blaze senior guard Max VanOrstrand
Until this last alley-opp dunk Williams had only shot long jumpers to this point with no success. But then he flew for the alley-opp and I have never seen the entire crowd start watching a replay like that in my life. The game was going on and everybody was looking at the video replay on the scoreboard. They may as well just stopped the game and let the players watch…8-5 Cooper…
Burnsville sophomore Devon Knopke has now had two impressive drives to the cup that he finished. The second was a beautiful floater that went over Rodney's out-stretched arm and then dropped in with a swish. Knopke is a smooth talent putting the ball on the floor…Blaze up 11-10…Devon's drive now opens up a three from senior Nicholas Krogstad and its 16-10…
Rodney with a tip-dunk and that is dunk number two of the predicted six…In one word I would describe the shooting in this game as ugly…What a move!! Clark drives and then kills somebody with a crossover and then lays the ball in. That was the prettiest move I have seen all day…I had just said the shooting was ugly and bam, these teams hit jumpers on three straight possessions and it's the Blaze ahead 21-17…Williams hit one of those jumpers from just inside the top of the key…
More ball-handling from Clark and you can tell he has the skills to dribble. Sometimes he just gets going to fast and then he will get into a problem but I have not seen that today from Tarell…Krogstad hits his second three-pointer building the Cooper lead to eight. At 6-foot-3 with a stroke I'm sure there are some MIACs and such looking at Krogstad as a potential player…Beautiful reverse lay-in for Tarell and he is really going at 100 miles per hour right now. He's made some open court plays and that is exactly where he excels…Dunk number three for Rodney comes inside and Cooper has scored five points late but then a buzzer beater off a pull-up from Knopke gives the Blaze a 33-24 halftime lead…
SECOND HALF
Wow, dunk number four is powerful with two hands right under the rim and Rodney has 11 points, eight of which are on dunks and the other bucket is a three…Gorgeous pass from Knopke going no-look becomes another pretty reverse for Clark. The athletic play has stepped up a notch or five with this game…37-30 Burnsville…
Dunk number five was special as Rodney went over the defense on a baseline out of bounds play and slammed. The ball was tossed up only where Williams could catch and finish and Rodney did but it was with him being led out of bounds by the defense…Bright scored inside as well on the previous possession and the Blaze lead is only five points at 44-39…Now a huge three from Quincey Bethea and the lead is only two points with seven minutes to go…
Tarell continues to move well without the basketball and he scores this time on a back-cut that was honestly defended correctly…Bright is fighting hard right now and his put-back right there makes this a one point game at 46-45 with the Blaze still ahead…You have to love the Cooper fans. They make a ton of noise, they have good support and between them and their kids there is no quit ever…With six minutes to go Bright just fouled out and his energy will be missed…
Rodney Williams makes a three-pointer and Cooper takes the lead 48-47. Burnsville is in a long offensive drought right now…Offensive board from Rodney is kicked out to Bethea for another three-pointer and Cooper has built a 51-47 lead, Williams is rebounding everything here late…Love the hustle from Cooper right now and senior Earl Johnson is diving after any loose ball in the Target Center…
The offensive drought for Burnsville continues as Clark misses a pair of free throws and Cooper is holding on to this 53-48 lead with all they can, 90 second left…Knopke drives and scores to make this a three-point affair…Cooper trying to run out the clock but Clark with a steal and he chased it down the other end only to miss the three. Right now Cooper does not look very comfortable trying to run out the clock…Now Cooper misses a pair of free tosses but then Clark goes the other way and misses in the lane…
Two more free throws missed from Cooper. Who wants this game?...Two MORE misses from the free throw line from Cooper and now Williams goes over Clark's back and he has to shoot free throws. It was Earl Johnson and Ken Quane Brown missing the last six for Cooper and Tarell Clark has now missed three in a row from the line for Burnsville. Make that four in a row…Now Johnson goes to the line and remember this kid has missed his last four from the line…Make that five in a row…Now six in a row…Everybody on the floor has combined to miss their last 14 free throws straight…
Looks like somebody just puked in the stands in about row six at mid-court. Was it the free throw shooting?...The offensive drought is over as Cark makes a lay-up and it's a one point game at 53-52…Now can KenQuane Brown end this free throw string of nasty?...Nope, not on the first…But on the second we get the sarcastic cheer as the string of 15 missed free throws from both teams is over…54-52 Coop…Tarell Clark turns the ball over and Cooper throws it around and can't be caught so the buzzer sounds…Cooper wins 54-52…
POSTGAME
The free throw shooting was 11 of 31 for Burnsville and 35 percent. For Cooper it was eight of 24 for the game and 33 percent. 19 of 55 total between the two teams. Poor Tarell Clark left his heart on the floor with all the effort he game but he still managed to hit just three of 17 free throws.
Clark totaled 17 points making seven of 20 shots. He also had nine rebounds with two assists. Knopke finished with 15 points, six boards and three assists.
For Cooper Rodney Williams led with 17 points, made seven of 15 shots, hit a pair of three-pointers, grabbed ten boards and blocked two shots. Bethea finished with 12 points and Joe Bright had ten points in only 20 minutes. He also had 12 boards in 20 minutes.
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