football

State Tournament Game Blog: Minnetonka vs Kennedy

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PREGAME
The Minnetonka crowd is HUGE. They have packed the lower third of the bottom bowl with just their students…Stats have St. Olaf recruit Alfred Jaryan averaging a team high 16.1 points a game for Kennedy and fellow St. Olaf commit Bobby Fong of Kennedy has put up 14.8. The second leading scorer is Carlton Starr who likely has some colleges checking him out today. He put up 15.9 a game this year. Star also led Kennedy in boards with 8.9…The Eagles are 19-8 on the year and upset Shakopee and Eden Prairie to get here…
Minnetonka is 25-3 on the year and had the major victory of Hopkins to get here. They are the tournament favorites. This morning Anthony Tucker was named to the top five of Mr. Basketball along with Jared Berggren, Cody Schilling, Michael Floyd, and Jordan Taylor…Tonka is out-scoring a tough schedule on the year by an average of 18.6 points per game…As a team the Skippers are hitting 39 percent of their three-pointers and shoot 52 percent overall as a team…
FIRST HALF
Anthony Tucker is guarding the red hot Alfred Jaryan who has done everything in the past two weeks to get Kennedy to this point. On the other end Anthony scores, forced a turnover, and then created a dunk on the other end for CJ Erickson, 4-0 Tonka. Run continues as CJ blocks a shot and sends the ball ahead to a streaking Tucker for a lay-in. Now CJ with another monster block sending that into the Tonka band…You know Tonka has a huge advantage when their fifth option on the floor UT Udo blows past sophomore Deron Murphy for a lay-in…8-2 Tonka…
Beautiful step back from Starr. The question on his game is the jumper but that was a nice looking move off the bounce completed with a nice looking step-back. That last two times I have seen Starr his jumper looks quite refined…Check that for the Iowa fans, Tucker is guarding Murphy who is Kennedy's fourth scoring option on the floor…Tucker hits a pair of free throws and its 15-6…Sedrick McBounds almost destroyed the Ken Lien computer with a block….Back to back threes from Jaryan and Fong and I think the Skippers got to comfortable defensively right there so now it's a 15-12 game…
Tonka defense is forcing Kennedy into terrible spots on the floor, they are having serious problems getting the offense going…CJ stops a Murphy transition lay-up attempt with another block….McBounds is a beast on the boards right now and there are jucos lining up for this kid right now…Tucker with ten points already and he also just gave CJ an alley-opp for two in transition, 21-12 Skippers…
Tucker drives and hits a step back off the elbow and then drains a three from the left wing and the Skipper are running away with this….Bobby Fong is having problems with the Tonka defense and normally a reliable shooter he just missed two free throws that he earned going by Tucker baseline. I think Anthony was expecting a little more help on the baseline then that…Andy Burns has hit a pair of threes now…29-14…
Alfred Jaryan is able to get past just about every defense with his skills off the bounce. He's created a couple buckets for his team with some beautiful passes…Udo puts the ball on the floor to score again and Tonka is hammering Kennedy from all angles and its 37-18. Kennedy isn't trying to stop the momentum with a time-out either…McBounds scored on Anthony Diloreto like crazy in the first half last week but he's having trouble scoring over Kennedy's 6-foot-4 sophomore Cory Booker, go figure…38-23…Josh Nance scores at the first half buzzer for Kennedy and its 38-25…Tonka looked to be coasting at points as things just seemed to come so easy for them in this first half…A combined 23 turnovers in the first half for both teams…
SECOND HALF
Kennedy now making a push scoring twice in a row complete with a Jaryan three but then Anthony Tucker goes to work slicing through the Eagle defense to lay one in while being fouled…Kennedy has switched up their offensive game plan and have really spread out the Skippers. In Jaryan, Murphy, and Starr they have guys who can go one on one and they are using that to their advantage. This time Starr scores off the bounce but then they don't get back and Tucker gets an easy lay-up and the lead is back to ten at 44-34…Now Booker beats McBounds again inside and this sophomore has played well for Kennedy and its 44-36 Tonka…
Minnetonka basketball and its rotated to Tucker at the top of the key and he spots up to hit a three to stop some Kennedy momentum…Now Starr hits a square up jumper on McBounds from the baseline followed by a Sedrick travel on the other end. Tough day for McBounds and its only a nine-point game. Now Starr with a spin move on McBounds and Carlton finishes that with a short jumper and its 47-40…McBounds misses two lay-ups but junior Taylor Nelson, the Skipper stud tight end in football, is there to clean up the mess, 49-40…
We have a 51-42 game and there is just no sense of urgency from the Skippers. Coach John Hedstrom took a time-out as the Skippers are looking lethargic. Meanwhile on the other bench, Kennedy almost looks to be taking away the offense from everybody else on the Skippers and just taking their chances straight up with Tucker's scoring…52-42…
Turnover from Kennedy becomes a Tucker dunk and Anthony is leaking out on everything today. He's actually been guarding Bobby Fong and Fong touches the ball less then you'd expect. Because of that Tucker has the room to quickly release for transition buckets and he's been able to score a couple of those today as well as create for others….Fong just took Tucker baseline for about the third or fourth time although Bobby missed the runner…
Carlton Starr has done a great job defending CJ Erickson down low. Starr is giving up four inches but because he's so strong he keeps CJ in front of him. Carlton has given up no ground and Erickson has struggled from the field…56-46 with five to go…Andy Burns against Alfred Jaryan, sounds like a quality four-year MIAC match-up waiting to happen. But will it be St. John's, Hamline, or somebody else for Burns?...
This game has really been sloppy, decent defense but more so sloppy…Fong goes baseline again, this time on Udo, and scores and once again it's a nine point contest at 59-50 with 2:30 to go…Tonka goes spread and Burns breaks down the defense creating a lay-on for Tyler Schilling and that is a big bucket with 1:45 to go…
Tucker throws away a careless pass and the ball is pushed the other way. Schilling fouls out as Jaryan gets him in the air on a three-point attempt and this is getting dangerous for Tonka. Alfred makes two and its 61-55 with a little over a minute left…This will now be a test for the Skippers to see if they can make free throws…Two big free throws from Andrew Latzke makes this a 64-57 game. Those were big tosses there that stopped the momentum for the Eagles. Anthony Tucker has missed a couple free throws late down the stretch but hit enough…Its 65-59 and the subs are in and the book is closed. 66-59 win for Tonka…
POSTGAME
Tonka started hot out of the gate but this was not the showing that coach Hedstrom was likely looking for. To many turnovers for the Skippers I would say. They still had enough weapons to handle Kennedy.
Tonka was led by the 10 of 19 shooting (2-8 from beyond the arc) and 27 points from Anthony Tucker. Erickson scored and Burns finished with 11. CJ's all-around numbers were 13 points, eight rebounds, four blocks, and three assists.
Kennedy was led by the 16 points from Jaryan, 15 points from Starr, and 12 from Fong. The Eagles out rebounded Tonka 35-30.
There was a combined 39 turnovers in this game.
Tonka shot 12 of 26 from the free throw line.
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