Archive for December, 2006

Great Day of Hoops in Bloomington, Illinois Tonight at the State Farm Holiday Classic

December 30, 2006

To start the night off, Peoria Notre Dame loss a heartbreaker to Chicago De La Salle, 52-49. Notre Dame’s Josh Edmonds came out on fire in the second half, finishing with 20 points. In the final seconds of the game, he didn’t have the ball in his hands, though his team had a good luck at the 3. If he had it, it was almost a guaranteed overtime.

De La Salle’s Elliott Brown finished with 15 points. He is one of the state’s more underrated guards. He is quick, strong, and athletic with a very nice jumpshot. When he shoots, he gets nice elevation. He has really improved his stock this season. His running mate, Jeremy Leonard, was a wizard with the ball. He sees the floor very well and connected some nice passes to help his team sustain their lead in clutch moments. He finished with a total of eight points and roughly eight assists. He showed that he is one of the top point guards in the junior class. DeAndre Jackson played strong around the basket and finished with 11 points while Caleb Harris added ten, including two clutch three’s near the end of the game. Southern Illinois University was spotted at the game.

In part one of the Class A semi-finals, Bloomington Central Catholic took on St. Joesph-Ogden. The game was close for most of the night and came down to a buzzard beater.

Central Catholic’s two star players, Brandon Dunson and Josh Brent, sat the majority of the first half due to foul trouble. This allowed SJO to create a run and take the lead but a scrappy BCC bench brought them back.

In the second half, the game remained close. SJO took a 44-40 lead with around 4:00 minutes left in the game. The sharpshooting of Tom Norton and slashing of Dunson put BCC back in the lead. With the game 52-50 at BCC’s advantage, 6’4” SJO guard Nick Michael took the ball to the basket, got fouled and sank the two freethrows to tie it up. Dunson came down in the same breath with about 10 seconds left on the clock, took it to the cup and converted for the two point basket to end the game 54-52. Norton finished with 17 while Dunson added 13. Nick Michael of SJO poured in a game-high 31 points including 4 treys and a perfect 7/7 from the charity stripe.

Urbana gave Thornwood all they could handle in the third big-time matchup of the night. The Tigers controlled the game for the majority of the first half and third quarter. 6’6” senior Pat Fitzgerald played well inside and 6’2” senior-Ryne Brownfield and 6’3” junior Rashee Sallee, handled the perimeter.

In the third quarter, the T-Birds quickly cut a 16 point lead to a tied game, lead by the efforts of Reggie Hamilton who had some very clutch buckets. The lead bounced back and forth for a while but Thornwood eventually took control in the 4th and rode it out from there. Trey Blue and Hamilton were big keys in their team’s success, finishing with 18 and 17, respectively. Though Blue didn’t shoot many threes, he made his present felt on putbacks and rebounds. Hamilton’s game was on full display as he shot it well, finished around the basket, and played great defensively. Cam Snelling also played a big role tonight. Urbana’s Ryne Brownfield finished with a game high 24 points. He showed that he can score with the best of them.

The final matchup for the night featured Macon Merdian and Tri-Valley. Though Tri-Valley kept it close in the beginning, the Hawks were just a little too much. The game finished 55-42 with Meridian in the driver’s seat. Meridian senior guard, Travis Rosenkranz, finished with 17 points. He is one of the purest point guards throughout the state of Illinois and has been impressive all tournament. His teammate, 6’5” sophomore forward-Dakota Getz, had a rough start but finished with 16 points in the victory. He’s shown to be one of the state’s best sophomores. He’s very solid inside.

Stay tuned for updates on tomorrow night’s championship games.

Bertrand Plays Before Weber, and a Host of other Coaches at State Farm Holiday Classic

December 28, 2006

There were plenty of colleges on hand to witness Joseph Bertrand of Sterling play his first game of the State Farm Holiday Classic. Most noticeable in the gym was Head Coach Bruce Weber of Illinois. Other colleges represented were Southern Illinois, Purdue, and Iowa State among others.

Bertrand immediately established his himself on the floor by getting a few early baskets. Then he found himself strapped with early foul trouble and missed the greater part of the first half. By the beggining of the second half his team was down by double digits due to his lack of playing time in the first half. He posted a strong third quarter which included a host of long-range buckets.

Ultimately Bertrand’s teammates were not on the same skill level as he and so he could only do so much to keep his team in the game before they were out of reach for good.

MSH hopes to see Bertrand at least one more time before the tournament concludes. Look for further updates forthcoming.