MONTICELLO 35, WILLMAR 32
Last Saturday was a big freeze out/snow out date with games cancelled up and down the state. Today there were 35 listed games. But, instead of the hot new idea of having multiple games at one site, there were zero opportunities today. That meant I had to wander and choose. One of my options was postponed, so I took the next option in Willmar with a 5AAA match up with Monticello. Prior to that game the announcer let it be known that there were four games that were postponed today, not because of inclement weather, but due to lack of officials. This seems puzzling since there were only 35 games.
At any rate 35 was the winning score today (no, the above score is not a half time result—-although my team had 35 at the break yesterday coincidentally). The Magic survived. Survive is the word since the Magic saw their six point lead with 3:38 left (30-24) disappear. There were not to be any Card(inal) tricks up Willmar’s sleeve. How did this play out? Monticello failed to convert two front ends down the stretch (four points vanished) and only made one on another two shot sequence. The Cards took their first lead since the 11:45 mark of the second half (22-20) at 32-31 on a pair of Mackenzie Jones free throws with 30.8 ticks left. 6-2 senior Anna Olson, who is D1 Vermont-bound, scored on the right block to reclaim the lead with 14 seconds left. Willmar got to the lane, near the right elbow, but their shot did not fall. That shot fell into Olson’s hands and she was immediately fouled with 1.1 remaining. The free throw issues were a thing of the past at this point and she made both—-her only attempts at the line for the night. Willmar called time before the second and set up their last second desperation shot, which just rimmed out on an attempt in the “4” point range on the upper right side.
Now some will look at the score and believe that defense was the name of this game. Not really. The touch count indicates otherwise. Monticello had 22 plays that lasted over seven touches; eleven lasted ten touches or longer. Likewise, Willmar was patient/deliberate/methodical with 23 plays over seven touches; but only seven lasting ten or longer. Just look at the possession count overall—-55, although it seemed like the speed limit was closer to 30 mph. Last night the count was 75. Thursday in Rochester it was 72. Wednesday’s game was closer at 62. Only the Waseca/Hibbing on Monday was slower paced at 52.
|TOP SCORER||Anna Olson 10||Mackenzie Jones 9|
TRENCH PLAYER: Anna Olson with 10 points, 90.9 pp100 and a 25 score in the 31 Club. Most importantly she scored the final four Magic points and gathered the last missed shot from the Cardinals to secure the win and then converted the two free throws.