The Crimson basketball team won the Perkins Bethel Holiday tournament for the second time in three years with a win over the Cooper Hawks, 68-63.
The Crimson started out strong as they attacked the basket in the first half. In some cases they got run out layups or mid range jump shots. At the same time, Cooper was able to get second and third shots that resulted in buckets. The Crimson gave the Hawks a variety of looks on defense to stifle Rashad Vaughn. Vaughn, who threw down an impressive dunk in the first half, is a nationally ranked top ten recruit for the class of 2014. That didn't bother the Crimson as they used team play to finish the half. Grant Kaufman's layup, Matt Lindgren's three, and Erik Olson's six straight points gave the Crimson a 31-30 lead at the break.
Despite Brandon Barta's 5 straight points to start the second half, the Hawks built a 48-42 lead. With the Crimson sitting in a zone, Cooper held the ball and forced the Crimson to match up. Brycen Wojta's 3 with 8 minutes to play tied the score at 49. The last part of the game had a variety of big plays that sealed the win. Jake Wieneke found a seam and went over Vaughn with a sick left handed take to bring the Crimson within one. Kaufman hit a pull up J in the lane to put them up by one, and Lindgren's sweet reverse layup made it 57-54. The Hawks had fouls to give and the Crimson were able to handle the pressure. With the score 61-60 and under a minute to play, Maple Grove used the hand-back play on a sideline out of bounds as Kaufman had the hoop and the hack to make it 64-60. The lead was extended to 66-60 on a Wieneke putback. Vaughn hit a 30ft bomb to give them a chance, but Wojta was the wrong guy to foul as he knocked down 2 fts to ice the win.
Wieneke, Wojta and Lindgren were named to the all tournament team.
With the win the Crimson moved their record to 5-3. They host Osseo on Jan. 5 in a boy/girl double header at Maple Grove.