Sometimes the games at the end of February can be real rock fights. Teams are tired of practicing and in some cases are simply looking to the playoffs.
The collective of fans at the Huskie gym on Tuesday never had to go into power watch mode.We were all waiting to see what Jake Wieneke would do next.
Andover has a number of players that can score from distance and they dropped in 11 3's, shooting 61% from long range. That wasn't enough. When you score 78 points in the Northwest Suburban conference, you often win, but that wasn't enough. The Crimson's starters were a combined 27-33 from 2 point range. Maple Grove got the ball inside, to the open man on the perimeter, and out on the break all night. It was a great half of basketball that showed a sense of urgency and intensity that will be required for a section championship. It was too much for Andover as the Crimson scored a quiet 53 in the first half. When Austin Paul hit Brycen Wojta with a nifty assist off Tiger, to make the score was 47-27, Mrs. Hinker's family had seen enough.
But you couldn't see enough of Wieneke's AB (athletic 'bility). We didn't get his scoring at halftime, but how he did it was more impressive. Layups, 3s and everything in between was his shot genre. The only thing you were waiting for him to do was block a shot. I take that back, he did that to..... at mid court. But the key was the ball moved quickly and effectively all night. When future opponents have to account for more players, our team benefits.
Andover used 3 timeouts in the first half, and after each, I expected them to come out in a different scheme or look. Even a box and 2 wouldn't have worked last night.
Of the 11 players that scored last night, 5 were in double digits. Wieneke's career high 30, was followed by Wojta 24, Grant Kaufman 11, Austin Paul 10, Erik Olson 10. Wieneke's points included 9 straight on this sequence..... a layup with 2 throws for an intentional foul, an ensuing 3, topped off with a dunk to get the Crimson to 100, on their way to a school record 106.
The Crimson finish their regular season on Friday at home against Blaine. The 6 seniors will be honored that night. Applebees, not Sony, will be the sponsor.