Thursday, March 18, 2010

Up Next Cooper

The Rebels (23-5) will be taking on their cross town section rival Cooper Hawks (25-3) who are currently on an 11 game winning streak and ranked #2 in the recent Minnesota Preps poll. The Hawks defeated Moundsview 74-61 in the other semi-final game Tuesday night as they were led by the big man sensation Calvin Godfrey as he scored 34 points.

Godfrey who leads the team in scoring with 19 points a game, also have starters Darry Jones (16 ppg) and Terrace Averyheart (10 ppg) averaging in double digits. The Hawks are a very athletic, quick and deep team. They like to chase the ball, jump switch, run out at shooters, reach for steals and attempt to block every shot that is taken.

In this game, Godfrey (pictured above at the free throw line), who is arguably the best post player in the state, will not be the factor that he usually is due to his over aggressiveness getting him in foul trouble in which he will probably foul out trying to guard Kyle Zimmermann. Josh Pella will be too much for the Hawks other post player Brandon Harrison.

Therefore, the Rebels need to be worried about playing against a smaller tenacious Hawk team. The Hawk guards are relentless and led by team leader Averyheart who makes them go. Look for Elijah Swen to come off the bench and make the game even faster. Brandon Davis will have his hands full with Darry Jones who has the green light and will put up a lot of shots.

The Rebels 2-3 zone will obviously give the Hawks problems as it will limit Godfrey’s touches and the Hawks are not a great 3 point shooting team. If the Rebels take care of the ball (easily said than done against Cooper’s impressive ball pressure), reverse the ball on offense when the Hawks start chasing the ball, use ball fakes and ball rips with a back door cut here and there to take advantage of the Hawks over aggressiveness, they should be in the game at the end in which they will need to make their free throws. The Rebels, who have struggled at the line this year, will need to make their free throws to close out the game and punch their ticket for the state tournament.

The balanced scoring Rebels who have four players scoring in double digits per game are averaging 70 points a game. They have won 21 of their last 24 games and are currently ranked #5 in the Minnesota Preps poll.

Tipoff is at 7pm.

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