Pacesetter 8th Grade Boys Regional Championship - Grand Rapids, MN - Saturday, April 20, 2013
Game #1 was at 10:50 vs. Grand Rapids, who we played 3 times this year and were 1-2 against them, however we never played them with our full squad we had today. They are a very disciplined team with multiple defenses and offenses, along with some height down low. It was a very good game from the get go, but we pulled ahead behind 7th gr Jaden Wood nailing three 3's, and some real good D on our part. The score at the half was 21-16 RL. We never did trail, but they did keep the game interesting on some late steals and big shots, and it came down to a timeout called on a scramble on the floor by RL that had the GR coach sticking it to the refs while we drew up the out of bounds play with 7 seconds left and a 1 point lead. The play worked to perfection as Will Morrison was option #1 that got him wide open with an open court layup, but there was still 3 seconds on the clock and GR fired a shot from the opposite free throw line that was right on target, but a foot short as one of our players caught it right in front of the net!! Final score in a very good, entertaining game 43-40 Red Lake!! There was a challenge filed to this game by GR alleging we had used kids not in 8th grade, which is somewhat true because we have five 7th graders. The challenge didn't stand as I assured the Director that we were all 8th & under.
Game #2 was at 3:15 in the middle school against Mountain Iron- Buhl who we had never played before, which we felt would be to our advantage, but the scouting report said they had a guard who played on their Varsity team, and the kid just shot the lights out despite us trying 3 different defenders who all played good D, we were down at the half 16-17! We were able to get him in foul trouble as he picked up his 4th foul trying to stop Will Morrison who exploded for 20 second half points to lead the team to a 48-40 victory!! This was a game that saw 9 of our 12 players score!
Game #3 was at 5:00 in the middle school against another team we had never faced, Pelican Rapids. We didn't get a scouting report on this team, so we came out with a press that led to fast breaks and three 3-pointers to jump out to a 23-11 halftime score. Everyone was able to get some action in this game which was over with about 3 minutes left when we went into the stall mode and force them to foul us to get into the bonus and eventually we were able to kill the clock behind some nifty ball handling by our guys and get the 43-30 victory to march into the Championship game versus Hermantown!
Game #4 was at 6:50 in the High School gym against another team we had never faced, but had heard in the scouting report that they had one good kid, but were very arrogant and talked a lot of trash to players and fans that resulted in police being brought into the gym on a near fight! This was all going on in the gym next to us, but we didn't know because our whole gym was filled with laughter in the second half as one of our kids dared to check in wearing some of the old school shorts with the real short inseam!
So, we set the game plan and came out on fire to get an early 15 point lead that forced them to call a timeout! The score at the half was 25-19 as their big man had 12 and closed the half strong. Morrison, 10 and Rob McClain, 8 led RL. The second half was dominated by Morrison on offense finishing with 21 and going 5-6 from FT line. McClain dominated the defense blocking and altering shots, and the zone d shut their guy down to 2 points and had him with 4 fouls with his last one an intentional foul on Morrison by grabbing him by the waist to try and stop him. Morrison drained them both in crunch time championship action all alone at the line, he then scored off the ensuing inbounds to give us a 5 point lead with 12 seconds left, with the final score 46-43 RL!
The team, 29-5 on the year, will be playing the Champions of the other 7 regions at the State tournament in St. Cloud on June 23! Players from left to right are: Front row; Kaleb Pemberton, Jamie Cook, Darwin Strong, Will Morrison, Aaron White, Jaden Wood, Trent Beaulieu.
Back row; Anthony Beaulieu, Rob McClain, Dominic Needham, Rob Beaulieu, Cole Cobenais, Coach Chris Jourdain.
Miigwetch to RLTC, ISD #38, CHS and the parents and fans who helped transport the team down!