by Jason Olson
Holiday tournament recaps from the MyABCSportsZone area:
• Blaine has a successful holiday break bringing home the championship trophy from the Chisago Lakes Tournament.
The Bengals beat St. Paul Highland Park in the championship game 76-68 Dec. 30 by way of a 50-36 second-half outburst.
Duke Anywanu led Blaine with 20 points and Alex Cappard had 18 points in the win.
Blaine’s defense held Chisago Lakes in check, while the Bengals offense found its shooting form in an 85-30 win in the first round Dec. 29. Arzdorf said the way the defense played against the Wildcats was what impressed him the most. “Our defense was much improved and that was the key Friday night,” he said.
The Bengals took a 54-21 lead at the half before the Wildcats were outscored 31-9 in the second half. Josh Limberg had a game-high 20 points while Schumacher and Cappard each had 16 points.
• Spring Lake Park (9-1), ranked fourth in Class AAA, won its third and fourth games in a row when it won the Tartan Holiday Tournament Dec. 29-30. The Panthers (8-1) beat Tartan 63-56 in the title game after handing Hayfield a 76-46 loss in the first round. The Panthers overcame a two-point hole at the half against Tartan before a 28-19 second-half run proved to be the difference. One day earlier the Panthers took a 43-17 lead at the half to keep Hayfield at arms-length.
Sean Scott had a game-high 31 points against Hayfield and again led the Panthers against Tartan with 22 points. Bryce Williams had 12 points and Robert Ben had 11 points in the win over Hayfield.
Spring Lake Park pushed its winning streak to five when it opened North Suburban Conference play with a 77-66 win over Irondale at home Jan. 3. The Panthers took a two-point lead into the break before outscoring the Knights 45-36 in the second half thanks in part to Scott’s game-high 33 points. Williams and Gary Cook each contributed 16 points, while Irondale’s Kevin Poster led the visitors with 23 points.
• After Anoka (3-6) dispatched Coon Rapids 86-71 Dec. 20, the Tornadoes went on a mini-losing streak, coming up short against Roseville 82-72 Dec. 28 and Elk River 68-53 Jan. 3.
The lone holiday break game for Anoka came against one of the leaders from the Suburban East Conference in Roseville when Logan Brown scored a game-high 20 points and Mackenzie Johnson added 19 for the Raiders. Anoka’s Marcus Tyus led the visitors with 19 points, while Malcom Seals added 14 points and Tony Pederson had 12 points in the home game for the Tornadoes.
Six nights later Anoka returned to Northwest Suburban Conference play, this time came out flat and was held to just 18 points in a 40-18 score at the break. Anoka managed to outscore the Elks in the second half, but the deficit was too much in the end as Tyus wasn’t in the line up.
The Elks’ Clay Elrod had a game-high 24 points and Anoka’s Ryan Rand led a trio of players to score in double digits with 12 points. Seals had 11 and Pederson had 10 points. Post Brandon Lindquist had nine points.
Anoka traveled to Wayzata Jan. 6 for its Lake Conference/Northwest Suburban Conference crossover game.
• Andover (0-7) remained winless following its 83-56 home loss to Osseo Jan. 3 as it couldn’t get out of the 50-point range for the fifth time in seven games. The Orioles remained perfect in the Northwest Suburban Conference standings at 5-0 and Maple Grove kept pace at 4-0 as the only two undefeated teams in the conference.
Osseo jumped to a 37-20 lead at the half and outran the Huskies in the second half for the 27-point victory, led by Orioles Ian Theissen. Andover’s Kyle Kettler had 14 points, while Brady Johnson and Conner Wilkie each had 12 points.
• Legacy Christian (3-4) traveled to Lake City for its holiday break trip and came away with the Lake City Invite championship with a 55-37 win over Kasson-Mantorville. Legacy’s diverse attack was led by Connor Peterson’s 10 points and Ben Freeby’s nine points.
The Lions opened the tournament with a 46-42 win over Ellsworth (Wis.) Dec. 27.
• St. Francis (4-5) opened the North Suburban Conference schedule with a 69-64 loss at Fridley Jan. 3. The Saints were coming off a 1-1 record at a holiday break tournament at Zimmerman Dec. 27-28.
St. Francis tried to come back from a 33-29 deficit at the break, but the Tigers were too much in the end, despite the Saints Jake Johnson’s game-high 24 points and Andy Julkowski’s 17 points. Fridley’s Nate Geving led the team with 19 points and Davaghndre Jones had 14 points.
St. Francis dropped a 62-45 game to Detroit Lakes in the Zimmerman opener Dec. 27 when the Lakers outpaced the Saints 37-22 in the second half. Cody Wald led the Saints with 17 points and Julkowski had 10 points.
St. Francis won its fourth game of the season on the second half of the tournament at nearby Zimmerman by a 55-46 score over Dassel-Cokato Dec. 28.
Julkowski led a diversified attack with 13 points, while six different Saints scored at least seven points. The Chargers were led by Riley Schulte and Isaac Anderson with 12 points each.
• PACT Charter School (3-4) ran into a very strong Maranatha program in an 80-44 loss Jan. 3. PACT’s Drew Zieroth had 12 points in the loss.