The Tornadoes hit a tough stretch of their schedule in the middle of the month as they followed a 52-35 win against Coon Rapids Dec. 11 with consecutive losses to some of the top programs around.
Anoka dropped to 1-4 overall after being held to a season low 38 points by co-Northwest Suburban Conference co-leaders Elk River (3-0) Dec. 14.
Four days later No. 9-ranked Wayzata not only matched the Elks’ output (63 points), but Anoka once again struggled to score, lowering its low for the season to 37 points. Trojans Zach Robertson and Nick Eid each had a game high 13 points and teammate Bradley Carlson added 12 points to give them three players in double-digits. Anoka’s Malcom Seals and Zach Engen each had eight points, while the rest of the team was kept to four points or less.
Seals was held to a season low two points against the Elks, while Torry Ledin and J.P. Grow each had nine points to lead the Tornadoes. Elk River’s Clay Elrod had a game-high 20 points as three players scored at least 13 points.
Andover rolls past Coon Rapids
After losing to Osseo by 36 points Dec. 14, Andover (1-3) rebounded against cross-town rival Coon Rapids 78-49 Dec. 18 for its first win of the season.
Andover jumped out to a 40-15 lead on the Cardinals by the end of the first half and cruised from there as the teams combined for 72 points in the second half. Huskies’ Cameron Wold and Zach Swanson each had 15 points and Tykeise Johnson also had 15 points to guide the Cardinals.
Andover finished its pre-holiday break schedule with a 65-54 loss at Elk River Dec. 20. The Elks remained unbeaten, one game behind Park Center in the Northwest Suburban Conference standings.
Wold and Kyle Kettler paced the Huskies with 16 points each, while Kettler pulled in seven rebounds. Wold had two steals and blocked one shot.
Coon Rapids’ schedule didn’t get any easier as it welcomed top-ranked Park Center (5-0) to the its fieldhouse Dec. 20. The Pirates easily won 94-32, with scoring from 10 players, led by Jake Tanner’s 17 points. The Cardinals (0-5) were led by Johnson’s 14 points and eight points from Timmy Nguyen.
Coon Rapids’ average margin of a loss jumped to 40 points following Thursday’s one-sided Northwest Suburban Conference affair.
Blaine nipped by Elks
The Bengals (3-3, 2-2) nearly handed co-conference leaders Elk River its first loss of the season Tuesday evening. In the end, Elks’ senior Porter Morell had a game high 18 points, including a three-pointer to make it 48-45 with 30 seconds left which turned out to be the final score.
Blaine guard Joe Robel had a buzzer-beating shot fall short of the hoop to end the game in heartbreak for the Blaine faithful. Junior wing Matt Barthels had a Blaine-high 13 points as it dropped to sixth place in the conference with a 2-2 record between Champlin Park (2-1) and the Dec. 19 opponent Anoka (1-2).
Tuesday’s game came three days after the Bengals edged St. Louis Park 78-76 inside the Blaine fieldhouse. The Orioles came back from a 13-point deficit to lead 53-51 with 13:00 left in the second half. The contest went back-and-forth from that point as Bengals senior Justin Mbanefo made both free throws with 26.1 seconds left to lead 78-74. St. Louis Park had a chance to tie the game at the buzzer, but the shot was off the mark.
Barthels had a game-high 28 points, while St. Louis Park’s Kashif Hayes had 26 points.
Blaine wins at Anoka before the break
The Bengals led by six points at the half and pulled ahead in the second half by even more to hand Anoka a 73-59 loss Dec. 20.
Blaine’s Matt Barthels had a game high 20 points and Justin Mbafno added 18 points in the conference win.
Anoka’s Stephen Barthold led his team with 17 points and Malcom Seals added 14 points.
Legacy (4-3) opened its MCAA Conference schedule with an emphatic Homecoming win, 59-47, over PACT Charter School Dec. 15.
The Lions added a third win in four games Dec. 18 by way of a 68-37 victory against FAIR before ending the pre-holiday schedule with a 64-56 loss to Providence Academy in Andover. The Lions’ Colton Richards had a game high 17 points and Nate Bertsch added 16 points in the loss. Legacy returns to action against Maranatha Christian Jan. 4 for the fourth game in a five-game homestand which spans Dec. 15 to Jan. 10.
Spring Lake Park off to 5-2 start
The Panthers (5-2) broke the century mark for their fourth win of the young season to top St. Paul Como Park 105-84 Dec. 18. The previous high-mark was a 97-95 loss to Farmington in the Spring Lake Park home opener Dec. 11.
Spring Lake Park followed that with a second straight loss to a south-metro squad, this time at perennial power Eastview 66-57 before rebounding against Cambridge-Isanti, 81-66 Dec. 14. Panthers guard Robert Ben led the way with 24 points.
The Dec. 18 non-conference win over Como Park featured Panthers guard TC Robinson scoring 34 points, while teammate Gary Cook continued to shine with 19 points. Alex Peck added 13 points, while Robert Ben and Trevor Hall each had 10 points. Justin Axelson had five points, which came on the heels of an eight-point performance against Cambridge.
Como Park countered with Keiron Sauer’s 24 points.
Spring Lake Park completed its 2012 portion of the schedule with a third win in a row 82-70 at Chisago Lakes in the North Suburban Conference opener Dec. 21.
The Panthers jumped out to a 53-34 lead by the half, while the Wildcats attempt at a come back fell short, despite outscoring the visitors 36-29 in the second half.
Chisago Lakes’ Vinny Gorski and Clay Houfer each had 21 points.
PACT Charter School
PACT won consecutive games in as many days with a 58-52 road win at Fourth Baptist Christian Dec. 18 after handing Math and Science Academy a 66-28 defeat Dec. 17. The wins boost the Panthers to a 3-2 record as they won consecutive games for the first time since opening the season 2-0.