An unusual Friday night at Moorhead high featured a full gym, a couple hammer dunks and just as many one sided wins. It was unusual because it was a double header featuring four teams - from three schools. And no, it wasn't a round robin tournament but it gave the spud teams a chance to play teams that they otherwise may not have played.
First came the gals from East of the Twin Cities as the challenger for Moorhead. The Ponies jumped out to a 5-0 lead and never had to look back. It only took a couple of minutes for them to show who their best players of the night were. From several steps behind the three point line Sara Scalia started bombing away with consecutive three point shots to extend her teams lead. It's the new way the game it played, like it or not. Stillwater did not just cast away though. Time after time they also mixed in a drive to the hoop for a layup, several came from the hands of their nifty point guard Alexis Pratt. When she wasn't taking it to the hoop or dropping dimes she was getting into the passing lanes & giving the Spuds headaches. So the lead grew and the game got out of hand well before the intermission.
After the pause the story wasn't able to be changed. Even when the Pony reserves made their way onto the court with eight minutes remaining the gap wasn't shrunk. Scalia finished with a game high 25 while Pratt chipped in with 18 of her own. Because of the runaway nature of the game, they were joined in the score book by 8 of their teammates. The Spuds were lead by 16 points from Rylie Polomny and did managed to get eight players a bucket but it was too little, too late as they fall 81 - 48.
Then came the game that filled up the gym. With fans from both ends of the F-M-WF I thought that it could be an electric atmosphere matched by the intensity of the play on the court. For the first 18 minutes, that's how the game unfolded. Thanks to a couple of dunks - the second of which you can see in the game gallery - Moorhead's fans had more moments to get hyped about. The aforementioned second was especially authoritative & got the home crowd roaring.
But for all that, the Bulls managed to stymie every big play and potential run with a bucket of their own or a defensive stop. So the teams went to the break with a nine point difference. If Moorhead won coming out of the locker room, the game would go the way of #1. If West Fargo could cut it closer than it had a great chance of going down to the final seconds. 1/6 of the way through the second half and the answer was clear.
The Spuds rolled out with a 9 - 2 start and also never had to look back. The first 19 points of the game were scored by Maleeck Harden-Hayes and Drew Hagen. They didn't stop there as each eclipsed 23 points in the game, with 27 going the way of Hagen. I said it after the Shanley game and am more on the wagon now, if he wants to play college ball I don't see why he wouldn't be able to. No faulting to NDSU for focusing on the senior leaper but they might be rewarded if they give the junior a look. Aside over. The dynamic duo was joined in double figures by Belind Alemadi (13) & five players in single digits.
West Fargo countered with 30 from Luke Lennon and had five other scorers as well but it was a one man show. That can work in the NBA or against less talented teams but Moorhead just has too much fire power this season. So the Spuds rolled to an 84 - 63 win.
Players of the Games
Photos of the Games
For the full game galleries, click the pics!