Eden Prairie's Grant Shaeffer and Woodbury's Renard Suggs battled for the ball in the second half of a Class 4A quarterfinal game Wednesday at the Target Center in Minneapolis. Eden Prairie defeated Woodbury 70-59. Photo: ELIZABETH FLORES * eflores@startr
Eden Prairie’s size strangled Woodbury’s offense in a 70-59 victory in Wednesday’s Class 4A quarterfinal at the Target Center. The Eagles held the Royals to more than 19 points below their season average.
The Eagles’ big bodies Jack Cottrell, Anthony Anderson, Zach Hovey and Aaron Workin had their way with a Royals lineup that didn’t play anyone bigger than 6-3.
“It can’t be fun going against our big guys,” said Cottrell, who had 14 rebounds and scored seven points.
Foul trouble plagued Eden Prairie early on, but their guards remained on the court and kept the Eagles in control. Andre Wallace led the guards’ effort with 20 points, Alex Ihrke had 17, and Grant Shaeffer 15.
“We wanted to slow it down and speed it up, and it worked out on both ends,” Shaeffer said. “They’re the second- or third-highest scoring offense in the state. But we pride ourselves on defense.”
The teams combined for 43 fouls, but the Eagles ability to refresh with another big body was the
The Royals, led by Diallo Powell’s 19 points, stayed close and and got within four, 51-47, with 7:38 to play. Then Shaeffer kicked it into gear. He scored eight consecutive points to extend Eden Prairie’s lead to double digits, where it remained.
“I think they caught us off guard. It was so hard [to score against Eden Prairie’s size],” Powell said. “I think it defeated us within. We thought we couldn’t do it, but we could.”
Woodbury had two of its leading scorers — Mario Franco with 17 points and Matt Ambriz with 10 — foul out with three minutes remaining in the game.
1. Andre Wallace (Eden Prairie) - Wallace scored a game high 20 points for the Eagles, 2-3 three pointers and 4-8 FT's. He was particularly strong with the ball, no turnovers, 3 assists and active on the boards (4 rebounds) and tipping others to his teammates. A special moment for Wallace that got the crowd going was when he ran back on defense to block a Woodbury players layup attempt.
2. Alex Ihrke (Eden Prairie) - To start the 2nd half Ihrke knocked down back to back 3 pointers to help Eden Prairie get off to a 9-0 run. Ihrke is not afraid to shoot and thats a good thing because he hit 4 of the 7 three's he attempted and finished with 17 points, 2 boards, 2 steals, and 2 assists.
3. Diallo Powell (Woodbury) - The senior didn't do it alone but his 19 points, 15 in the second half, kept Woodbury within striking distance of Eden Prairie. He fell 1 rebound short of having a double double in his final game as a Royal.
- Pete Heldstab, MN Basketball Hub