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Lakeville North's J.P. Macura drives to the hoop to score two of his 35 points as the Panthers defeat White Bear Lake 83-58 on Friday, December 27th at Lakeville North High School. Photo by Brian W Nelson

For those seeing 6-foot-5 J.P. Macura play for the first time, it doesn't take long to realize his importance to Lakeville North.

Spectators can expect to see Macura touch the ball nearly every time down the court as it becomes a normal occurrence for his name to be heard from the public address announcer.

Friday night's game against White Bear Lake as part of the Lakeville North Holiday Tournament proved to be no different, with Macura falling just three assists shy of the ever-elusive triple-double in an 83-58 win.

Thirty-five points, 10 rebounds and seven assists is a great day at the office, which is perhaps why the only moment of frustration seen on Macura's face was when he took a seat on the bench for the first time with 11:53 left in the game.

Macura would end up sitting the last 4:03, which would have left plenty of time for him to possibly pull off the triple-double, but there was no longer any need for his services. Leading 78-53 at that point, Lakeville North unloaded talent off of the bench as it cruised to victory.

It took less than two minutes for Macura, Minnesota's current scoring leader, to make a free throw, three-pointer and dunk as he paced the Panthers in the first 18 minutes.

White Bear Lake was able to pull within four with 1:47 left in the first half but would never be able to close the gap more than that. The Bears did a good job of keeping up with the Panthers in the first half, despite their lack of size, playing gritty basketball that found them down 40-31 at halftime. 

Macura wasn't the only one able to find success scoring for the Panthers, however, as Drew Stewart's 12 points and Connor Flack's nine points helped keep the Bears' defense on its toes.

Tanner Hinck's 16 points and Connor Bosch's 11 points led the way for White Bear Lake, but they just weren't able to slow down Macura's ferocious attack.

Macura can score in too many ways for defenses to completely slow him down as he welcomes physical play when he charges down the lane. It's not hard to understand why Xavier went after the senior guard as he will produce in several stat categories for them.

-- Nick Allen


White Bear Lake Junior Connor Bosch tries to score inside on Lakeville North senior Reid Ziehr during action Friday night at the Lakeville North boys high school basketball tournament. Photo by Brian W Nelson

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