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Champlin Park's Jeremy Johnson scores two of his 16 points against Robbinsdale Armstrong on Friday. Photo by Jon Laqua
Sharing the wealth has been a theme for this year's Champlin Park boys hoops team, and the Rebels are raking in the dividends.
Third-ranked Champlin Park cruised to a 95-76 win over Northwest Suburban Conference foe and No. 7-ranked Robbinsdale Armstrong on Friday night thanks to six players scoring in double figures.
The latest victory is the Rebels' 16th straight and pushed their conference record to 12-0 (they are 17-1 overall). Junior guard Jeremy Johnson had a simple explanation for how Champlin Park can keep things rolling.
"Play exactly how we've been playing," said Johnson, who scored 16 points. "We share the ball really, really well, and we get everyone involved … it's just been a blast playing for the Rebels this season. It's been fun."
Johnson's fellow starters were just as good, with junior J.T. Gibson leading Champlin Park with 19 points, seniors Brennan Witt and Ian Smith adding 16 and 13 points, respectively, and junior Marty Hill scoring 13. Senior Alec Leabo got involved, too, chipping in 11 points off of the bench.
The Falcons played zone defense, sometimes even adding full-court pressure in an effort to contain a Champlin Park squad that averaged 84.9 points per game heading into Friday night's top-10 showdown, but the Rebels' multifaceted scoring attack proved too much.
"If (Champlin Park) is going to shoot like that, there aren't many teams in the state that are going to beat them," Robbinsdale Armstrong coach Greg Miller said.
After a back-and-forth opening sequence featuring some high-flying dunks from Falcons junior Sean Burns (25 points), the Rebels began to pull away with 8 minutes left in the first half and built a 57-44 lead heading into halftime.
Champlin Park came out of the break and pushed the ball up the floor, keeping the pedal to the metal and maintaining at least an 11-point lead over Robbinsdale Armstrong the rest of the game.
"We were looking to really get the up-beat tempo going," Rebels head coach Mark Tuchscherer said. "I thought that was the difference in the game: our rebounding and being able to turn that into points in transition."
Champlin Park has the fortunes of being a deep team that can score from anywhere on the court. The Rebels knocked down 10 3-pointers but also received inside scoring from Witt and smooth jumpers from the top of the key from Gibson.
It seems everyone on this Champlin Park team can score, and perhaps Miller summed it up best after Friday's game:
"They're just good."