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Thursday, February 9, 2006
Basketball (B)
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St. Cloud Apollo
St. Cloud Tech

Granite City Rivalry Lives Up to Hype

By Bob Norton
St. Cloud, MN

This week on ESPN you will see the best rivalries in all of college basketball featured every night. Tonight, Dan Schulman and Dick Vitale should have traveled to the Granite City to be courtside at St Cloud Tech High School to witness the cities most historic rivalries, St. Cloud Tech and Apollo.


The first half was about as good as a high school basketball game can get. Both teams showed great execution on both ends of the floor. Apollo forward Seth Noreen was a force down low while Tech senior Jordan Hansel hit a pair of three point shots that helped to keep his team in the game. Nate Uphas hit a clutch shot with less than 0:10 seconds left in the first half to bring his team within one going into halftime.


The second half picked up right where the first half left off. The lead would change several times thanks to clutch shooting, shutdown defense and a little help from the guys in the striped shirts. Apollo junior Preston Whitaker was dominant, scoring 12 of his 20 points in the half. But Tech kept their composure and stuck with the Eagles until the bitter end.


The score was tied at 60 with ten seconds left when senior forward Andrew Nelson was fouled and sent to the line to shoot two free throws. With the roar of a raucous crowd behind him, he missed the first shot. He shook it off, settled himself down, and with all the confidence in the world drained the second free throw to put Apollo up by one. Tech rushed up the court in an attempt to hit a dramatic game winning shot, but unfortunately the ball got away from point guard Justin Nilson giving Apollo the win, 61-60.


As if this game needed any more highlights, congratulations are in order for Preston Whitaker who scored his 1,000th career point as a member of Apollo.


The Eagles next game will be Saturday afternoon when they host Monticello at 2:30pm. Tech will be in action on Tuesday evening when they travel to Sauk Rapids at 7:30pm.

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