Pop a slice of bread in the toaster, grab a cup of java, hit the road and have breakfast with the Warriors.
Saturday’s Section 8-4A semifinal between the No. 8-seeded Brainerd Warriors and No. 5 Moorhead Spuds will be an eye-opener with a 10 a.m. start at St. Cloud State’s Halenbeck Hall.
Moorhead coach Corey Zimmerman said his team was departing Friday night to avoid having to leave about 5 a.m. Saturday for St. Cloud.
Warriors coach Scott Stanfield doesn’t mind the early start.
“At first I wasn’t real happy with it,” he said, “but as more of the week has gone on I kind of like it. I want to get down there. I don’t like sitting around waiting for games. If we win, we can stick around and see who we play for the championship.”
The teams met Jan. 31 at Moorhead with the Spuds winning 71-56. Austin Nelson led the Spuds with 20 points, Aaron Lien added 19 and Matt Ellingson 18.
Marcus Comstock led Brainerd with 14 and Tommy Olson added 11. The Warriors, who eliminated top-seeded Buffalo 69-67 in two overtimes in the quarterfinals, fell behind Moorhead 29-21 at the half and got outscored 42-35 in the second.
Stanfield said the Warriors must shoot better than last time and do a better job defending Moorhead’s size, which includes Camden Bosche (6-6), Nelson (6-5), Lien (6-4) and Hayden Anderson (6-4).
“We shot poorly up there,” he said. “If we shoot like we normally do we’ll be right in the game.
“We have to control their big guys. They’ve got a couple good-size post players that we have to control and box out. If we don’t give them second chances we should be in good shape.”
Zimmerman said the Spuds, who bumped off No. 4-seeded St. Michael-Albertville 56-55 in overtime in Tuesday’s quarterfinals, must prepare for Brainerd’s depth.
“Brainerd has a bunch of great players,” he said. “You don’t know which one will all of a sudden score like 24 points. ... You don’t know who it’s going to be, game by game. They run their stuff so well.
“They shoot a lot of 3-point shots. They have good 3-point shooters. It definitely will be a tough game for us.”
Moorhead Spuds (16-9)
Matt Ellingson (6-0)
Aaron Lien (6-4)
Austin Nelson (6-5)
Judd Roesler (6-1)
Camden Bosche (6-6)
Brainerd Warriors (14-12)
Jack Sauer (6-0)
Tommy Olson (6-0)
Riley Kline (6-1)
Marcus Comstock (6-3)
Jagar Hanson (6-4)