Mobley leads Johnson to Twin City crown

Prep sceneSt. Paul Johnson point guard Jalen Mobley scored the first four points of the Twin City boys’ basketball championship game and the last three.

The 6’-1” senior also did his part in between —
scoring 45 points, finishing with 52 — in a 123-119 double overtime victory over host Minneapolis North, who got 41 points from 6’-6” junior forward Jamil Jackson.

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Jaquan Sanders (Minneapolis North) guards Jalen Mobley (St. Paul Johnson) during the Twin Cities Boys’ Basketball championship.

The game, played before a capacity crowd, was a rematch of last year’s contest between the St. Paul City Conference and Minneapolis City Conference champions (won by Johnson).

In the end it was the Governors, ranked No. 2 in Class 3A, who came out victorious over the Polars, ranked No. 2 in Class 1A.

First half

North, (behind guards Isaac Johnson, Tyler Johnson, JaQuan Sanders, DJ Hunter and forwards Phillip Scott and Odell Wilson IV) seemed in control after building a 41-29 lead over Johnson (who got scoring from Mobley, fellow backcourt Sedrick Clark, and forwards Eric Elliot, Savion Benton and Justus Murphy) midway through the first half.

Johnson (behind Mobley, Murphy, and guards Andre Smith and Savon Parker) outscored North (led by Wilson, Scott, Isaac Johnson and Tyler Johnson) 18-8 to make it a two-point deficit (49-47) at halftime.

Second half

A three-pointer by Smith, a basket by Mobley, and a layup by guard Malik Jones put Johnson up 54-49 to start the second half.

North cut it to two (54-52) with 16 minutes remaining after Jackson converted two freethrows and Tyler Johnson scored on a short jumper.

The next eight minutes featured back-and-forth action highlighted by Parker’s timely three-point shooting form and two dunks by Jackson to spark North.

Jackson’s last dunk put North up 74-71 with 9:53 remaining.

Mobley took over from there, scoring 15 of Johnson’s next 24 points (Benton Parker and Elliot scored the rest), giving them a 95-90 lead with 50 seconds left. The Polars (led by Jackson, Tyler Johnson, Isaac Johnson and guard Ahzerik Rodgers) scored 19 points during the run.

Isaac Johnson’s three-pointer followed by a Tyler Johnson layup made it a 95-95 ballgame, forcing overtime. 

First overtime

With the game tied 105-105, Sanders scored on a three-point play to put North ahead 108-105 with 17 seconds left.

Mobley responded for Johnson, burying a three-pointer with seven seconds left to force double overtime.

Second overtime

Mobley scored on a three-point play and Jackson responded for North with two freethrows as Johnson led 111-110.

A 6-0 run led by Mobley, capped off by a behind-the-back pass from Clark to Benton leading to a three-point play by the recipient, put the Governors up 116-110 at the 3:00 mark.

Scott, Jackson, and Rodgers scored the game’s next seven points as North led by one (117-116) with 2:45 remaining.

Johnson responded with a freethrow from Elliot, a basket by Mobley, and a block by Murphy that led to junior guard Carlin Clarke’s freethrow, putting them ahead 120-117 at the 0:32 mark.

Jackson’s coast-to-coast layup made it 120-119 a few seconds later.
In the ensuing possession Clark was fouled with seven seconds left. He missed the front end of a one-and-one.

A mad scramble for the ball resulted in Mobley throwing up an off-balanced three-pointer hitting nothing but the bottom of the net as time expired.

Isaac Johnson finished the game with 22 points for North. Tyler Johnson had 21. Scott added 12, and Wilson chipped in 10.

Elliot scored 17 points for Johnson. Benton added 13. Parker chipped in 12 and Murphy finished with 11.

Johnson has won or shared the St. Paul City Conference title since 2004. North shared the Minneapolis City crown with Washburn last year and won it outright this season.

This was the first double overtime since the Twin Cities game was established in 1919. It also set a record for most points scored and marked the first time any team scored more than 100 points.

A great game played by two great teams.