Session 1: Illinois Warriors vs HP White 17 DJ Richardson, very smooth and reminded me a lot of Jrue Holiday. AJ Barker leading the Panthers with 12 pts. This was a 5 pt game with 11 minutes to go before a Warriors run put it away. 74-59 was the final score. HP tried to play 1-2-2 zone to slow the Warriors down, but had trouble rebounding out of it.
All Iowa Attack Red held on to beat Team Missouri 51-47 as Jesse Pritchard hit 2 late FTs to seal it. The Dakota Schoolers gave KC Pump N Run everything they could handle as the Schoolers led 56-52 with 2:23 to play but a pair of triples tied the game at 58 with 1:20 go. After Schoolers steal for a basket with 30 seconds to go, Michael Dixon comes back with a triple to win it 61-60. The Schoolers had 2 final chances to win that they couldn’t convert in the last 10 seconds.
Session 2: Howard Pulley 17 Black rolls over ECI Elite 78-50. Kurt Mickelson (Ashby)for ECI is absolutely huge and a force to be reckoned with inside. Rodney Williams Jr with a highlight posterizing dunk to end the 1st half of that game. HP Black continuing to struggle from the foul line and it brings back a thought I had during the regular season and that's hack-a-shaq on Seantrell Henderson. HP Black 15s fell to Playground Elite.
Session 3: HP 16 Black vs KC Pump N Run 15s. Brett Comer with a big game for KC and he looks amazingly like Adam Morrison and even wears #3. He finished with 16 pts. DJ Peterson with 15, Marcus Alipate with 14 for HP Black 16s. This was a 6 pt game with 12 minutes left before HP pulled away to win 70-51.
Session 4: Harrison Barnes on display for the All Iowa Attack 16s vs ECI. He had a big 1st half and a couple of important hoops late to finish with 26 pts, 11 rebs, 4 stls and 4 blks. ECI kept hanging around as this game was close all the way, but ultimately they were outmanned. Zach McCabe with 16 and 7 for the Attack as well.
Session 5: Royce White huge again vs the Chicago Demons. Carrington Tankson with 5 triples in the 1st half and was on fire. A 21-3 HP run to finish the 1st half makes it 40-17 at the break and the Panthers don’t look back.
Session 6: A Danny Manning siting was a pleasant surprise. I took in a couple of games of 16U action. The best game that almost nobody saw was the Playground Elite vs the Illinois Warriors, best 2 16 teams I’ve seen here. 65-55 final and back and forth the entire way. HP Black 16s blew out the Madison Spartans in the other game I was paying attention to.
During the morning and day sessions, I also saw some of STP Grassroots with Jordair Jett, John Bright, Chamar Wilson et al. Scary team to defend off the dribble. Tough to deal with their ability to break you down and get to the basket. Saw a little of the MSB win over the Dakota Schoolers. That surprised me. Tyler Bredow doing a nice job at the point for the Roadrunners.
Session 7: In round of 16 playoff action, the KC Pump N Run knocked out Team Missouri 75-65 behind 18 points from star Michael Dixon. KC played with only 7 guys, including the other major stars out. The wear and tear showed as KC led by 19 in the 2nd half before seeing the lead dwindle. RBS All Stars knocked out the All Iowa Attack 16U squad 68-60 so Harrison Barnes is out. A 2 pt game with 1:14 to go before RBS made foul shots down the stretch. All Iowa Attack 17U held on over MSB 57-55 behind a late 3 from Jesse Pritchard. Josh Zitzman with a chance to win it at the end that was no good. And finally, the Dakota Schoolers saw a 5 point lead vanish to DJ Richardson and the Illinois Warriors in the final minute. Richardson with a 4 pt play with 1:05 to go, 1 of 2 FTs after a Schoolers turnover tied it at 72. After 1 Schooler FT and a Warriors layup with 20 seconds left, the Schoolers turned it over again for a Richardson layup for the final 76-73 Warriors margin in a major scare for a tournament favorite against a team that was last in pool D.
Session 8: HP White 17 squad vs MN Comets. Nate Wolters for the Comets big again with 18 pts. This was a 5 point game with 7:35 to play before a HP 10-0 run put it away. 72-59 HP White 17s win. Moses Sundufu with 5 triples on the way to 19 pts. Marques Johnson productive off the bench with 12 pts. Jordan Hughes vs Wolters was a really fun matchup to watch in this game and both guys held their own. Though Hughes had success running side pick and roll with Johnson. HP 16 Black were up 30-4 in their game on the way to a 69-26 win.
Session 9: HP 16 White vs Playground Elite 16s. HP struggling on the glass in the 1st half but having lots of success with high/low action for easy post buckets. 29-28 HP at the break. A Martin Wind triple starts a 10-0 Pulley run that makes it 55-46 Pulley with 6 minutes to play. 9 big Dyami Starks pts (2 triples and a 3 pt play) in the next 3 minutes keep HP ahead and they pull the upset 73-65.
Tournament brackets for Sunday.
HP 17 Black vs Chicago Demons (a team they blew out today)
Grassroots (Jordair Jett etc) vs RBS All-Stars
Illinois Warriors vs HP 17 White
KC Pump N Run vs All Iowa Attack 17U
Fun brackets as there are really fun semis. HP 17 Black vs Grassroots in local rivalry and the Illinois Warriors vs KC Pump N Run game is really high level.
HP 16 Black vs KC Pump N Run 15s
Madison Spartans vs ECI Elite
KC Pump N Run 16s vs HP 16 White
Illinois Warriors vs Mpls Redhawks
3 rematchs as HP 16 Black took out the KC 15s but the KC 16s beat the HP 16 White team in pool play. ECI Elite beat Madison Spartans in pool play as well. I'll take Madison Spartans in revenge, but stay with HP 16 Black and KC 16s along with Illinois Warriors to move on.