Saturday quarterfinal action at the State AAU tourney

How appropriate that we start year 2 of the blog with Quarterfinal action in all divisions at the state AAU tournament.

Session 1 15U Quarterfinals (top 2 seeds):
  • #2 MN Heat vs #7 SW MN Heat. When 1 jersey says Heat and the other says Minnesota Heat, you have to look twice to make sure you know which team is which. The MN Heat very shorthanded this weekend as the Preiner twins and Ryan Burns are at the UNI camp with their Tartan club and Riley West (Lakeville S varsity player, 5 PPG) is out due to injury. But they still have Alex Richter (also Lakeville S varsity, averaged 6.2 PPG this season), so the cupboard isn't bare. The MN Heat open it up in the 2nd half after a 32-23 halftime lead and roll 79-49. Richter with low minutes in the 2nd and 4th quarters, but he still finished with 27 pts and 8 rebounds by my stat sheet. Very aggressive and was a man amongst children in this game. Easily could have had over 30. Not yet a shooter, but very good in the post vs his peers. Definitely a player I'll be watching over the next 3 seasons.
  • 43 Hoops Carr was only up 12-7 after 1 quarter on the Central MN Flyers, but they run away with the rest of the game for a 90-46 victory. Unselfish team (maybe to a fault) and I liked their 1-2-2 press.
Session 2, 17U Opening Round :
  • #6 MN Comets vs #11 MN Magic Stars. No Ethan Wragge, Jack Gavin, Josh Pedretti or Mitch Bires for the Magic. Close 1st half as the Comets led 12-11 after 1 quarter, but the Magic came back to lead 30-27 at half. Nate Wolters (St. Cloud Tech) with 11 in the 3rd quarter to push the Comets to a 47-40 lead after 3. Billy Giddings (Blaine) gets the 1st bucket of the 4th for the Magic, but the Comets go on a 11-0 run after that to put the game away. 66-48 Comets win. Wolters with 20. Tim Bergstrasser (St. Cloud Apollo) with 14 pts and 7 rbs for the Comets. Billy Giddings with 14 and 7 for the Magic. Chris Orgas (Lakeville North) with 12 and 5 for the Magic
  • #7 MSB blows out #10 MN Comets Stars
  • #8 MN Select-DeKok beats #9 MN Comets North
  • #3 MN Magic Black blows out #14 Rochester Shock in a 16U opening round game.
  • Before the 3rd official session, I saw some of MN Southside's come back from 30 down to win in the 17U D2 bracket. MN Southside is the Eastview squad with Drew Johnson and Carlos Emory. Emory played with this squad instead of Magic-Robertson. Vinard Birch who is also on this squad stayed with 43 Hoops.
Session 3, 16U Quarterfinals (upper bracket):
  • #4 MN Comets Elite vs #5 MN Xplosion. These teams split 2 games earlier in the summer so this should be quite interesting. Fun up and down game, but no pressing from the Xplosion to my surprise. Xplosion gets out to a 15-4 lead after 1 quarter. The Comets close to 18-16 but Xplosion gets 8 of the last 9 to lead 26-17 at the break. 35-28 Xplosion halfway thru quarter #3 when the Comets go on a 11-0 run thanks to 9 straight points from Luke Januschka (St. Cloud Cathedral). 39-37 Comets at the end of the 3rd quarter. Jack Ghizoni (Burnsville) hits 2 FTs for Xplosion with 3 minutes left to make it 46-45 Comets. The teams trade a couple of buckets in the next 2 minutes. With 42 seconds left, Cody Meyer makes the 1st FT but misses the 2nd and gets his own rebound. The Comets get 2 layups after this and they go on to win 55-49. Jack Ghizoni with 14 for Xplosion. Luke Januschka with 14 for the Comets.
  • #1 MN Magic Elite had a close 1st quarter with #8 MN Fury North in the other 16U Quarterfinal that was going on. 49-36 Magic at half, 70-47 Magic after 3 and they win 90-56. Josh Hanson didn't play last night for the Fury but was back today.
Session 4, 16U Quarterfinals (lower bracket):
  • #2 MN Fury South vs #7 43 Hoops-Harris. 10-8 Hoops after 1 quarter. Vinard Birch guarding Dajon Newell (Lakeville N) is really fun to watch. 6 straight front ends of the 1 and 1 missed in the 2nd quarter, including 4 by 43 Hoops. 23-13 Hoops at the half. The Fury just can't get over the hump as they pull to 25-20 but fall back to 36-28 down at the end of the 3rd quarter. Darry Jones (St. Agnes) heats up in the 4th, but Birch playing well leading the offense for 43 Hoops in the 4th and they pull the upset 58-44. Jones with 12 and Newell with 11 for the Fury. Nick Quicksell (Woodbury) with 15, Birch with 13 for 43 Hoops.
  • #3 MN Magic Black vs #6 Mpls Redhawks. 37-30 Redhawks after 3 quarters (that included a late Magic run). 43-36 Redhawks late, but the Magic close within 43-41 with 50 seconds left. The Redhawks hit their FTs down the stretch and they hang on to pull the upset 49-41.
Session 5, 17U Quarterfinals:
  • #4 MN Select-Kruger (coached by Sibley asst coach) vs #5 Magic Superfriends. 18-13 Magic after 1 quarter which was over by the time the previous MN Fury vs 43 Hoops game ended because they started 10 minutes early. Strange. Select gets the last 6 points of the half to only be down 34-28 at the break thanks to a buzzer beating 3 by Alex Miller (Tall... Tall Kid Tall... Tall Kid Tall...). Where are the BSM students when you need them? The Select use an 8-0 run to tie the game late in the 3rd but the Magic push back ahead 46-41 after 3 thanks to a Taylor Sparkman (Minnehaha) bucket and an Isaiah Thomas (Fridley) 3. Select opens the 4th quarter on an 8-0 run before the Magic finally hit a 3 for their 1st points of the quarter with 1:29 left to play (49 all). Maurice Hernandez (Sibley) with a bucket at 1:10 to push the Select back in front 51-49. Cody Hofmann (Park) makes 3 of 4 FTs before a late Thomas 3 makes the final score 54-52 Select.
  • #2 MN Glory vs #7 MSB. 33 all at halftime before the Glory get out to a 50-40 lead in the 3rd quarter. MSB gets last 11 of the quarter and the 1st 4 of the 4th quarter to lead 55-50 with 6 minutes left. 57 all with 2:24 to play and Mike Muscala (Roseville) gets a bucket and then puts back an offensive rebound after a Glory turnover to start a 10-0 run. Muscala also with a couple of thunderous dunks in this game. 1 near the end of the 3rd during the 11-0 run and 1 with the score tied at 55. MSB pulls the upset 69-59.
  • #3 MN Fury vs #6 MN Comets Elite. Close game early but the Fury get out to a 10 pt lead and hold it for most of the 2nd half. They win surprisingly easy (to this observer anyway) 56-45.
  • #1 Magic-Robertson vs #8 MN Select DeKok. I had to do a serious double take as Rodney Williams was playing for the Magic in this one. I know he has ties within the Magic, but still I thought he'd be with Pulley at the UNI camp this weekend. They lead 15-10 after 1 quarter, 36-24 at the break, 55-32 after 3 and roll 75-52.
Sunday Action looks like this

9:30 15U Semifinals.
  • #1 43 Hoops Carr vs #12 43 Hoops Amundson in 1 semifinal. The Amundson squad with 2 upsets in morning play but remember that they gave the Magic Elite 15s all they wanted a couple of weeks ago.
  • #2 MN Heat Elite vs #3 MN Magic Elite. Big game here and the one I'll be focusing on at this time. The Heat Elite won big the last time these 2 played. But the Heat had their full roster and Jason Perkins got injured for the Magic during that game so this semifinal will be much different. I'm really looking forward to seeing what game plan coach Miller has for the Heat's Alex Richter. He certainly has a couple of big bodies (Perkins and Mike Yahnke) that he can use. I'm also interested to see Richter against this higher level of competition.
10:50 16U and 17U semifinals
  • My game will be the #1 MN Magic Elite 16s vs #4 MN Comets Elite 16s. The Comets beat the Magic head-head at the Magic invite in April. The athleticism of the Comets seemed to bother the Magic then. But this isn't the same Magic squad either. Derek Brown has arrived from South Dakota, not to mention the additions of Jasper Duberry (Champlin Park) and Jay Sewer (Richfield) from high flying TNL Express roster. Should be very interesting.
  • The other 16U semi the bracketbuster game. #6 Mpls Redhawks vs #7 43 Hoops Harris. 43 Hoops has been very good defensively, but the Redhawks keep getting it done. Should be a very interesting game.
  • 17U Semifinal #1 is Magic-Robertson vs MN Select Kruger. Robertson just too much here.
  • 17U Semifinal #2 is MSB vs MN Fury. Fury are solid and MSB is coming off the upset so this one should be interesting. I wonder how the Fury deal with MSB's big guys. But how does MSB matchup with Erik Olson of the Fury?
12:10 15U championship game
1:30 17U 3rd place game and maybe I'll sneak a peak at the 14U D1 title game.
2:50 17U championship


  1. Just to update you and clarify the situation on a couple of the Magic squads you wrote about . Magic Elite 15U beat MN Heat Elite rather
    easily last weekend in Iowa in the semifinals, before defeating 43Hoops-Carr in the championship.
    They are playing much better now,
    starting to gel within Coach
    Miller's system.

    Also, Magic Elite 16U defeated the
    Comets by 28 points in the finals
    of the AAU seeding qualifier at
    Champlin Park HS three weekends
    ago. This was the exact same
    group that they had in their loss
    to the Comets back in April. That
    weekend in April was just an
    anomaly for 16U Elite as they
    haven't had a close game in-state
    since then and are 9-2 against
    17U competition nationally,
    qualifying to play in the AAI 17U
    Nationals in July. This has all
    happened before the addition of
    Brown, Sewer and Duberry, who
    obviously make the team that
    much tougher to compete against.

    Finally, re: Magic 17U-Robertson.
    Rodney is the coach's grandson and
    has played for him in the past and
    has been trying to play for his
    grandfather's team all season- with Emory opting to play school ball, the team voted unanimously to let Williams join the team.

  2. Thank you for your comment statchek. That's valuable information about the more recent meetings. As to the Rodney situation, I chose to leave the family specifics out of it as I didn't feel mentioning family specifics was appropriate (hence my reference to ties within the Magic program).

    I'm not saying its wrong or surprising considering the circumstances, just that I wasn't expecting it this weekend. I know it had been rumored prior to the AAU season that he might play with them. As to the issue of jumping teams/team commitment, I wasn't attempting to open that can of worms. My only point when you see a player from one of the big local programs show up and be playing for another big local program without any warning (meaning I didn't know it was coming), it gets your attention.

  3. The Magic Elite did beat the Heat last weekend in Ames but Heat only had 6 guys. Preiner twins playing with tartan, burns with tartan and riley injured. When the Heat had the Preiner twins they beat Magic by 18 in the Magic tourney. Although the magic team is defintely playing a lot better since that time, theres no doubt

  4. Are you going to post comments from the Sunday AAU games you planned to watch?

  5. Thanks for your interest magic fan. Unfortunately I woke up on Sunday with a massive migrane so I wasn't able to attend anything on Sunday. Not pleased about it as I was looking forward to those games. That's why nothing went up. I'll comment here on the weekend/sunday based on what I've read.

    I'm glad I didn't see officiating in the 15U title game. Both Ryan James and Coach Miller commented on it which means it must have been pretty subpar.

    While I got the 3 winners right in my predictions, the rest of my guesses left plenty to be desired.

    16U and 17U title games weren't as high profile as expected due to upsets. But give the MN Fury 17s credit for their play. Coach Davis gets a lot out of his roster. They proved many people wrong this weekend (me being one of them).

    Great day for me on Saturday. The Fury 16 South squad is fun to watch. This was their 1st full game I saw. No names stick out like other teams, but they are very good. Dajon Newell, nice player. That 43 Hoops team that beat them was much better than a #7 seed. The Xplosion vs Comets game was a good game. The 17U 6/11 game was a bit of a letdown with the magic squad missing all their players, but give the Comets credit for putting it away in the 4th.

    The end of the MSB/Glory game was really fun too. Mike Muscala with 6 straight late points in that one to put MSB over the top. That 15-0 run was impressive.

    Maurice Hernandez of Sibley impressive for the MN Select squad too.


Have a different take than mine? You can provide your take here.