2009 MN Comets Shootout Pool Play Thoughts

I spent the 1st half of the day in the Auxillary Gym at Sartell HS for 15U Play and the back half of the day watching the 11 teams (IA teams pulled out due to the weather) at Sauk Rapids-Rice HS. Here's what caught my eye.

15U (4 games, 6 teams)

43 Hoops I is totally loaded with Cutler Finneman (Concordia) and Josh Turnquist (Rogers) up front with a host of guards like Marcus Marshall (Hopkins), Tommy McDermott (Minnetonka). They also have Maple Grove behemoth Will Johnson. I mentioned during the game that their execution of the dribble drive motion for 17-24 FTs during the 1st half of their game vs Tri City would have Vance Wahberg smiling.

MN Heat Elite's Trent Pollard (BSM) was terrific in the game vs 43 Hoops I. Unfortunately he also committed a reach in foul with 1 second left. Marcus Marshall made both and 43 Hoops stole a 57-56 win after being down 5 with 2 minutes left. Eric Gebeke DNP due to illness for the Heat.

MN Heat Select's team as a whole was impressive in moving the ball. Hastings with Quintain Weaver at Center (think of Tyler Perry of Mounds View as both are good passers) and Darius Wilkerson at forward may have more in the pipeline. Disruptive because of his length. Christian Koehn (Totino-Grace) did a nice job running the point.

Shaquille Stringer (Armstrong) was the top player for the Tri-City Bulldogs. He has the ability to be a very good player. Overall an athletic squad that can pull an upset with hot shooting.

The Minnesota Select featured Blake 8th grader Kebu Johnson. I like the lefty's composure. Derek Schofield (Cotton) is huge with some skills (no surprise). Mohamed Osman gives them a long and lanky shot blocking option. They have 3 tiny guards on the roster.

17U (tight squeeze against the walls at SRHS)
Session 1: No Joe Terfehr for ECI MN so their game vs MN PNR was ugly. Carlos Emmory was dunking all over the place including a monster windmill in this one. A couple of interesting PNR lineups during the 2nd half experimentation. Kevin Noreen at PG with Darius Clare, Mike Rostampour, Alec Brown and Jake Kreuser. Then they came with Aaron Anderson, Dyami Starks, Tazz Crockett, Emmory at the 4 and Brown. All 3 games are blowouts as Grassroots (sans Jett) blows out 94 Ft and Heat Elite blowout ECI East

Session 2: With the Iowa Mavs out, only 2 games in the even numbered sessions. Both 43 Hoops teams take 12/13 point leads to the break and roll in the 2nd half to easy wins over Hoops Training and TC Elite.

Session 3: Heat Elite hold off Triple Threat 59-50, 94 Ft over ECI MN 56-43. PNR gets out to a quick 18-5 lead vs Grassroots. 40-30 at half. It opens up to 57-38 with 8:30 to play. PNR wins 66-50 and it wasn't that close. A physical and chippy game. Grassroots with an interesting roster of Averey Duncan, Joe Bright and Brian Sandifer of St. Bernard's (I think Mike Weah too). Joe Bright, Kenquane Brown and Quincy Bethea of Cooper along with Kevin Thompson and Jordan Hughes (Henry) and a mystery player that no one seems to know.

Session 4: TC Elite vs PNR 16s. 8-0 PNRs after 6 minutes. But TC Elite goes on a 27-7 run over the next 11:30. PNR closes to 27-21 at the break. They pull to 33-29 in the 2nd half before a 9-0 run pushes the lead back to 13 with 9:17 to play. Alex Kreuser gets his defender pinched inside and Alex Richter and Jason Perkins score inside for 7 quick PNR points. Back to 6. Mike Yahnke puts back a miss with 4:20 left to cut the lead to 46-44. Down 49-46 with 1:20 left, Ethan Petrill misses a triple. A jumpball goes to PNR and Jonah Travis puts back a miss with 30 seconds left. After a TC Elite turnover, Shelby Moats makes 1 of 2 FTs with 16.6 left to tie the game at 49. David Gschneider of misses a front end with 12 seconds left and PNR takes time with 11.1 left. Jonah Travis gets a good look at a right elbow jumper but that's no good. TC Elite comes out of the pack and they may have a layup at the horn, but they called timeout. The clock expired as it wasn't clear how much time should be left. The officials put 3 seconds up. TC Elite inbounds from around half court and Josh Pratt curls around a high double and buries a left wing 3 to win it 52-49.

Session 5: Grassroots kept ECI MN close with a 84-79 win. PNR took it to 94 Ft with a 68-29 win. That game was something like 30-5. Ugly. 94 Ft with Andre Ingram (MTS) and Jordan Jackson (Como Park)

Session 6: Hoops Training looked they would hold on over Comets Blue. 43 Hoops Harris leads by 10 or 12 at half on the PNR 16s and then the run and jump pressure takes over and we end up with a 30 some point blowout by the 43 Hoops Harris squad.


  1. Czar, A couple of questions and some takes. Thoughts on the Carr 16U team? Did you see the Eastsidezs (sp) against 16U? Why was Rodney playing? Amazing athlete. Can't wait to see him in Maroon and Gold. No love for 43 Hoops II which is their 14U team which won the 15u championship going going undefeated!

    Any thoughts on the P&R teams in general?

  2. I didn't the 43 Hoops 16s play as they were at another building both days. I saw the Grassroots (Eastsidaz) squad but only on Saturday night when Jett and Rodney weren't available due to the all-star game. Disappointing they didn't make the Gold championship game.

    I don't claim to know the rules on signed seniors playing. Remember Rodney hasn't officially qualified yet. While I can't elaborate, the rumor mill tells me there may be some big news with Rodney this week.

    The 15U brackets were same time as the 17U so I couldn't pay attention to it, but its very impressive that the 14U came thru and won. I saw the 15U team which was outstanding so that's a very nice tourney.

    PNR 16s played without Eric Robertson who has a bum wheel if I remember right. That's a carry over from the regular season. With 4 new guys, they're still figuring out chemistry and roles. They'll be a much better team in July (then again who won't be) and very scary. That TC Elite loss isn't as bad as it initially sounds.

    PNR 17s didn't play well against TNL but executed at the end once they got the lead. With their size, I wanted to see more post play from them but they also have guys who want to get out and go. But teams will start making Emmory make jump shots. If he develops that, watch out.

  3. the coach for mn heat 9th grade select team is a great coach. the name is biren desai. im a sophomore now and had him as a coach back in 7th grade. that was my first and only year playing spring basketball (knee injury the past two years) and i enjoyed playing for him and i learned a lot from him. im surprised his name is not big in the basketball scene


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