2009 Pump N Run Showcase Championships

To championship day at the 2009 Pump N Run Showcase, here's what I saw.

15U Bracket Games
A big quarterfinal between MN Southside and MN Heat Elite. Joey King with 7 in a row to start the game for Southside. The Heat took a 3 point lead to the half but gave up the 1st 10 of the 2nd half and got out to an 18 point lead with 9 minutes left. 26-5 to start the half. King puts up somewhere in the vicinity of 20 points in a 70-55 win. WI Swing-Litscher was up 8 at halftime with the Heat Select group cutting it to 3 with 6:40 left but the Swing hold on 61-50. Pump N Run rolls over Fury 68-33. IA Barnstormers roll 75-43 in the same half.

Pump N Run and WI Swing-Litscher win the semis. Swing-Litscher wins the 15U title 55-47 over Pump N Run in a game that was close throughout.

16U Bracket Games
In the 16U Quarters, Playmakers vs Pump N Run was the big attraction. Pump N Run tried to bully the Playmakers early and got out to a 10-3 lead. Then the Playmakers went to a passing lane 2-3 zone and Pump N Run really had no good answer for it. While the Heat attacked it successfully with penetration down the middle on Saturday, PNR tried to go conventional 1-3-1 high low offense against it, but without a scorer at the high post and guys in the passing lanes, they had trouble scoring as it took Jonah Travis and Alex Richter out of the game. Meanwhile the Playmakers lit it up from 3 with Paul Jesperson being quiet again. 30-26 Playmakers at the half. PNR slowly comes back behind Mike Yahnke inside and an Alex Kreuser triple at 3:40 ties the game at 49. 1:39 to go timeout still tied at 49. Playmakers go man (remember this). Travis promptly to the basket and he makes 1 of 2 FTs. Connor Miller was huge in this one and he drives for a 51-50 Playmakers lead. Richter walks with :28 seconds left. Miller 1 of 2 FTs. Travis fouled with 12 seconds left and he makes both ends of the bonus and we'll go to OT tied at 52 as Aaron Ziman strips Miller right before the buzzer.

Ethan Petrill reverses for a the 1st bucket of the OT. Playmakers miss but Ziman with a drive and bad shot with 40 seconds to play gives the Playmakers life. Jesperson fouled with 16 seconds left for 2 FTs and the 1st is in and out. Ziman with 2 freebies and PNR holds on 56-53 in OT in a great game. Jesperson 11 points but only 2 FGs. Nice defensive work by Alex Richter on him. Connor Miller with 19 points. Why did Coach Jesperson not go back to the zone in the last 1:30 of regulation and OT? I'm throughly baffled by that. Madison Spartans won their quarterfinal big 72-48 over IA Mavs Blue. IA Barnstormers won their quarterfinal big. Wear Out The Net (WOTN) won 64-54 over Heat Elite who were down to 3 guys in the last couple of minutes due to foul outs after being down 20.

In the semis, IA Barnstormers won 83-75 after being down 4 with 11:30 to play to WOTN. Pump N Run was down 19-13 at the break to the Madison Spartans. Alex Richter with a bucket at 8:13 and PNR was back on top 28-27. Then a pair of strange T's on the PNR bench with 6:25 to go but the Spartans only make 2 of the 4 FTs and Ziman takes a miss the other way for a 32-31 PNR lead with 5:50 left. The Spartans can't throw in the ocean after that as they get outscored 18-1 after the technicals. 48-32 Pump N Run wins. Nimrod Hilliard with a couple of sick crossovers in the game, but like Alex Vogel on Saturday couldn't finish at the rim against the trees.

In the championship game, IA Barnstormers vs PNR. 25 all at half, 37 all with 10 minutes left in a very entertaining game. Pump N Run wins the 16U title 62-54.

17U Bracket Games
In the 17U quarters, the IA Barnstormers broke a 62 all tie with 6:30 to go for a 84-75 win over the WI Force. Redhawks won a close one over the Fox Valley Storm 58-47. WI Swing-Selk roll 79-62 as they quickly busted open a game vs Fury Elite that was very close at about 20 all in the 1st half for a 49-28 halftime lead. Pump N Run rolled over Big Game Sports 67-47.

In the Semis, Pump N Run steamrolled the IA Barnstormers 79-43. WI Swing Selk vs Redhawks was very competitive. They win 69-55 but it was as 8 point game with 2 minutes left.

We get the expected high profile championship game between WI Swing Selk and Pump N Run. Marquis Mason with 2 quick fouls and he gets an extended rest for the Swing. He's back later in the half. A 7-0 gives Swing the lead and they go to the half up 34-27. Josh Gasser leads the Swing with 11 points. Chip Rank with 6 points and he's much quicker than you think and not a good matchup for PNR. Steve Tecker and Kevin Noreen with 8 points each, Carlos Emory with 7 points.

Mason is a beast on the other end who can't be guarded either. Emory can't handle him on the block and he eats Noreen for lunch. He's also swatting anything inside away on the other end as he had at least a half dozen blocks in the game. Emory hot with 3 triples to start the half (a part of his game that everyone gives him as something to work on) and we're tied at 40 with 12:25 left. Emory then goes down the right wing gets a feed and totally posterizes Mason with a massive dunk at 9:30. Mason can't guard Noreen on the other end though. 54-48 PNR on a nice Noreen rip thru and drive with 3 minutes left. Gasser with 4 FTs around a Noreen turnover to cut it to 2 with 2:08 left. Mason goes 0-2 from the stripe with 1:26 left and Gasser misses a 3 with 1:10 left. Jonathon Crockett misses a front end with 1:02 left. Mason 1 of 2 with 53 seconds left to foul Noreen out of the game. Aaron Anderson fouled with 49 seconds left and makes both ends of the bonus. Then it gets wild. Gasser blocked by Emory, Rank misses a 3 that Mason grabs and then Rank from the left wing for 3 and we're tied at 56 with 24 seconds left. Dyami Starks misses a 3 at the horn and we'll play OT.

In the OT, Rank gets a good look after setting a backscreen for Mason (play for a dunk). No good with 1:45 left and PNR holds the ball. Wow. With 5 seconds left, Mason gambles for a steal and fouls Crockett at halfcourt. Crockett with 1 of 2 and on the 2nd miss, Timeout Swing with 3 seconds left. They look for Gasser curling long but the pass is right to Anderson at halfcourt. He gets fouled with 2 seconds left and makes both. PNR intercepts another inbounds and Anderson tacks on 1 more FT for an exciting 60-56 win. Carlos Emory and Kevin Noreen with 18 each for PNR. Josh Gasser with 19, Marquis Mason and Chip Rank with 11 each for the Swing. Gasser is a pleasure to watch as a big point guard. Mason was arguably the MVP of the tournament as nobody had an answer for him. Worth noting that the Swing were missing 4 players including 2 or 3 starters this weekend.

Official 17U All-Tournament Team
Josh Gasser, Chip Rank and Marquis Mason from WI Swing-Selk
Kevin Noreen, Steve Tecker and Carlos Emory from MN Pump N Run
Josh Cameron from WI Force
Parker Hines from Minneapolis Redhawks
Rasham Suarez from Iowa Barnstormers

I'll add in Scott Nystrom (Comets Elite-Seevers), Alex Koch (TC Elite) and Taylor Hanson (Mpls Redhawks) as other players I saw play well in the 17U bracket.


  1. Thanks for your coverage Czar. I enjoyed meeting you this weekend. Let me know if I can ever help out with Iowa players, teams, etc, for you. Do you know if they had an All-Tourney team for 16U and 15U divisions?

  2. Thanks coach, a pleasure to meet you as well. Great tourney for your Barnstormers 16s. There was no all tournament team named for the 15s or 16s. But if one would have been named for the 16s, Josh Oglesby would have on it.

  3. Good idea there... how about the Hoop Czar's All-Tournament team? I'd be curious to hear.

    Pump 'N Run 16s really impressed me... they've got an outstanding, classy program started up there. After this weekend, I'm a big fan.

  4. 6 of those 10 kids played together with Coach Miller last year, great chemistry and I know he'll probably read your thoughts and appreciate them.

    Here's a go at the 16U all-tourney team.

    Jonah Travis (#24) and Alex Richter (#31) Minnesota Pump N Run

    Josh Oglesby - Iowa Barnstormers and 1 more player of your choice

    Wear Out the Net gets at a player for their impressive performance but I have no idea who.

    Nimrod Hilliard - Madison Spartans

    Rob Daul - MN Heat Elite

    Somebody from IA Mavs Black, but I didn't see them play at all.


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