Saturday at the 2009 Sabes Invitational

To the longest day in the history of basketball. A 9 AM start with a 2 games in a 10:40 PM session. Oof!

Session 1
Howard Pulley Black 17s taking on the Chicago Demons with a late arriving roster. 6 guys to start but we eventually get a more complete supporting cast. The rest of the roster was asleep too. 31-25 Demons with 9:23 to play when HP goes to a press to try and wake up. The Demons get the next bucket but that's basically their day. Chad Calcaterra with a couple of post hoops and Jordan Hughes with a triple to put HP on top for good. Cedric Martin finishes a 13-0 run with a 3 point play. 38-33 HP with 2:24 to go and they win 42-35 as the Demons get 2 points in the last 9+ minutes.

The St. Louis Eagles blew out All Iowa Attack Black 97-52 as that game was over almost immediately after starting.

Session 2
A single game session for me as I take in Harrison Barnes and All Iowa Attack Red vs Houston Hoops. Hoops leads 22-15 before Attack has a string of triples to tie the game at 25 with 5:30 left in the 1st half. They keep it going for a 39-33 halftime lead. Harrison Barnes with 7 points in the half. Trayvonn Wright with 11. Brandon Peters 11 and Tobi Oyedeji with 8.

Barnes with 6 in a row early in the half for a 45-38 lead and then he gets doubled in the post and the kickout leads to a Wright dunk. Barnes and Zach McCabe nail triples around a Wright block and the Attack lead is 57-44 with 10:50 to play. Peters with a 360 dunk to cut the lead to 7 with 8:10 left. Frosh J-Mychal Reese quiet but he nails a jumper with 4:44 left and Houston is back on top 67-65. Time out Attack and coach Sullivan is not at all pleased with his team as the entire gym finds out.

Barnes with a dunk and 2 free throws for the lead. After a LJ Rose 3, Reese is huge down the stretch. He nails a 2 and then a 3 for a 75-72 lead with 2:10 remaining. Then he finds Peters on a lob to keep the Houston lead at 5 with 1:06 left. He then has a layin and another assist to Peters for a 83-79 lead with 19 seconds left. Barnes with 2 of 3 FTs with 11.8 left but Peters seals the deal with 2 freebies with 7.7 to play. Houston Hoops wins 85-81.

Harrison Barnes 8-13 shooting for 28 points (11-13 FTs). Trayvonn Wright with 18 points as he continues to play well for the Attack. Brandon Peters big with 23 points and he spent time doing a respectable job on Barnes. J-Mychal Reese big late to finish with 16 points. Fellow frosh LF Rose with 13, Tobi Oyedeji with 12.

Session 3
I take in a little bit of 16U action (nothing exciting) and catch the end of the Playground Elite struggling to beat RBS 79-71. And of course, my waistline demands I have some lunch.

Session 4
Another look at Houston Hoops as they play for the Pool D title against the Illinois Warriors. 31-27 Warriors at half. The lead extends to 11 with 6:30 to go and the Warriors are never really challenged. Houston so disgusted with their play that the bench got major minutes. Oyedeji sat probably the last 11 minutes for Knene Anyigbo who was a beast inside in this one. Warriors win Pool D 64-53.

HP Black 17s beat St. Louis Eagles 83-73 for the Pool A crown. Another game of a 10 point lead and no real contest down the stretch. Howard Pulley 17 White nailed a halfcourt 3 to send their game with Grassroots to OT before losing.

Session 5
Dakota Schoolers vs SYF Players for 2nd in Pool C. Lots of coaches on the rail for this one. Tie game with 9 minutes left but the Schoolers only get 1 hoop the rest of the way but it was still interesting down the stretch as SYF was only up 4 with 2 minutes left. 56-48 they move on in an ugly display. No Cody Larson for the Schoolers due to injury.

Session 6
Finally the end of pool play. Team Nebraska vs RBS for 2nd place in Pool B. 77-70 RBS inside a minute to play but they give up 9 quick ones in a row after not making FTs. 79-77 Team Nebraska with 20 seconds left and then RBS turns it over. But Team Nebraska misses a front end with 10.1 to play. Ryan Walker to the rim for 2 and the foul with 3.1 left to give RBS a crazy 80-79 .


Session 7
A light session 7 with only 2 playin games for the 17s due to forfeits. Interesting bracket with Pool E playing all the playin games vs the last place teams from the other 4 pools. That means MSB gets All Iowa Attack Black. Black wins that one 51-44.

We get the very interesting Comets vs Grassroots matchup in the other game. Grassroots out quickly 14-5 at the 12:20 mark. Then the Comets start raining in triples. Jordan Riewer with 2 and an assist to Erik Tengwall for another. Zach Noreen with another to end a 16-0 Comets run for a 21-14 lead with 7:30 left in the half. The Comets playing 3-2 and 2-3 zone during the run. Grassroots not patient vs the zone and jacking up 3s left and right. Taylor Filipek for 3 and Riewer with a layup. 38-22 Comets with 4:10 left in the half and Grassroots has to use their 3rd timeout of the half. 33-8 run over 8:10. Great shooting by the Comets but the looks are great looks too.

The Comets decide to go back man and Grassroots responds with 8 in a row over the next 90 seconds prompting a Comets timeout. Kevin Thompson going off for Grassroots as he had the last bucket before the timeout, 2 more hoops and a steal to cut the lead to 38-36 (14-0 Grassroots run). Back to the zone for the Comets as they go to the half up 44-38.

The Comets keep the lead as the game stays close. Jordair Jett with a 3 and an assist to Thompson. 54-53 Comets at 9:10. Shaun Condon providing all the offense for the Comets as we go forward. That keeps the Comets close. Finally a nice catch of a lob and reverse layup by Carlos Emory puts Grassroots back on top 63-61 with 6:40 left. Condon still scoring for the Comets. Quincey Bethea with a big triple with 90 seconds left for a 69-67 Grassroots lead. 70-67 with 1 minute left. Comets run a play and get nothing out of it. Finally with 5.8 left a tieup goes their way. Out of a timeout, Riewer throws up an early halfcourt prayer and Grassroots hangs on 70-67. Zach Noreen's performance for the Comets also worth noting in this one.

Session 8
16U Playin games here. KC Pump Run 15s jump on the MN Magic 8-0 early but the Magic lead 34-28 at the half. 53-50 KC with 5:47 to go but out of a timeout it changes. KC moves on 71-56. ECI 16s vs Playground Elite 15s in another playin game. 47-38 ECI with 6 minutes left before star Otis Pirtle goes off. He has a pair of 3 point plays and a hoop to tie the game at 48 with 3:38 left. ECI nails a 3 with 52 seconds left to tie the game at 51. Playground turns it over with 35 seconds left but they turn it over with 16 seconds left. Playground fouled with 13 seconds left but they miss both. Pirtle grabs the offensive board of the 2nd miss and puts it back with 8 seconds left for the 53-51 Playground Elite win.

Session 9
17U Round of 16 game: Grassroots vs KC Pump N Run. 8-3 KC early before Quincy Bethea lights up. He 3rd triple of the half gives Grassroots a 21-18 lead at the 11 minute mark. Jordair Jett picks up 2 quick fouls for a total of 3 with 8:12 left in the half and he'll have to sit. KC goes zone with 5:30 left in the half but Grassroots not phased by it in this one. Bethea nails another triple late in his huge 1st half (14+ pts) for a 45-43 Grassroots halftime lead. Trevor Releford with a monster half as well for KC.

45 all in the second half before a Grassroots spurt. Carlos Emory with a big alley-oop dunk, Jett with a hoop and Emory with a tip in and Jett with a jumper. Grassroots gets the lead to 56-47. But Releford has a big sequence. A layup, then a block on Jett that Releford gets back and scores on the other end. Worse yet Jett hacks him in the act for the And 1 which is his 4th foul. 8:53 left and KC has cut the lead to 59-58. Much to the amazement of many, Jett stays in the game.

6 in a row for Grassroots push the lead to 7 and Jett surely will sit now won't he? I think not. Ricky Kreklow for 3 with 5:30 left and then another KC hoop cut the lead back to 1, 69-68 Grassroots with 5:07 left and now Jett will sit. Wow. You need him against this run. He's back at 3:29. Bethea with a pair of clutch jumpers around Jett's re-entry. 74-68 Grassroots leads with 3:10 left. Bethea with an assist to Noreen at 2:15. Releford with a layup at 1:45 and the lead is 76-75 Grassroots. Bethea with another clutch J at 1:30. KC scores and Jett counters with a tough layup on the other end with 40 seconds left. 80-77 Grassroots leads. KC scores and Grassroots turns it over on the inbounds as Jett went long and the pass went short with 19.9 left.

KC underneath inbounds to Kreklow who's standing in front of an official and is on the sideline. Ref makes the call but Al Sharpton rules a push on the play from his halfcourt position. Amazing. In a moment of poetic justice, Kreklow misses the front of the bonus. KC has to give a bunch of fouls (3 or 4) before Bethea misses a front end with 6.6 to go. Releford comes flying back the other way and he bowls over Emory with 1.5 left for a charge. Grassroots wins 80-79 in a fantastic game. Trevor Releford and Quincy Bethea were outstanding in this one and Releford outplayed Jett.

17U Round of 16 Results (Bracket Order)
Howard Pulley Black over ECI 89-64 with a big end to the game.
Chicago Demons over RBS 56-46
Playground Elite over All Iowa Attack Black 76-49 (Session 10)
St. Louis Eagles over Team Nebraska 105-75
Grassroots over KC Pump N Run 80-79
Houston Hoops over Dakota Schoolers 64-54
Illinois Warriors over Howard Pulley White 57-43
SYF over All Iowa Attack Red 77-73 in an upset.

That means that last week's Jayhawk finalist are both out (Attack Red and KC PNR).

Session 10
6 16U Round of 16 Games. Dakota Schoolers with a triple to cut SYF's lead to 68-66 with 1:05 left but a 3 point play puts the game away for an SYF win. MN Comets down 43-10 early before losing big to KC Pump N Run in a result that really surprised me. HP Black 15s hung around with the All Iowa Attack Red squad until an 11-2 run at the 10 minute mark of the 2nd half put the game away. Final Results below.

Session 11
Final 2 16U Round of 16U games. Playground Elite 16s give up the 1st basket of the 2nd half to have their lead vs Howard Pulley 17 White cut to 5, but a 7-0 run pushes the lead to 12. HP goes 1-3-1 on defense and can't hit a shot on the other end. The game sits on 44-30 for almost 7 minutes. Ugly. Playground Elite moves on 56-38. All Iowa Attack Red up 18-2 on Team Missouri to start the game. That extends to 34-14 at the half as they move on. Chris Monter wins his shooting game series 5-3 on the day. We all need something to keep awake.

16U Round of 16 Results (Bracket Order)
Illinois Warriors over All Iowa Attack 15U 60-49
Howard Pulley Black 16U over KC PNR 15U 62-51
All Iowa Attack Black over Team Missouri (after press time)
KC Truth over Playground Elite 15U 61-45
KC Pump N Run over MN Comets 82-42
Playground Elite 16U over Howard Pulley White 16U 56-38
SYF over Dakota Schoolers 75-68
All Iowa Attack Red over Howard Pulley Black 15U 85-66

You can see what just 1 level can do to a team as all 4 15U teams playing went out early.

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