I made the trip to Mankato to see for myself what the Mr Basketball MN Showcase had on display. Last night the coaches were out in force, but a very very quiet day in terms of coaches sightings on Saturday (weak schedule didn't help).
Game 1: MN Glory was down 15-4 early to IBCA Iowa Select I as they couldn't buy a shot from anywhere. IBCA star Trevor Osen in foul trouble which limited his 1st half minutes. Glory's Connor Gunderson took advantage of their open-post motion with numerous curl cuts into the lane for easy hoops and then knocked down 3 triples in the 2nd half on his way to 24 points in a 60-51 Glory win.
Game 2: TC Elite vs Mitchell Kernels. TC Elite sleepwalks early but manages to take a 37-24 halftime lead. Mitchell closes to 58-54 with 5:32 remaining but Aaron McCrossan knocks down a pair of his 6 triples in the game and adds on a pair of assists as TC Elite opens the shooting gallery down the stretch. Jordan Gieske doing a nice job of running and working to get easy buckets. TC Elite wins 78-59.
Game 4: MN Select James vs WI Blizzard II. Jake Kreuser with a bunch of touches for Select in this one. Blizzard take a 26-25 lead to half and then open the lead up to 8 early in the 2nd half before Select comes back for a 50-47 win. Tyler Firme's 12 points leads the way and I like his game. Jake Kreuser with 8 points (3-9 FG), 8 rebounds and 2 blocks on my sheet.
Game 4: TNL out of gate quick vs the SW MN Stars 7-0 despite 0-6 shooting from their big 3 of Duberry, Knopke and Sewer. TNL gets 8 in a row including a pair of Duberry triples for a 29-21 lead only to give up the next 9. SW goes to the half up 34-33. 42 all inside of 12 minutes when TNL goes on a 17-4 run to take a 59-46 lead with 6:25 left. The lead gets out to 16 before SW makes a furious late comeback. A steal for 2 cuts the lead to 5 with 2:05 left, then a 3 pt play cuts the lead to 3 at the 1:15 mark and a triple with 55 seconds left cuts the TNL lead to 76-75. TNL misses a front end with 28.8 left and survives a wide open look at the tying 3 withi 18 seconds left. TNL wins 82-80. Jay Sewer leads the way with 23 points (5 triples) on 8-16 shooting. Jasper Duberry with 4 triples as he went 7-12 for 18 points. Devon Knopke struggled with his shot going 2-8 (missed 1st 6) but he went 11-14 from the charity stripe and I had him for 7 rebounds and 3 assists with 15 points.
Game 5: MSB blows out Magic Red 79-59. Richfield's Ben Webster with 19 points for Magic Red. Lucas Brown with 21 points after a cold shooting start as he continues to impress here for MSB. MSB missing key components Zach Vraa, Troy Klingsporn and Andy Jirik.
Game 6: Best thing I can say about the 73-36 WI Blizzard I win over IBCA Iowa Select II squad is to acknowledge the IBCA guard who had the Kurt Rambis glasses going. That was a quality visual. Adam Haidman with 8 triples and 26 points for the victors in the top scoring performance of the tourney to date.
Game 7: Magic Black vs MN Select Kruger. Magic Black out to a 7-0 lead but the Heat are pesky and won't go away. Doug Sewall now with the Magic (was with TNL) gets a nasty gash above his right eye and we've got copious amounts of blood visible. CLEANUP ON COURT 1 PLEASE! But he's tough and comes back with a big patch in the 2nd half. Though I wish he would have had the Cameron Rundles playoff headwrap of a few years ago vs Henry with the single dried trickle of blood down his cheek. Anyway, North (St. Paul's) Nathan Schouvieller takes the extra step and gets called for it but the hammer throwdown came out of nowhere. Surprisingly athleticism there. Jeff Fallat with a putback with 2:07 remaining to give Magic a 52-49 lead. Brodie Raymond with a clutch triple with 29 seconds left to push Select into a 54 all tie. Jalen Williiams hesitates and misses an open 3 and Jeff Fallat fouls on the rebound with 6 seconds left Raymond makes the 1st FT. Magic requests a timeout after possession of the 2nd free throw. 2nd free throw is up and off the rim, mad scramble, ball is loose. Wait. There's the whistle and Magic gets the timeout down 1 with 4.9 left. Good break for the Magic. Jalen Williams goes full court but its not good at the horn and Select Kruger wins 55-54. Jalen Williams perimeter skills were more than expected and he leads the way with 16 points. Raymond with 3 more triples and 15 points as he continues his solid play in his backyard.
Game 8: Heat Select struggled though the 1st 3/4 of the game vs the Western Iowa Knickerbockers. But they make a run and win 69-61. David Mooers comes up big with 19 points for the winners. Nathan Kuck only 7 points as I had him 3-12 shooting, just one of those days. He's been Heat Select's top player all summer. Elijah Sabah quiet with 6 points on 3-5 shooting.
Game 9: IBCA Iowa Select I vs Mitchell Kernels. Game appears meaningless but it has impact on the next game. A Kernels win means Glory and TC Elite play head up for 1 and 2 in the pool. An IBCA win means a TC Elite win forces a 3 way tie. 1st place determined by point differential. Then 2nd place determined by head-head result of the remaining 2 teams. Glory at +29, TC Elite at +16, IBCA at -6. Long story short IBCA blows a 12 point 2nd half lead but comes back to hold off Mitchell 61-54. That means going into game 10 below. TC Elite not only needs to win, but they need to win by 7 or more to win the pool. 6 or less would put them in the 2nd place head-head tiebreaker with IBCA which IBCA won yesterday by 3 and therefore TC Elite would be 3rd and not play in the championship bracket.
Game 10: TC Elite vs Glory. Remember TC Elite needs a win by 7+. Glory out to a 28-16 lead with 5:18 left in the 1st half. Josh Pratt back with a pair of triples to cut the lead to 3 2 minutes later (9-0 run). But Glory makes clutch shots and they lead 36-29 at the half. TC Elite to the bonus and within 2 with 8:23 left when they miss the front end of the bonus that would tie the game. Glory's Nate Miller counters with back to back triples and the Glory lead is 57-49 with 7 minutes left. Pratt with a steal for 2 but then he misses the front end with 3:41 left and TC Elite down 63-58. David Gschneider with a hoop and 2 FTs and after we get the scoreboard straightened out, we're tied at 63 with 1:30 to play. Aaron McCrossan's 3 at 1:15 counters a Miller layin and now TC Elite leads 66-65, but remember they need a 7 point win so now the foul game starts. Glory misses 3 front ends (we're only shooting 1+1 in this tourney, no double bonus) but TC Elite can't convert. After 2 Justin Bosman FTs with 18.8 left, Pratt nails a triple with 4.5 to go to tie the game and send us to a 2 minute overtime. New life for TC Elite? No. Glory wins 79-75. Josh Pratt and Connor Gunderson lead their teams with 22 points each. Pratt hot from deep as he had 5 triples.
Game 11: TNL vs MN Select James. Interesting contrast of Select and Jake Kreuser vs the helter skelter style of TNL. Sam Onsomu (I think a mini Bryce Webster when I see him) is a nice piece inside along with Tyler Firme. He's got a big frame and works hard inside. Offense hard to come by in this one as TNL wins easily 65-42. Onsomu leads Select with 10 points. Jake Kreuser 9 points on 3-6 shooting with 5 rebounds and 2 blocks. Biggest shock though is how easy TNL won despite the woeful shooting of their guards. Jay Sewer 15 points on 6-15 shooting. Devon Knopke cold again as I had him 2-11 shooting. Nice game of 14 points and aggressiveness at Kreuser from Kyle Zimmerman.
MN Glory, MSB, Magic Black and TNL win the 4 pools.