2009 Best Buy Summer Classic Day 2

A very entertaining day 2 at the Best Buy Summer Classic. Here's what I took in.

Grassroots MN taking on California Pump N Run (this is their 16U elites). No Rodney today but I'm hearing about a BIG appearance from their roster tomorrow. 36-33 Cali at the half (California Love!!!!!!, nothing like an early Tupac reference. Czar puttin it down for Californ-i-a). To the 2nd half and another instance of emesis this summer (that's vomit for us non medical professionals in the kingdom), this time its a player who's breakfast decided it needed a bigger plate. That causes a major delay (CLEANUP ON COURT 6 PLEASE!). In the meantime, Grassroots Canada with a comfortable lead on Fury Elite. Turns out that game got close because Canada had 1 of their 5 foul out with 6 minutes left and played with 4 the rest of the way.

Now that all the biohazards and space suits have left the building, back to the game. Grassroots makes a big run from double digits down. Zach Towle with a triple and Grassroots leads 69-66 with 4 minutes left. 4 in a row from Cali gives them a 74-73 lead with 45 seconds left. Jordair Jett misses and Cali makes 2 more freebies with 22 seconds left. Jett with a turnover but Cali misses the 1 and 1 and Towle with a left wing bomb with 4 seconds left to send us to OT. Back and forth in the OT. Jett with 2 FTs with 12 seconds left to put Grassroots up 1 but Cali with 1 of 2 FTs with 4 seconds left in the OT for a sudden death 2nd OT. Cali wins the tip and can't convert. Jett comes the other way and makes a soft bank shot in the lane for the 87-85 Grassroots win. Great win for Grassroots as they take pool D and earn a 1st round bye. That pushes California PNR into a playin game vs TNL with the winner to play MN PNR. Now, am I the only guy who would have loved to see Ernest Duberry and Brian Sandifer coach against each other in that playin game. That would have been comedy material for a month.

That is if I don't melt first. While its comfortable in the activity center, the bleachers in the main gym are a sauna. I'm losing weight rapidly. Main gym is behind so I catch some of Comets-Hanson's pool clinching 78-71 win over Old Gold Dream Team. 2 point game early in the 2nd half before a 11-0 Comets run puts the game out of reach. Illinois Warriors took out Redhawks 83-50 to push the Redhawks to the #3 slot in the pool.

PNR 16s took on Team Missouri (another visit here as they were also here for the Howard Pulley tourney). Alex Richter with the hot start and add in a couple of Alex Kreuser treys to get this one over with quickly. 84-42 PNR wins. Richter with 19, Kyle Noreen 16, Shelby Moats 15.

The Comets 16s had a 15 point lead on Meanstreets in the 1st half so I thought they'd move along. But I heard there was a Chris Webber moment (no timeouts and to think I was out of the country when that happened, drat) and possibly a buzzer-beater. Meanstreets wins the pool 49-47. That means Comets Elite goes to the playin game with PNR waiting.

12:30, nothing but 15U games. That means another opportunity to get the Dominoes pizza from the concession stand. That alone makes my appearance worthwhile. Its also a nice way to end pool play as we have bracket play the rest of the way.

We start wtih the 17U Gold (i.e consolation) bracket. Big Game Sports taking on TC Elite. No Matt Sellers today, but he was here yesterday for BGS. TC Elite takes a 7 point lead with 9 minutes remaining, but they had trouble rebounding all day and BGS comes back to win by about 7. Old Gold Dream Team pulled away from Comets-Seevers late for a 76-67 win. Heat Select and Redhawks advanced with byes in a quiet 2 game session.

Now to the 16U playin games (12 teams made the top bracket so we'll play 4 games to get down to 8). Heat Black lost to Meanstreets 63-56 in a tough game. Bryan Sprang is entertaining to watch for the Heat. Meanstreets moves on to play Madison Spartans, Comets Elite advanced to play PNR, WI Playmakers advance to play Mpls Stars (I know who), Old Gold Dream Team over Iowa Elite to play Heat Elite.

Now to the big boys and their playin games. A big D2 showcase with Comets-Hanson taking on Heat Elite. Ryan Duxbury vs Ben Bucholz/Dan Kornbaum, Paul Franklin vs Mike Johnson, Taylor Filipek etc etc. Name a NSIC school and you were darn near guaranteed to see them courtside. Close game throughout as it was 35-34 Heat at the half. 50-45 Comets with 4:45 to play and they go on to win 64-57. That gets them a shot at Grassroots Canada. California PNR blew out TNL 69-45. Boys 2 Men over Comets Blue as Blue made a nice comeback in that one but couldn't prevail. Fury Elite over MSB in the other playin game.

15U-round of 16 up next which means more food, a nap and anything else besides watching.

Comets Elite vs PNR in 16U quarters. Fun matchup here. 1st 2 possessions, Comets are man-man and PNR goes right inside for 2 quick hoops to Kyle Noreen over Jayme Moten. Another PNR touch inside and coach Lewis has seen enough. He promptly goes 2-3 zone to counter. That keeps the game close as PNR leads 26-25 at the half. In the 2nd half, Mike Yahnke with a layin and then Aaron Ziman with a steal that pushes the PNR lead to 37-31 with 9:33 left. Timeout Comets. Out of the timeout, the chess match begins. PNR goes spread with 3 guys across the timeline, 1 at the foul line and the post. Comets stay back and PNR promptly turns the ball over. Doesn't that always seem to happen when a team pulls the ball out. Comets never go man and don't score on their end. Only 4 Comets points in the next 8:45 and PNR puts the game out of reach. A couple of offensive rebounds of FTs cost the Comets 4 points late which didn't help. 49-39 PNR wins in a game that was much closer than the final score indicates. Jayme Moten and Seth Hinrichs with 9 points each for the Comets. Hinrichs got off to a quick start, but didn't find the net after the first few minutes. Kyle Noreen with 11 points to lead PNR.

WI Playmakers, Heat Elite and Meanstreets all advanced in the other games. Tomorrow's semis are Pump N Run vs WI Playmakers in a rematch from April. Heat Elite vs Meanstreets in the other semi.

17U quarters to end the night. Grassroots Canada was sleepy as the Comets got out to a 18-5 lead. But they rallied to win by 3 in a game that was close down the stretch. Illinois Warriors defeated Fury 73-47. Minnesota Pump N Run defeated California Pump N Run 78-59 in a blowout that surprised this viewer. Carlos Emory with his usual show in this one via a couple of nice dunks. Grassroots defeated Boys 2 Men 93-82.

That gives us Grassroots Minnesota vs Illinois Warriors and Grassroots Canada vs MN Pump N Run in the semis tomorrow.

Wednesday starts with the 4 15U quarterfinals. MN PNR vs Comets Elite, Heat Elite vs MN Static, EP Talons vs MN Jaguars and NW WI All-Stars vs Net Gain.

Nice day for Grassroots MN getting through to a winnable semifinal (no Oregon St recruit PG Ahmad Starks for the Warriors, he's at the Peach Jam with Mac Irvin Fire I'm told). I had forgotten how explosive Jerrell Washington is on the bounce and off the floor. Him and Jordair Jett really get to the rim. I'm also told that Rodney Williams was cleared by the NCAA clearinghouse today. Shelby Moats continues to play well for the PNR 16s. John Crockett for the PNR 17s continues to impress me as well. Grassroots Canada with a full roster would be ridiculously good. Saw Greg Gard (Wisconsin) taking in Paul Jesperson and Riley Dearring yesterday. Nice to see Paul Hewitt (Georgia Tech) in the building today as well. I'm a big fan of his point zone video, see my basketball library page for that. Brandon Spearman of the Warriors is a beast.

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