Crazy day 2 in Chicago

Wow, what a day here in Chicago. Only disappointment was finding out that I forgot to reference "25 or 6 to 4" when I did my Chicago hits scroll. Yes that song was before my time, but that's a bad omission.

Game 1: MN Heat Elite vs Peoria.
8 AM games really, really need to be outlawed. Heat come back from 7 down at the half and a 3 by Paul Franklin with 9 minutes left gives them the lead. Miles Heller grabs a pair of clutch offensive boards for putbacks along with a pair of Franklin free throws. That appears to ice the game but Peoria throws in a prayer from the top of the key (their key not 3/4 court) to send the game to OT. Heat hangs on to win 57-54.

Game 2: 43 Hoops Harris vs All Iowa Attack Red
All Iowa comes out on fire and they jump out to a 28-13 lead behind hot shooting, especially from Dau Jok. Both teams go scoreless for 4 minutes late in the 2nd half with 43 within 7 points. Star Zach McCabe with 2 late buckets to seal the game and All Iowa wins 57-47. McCabe with 12, 6 and 3. Once again no player in double figures for 43 Hoops. Clay Horne with 9 points to lead the way. Poor job by 43 of getting out to the shooters in this one was the major downfall as All Iowa was hot enough to make them pay.

Game 3: Redhawks hit 9 triples in the 1st half vs Full Package Elite but only lead by 2. They go on a big run to push a close game to 18 points and win easily.

Game 4: 43 Hoops Harris vs Velocity Red
43 out to a quick 7-0 lead and that translates to 30-25 at the half. Jordan Reetz with 11 points in the half so we will have a player in double figures. Velocity comes back to lead 41-39 with 7:43 left as the offense sputters. But Vinard Birch has a pair of hoops in a 7-0 run to put 43 up for good. They win 59-48 to finish the 1st 2 days at 2-1. Reetz was the only guy in double figures as he finished with 23 points.

Game 5: 43 Hoops Carr vs Rising Stars Gold 17s
A loaded Rising Stars Gold team was the 43 16s opponent in this one. PG Ben Brust (Iowa), SG Alex Rossi (California) and Fred Heldring (William and Mary) all on display. 2 other studs (including a Ohio St commit, Lenzelle Smith) not here. A team that during the spring was considered by some to be the best team here (yes that includes Mac Irvin Fire, more on them later).

35-30 Carr at the half and they controlled it. Brust 15 points in the half. Estan Tyler hot for 43 in the early part on the 2nd half and Ross Travis adds his 1st monster slam of the day. The lead extends to 55-41 with just under 10 minutes to play. Rising Stars makes their run and a Brust NBA 3 cuts the 43 Hoops lead to 69-66 with 45.2 to play. After a 5 second call on the inbounds, Brust gets another good look but Jameson Parsons swats it and 43 hangs on for the 74-68 win. Estan Tyler with 19 points to lead the way with the clutch spurt to push the lead out to 14 early in the 2nd half. Jordan Smith with 12 points and held to 1 3 pointer.

Ben Brust was far more athletic than I expected (keep reading, you'll see this later). NBA range too and a lack of conscience to go with it. 28 points with 6 triples. Alex Rossi couldn't make a shot in his own building as he went 3-14 on my sheet for 9 points. A great win for the 16s. I thought Rising Stars should have made a better attempt to exploit their inside advantage in this one. The bigs just didn't get many post looks.

Game 6: Pump N Run 17s vs Mac Irvin Fire 17s
LOADED! Mike Shaw, Wayne Blackshear, Myers Leonard, Tim Hardaway Jr, etc etc. The list goes on and on and on. What a crew. Pump N Run using the 1-2-2 with Alec Brown on top to slow things down. 35-31 MIF at the half. Hardaway with 3 triples for 9 points in the half. MIF extends a 5 point game to 11. Its a 7 point game with 3:43 to go when PNR goes on a 7-0 run. Kevin Noreen with 5 points in the run. Crockett finishes the run with a hoop to tie the game at 57 with 1:25 left. After Blackshear makes 2 FTs, Dyami Starks misses a good look at a step-in 3. He gets another chance late that is not good and Mac Irvin Fire wins 62-57.

Kevin Noreen with 17 points to lead PNR along with 6 rebounds and a couple of blocks. Also worth a mention is Alec Brown. First of all, his dad saved me sheer doom by snagging an errant pass that would have been pure carnage had I had to make a play on it. As to Alec, he looks like a completely different player than in the spring period. Lots of minutes (him and Andre Ingram man the center spot with Brown getting the minutes). He's active and he finished this game with 4 points and 8 rebounds in a respectable performance. Looks far more like the player that many thought he could be for them. Blackshear leads the Fire with 17 points.

Game 7: Pump N Run vs Rising Stars Gold (both 16s)
Not to be confused with other Rising Stars Gold team. This is their 16s. Rising Stars gets out to a 13 point 1st half lead. PNR chips away and cuts the lead to 8 at the half. Alex Richter starts the 2nd half hot and a Jason Perkins 3 point play along with another offensive board for 2 put PNR up 52-45 with 7 minutes left. Game is tied at 56 with 3 minute left. Richter tops off his 13 point 2nd half with a hoop with 40 seconds left and PNR wins 60-56. Richter finishes with 20.

Game 8 (bonus): Last minute of 43 Hoops Carr vs Illinois Wolves 16s
This is the same squad, sans Chasson Randle, that held off the PNR 16s last night. Before I arrive the Wolves have a 18 point lead. Ross Travis with a monster follow dunk over 2 guys during a big recovery. Fast forward to my arrival at the old Chicago Bulls practice facility. 57-54 Wolves with 1 minute left. The entire 43 Hoops organization (Harris team, Daniels team etc) are packed on the Wolves endline and they are off the hook. I'm outside watching thru the glass and its electric and LOUD. Jordan Smith with a huge 3 with 40 seconds left to tie the game. Then he applies some D and Estan Tyler retreives a loose ball and finds Marquel Curtis for a layup for a 59-57 lead with 7 seconds left. The Wolves have 1 last chance that is no good and Carr's group steals one. What a finish.

Game 9: Pump N Run vs Rising Stars Gold (Both 17s)
I caught the start of this one and came back with about 10 minutes left just in time to see Ben Brust posterize Tazz Crockett. WOW! Where did that come from? That starts a 10-0 run for the Gold for a 41-35 Gold lead with 7 minutes left. Brust and Dyami Starks trade points and the PNR deficit is 5 with 4:15 left. Brust misses a front end with 38 seconds left and Alec Brown converts to put PNR up 50-49. Crockett busts out for a layup to end the game for a 52-49 PNR win.

Bonus Game 10: Mac Irvin Fire vs Team Stat
Suppossedly the game of the tournament. Right down to the wire and we end up in overtime. Loose ball and a Mac Irvin Fire player makes a bad foul grabbing a guy on a loose ball and Team Stat wins by 2 in OT. Myers Leonard is a beast with a real mean streak.


  1. Just checking to see what the status of Net Gain is. They are in the Chicago Summer Classic, correct?

  2. Net Gain was scheduled to play here but backed out at the last minute. I was looking forward to seeing Creekmur play (he was big in Milwaukee from what I hear). They had former Hopkins center Anthony DiLoreto playing for them which was quite the surprise.


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