Ending match play in Chicago

Pool play concludes here in Chicago with MN taking over 3 of the 4 courts for the mid-morning session. PNR 16s defeated Playground Elite 16s 65-61. Shelby Moats with 24 points (4-4 3s) and 6 rebounds in arguably his best performance of the spring/summer. That was in front of some interested coaches too. Alex Richter with 17 points. Also of note is the possible return of Jonah Travis for the PNR tourney. Good signs today, tomorrow will tell more. They were 2-1 in the 3 games I know about. Don't know how they did against the Mac Irvin 16s.

PNR 17s lost to the Illinois Warriors 61-48 and the Warriors were up bigger than that. Dyami Starks left the team last night. That also meant they were without Steve Tecker. That PNR team will be a big story of their own tourney. There appears to be some significant chaos in that organization right now. They finish up 1-3 here in Chicago.

43 Hoops Harris took on Rising Stars Gold in the 3rd game. Ohio State commit Lenzelle Smith back with the Rising Stars for this one along with talented teammate Rayvonte Rice. 15-14 Harris in the 1st half before they come across a famous scoring drought. Rising Stars finishes the half on a 15-5 run to lead 29-20 at the break. Rice with 8 in the half. 43 extends the defense to start the 2nd half and they come back. A steal leads to a big Elliot Owusu dunk to cut the lead to 4. Brett Ervin with a layup at 11:15 and 43 is back to even at 35. Ervin with a tip in to tie the game at 50 and then a dunk to tie the game at 52 with 1:35 left. Smith huge in the 2nd half and he counters with a 3 point play with 1:08 left. 55-52 Rising Stars. Vinard Birch with a layup to cut the lead to 1. Smith 1 of 2 FTs with 18.8 left. Out of a timeout, Birch drives and is fouled. He converts both FTs with 6.3 left and we'll go to OT tied at 56. Clay Horne with a tip in with 10.6 left in the 1st OT to tie the game again. To double OT tied at 60. Birch with a couple of nice hoops in the 2nd OT, Smith surprisingly doesn't convert a pair of chances down the stretch and Manani Beavers seals the win with a pair of FTs. 66-62 43 Hoops wins. Brett Ervin with all 12 of his points in the 2nd half. Definitely his best game of this tournament. Birch with 10 huge points. Elliot Owusu continues to impress despite getting ridiculously tough defensive assignments (he had to try and slow down Smith in this one). Smith finishes with 14 of his 21 points in the 2nd half. Rising Stars during the spring was regarded as possibly the best team here in Illinois and they went 0-3 vs Minnesota in their own building. Definitely a different team today vs yesterday as Ben Brust hardly got any touches in this one (yes 43s defense deserves credit for that too)

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