Pacesetter Sweet 16 Thoughts

Here are my observations from the 2010 Pacesetter Sweet 16

Love the setup at St Ben's.  The 4 court activity center gives plenty of room to move around and watch games.  Not the cramped atmosphere we see on the AAU circuit.  Have to like the pizza too.  Lots of players coming down with ankle injuries this weekend though.  Not good.  Its hard to beat a quality look and one of the players from Waterville-Elysian-Morristown was sporting the blonde hair and a yellow headband.  Hard not to mistake him for evil Johnny from The Karate Kid.  With the black uniforms, WEM = Cobra Kai? 

As to my predictions.  6-2 in the openers.  2-2 for winner's semis and I get the 1st and 3rd place finishers right.  10-4.  1-7 in the consolation bracket puts me at 11-11 for the weekend.

Saturday didn't feature much in the way of competitive games.  However, it did have the story of the weekend, huge individual performances.  I took in all of Ellsworth vs Orono.  Jordan Smith goes off for 8 triples and 32 points in Orono's easy win.  Casey Schilling with 31 points doing what he wanted for Ellsworth.  Best game of Saturday that I saw was Lakeville South vs St. Cloud Apollo.  Apollo comes from 10 down in the 4th quarter to take a 51-49 lead but Lakeville South moves on with a 62-54 win.  Best story of the weekend is Alex Richter returning from Pump N Run's tournament in Los Angeles at 1:30 Saturday morning and thinking he wasn't going to play.  But then he read my preview where I picked Apollo and decided to play.  Coaches, if you need bulletin board material, please contact me.  Braham took on Ellsworth in the opening round of the consolation bracket and what a shootout.  Tyler Vaughan with 48 for Braham.  Casey Schilling ices the game late at the foul line and finishes with 46.  When talking about the state's top shooters, Vaughan needs to be in that discussion.

To Sunday and what a way to start my day with Hopkins vs Apple Valley.  No Marvin Singleton as he suffered a high ankle sprain yesterday and may be down for 2 months.  Apple Valley with 3 quick 3s thanks to a pair of Tyus assists and they lead 11-6 at 6:15 of the first quarter.  Hopkins dominates the rest of the quarter for a 28-17 at the end of the first quarter.  Jones with a pullup at the 4 minute mark that cuts the Hopkins lead to 36-33.  46-42 Hopkins as we go to the break.  Apple Valley already down 1 big guy and Dustin Fronk's 14 points (4 3s) won't play the rest of the way as he came down really hard on his back just before halftime.

Joe Coleman goes for 14 points in the 3rd quarter.  Jones struggles with a handful of forced shots in the quarter thanks to Thomas Schalk being in foul trouble all game.  Hopkins goes to the 4th with a 70-54 lead.  Then the Tyus Jones show starts.  He scores 19 of the 1st 21 Apple Valley points in the quarter.  That cuts the Hopkins lead to 81-75 with 4 minutes left.  Jones with another 3 with 45 seconds left to cut the lead to 2 but Apple Valley gets no closer.  Hopkins moves on to the title game with a 96-89 win.  Jones goes for 24 of his 40 points in the 4th quarter.  12-29 from the floor, 14-16 from the line with a pair of 3s.  6 of his 7 turnovers were in the 1st half.  Coleman finishes with 32 points but very little from outside.  He had 1 triple and maybe 1 other jumper.  Everything else at the rim.  Siyani Chambers with 27 points and 5 assists.

MTS took on Ellsworth in the consolation bracket final.  MTS gets off to a quick start to lead 20-9 after quarter 1 as Ellsworth can't buy a bucket.  But they comeback to close the margin to 40-38 at halftime.  56-50 MTS after the 3rd quarter and they pull away in the 4th for a 82-63 win.  Casey Schilling with 17 points in the 1st half but a very quiet 2nd half with only a pair of triples.  Rodney Owens 20 points and Kyle Noreen with 23 points.  Noreen a glue guy for this MTS roster with Owens creating the offense off the bounce.

Hopkins took on Eastview in the championship bracket final.  This one all Hopkins and once again Joe Coleman getting to the rim at will.  He finishes with 28 points and 8 rebounds.  Siyani Chambers only 10 points, but he was outstanding distributing the ball for 7 assists.  Joey King with a double double of 12 points and 12 boards.  His shooting was off this weekend but he was wearing different contacts due to an eye infection.  Shane McSparron is your classic slasher and he topped Eastview with 15 points.  Nice work by a couple of unheralded bigs inside in Jacob Peterson of Hopkins and soph Ben Oberfeld of Eastview. 

Other finishes in the championship bracket.  Apple Valley def Lakeville South 84-77 for 3rd.  Benilde-St. Margaret's 84-77 over Orono for 5th.  Windom 64-53 over Plainview-Elgin-Millville for 7th.

Consolation bracket finishes include St. Cloud Apollo def Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa for 3rd.  Waterville-Elysian-Morristown over Braham 74-56 for 5th, Waconia 91-83 over Sebeka for 7th in the consolation bracket.

My All-Tournament Team
  • Joe Coleman - Hopkins (MVP).  Most dominant player of the weekend
  • Siyani Chambers - Hopkins.  Coached his group along with leading the way from the point and adding scoring from his point guard spot.
  • Tyus Jones - Apple Valley.  He may have pressed when Schalk was out of the game but 24 points vs Chambers with Schalk in the game and almost single handedly bringing his team back by scoring instead of passing is a huge step for him.
  • Rodney Owens - MTS.  Only loss was to runner-up Eastview.  His play was the major reason MTS won the consolation championship
  • Casey Schilling - Ellsworth.  Had very little help all weekend but was a huge force in at least 3 of their 4 games.  Great work at the end of the Braham game making sure he had the ball in his hands to make 9-10 FTs late to seal that victory.
Also have to mention the Eastview defense as they allowed only 44, 44 and 53 points in their 3 wins.

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