A Furious Weekend

Its the 2011 Minnesota Fury Shootout.  The 14U squad that I help out with was in action all weekend so I didn't get a chance to take in much else, but I still had plenty to see in that short time.  Combine that with Walking Tacos all weekend (4 in total) and it was a fine weekend.  I even showed restraint by resisting the Domino's Pizza all weekend.  Tough call.

Saturday
The unknown MN Cagers squad took on the Dakota Pride in a 16U pool game on Saturday morning.  While it was a downpour outside, the Cagers took it to the Pride inside to the tune of a 10 point second half lead.  The Pride recovered to force overtime and then knocked down a buzzer beater to win 53-51. 

Other tidbits from the 17U games over at Eastview saw Freddie Young (formerly of Brooklyn Center then prep school last year) return to the metro to join Grassroots.  Darrion Strong has also joined them moving over from the PNR 16s.

Then its back to Eagan for the rest of my weekend.  The 15s didn't disappoint.  Nick Carroll's Fury Black cardiac kids again entertaining.  They came from 16 or 18 down in the last 5:30 against MN Elite to win a super pool game.  Fury got the tie with 30 seconds left then forced a turnover on the ensuing inbounds pass.  They held for 1 and Wheeler Baker got loose in the lane for the game winner with 2.6 left.  58-56 Fury Black wins a thriller.  That's after MN Elite put a real hurting on them in the quarters of the PNR tournament a month ago.  Then its to the dungeon (back sport court at Eagan) where Heat Select lost a super pool game to the Comets 61-59 on a Christian Pekarek 3 at the buzzer. 

Sunday
MN Elite got some entertainment in the quarterfinals as the Heat team they were playing had their coach tossed late in the first half.  They held off the top Comets squad (having a very good year) in the semis and took out Heat Select for the 15U title.  But its the Heat Select vs Fury Black game in the semis that proved to be another thriller.  Fury Black gets down big again but rallies back in the last minute to force overtime.  In the OT, Heat Select misses a free throw for the lead.  Fury pushes the ball back and Heat tries to take a charge.  Its a blocking call 25-30 feet away from the basket with 1 second left and Fury is in the double bonus.  Oh my.  1st FT is no good but the 2nd is up and in for a 75-74 Fury Black lead.  Time out Heat.  Out of the time out, Eden Prairie's Andre Wallace channels Christian Laettner as he gets the 3/4 court pass and banks in a turnaround 3 from about 25 feet on the right wing at the buzzer to win it.  Holy Cow!  Fury Gold took out Fury Blue again to win the 16s title.  Would have loved to see that Fury Gold team play in Denver.  Fury Blue 17s took out Grassroots to win the 17s title.

The Czar's 14s
Now its time for a Point of Personal Privilege.  No that's not the boot in the backside that many of us would like to give the MN Legislature today.  Most of my weekend was spent eating walking tacos between the games of the Magic Black 14u team that I help coach.  We had the lead most of the way on Friday night vs the MN Warriors, that's Rosemount head coach Brian Schnettler and his young guys, but gave away a 6 point lead in the last minute and lost by 2.  Give the Warriors credit for making us pay with 8 points for the 4 late game mistakes.  Interesting note that the game started out with 1 referee for the 1st 6 minutes.  Thank you traffic.  We bounced back on Saturday afternoon with a 39 point win over the MN Suns to move on to the 6 team title bracket on Sunday.

After trailing by 7 at the half to the MN Crush, we came back to win by 10.  A tale of 2 halves in that one.  The Crush squad had already faced tourney pressure earlier in the day by winning with points in the 8 AM game to make the bracket.  That Crush crew has a talented Burnsville kid that you'll hear more about down the line.  In the semifinals, we defeated Grassroots by about 20 to earn a rematch with the MN Warriors.  After I forgot to put the numbers in the official book (DOH!), the kids responded by jumping out to a 27-10 lead, up 20 at the half and we go on to win the 14s title 54-30.  We played the Sunday games without one of our top kids.  We've now won 9 out of 10 to improve to 14-7 on the year.  5-1 with me actually on the bench, thank you very much.  2 really tough losses when I'm keeping book though, including Friday night and a 20 foot loose ball heave at the buzzer against Magic White at the Magic Tourney last month.  Disturbing trend there.  That said it has been an entirely local schedule.  After playing the last 4 weekends, its a much deserved and needed weekend off before playing MYAS state in 2 weeks.

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