Results and my random thoughts from the 2012 Comets Shootout.
The food was outstanding with the pulled pork at the concession stand. I had to hit that twice on Saturday. I conned my way into mini-donuts on Sunday otherwise I would have done it again. Good crew of college coaches from the NSIC, MIAC, WIAC etc on hand. The play was generally ragged and I'm shocked that the officials basically worked the entire day. The official formerly known as Al Sharpton worked enough games for a lifetime. Not sure we have enough refs for a solution but getting these guys in and out quicker would make things much better all the way around. I've seen in Denver where the refs are on for 2 and then they're gone.
A great way to end the weekend as a Fury team was playing and upon closer look, there was the one and only HAT LADY!!! All purple and the hat was outstanding as usual.
Pool Winners: ECI Prospects, 43 Hoops, Select White, PNR, Heat Ogorek, NGS, Playmakers, Heat Reese
My predictions had 15 of the 16 teams in the Championship Bracket (Fury-Ouse miss). Comets/ECI and Heat Reese/Fury Davis flip spots so I get 11 of the 16 spots exactly right. 6 of the 8 quarterfinal winners right with the correct team losing in the other 2 games. I got half of the games in the quarters right. Then my bracket fell apart and got nothing else right.
Round of 16 results: ECI def Glory 64-48, 43 Hoops def GetShook 63-61, Select over Comets Hanson, PNR over Playmakers Blue, Triple Threat 59-52 over Heat Ogorek, NGS 82-78 over Fury Davis, Playmakers White 70-54 over Comets Stock and Heat Reese over SD Heat.
Quarters: ECI def 43 Hoops 77-68, PNR def Select 78-51, NGS def Triple Threat 76-53, Heat Reese def Playmakers White (no Matt Thomas) 79-71.
Semis: PNR def ECI 71-60, NGS def Heat Reese 70-65.
Championship NGS def PNR 70-66. 25 and 10 from Reid Travis of PNR. 18 points from Riley Dearring to lead Net Gain.
Phil Nolan showing up with Net Gain was a major surprise. A big center might show up, but this wasn't the name on everybody's mind, see Akolda Manyang. NGS built with a crew of Sean Scott, Ater Manyang and Nolan with their regulars. Heck, maybe we'll see Tommy McDermott with them again at some point this season. With NGS, you never know. They showed some early struggles like last year.
Heat Reese not only beat Fury Davis in pool play to win their pool but also beat the Wisconsin Playmakers top club that still had 2 D1 kids. They held a double digit lead for a large chunk of the 2nd half so no fluke. They were down double digits to NGS in the 2nd half before storming back and taking the lead. They had a good look late to tie as well before NGS held on.
43 Hoops has some pieces for Chris Carr to work with. Nick Anderson to run the show, Markus Taylor Knighten to score. It'll be interesting to see how that team evolves. Select White didn't play well but a 27 thrashing from Pump N Run was a surprise. Comets Hanson was throttled by ECI Prospects in the pool deciding game late Saturday night and then immediately went out to Select White in the round of 16. Much higher hopes here for the top Comets club. Worth noting that 7 footer Connor Voss is probably out another month at minimum. That certainly impacts what you want to do on the defensive end.
In the 16s results, I don't know the Pool H finishes but other than those I know I went a perfect 14 for 14 in the title bracket. 8 for 8 in the round of 16. Both quarters in the top half right along with the semifinalist and champion from that half.
Pool Winners: Comets Lewis, Heat Vang, Select, Fury Dixon, Comets Stanfield, Fury Grosz and PNR 15s (Pool H???).
Round of 16: PNR def MN Rush, EOTO def Heat Schumann, Fury Dixon def NGS 15s, Dakota Pride win, Fury Grosz over Comets Stanfield, PNR 15s win, Select def Heat Frank, Comets Lewis def Heat Vang
Quarters: PNR def EOTO 62-59, Fury Dixon def Dakota Pride 80-65, PNR 15s def Fury Grosz 59-51, Select def Comets Elite 77-71 in 3OT.
Semis: PNR 16s def Fury Dixon 65-54, PNR 15s def Select 65-59
Championship: PNR 16s retain in house bragging rights with 69-66 win over PNR 15s.
Furious comebacks in this division. EOTO was down 16 vs PNR and made big run late. PNR 15s need a run vs Fury Grosz and then ended their game with Select on a 17-4 run to come from 9 down in the last 5 minutes. The 15s also made a run from double digits down to the 16s in the title game but just didn't have enough left to pull it off.
Fury Dixon blasted a quality Heat Frank team 71-27 in their pool opener. That Fury club has size and outstanding guard play. Very very dangerous. Liked how the South Dakota Heat 16s played in terms of moving the ball and not beating it to death with the dribble. Henry Ellenson of the PNR 15s looks so much wider and stronger than a year ago. Was more than physically capable enough in the 16U bracket let alone vs 15s. PNR 16s struggled vs TVA in the pool opener (a team they should pound) and were down 3 with 12 to play before pulling that out. EOTO (last year's Heat Select) still has a dangerous squad of athletes even without Andre Wallace. Kyle Kalivoda is a nice pickup for that group.
I only saw semis and finals of the 15U bracket because almost all of pool play was up in Foley. But no surprise that the Cyclones ran through it with no problem. They won their semifinal over Magic 73-34 and throttled Heat Bui/Lesewski in the championship 81-49 (though that was an 11 point game late in the 1st half). Fury Johnson gave them their best game with a loss by just over 10.
Here were the matchups in the 15u championship bracket
MN Comets Elite v TC Running Rebels
MN Heat Calistro v Triple Threat Westberg
43 Hoops I v MN Fury Shelman
WI Playmakers v MN Heat Lesewski
South Dakota Heat v MN Magic Blue
Triple Threat High v Grassroots
MN Fury Johnson v WOTN Gold
MN Select v MN Cyclones
??, Heat Calistro, Fury Shelman, Heat Bui/Lesewski, Magic Blue, TT High, Fury Johnson and Cyclones won in the round of 16.
Heat Calistro won, Heat Bui/Lesewski beat Fury Shelman by 20+, Magic Blue def Triple Threat, Cyclones def Fury Johnson
Heat Bui/Lesewski def Heat Calistro, Cyclones def Magic Blue
Cyclones win 15U title over Heat Bui/Lesewski