Its time for the 2nd annual Fury Invitational. Eastview and Eagan both hosting the games on 4 courts each with some stray games off site.
None of the top teams playing but some interesting games in the field. The hosts Fury Davis should be an easy favorite over Magic White and Comets Seevers in pool A. Triple Threat and Heat-Altena go at it at 1:10 Saturday at Eagan in a game that should determine the winner the 4 team pool B. Very interesting pool C with the Pump N Run 16s, GetShook and MN Wolves. GetShook and Wolves have both used their share of seniors this year. Have to like the PNR 16s here but this is the toughest pool. Pool D is the other 4 team pool. Comets Stock vs Heat Reese at noon at Eastview should decide that pool. Fury's 2nd team should be a heavy favorite against Magic Black and Heat Frasier in pool E. MN Premier is my pick over Magic Maroon and Winnipeg Wolves. EOTO Black is another squad that could have anybody but I'll take my chances with them. Eastview and Heat Ogorek round out a difficult to pick pool G. Fury Newell, MN Cagers and MN Crush round out the 17s in Pool H. I'll take Fury here but the best bet in this pool is a Hat Lady sighting at Eastview late Friday and early Saturday.
Only pool winners move on to the 8 team championship bracket that begins at 7:00 on Sat night. I'll take Fury Davis over Triple Threat, Heat Reese over the PNR 16s (classic size vs speed matchup but athletes have bothered the PNR 16s all year), Fury-Ouse over MN Premier and EOTO Black over Fury Newell. Fury Davis over Heat Reese, EOTO over Fury-Ouse. The hosts defeat EOTO to win their own tourney (never bad to pick the host).
Fury Grosz has a good one on Fri night vs MN Rush but they'll still come out of pool A. Heat Vang has to be the pick against Triple Threat Olmscheid and WOTN-Hickox in Pool B. MN Warriors are the pick in pool C. EOTO survives the northern invasion of the Winnipeg Wolves and North Dakota Phenom in pool D. PNR 15s and MN Cyclones move up but should win pools E and F. Heat Frank opens with a rematch against Fury Dixon in pool G. Fury Dixon gave that Heat squad a massive beating when they opened at the Comets tourney. Another watered down pool H with Rochester Ballers, Winnipeg and SW Slam.
Same tourney format across the board and it gives us a rare 1 vs 2 matchup as the Cyclones project to take on Pump N Run in a rematch of the top 2 teams in the state in 15U. PNR won their championship meeting in Iowa last Sunday. I'll take PNR again because of their depth. Fury Grosz over Heat Vang, EOTO in a good one over the MN Warriors, Fury Dixon over anybody in the other quarterfinal. Fury Grosz over EOTO in a rehash of their many meetings last year as MN Elite vs Heat Select. PNR 15s over Fury Dixon. PNR 15s then knock off Fury Grosz again (see Comets tourney) to take home another title.
This division will have a new champ as my old Magic crew won the 14s of this tourney last year (our best ball of the season too). The 3 guys that are left together are at the ECI tourney this week after pulling out late (were scheduled to be in pool A). The top Fury squad (with one of my old guys) looks to win pool A. Heat Prins by default in pool B. Another division with a stacked pool C. East Metro (Johnson kids), TC Running Rebels and the top 43 Hoops squad is a tough pool. I'll go East Metro here but anybody could win this pool. Heat Fossum is a loaded 14U squad playing up with Comets Elite and MN Bulldogs in pool D. I'll go Comets Elite here. Fury 2nd team takes out the 2nd 43 Hoops team and MN Crush to win pool E. Heat Boone is another high level 14U club playing up. They won the 14s in Iowa last weekend. They have WOTN and Winnipeg Wolves in a pool where I think they win. The top Heat team wins pool G and rumor says they may have a major pickup for the weekend. Balanced Pool H with ND Phenom, MN United and my pick Triple Threat. Fury Shelman, East Metro, Fury Johnson and Heat Lesewski all win the quarters. Fury Shelman takes out East Metro but falls to Heat Lesewski in the finals.