Thank you to the 9999th batch of April snow for giving some extra time to put together thoughts from NY2LA Spring Extravaganza and the Pump N Run Spring Classic.
Czar Weekend Commentary
I took in the showcase games at
NY2LA on Friday night. Very entertaining games with KC Run GMC coming
back from double digits down to steal one at the buzzer from Ray Allen
Select. KC Run GMC with great retro Kansas City Kings blue uniforms.
Look for those in 2 weeks at the Pulley tournament. Net Gain fell
behind by 11 at half to TP Elite in 17s and couildn't recover. TVA blew an 8 point halftime lead but JJ Morris came up with a clutch 3 to force OT before TVA lost 56-55 to Iowa Elite. Lester Prairie's Nick Machemehl clutch in the last minute of the Comets Schmidt opener with 2 buckets but it was a Chris Duff putback at the buzzer that gave the Comets crew a 60-59 win over Mid-Kansas.
Story game of the weekend had to be the Heat Calistro quarterfinal win over the D1 MN 15s.
Heat had a late 9 point lead before Amir Coffey sparked a huge
comeback. D1 would have a 74-70 lead with 2:37 left. Heat would get a
bucket and then convert after a turnover. D1 held for last shot and took
a timeout with 11 seconds left to go for the game winner. But Joh
Farmer stole the pass to the backcourt and took it the other way for
free throws. He made both for the lead. Amir Coffey took the inbounds
and went coast to coast and missed an open layup at the buzzer to give
Heat the 78-76 win. Heat led that game most of the way and despite
giving up the lead late, they pulled out a W. The Heat has been high on
that Heat Calistro group (3rd team on paper), keep an eye on them.
got down 23 to Top City in the 2nd half of the 17U semis. They made a
furious comeback behind hot shooting from Steve Makely but it wasn't
quite enough as they fell by 2. Nice weekend for Glory going 4-2 with a
solid win over MN Phenom. WOTN 5-1 this weekend as they won the Silver
Bracket and their only loss was to Gold bracket champ Top City.
Shakopee's Tyler Weiss with effective play for WOTN. Their squad is as talented a squad as they've had in a while. Hard not to be impressed with the toughness of the Top City squad
and they made open shots when available. SW MN Stars with pool losses
to the 2 bracket champs which eases the pain of a 3rd place pool finish but that's a group that had very high
expectations. They had chances at the end of their game against WOTN but chose not to go to their star Carter Kirk on any of them.
In 16s, sad to see Magic Blue coach
Zach Towle physically confront an official after one of his players was
rightfully tossed after an ugly sequence of events. In a consolation
game no less. As coaches, we are role models for our players and need
to set an example. Apologies to sorry Sir Charles for that. I loved
Zach's intensity and toughness as a player. I respect that he wanted to
defend his player but there's also a right and wrong way to do it.
There is no place and no time, EVER, to physically confront an official,
even bad AAU refs that are as abundant as plague rats. Maybe I'm biased because 2 kids that I used to
coach are on that team, but if there's anything right in the world, Zach
will show he's learned from his mistake and he'll suspend himself for a
minimum of their tournament. I tell my players, the only bad mistake you make is the one you don't learn from. For a young man and a young coach I hope that's true for Zach in this case.
Glad to see Top City and the D1 MN 16s win in the semifinals. There's just something slimy to me about having a team full of seniors (spare me the reclassification nonsense) playing in the 17s division in April. We could have had Grassroots vs EOTO Black in a 24u matchup of Suggs, Powell, Carter etc vs Nick Anderson, Jamal Davis, Melvin Martin et al. There has to be a better way if we're getting these kids "exposure", especially if some are already committed (e.g Renard Suggs). Similarly, seeing TVA go out of their way to add 2 seniors late just for the sake of getting April wins and then puff out their chest about how they were the last MN team standing in the NY2LA event. It all just demonstrates the greed part of the grassroots scene.
On a lighter note, great
to see Bo Ryan and Greg Gard playing along with my twitter feed about
their viewing (or potential leaving during a game) of Henry Ellenson.
Its out of hand when they make sure they yell at me from the balcony on their way out to
make sure I know it was a flight that made them leave the title game
early, not lack of interest
$3 Hot Dogs were steep but the $4 meal deal with a bad of chips and 12 oz plastic bottle more than made up for it. The hot dogs were absolutely outstanding. Due to the Hopkins setup of having to go all the way up and around and fight the crowds, going back to the concession stand on Friday night was too much.
Wisconsin was at all of the D1 MN 16s games to see Henry Ellenson. Ben Johnson and Creighton also made appearances for Ellenson. South Dakota State, Northern Iowa, Elon and The Citadel some of the small schools on hand along with the NSIC D2s, NDSCS and DCTC.
Spring Classic Results
17s Pool A: Top City (KS), WOTN, SW MN Stars, Team EGOs
17s Pool B: D1 16s, IA PNR Gold, WC Wildcats, SW T-Hawks
17s Pool C: Pumas (MO), Heat-Frasier, NEI Nets, EOTO Red
17s Pool D: MN Warriors, MN Elite, CO Shining Stars, Comets Regional
17s Pool E: Grassroots, Fury Anderson, KC Premiere Preps, WI Starz Black
17s Pool F: EOTO Black, MN Phenom, Elevation Flyers (CO), Heat Hopkins
17s Pool G: KC Premiere, Glory, Heat Wiley, WI Starz Orange
17s Pool H: Next Level (CO), IA PNR Black, MN BB 16s, Fury Zurn
Quarters: Top City def Next Level 70-65, Grassroots def MN Warriors 77-71, D1 MN 16s def KC Premiere 69-47, EOTO Black def Pumas 75-62
Semis: Top City def Grassroots 70-68, D1 MN 16s def EOTO Black 59-39
Championship: Top City def D1 MN 16s 60-49
17U Silver Bracket
Quarters: WOTN def IA PNR Black, Fury Anderson def MN Elite, Glory def IA PNR Gold, Phenom def Heat Frasier
Semis: WOTN def Fury Anderson 70-64, Glory def MN Phenom 80-66
Championship: WOTN def Glory 69-47
16s Pool Results
A: Fury Ramey, IA PNR, MN BB Witthus
B: D1 MN 15s, Triple Threat, We Are Basketball
C: KC Premiere, ND Phenom, Heat Schumann
D: MN Phenom East, WI Blizzard Thomas, New Era
E: Next Level (CO), WI Magic, Glory
F: Pumas (MO), MN Elite, Heat Berndt
G: WI Starz Black, SW MN Stars, Hoopmasters
H: WI Blizzard Schneider, TC Runnin Rebels, Heat McKee
I: WI Blizzard Boots, Magic Blue, WC Wildcats
J: Heat Calistro, WOTN, Comets Regional
K: Nations Elite, MN BB Tlougen, WI Starz Orange
16 Championship Bracket
Blizzard Boots 60-58 over Blizzard Schneider in 3 OT, Phenom West def Next Level 83-65, Heat Calistro def WI Starz Black 74-50, Pumas def Nations Elite 80-56
Quarterfinals: WI Blizzard Boots def Fury Ramey 48-43, Phenom West def Phenom East 72-54, Heat Calistro def D1 MN 15s 78-76, Pumas def KC Premiere 68-39
Semifinals: Phenom West def WI Blizzard Boots 56-53, Pumas def Heat Calistro 57-39
Championship: Pumas def MN Phenom West 70-54
15s Pool Results
A: MN Swish, Real Athletics, WI Blizzard Phillips
B: MN Elite, Heat Duberry, KC Dragons
C: IA PNR Black
D: Omaha Celtics, SW MN Stars, WI Starz
E: CO Elite, MN Heat East, Pumas (MO)
F: The Academy (CAN), Fox Valley Storm, WOTN
G: Fury Peterson,
H: Fury Altenhofen, Heat Presbi, IA PNR Gold
15s Championship Bracket
Quarters: Swish def Fury Altenhofen, CO Elite def Omaha Celtics, Fury Peterson def MN Elite, The Academy def IA PNR Black
Semis: CO Elite def MN Swish 62-54, The Academy def Fury Peterson 40-36
Championship: CO Elite def The Academy 48-44
14u Championship: TP Elite def Real Athletics 62-60 with the best crowd of the weekend.