The Comets Shootout is always one of the most entertaining events of the season. Its also hectic with the teams playing the games in a 2 day span. Especially so for the 17U kids who take the ACT Saturday morning and then play up to 5 games in 24 hours after that. Here are some of the sights and sounds from the weekend.
The setup for the tourney was a scheduled play-in game to make the 1st game of the 16 team championship bracket on Saturday night. That meant most of the day was mismatches. In the 16U play-in games, Bomb Squad (IA) took out Heat Bui and Select Olafeso took out Fury Jaryan in a pair of upsets. Most notable game of the round of 16 was Lockdown taking on Fury Zurn. Fury looked to have the game put away but Trae Berhow and Lockdown would make a late rally before just falling short 67-62.
Then it was on to 17U play-in games and a major upset here. Select Ellis took out Real Athletics Jay 83-78. Layup drill for the Select guys and Real Athletics didn't shoot the lights out like they're capable of. In the round of 16, Select Ohnstad took out WOTN Nicols 53-42 in a battle. Select Altenhofen also with a hard fought 73-67 win over Comets Servaty. ECI Prospect knocked out Phenom. Heat NW knocked out Select Ellis and Fury Wilde took out Heat Wayzata. Heat Wayzata with Johnny Beeninga for the weekend and former Badger Jon Bryant coaching them up on the bench.
Its all about donuts thanks to former Comets guard Christian Pekarek. And not mini-donuts either, I have a waistline to maintain. More than enough to feed me from these full size donuts. Magic and Comets would move on in the top half of the 16U bracket. In the 17U quarters, WI Heat shot the lights out and had an 11 point lead late vs Comets Lewis. But Jordan Bolton was able to get to the rim in the comeback and a late 4 point play from Bryce Irsfeld allowed the Comets to steal one 68-65. Steal one they did, I have to show some love for the Wisconsin guys playing well this weekend. They reminded me of some of the old Minnesota Warriors squads. Heat Vang would take out Select Ohnstad 61-50 behind a clutch shooting 2nd half from Ryan Jacobus.
In the bottom half of the 17U bracket, Select Altenhofen by 10 over ECI Prospects. Fury Wilde struggled with the trapping of Heat NW in the 1st half but handled it in the 2nd half. Heat NW would see their offense leave them for the 1st 9 minutes of the 2nd half. Fury Wilde would pull away for a surprisingly easy 67-43 win.
In the 16U semis, the Magic would take out the hosts Comets 61-50. Fury Zurn took out Heat Nord 61-47. Then off to the 17U semis. Comets Lewis broke open a close one in the 2nd half to defeat Heat Vang 68-46. The other semi was a Fury Wilde vs Select Altenhofen rematch from last week. That was Select's only Sanford league loss last week in a 63-60 fistfight. This one didn't disappoint either. Right down to the end in this one too and Fury holds off Select 64-58. Fury would try to run away and Select would make a comeback. Great game.
Then we get tandem championship games in 15U and 16U. 15U game was a back and forth battle between Future Stars and Comets North. Things got a little ugly with a scoring controversy in the 2nd half but that dust settled and the Future Stars would hang on for a 48-43 win after trailing by 6 at the half. In the 16U title game, Magic would control the 1st half and take a 7 point lead to halftime. Fury would come out on a 12-1 run to get the lead but never fully put the game away. Fury would break a tie in the last minute and win 57-53.
Then its the 17U championship game. This championship game may be the latest one we have on the circuit but it never seems to disappoint and this one didn't either. Fury would jump out to a quick 11-2 lead but the Comets would battle back to tie. Dalante Peyton with a 3 at the buzzer to send Fury to halftime up 36-33. The Comets would look to put the game away but Fury with a Furious (sorry, had to go there) rally in the last minute. Fury missed 3, Comets 2 free throws to go up 5. Peyton another 3, Comets layup, Sean Ryan for 3 and the lead is 1. Jordan Bolton makes 2 free throws to put the Comets back up by 3. Comets intentionally foul Peyton as they don't want to give up a 3. He makes the first, intentionally misses the 2nd and Ryan crashes in from the left slot, grabs the miss and hits a left baseline fadeaway at the buzzer to force overtime. WOW!
In the overtime, its a 1 point game late when Steffon Mitchell gets blocked and Ethan Novacinski scoops on the other end to put the Comets up 1 with 12.7 left. Fury takes a timeout, Mitchell gets double-teamed. Jubie Alade stripped as time runs out and the Comets win a thriller 79-78 in overtime.
Odell Wilson - Future Stars 15U (Mpls North)
Jenson Beachy - Comets North 15U (Perham)
Mitchell Plombon - Comets North 15U (Perham)
Mykal Howard - Magic Vatsaas 16U (St. Louis Park)
Brian Sitzmann - Magic Vatsaas 16U (Prior Lake)
Kade Hart - Magic Vatsaas 16U (Fairbault)
Trae Berhow - Lockdown 16U (Watertown-Mayer)
Myles Hanson - Fury Zurn 16U (Chaska)
Owen Chose - Fury Zurn 16U (Eden Prairie)
Dalante Peyton - Fury Wilde 17U (St. Paul Academy)
Austin Slater - Fury Wilde 17U (Wayzata)
Sam Sustacek - Select Ohnstad 17U (Orono)
Jordan Bolton - Comets Lewis 17U (Apple Valley)
Kobe Boraas - Comets Lewis 17U (Sauk Rapids)