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Posted On: 04/9/18 3:20 PM
The MN Comets Spring Shootout was held on Saturday and Sunday in the St. Cloud, MN area, with plenty of hoops action to take in over the two days.
A handful of 17u games were played at Sauk Rapids-Rice High School, here are ten of the standout interior performers from a couple of the games that took place there.
Eli Barlue – 6’4” F, Osseo/Heat Nelson (2019)
Barlue doesn’t have the measurables like a lot of the other guys listed below, but his athleticism and high motor allow him to be effective on the interior, as well as a matchup problem if he steps out to the perimeter. He attacks the rim hard and can elevate over larger defenders to finish. By getting into good position and using his leaping ability, Barlue rebounds his position well despite giving up some height to other players. He finished with 6 points against Select Ellis.
Terrell Fountain – 6’2” F, St. Paul Central/Select Ellis (2019)
Much like Barlue, Fountain is undersized for an interior player, and ends up playing in the paint more on this roster due to its lack of size. His athleticism and leaping ability allows him to challenge shots down low on defense as well as rebound the basketball. He stepped out to the perimeter to knock down a three against Heat Nelson, finishing with 11 points.
Brady Garcia – 6’5” F, Andover/Heat Walljasper (2019)
Garcia is one of only a couple interior options on this guard-heavy roster and was effective for stretches of their game against WOTN Swedberg and their array of bigs. Garcia, along with Charlie Ash each finished with 4 points for the perimeter-oriented Heat squad. Garcia has a soft touch around the rim and works hard to maintain good position down low.
DaVonne Harris – 6’5” F, Big Lake/Comets Kirchner (2019)
Even though the roster lists him at 6’5”, his length and leaping ability make it seem like Harris is a much larger presence in the paint. He goes and tracks down rebounds out of his space and possesses good shot blocking instincts. He has a tendency to swat at the ball for blocks, but his leaping ability will continue to alter a lot of shots if he is more consistent with keeping vertical. He is probably the best offensive rebounder that I saw on Saturday.
Eli Mostaert – 6’6” F, Lakeville North/WOTN Swedberg (2019)
Mostaert is a load in the paint with his strong and wide frame, rebounding the ball efficiently and being a deterrent to lane drives when he is in good help position. He showed the ability to step out of the lane and operate when he poured in a three with a solid looking lefty release. His strength and toughness will frustrate many bigs from opposing teams this summer. He is a great compliment to a lot of the long and more slender bigs on their roster.
Hunter Nielsen – 6’6” F, New Prague/WOTN Swedberg (2019)
WOTN Swedberg is a very long and athletic team, Nielsen is a great example of both of those traits. He finished with 6 points against Heat Walljasper, showing very good instincts in the pick and roll game diving to the hoop or slipping the high ball screen. Nielsen’s length alters a lot of shots on the defensive end and he is a very capable rebounder.
Gavin Patton – 6’5” F, Minnetonka/WOTN Swedberg (2019)
Patton led WOTN Swedberg with 16 points against Heat Walljasper, displaying a bevy of moves in the post to go along with a soft touch around the rim and a solid mid-range jumper. Listed at 6’5”, Patton appears to play much bigger than that as he finishes at the rim and challenges shots on the defensive end. In his first season with WOTN, he’s a very solid addition to this roster.
Connor Shelquist – 6’6” F, Minnetonka/Comets Kirchner (2019)
Shelquist has a strong frame that allows him to secure good position in the paint and rebound the ball well, as well as defend the post successfully. He couldn’t quite find the touch in the game I watched on Saturday, finishing with 2 points, but his sound footwork in the post and in the screen and roll game will help him find solid looks consistently when he’s on the floor.
Tate Staloch – 6’6” F, Lakeville North/WOTN Swedberg (2019)
Much like his Lakeville North and WOTN teammates Mostaert and Tommy Jensen, Staloch has put in work in the weight room and is a physical presence on the floor. On the defensive end, his strength allows him to establish and maintain good position against post players and rebound the ball effectively. He showed the ability to knock down shots from the perimeter as well, hitting a pair of threes against Heat Walljasper.
Mason Zick – 6’7” F, Northfield/WOTN Swedberg (2019)
Yet another long and athletic front-line player for WOTN Swedberg, Zick is a legitimate inside-out threat. He scored in a variety of ways on Saturday, getting to the hoop off the dribble and finishing or drawing a foul, scoring in the post, and hitting a couple of threes, Zick did a little bit of everything. He also seems to have developed good chemistry in the pick and roll game, especially with fellow Northfield teammate, Blake Christensen.