Posted On: 05/13/18 9:42 AM
The Battle at the Lakes became Jamison Battle’s conquering of the Lakes on Saturday evening as the D1 Minnesota wing took a fun game for both, into a fun game for the Battle supporters.
Battle Goes Off at the Battle
D1 Minnesota was engaged in a tough little battle with a scrappy All Iowa Attack Saturday night. Fans had the feeling that D1 Minnesota was about to pull away, but the Iowa kids simply wouldn’t let it happen. Then 6-foot-7/6-foot-8 DeLaSalle small forward/stretch four Jamison Battle grabbed a rebounds. First instinct? Jamison blew the other direction through the retreating defense and scored. Okay, it was a nice basket, no big deal. Impressive for a guy at his size, but D1 Minnesota needed more. And they got it.
Two possessions later Battle made a three, then another, and another. It was a personal 11-0 run for Battle that took a one score upset bid and turned it into the latest D1 Minnesota opponent beating (the win improved D1 Minnesota’s record to 16-1 on the year). Battle then scored in the post giving him 13 of the last 15 points for his team allowing the D1 Minnesota to coast into a dunk contest that had the camera guys on the baseline grinning oddly once again.
This was also an example of Battle’s rare talent. The two things he gives a team that are rare is size at 6-foot-7/6-foot-8, and a beautiful shooting stroke that is consistent each game, and at times can break games wide open like we saw Saturday night. Battle is a division one prospect with division one offers including the most recent extensions from Air Force and UW-Milwaukee. And with more performances like Saturday night Jamison will have more opportunities extended soon.
The Demons Do it Again
The Chicago Demons reek havoc in the Twin Cities all the time. Remember the AAU upset of the Royce White, Rodney Williams crew in 2008 in the Howard Pulley Invitational? Or their run in the Best Buy Classic among national teams from around the country? How about the fact that last year’s Battle at the Lakes champ 1Nation lost one game and it was to the Demons! So it should have come as no surprise that last night the Demons took out one of the event favorites; Texas Impact 4:13.
The player that controlled the game was highly explosive Tujuate Williams, a wing that the Texas guys simply could do nothing with on the break. Williams scored on 9 of 16 field goals for his 23 points plus grabbed nine rebounds and dished out five assists. Once Williams caught on the break his rapid strides and surprising ball handling ability moving through traffic led to constant playmaking. Once Williams turned corners the defense had zero chance because is not only so quick to the corner, but his extension of length is so long that the help defenders simply can’t rotate to bother his attempt. The explosive ability of Williams in space could not be stopped by a team of Texas athletes that includes several future division one players.
Williams was not alone in pushing the Demons into the Elite Eight. Teammate Teon Nesbitt hit five three-pointers and scored 17 points finding space on the wing and in the corners to hit feet set game changers. Because of the basket attack threat of the Demons the defense had to sink too deep and when passes came to a hands up and ready Nesbitt the close-outs came too late to bother Nesbitt’s beautiful shooting form.
Battle Elite Eights
The field is set at Wayzata for outstanding Elite Eight competitions. At the 17u level the top ten in the nation D1 Minnesota squad takes on the best team from South Dakota, the South Dakota Attack. The winner of that plays the winner of the Chicago battle between Team Rose and Young & Reckless. On the other side of the bracket the Iowa Barnstormers face the KC Spurs and the Chicago Demons take on the Wisconsin Playground Warriors.
At the 16U level D1 Minnesota faces Fundamental U from Illinois and the winner there takes on the winner of Minnesota Matrix and Young & Reckless in the final four. Opposite them is the Wisconsin Playground Warriors famed 16u squad against Team RWA and Team Rose taking on the tournament surprise, the Northern Lakers.
Quick Strikes at the Lakes