Battle at the Lakes: 17U Saturday Night

Grassroots
Dakotas

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

Jamison 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

Tujuate Williams

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

  • Jake Kettner of D1 Rise had a 24 point game to beat Triple Threat and then 2020 Saint Peter teammate Wyatt Olson, a 6-foot-5 strong power forward, scored on six of nine possessions against the KC Spurs.  Olson showed a touch from the arc, facing out of the post, catching at the elbow, and using a dribble.  A beautiful tough for the St. Peter sophomore.
  • Noah Freidel of South Dakota Attack is as good as the come reading a defense and using screens scoring his 17 to moving the Attack into the elite eight.  Freidel is skilled for sure, but his greatest asset is his understanding of how to get open, and his understanding of space.
  • Sawyer Schultz is such an interesting player. The Attack guard will go to great lengths to separate and making touched in shots on balance or not.  He’s much quicker than some of the athletes expected as Sawyer burned them to the basket for contact finishes.  He’s a Player of the Year in his state and he’s been a state champ.  As he grows with this game and learns how to use his physical abilities and skills even more,  Sawyer then has a chance to be an outstanding college player as well.
  • Mikel Henderson of the KC Spurs might be my spring MVP.  This battling guard is a defender first but a brilliant decision maker offensively.  One of the most efficient offensive players out there because he doesn’t need a load of shots to beat you.   The decision making ranks with the best and defensively he would be one of my first picks at guard.
  • Texas Impact 6-foot-6 forward Trazarien White seems like he’s falling out of the sky, over and over and over.  His vertical bounce is simply one floor higher than the hotel the rest of the players compete in. Had a double-double in the loss to the Chicago Demons but physically his gifts could take him many places.  When his skills and experiences catch up to his physical tools Williams has a chance to be something unique.
  • The Impact of Texas would have been blow out had it not been for the toughness of CJ Smith.  The quick burst of the 5-foot-9 guard had a team high 16 points as the Chicago athletes couldn’t keep him in front.
  • Collin Lister from All Iowa Attack, we saw you young man!  The D1 Minnesota team is all massive so shooting over them is next to impossible.  But some how Lister kept his team in the game with tear drops, leaners, and deep baskets earning him early double figures.  Facing elite national competition Collin Lister was up for the task and gave his team results.