Posted On: 05/8/18 5:54 PM

The Battle at the Lakes continues to grow into a multi-state powerhouse event that falls into the “can’t miss” category.  What does this year’s event look like? A 64 Team Bracket to establish the best of the Midwest.

Battle At the Lakes.   It’s 340 teams ranging from the 10 and Under level to the 17 and Under level.  The 17U Tournament is two events strong: the top 64 are in the Battle at the Lakes National level bracket with another group of 24 in the regional group.  Like last year the event will be held at Wayzata for the top levels of the event and of course with 340 teams all playing several games the Twin Cities will have battles on the court by just about every lake in the Twin Cities.

The Clubs.   The list of long time successful Grassroots programs in the event is impressive.  Have a run down of a few of the strong names: Chicago Demons, D1 Minnesota, Full Package, Fundamental U, Grassroots Minnesota, Iowa Barnstormers, KC Spurs, KC Pacers, Kingdom Hoops, Meanstreets, Minnesota Fury, Minnesota Comets, Minnesota Heat, Minnesota Select, Old Gold, Powerhouse Hoops, South Dakota Attack, Team Rose, Team Rush, Texas Impact, Wisconsin Playground Warriors, Wisconsin Playmakers, Wisconsin Blizzard, Young& Reckless, and more. The 16u division is loaded with talent but we will dive into that more on Wednesday.

Best of Minnesota.  The local teams are coming out with 13 of the state’s top 25 teams.  Number one ranked D1 Minnesota (13-1) is a headliner as a top ten ranked team in the nation with Matthew Hurt leading the way (along with five other guys with high major offers on D1 Minnesota including Robert Jones of Prior Lake who was recently offered by Penn State).  Sixth ranked Comets K (11-5) is coming off an elite eight run in the Jayhawk Invitational and that’s without their top prospect Cade Goggleye who hurt an ankle.  Seventh ranked 44 Elite has played well in Adidas Silver competition with Jalen Dearring leading the way and 8th ranked SE Minnesota Lightning recently finished in the final four at Prep Hoops Proving Grounds two weeks ago.  At that event 6-foot-7 wing Jarvorius Toney (from Mason City, Iowa) put his name out there is one to know.

One of the hottest names in Minnesota right as far as prospects go is Jared Rainey of 11th ranked Heat Nelson.  Jared and his team just won the Meg Vang Invitational. Another high rising name is Jeremy Beckler of Heat Henderson, the 13th ranked team in the state, and Beckler is a 6-foot-8 frontcourt standout who is developing.  There are more: 15th ranked Fury Kaupa is in the Battle, 16th ranked Twin Cities Pirates with Carter Henry and Tommy Chatman have something to prove, 18th ranked D1 MN Prospects is playing, 19th ranked Adidas Silver team Mentality Minnesota is also at the Battle as is 20th ranked Comets DLR and their guard Jenson Beachy.  Add in 21st ranked Heat Walljasper, 22nd ranked RIP City, and 23rd ranked D1 Minnesota Rise with Jake Kettner and that’s more than half of the top 25.

The Field of 64.  The 17u division is massive and like other brackets is a single elimination tournament (when it comes to trying to win the Battle at the Lakes championship).  What could the Sweet 16 look like at Battle at the Lakes for the 17U level?  Let’s have a look with an early prediction:

  • D1 Minnesota vs Full Package
  • South Dakota Attack vs Wisconsin Academy
  • Team Rose vs Wisconsin Crusaders
  • Young & Reckless vs Team Rush
  • Texas Impact vs MN Comets K
  • D1 Minnesota Prospects vs Wisconsin Playground Warriors
  • Iowa Barnstormers vs Team RWA
  • KC Pacers vs KC Spurs

This list includes several talented teams.  The KC Spurs won both the Midwest Live in Omaha and the Proving Grounds and KC Pacers just won the Prep Hoops Series in Kansas last weekend.  The Iowa Barnstormers are an Adidas Gauntlet squad who finished runner-up in an outstanding Run N Slam event last weekend, the Wisconsin Playground Warriors compete on the UAA circuit and made the Jayhawk Invite Elite eight last weekend, and Young & Reckless won the Terrific 24 by double digits in the title game. Team Rush is an Adidas Gauntlet squad that finished in the final four of the Jayhawk Invitational last weekend.  Also Adidas Gauntlet Gold teams are Team Rush and of course D1 Minnesota who won the Comets Shootout and is 8-1 in Gauntlet play. Finally Texas Impact is considered one of the top two or three teams at the 17 and under level in Texas this year having beaten several shoe circuit to use already.