Posted On: 05/13/18 11:22 PM
9:05: 15U Elite 8 — Team Factory 74 vs Kingdom Hoops 54
It should be noted that this Team Factory program out of Omaha is one of the Midwest’s very best, and is apart of an adidas Gauntlet program. That being said, this Kingdom Hoops bunch was hanging tough the entire first half, and even held a lead for a good chunk of it. In the second half, though, the playmakers from the Omaha squad became too much, especially workmanlike big-man Luke Skar and shifty lead guard Chucky Hepburn. It spiraled out of control quickly for the guys from Iowa, which was led by Reid Grant’s 17 points. Skar led Team Factory with his hard-fought 17 points, and would go on to win the 15u title later in the day.
10:10: 16U Elite 8 — KC Spurs 62 vs Iowa Barnstormers 42
This KC Spurs team has been ridiculously successful this spring, and they’ve got to be one of the best non-shoe teams in the country. After winning Midwest Live in Omaha and then The Proving Grounds in Minneapolis, they’ve again stormed their way through this juggernaut of a tourney. This Barnstormers team, too, has been wildly successful, but they came out flat, and could could never really recover from some first half lapses. Noah Carter was incredible in the second half for the ‘Stormers, scoring all 15 of his points in the final 16 minutes, including power dunks, 3s and tough gets in the paint. But Spencer Jones, Dalen Ridgnal and Co. were too athletic and too sharp on this day.
11:15: 17U — Great Northern Elite 65 vs Team Iowa Red 53
I stayed on the Stormers vs Spurs court and wouldn’t you know it, another Iowa team was up next, so I stayed. The plan was to find a place to write at Wayzata High School, and catch up on some work, but I stayed when I saw the Team Iowa squad warming up .These are the best kind of games, the times when you get to see guys — just by chance — that you otherwise wouldn’t get to. It was two Cedar Rapids guys that were the most striking for Team Iowa: Ross Snitker, from Washington, was making tough buckets and scored most of his 16 points at the rim, despite being just 5’8. It was Sebastian Simmons, from Prairie, who was red-hot in the first-half, netting 16 points in the first 16 minutes. The squad from Northern Michigan was solid, though, and it was 6’8 power forward Darius Yohe that was the best of that bunch; a long and rangy, athletic stretch-four with a good feel for the game. He led all scorers with 17 points.
12:20: 17U — All Iowa Attack Red 88 vs Young & Reckless 68
This Attack squad is strong, and after advancing to the Sweet 16 of the platinum division bracket, they ran into a buzz-saw of a D1 Minnesota team. We caught them in the aftermath of that loss, and they looked just as strong and fluid as they should. Collin Lister was red-hot early, scoring 12 points in the first 6 minutes of the game, that set the tone. And that tone never diminished for Attack. They thoroughly throttled this athletic Chicago-based squad. It was former Dowling guard and current Creighton Prep junior Thomas Faber who carried the momentum into the second half. He scored 16 of his 18 points in the second frame. Issa Samake was his usual ultra-athletic self, grabbing o-boards and swatting shots. Harouna Sissoko, from Lincoln Academy in Georgia, told me after the game he’ll be playing at Grand View Christian. And oh boy, can this big forward do some things.
1:25: 17U Final 4 — D1 Minnesota 89 vs Team Rose 69
This Team Rose unit team has had a good amount of success of the adidas Gauntlet so far this spring; D1 Minnesota did not care. This Minnesota squad had been wrecking shop all weekend in front of its home crowd, and did not stop, even when the competition became stiffer. Matthew Hurt scored 25 points, and was certainly the best player in the gym. Jamison Battle was searing in this one, canning four 3-balls and scoring 14 points. Tyrell Terry is otherworldly with his vision and passing, he makes this team go. For Team Rose, it was Dajuan Gordan who was utterly impressive, he was scoring at will, and finished with a game-high 28 points.
2:30: 16U Championship — D1 Minnesota 86 vs Wisconsin Playground Warriors 55
The D1 Minnesota Machine runs deep, it’s not just the 17U guys that are overpowering, but the 16U guys are that way, too. This Wisconsin Playground Warriors squad is chock-full of D1 talent, a lot of it high-major, and D1 MN eviscerated them. A 6’10 big-man, Dawson Garcia, was sensational in the blowout W. He’s tall and lean, but strong, and has a big skill-set to boot. He canned four 3s and finished with a game-high 18 points. Ben Carlson, another very big and versatile forward was outstanding, going for 17 points. Jonathan Davis was good for Wisky, he scored 16 while proving he’s one of the more athletic wings in the Midwest. Gabe Madsen’s torrid weekend continued, Minnesota’s 4th-ranked 2020 scored 16 in the L.
3:35: 17U Championship — D1 Minnesota 89 vs KC Spurs 69
Matthew Hurt is a future NBA player, and he was doing whatever he wanted, whenever he wanted against this talented KC Spurs squad. If I may take a moment and divulge: Hurt is the best high school player I’ve ever seen. The 6’9 wing torched the Spurs for 25 points, and his lean-back 3-ball up against the sidelines while fading out of bounds was the most impressive shot I saw in the tourney (what made it more enthralling that it was right in front of my eyes, like five feet away). Couple Hurt with Tyrell Terry, and you’ve maybe got the best duo in the Midwest, and probably one of the best in the country. D1 Minnesota won the 16U and 17U titles, and won them both very convincingly. Dalen Ridgnal was very good for Kansas City, he’s been a superstar this spring. But the real star this weekend was D1 Minnesota.