Posted On: 05/10/18 3:58 PM
The top division of 17u play in the Twin Cities this weekend is a 64 team bracket with some of the best teams that the Midwest has to offer. How does the road of 64 look for the Dakota 17u squads? PHD walks you through.
South Dakota Attack. Game one for the Attack is against Heat Henderson, a squad ranked 13th in Minnesota with an 11-5 record. The Attack will have the talent edge on Henderson but the Heat has a player in 6-foot-8 Jeremy Beckler that is skilled and a consistent number producer. The Attack will need a good game from Camden Bialas up front against Beckler. Noah Freidel and Sawyer Schultz will be the most talented players on the floor.
If the Attack gets by game one the second opponent won’t likely be as tough. Comets DLR has some good players but will be short handed and they have struggled out of the gate with an early 5-7 record. Comets DLR plays 1848 of Wisconsin in their first round game and the winner plays the Attack/Heat Henderson winner. The Attack has a good shot at making the Sweet 16 and looking through potential opponents in the Sweet 16 (Wisconsin Academy, Young & Reckless 2, Powerhouse Nebraska) the Attack would likely be the favorite in their first three games (Wisconsin Academy has a couple top 30 players from Wisconsin though).
If the Attack gets through Wisconsin Academy and Heat Henderson among others, the Elite Eight opponent would be D1 Minnesota, a team with six high major players ranked in the national top ten. Can the South Dakota Attack put a three game run together to get that game? Time will tell. Either way, this is a golden opportunity for Bialas, Freidel, Schultz, Drew Cole, Mitchell Goodbary, and others.
North Dakota Phenom. The Phenom has played in two events so far winning three of eight games and they have drawn a fairly tough initial opponent from Wisconsin in the Wisconsin Crusaders. Will Mahoney (6-foot-1) and Nick Otto (6-foot-4 small forward) are two of the top 50 ranked players in the state of Wisconsin. This will be a big game for Phenom’s Trapper Jacobs to see what he can do against a player like Mahoney. Carter Moser is back healthy and ready to play, he and Kiir Mabor have the size to go against Otto on the wing. Moser will be a good defensive option for Phenom while Mabor can produce some numbers. If the Phenom can win game one they would then face the 15th ranked team in Minnesota (Fury Kaupa) or the Fundamental U second squad.
Sacred Hoops Rama. Sacred Hoops is playing in their second event of the year and they will be thrown right to the wolves at the Battle at the Lakes. They may be thrown to the Wolves but they are taking some warriors into the fight. All state players Ale Rama of Red Cloud, Jadice Morrison of White River, and Dylan Pourier of Douglas are all coming off great years and have said in recent interviews that they are ready for the 17u challenge.
The first round of 64 game for Sacred Hoops is against Comets K, the 6th ranked team in Minnesota. Comets K is 11-5 on the season and their final four run in the Comets Shootout as well as the elite eight push in the Jayhawk Invite have people excited about what they’ve done. The problem for Comets K is that two of their three talented ball handlers – Cade Goggleye and Michael Ziermann – are not likely to be available. Jackson Jangula is still playing and DeVonne Harris – a D1 offered football player – and Camden Arndt are both 6-foot-4 talented hoopers. Tucker Kraft and Elijah Williams will both need to have big games up front for Sacred Hoops to help them get the win.
So if Sacred Hoops wins game one, what’s next? Texas Impact 4:13, a team that has five D1 offered players and is coming off a second place finish in the Texas GASO – an event that draws nearly all of the top Texas teams. If Sacred Hoops can get through one of Minnesota’s best teams they then get to face Texas Impact who some feel IS the best team in Texas.
BBA Force. We are excited that BBA Force is coming to the Battle because this is a group made up of six players from Harrisburg – the state runner up in big school South Dakota basketball – including all state guard Nick Hoyt. The Harrisburg kids are teaming up with the Hennens of Minneota; Jake and Thomas. Jacob Hennen is a 2021 that was named to the Minnesota Freshmen All State team this year after leading Minneota into the Class A top ten. Thomas Hennen will be a senior coming off of a 19.3 points per game season. Add in Kyler Meyer from Britton-Hecla and this is a nice team.
BBA’s first opponent is one of the Young & Reckless squads out of Chicago. Not the top Young & Reckless team but one of the second pair of squads who also have good talent. This will be a strong first game for the BBA kids and if they win? It’s the Wisconsin Starz or the D1 Minnesota Prospects, two beatable teams (the Prospects are ranked 18th in Minnesota with a 9-6 record). If BBA has what it takes to win their first two and make the Sweet 16 then the fun really begins. The Wisconsin Playground Warriors are a Under Armour sponsored team on the UAA circuit with some of the best players in Wisconsin on their roster. Definitely a fun team to compete against.