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Posted On: 05/29/18 8:07 PM
The spring season finishes up this weekend with the Northstar State Tournament. What teams are fighting for the first title of June? NHR gives you the first look now.
17U. The NHR State Tournament is the ultimate place to give players and teams that feel they have something to prove one more chance to play before the 3-4 week June break. So who is in the event? The 17u division has 42 teams in all including 16 of the top 25 teams in the state and nearly all of the teams that are just outside of the top 25. The first 17u rankings came after the Comets Shootout so this will be the biggest collection of 17u ranked teams at an event since the initial top 25.
The top ranked team in the event is 5th ranked Comets K but since they’ve had their season’s biggest wins they have lost top player Cade Goggleye to injury. Comets K is still of course a favorite but the injury to Cade makes this even more wide open than we originally though it would be.
Two more favorites are Minnesota Heat Nelson and Minnesota Heat MacDonald. The MacDonald bunch has really hit a stride as of late earning three wins against top ten teams while Heat Nelson has been a consistently tough group. Heat Nelson and SE Minnesota Lightning have both hit the Elite Eight in local events multiple times so they are favorites for the Final Four or even the title game this weekend.
The Twin Cities Pirates likely have the best group of prospects at the event and they are group in need of a strong weekend. Crossfire Belle was runner-up at state last year at 16u, Select Leafblad and SW Stars are coming off SPTS (as is Heat MacDonald), and finally another group that is playing well is Mentality Minnesota.
The 17u field is wide open and should be a lot of fun.
16U. Another 44 teams are playing at the 16u level at Champlin Park High School this weekend including 15 of the top 25 ranked squads at 16u. At first look the initial favorites seem to be Heat Moberg and Fury Kline who are both top ten squads. Watch the additional SPTS teams SW Stars and Select Cave who are competitive groups as well as Select Koch. Oh, and let’s not forget Grassroots Ewald who had some additional roster Sizzle in the last local Prep Hoops event. If those Sizzling 2020s (and others) are with Ewald again they could be the toughest out.
15U. A large group of 15u teams will be in the event as more than 50 squads signed up to play at the 15u level. We will be updating the NHR top 20 for 15u tomorrow but in looking at last week’s top 20, the NHR state event has 12 of those top 20 including two of the top three teams in state (Select Ohnstad and Heat Tauer). With Select and Heat both looking to bounce back after missing the SPTS title last weekend this could be the most fun to watch battle of the weekend. Don’t forget, WC United Select, SE Minnesota Lighting, and Crossfire Bartsch, all top ten squads, are also playing for the state title. That makes half of the state’s top ten 15u squads.