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Posted On: 06/25/18 12:31 PM
The Great Plains Alliance traditionally has more local D2, D3, and NAIA coaches in attendance than any other Upper Midwest event of the 17u season. Want to be looked at by those schools? The GPA is where you need to be. Today we take our first look at the event.
17U. The format for the GPA this year is 38 teams splitting into seeding games on Thursday evening and then breaking out into a pair of bracket play games on Friday. From there teams will then have one or two games to be played on Saturday morning. What does the field look like? Of the Minnesota top 25, 15 of the ranked teams will be in this event including six of the top ten teams in the state and 12 of the top 17 teams in the state overall. In addition, Wisconsin’s Under Armour team the Wisconsin Playground Warriors are at the GPA, the best team in South Dakota (the South Dakota Attack) will be in St. Cloud, the Wisconsin Crusaders and Wisconsin Playmakers are playing at the GPA, and all of the top 17u teams from North Dakota are competing as well. It’s a strong field of teams.
The Thursday night play-in games are also somewhat showcase games that are used for seeding purposes. The Comets Lewis vs SD Attack game will match several D2 offered prospects against one another meaning most coaches will be in the gym at their 6:30 start time. That game will be followed by Fury Wilde (the third ranked team in Minnesota) against the Wisconsin Playground Warriors. The 17u play opens with ECI Prospects playing E1T1 (MN) at 3pm and is followed by a good ND Attack vs Crossfire Belle at 4:10. Looking for a good 5:20 contest? #5 ranked WOTN vs Totino-Grace HS will be good as will be Comets DLR vs Wisconsin Playmakers. The other 6:30 game we are really interested in is Heat Nelson – the 17U State Champs three weeks ago – playing SW Minnesota Stars. The best of the late night round is Comets K vs Select Ellis.
16U. At this level we have a straight up 32 team event. You win you go on, you lose you go to consolation. Simple stuff (there are other brackets of course for those that lose their first two and for those that win and then lose). The list is 21 from Minnesota, 5 from Wisconsin, 5 from North Dakota, and 1 from South Dakota. Of that group 11 of the teams from Minnesota are ranked (#4 Comets Elite, #5 WOTN, #6 Fury Kline, #9 MN Matrix). From South Dakota the top team in the state South Dakota Attack will be at the event as well be the number one ranked North Dakota team, the Alliance.
15U. The MN-WI-ND plus South Dakota Attack continues with a 32 team field again in a traditional format for playing four games. The event has six teams each from Wisconsin and North Dakota, the Attack, and 21 Minnesota squads. Half of Minnesota’s top 20 is in the event as will be all of the North Dakota teams. Crossfire Belle, Magic Hannah, SD Attack, ECI Kretch, and the ECI Prospects round out the favorites for the event.