Posted On: 07/20/18 6:14 PM
11:15: 15U — Iowa Intensity 54 vs BBA Force-Shane 40
We had been tipped-off before the tourney that this Iowa Intensity unit was the real deal, and they did a lot to prove that after going 2-0 in pool play at this loaded Lawrence, Kansas event. It became pretty clear, really quick that the Iowa squad was led by the guard combo of AJ Wilkins (Grinnell) and Cole Watts (Montezuma). Wilkins did not miss a shot the entirety of the second half, that included two free-throws, three 3s and a pair of deuces. This Intensity squad is a well-oiled machine on both ends of the floor, something you don’t see too often in AAU ball. They could do some damage this weekend in bracket play.
12:20: 17U — Howard Pulley EYBL 68 vs Kingdom Hoops-Mosley 52
This Kingdom Hoops squad is well-established as one of the best grassroots squads in Iowa, and they have been fearless while going up against a pair of EYBL squads in this tourney. Last night they narrowly lost to Boo Williams, by 11, and were in this one until the final few minutes when the Minnesota squad pulled away (no pun intended). Nathan Johnson is putting together a nice July, the re-classified 2019 (he’ll play at prep school Hargrave next season), was good last weekend in Milwaukee, and led the team in scoring today with 16. Kylan Smallwood is a guy that can take over when the mood strikes, he notched 13 points, 10 in the second half. For Minnesota, it was David Roddy who impressed, he scored a game-high 17 points, and is showing why he’s got some D1 offers coming in (South Dakota offered yesterday).
1:25: 17U — KC Spurs White 70 vs Iowa Cornsharks 44
This was a lopsided affair from start to finish, and the Kansas City squad was simply too skilled and too athletic for the formidable but outmatched Iowa squad. Still, there was a very bright spot for the ‘Sharks: Michael Barker was electric in the loss, showing off his elite athleticism and immense length while throwing down some monster dunks and coming away with a couple huge blocks. He told me after the game that he’s graduated early and will be playing at Quakerdale Prep next season. This is a guy that NCAA programs might want to start getting a look at now. His skill-set is still a bit raw, but his ceiling is very high. Logan Peters led the ‘Sharks in this one, he’s always good, and scored 13 in the loss. For KC, it was Rio Bingsley who impressed, the 5’8 guard put down his first ever in-game dunk at the end, much to the delight of the crowd, and finished with a game-high 15 points.
2:30: 17U — Drive5 (KS) 53 vs MOKAN Select (MO) 50
There were no Iowa teams slated for the 2:30 time slot at the Sports Pavillion, so we found a random game. It turned out to be a good one. MOKAN was talented and led for most of it, but Drive5 was always within striking distance and made their move with about five minutes left in the second half, that’s when they took the lead, and never relinquished it. Nathan Burger hit some timely 3s for the Kansas squad and finished with a game-high 17 points. Marc Trujillo did a nice job of orchestrating the offense and canned three 3s to boot. For MOKAN, it was Courtland Soll who impressed, he was a bulldog while attacking the rim and finished with a team-high 15 points.
3:35: 16U — Victory Ministry 78 vs Iowa Intensity 71
What an interesting game this was. Iowa Intensity as a team canned a whopping 16 3s, but still lost. Grinnell’s rising junior Jake Hull scored 41 points, and his team still lost. It’s one of those things; if you were to have told me before the game that the Iowa team would hit 16 3s and have their best player drop 41, then how do they lose?! Well, this was a solid Victory squad, they were led by some sharpshooters of their own, and canned 11 3s; that’s usually a lot, just not compared to the 16 Iowa hit. Victory was led by 5’8 guard Arlo Stump, who scored a team-high 22 points, including four of his teams 11 3-balls. Back to Hull, though. The 6’4 forward canned eight total 3s and seven of them came in the second half alone. The 41 points is more than we’ve seen any player score at any tourney — high school or AAU — all spring and summer. It was a special performance. It’s just too bad it couldn’t come with a W.