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Posted On: 07/13/18 11:04 AM
The Summer Slam is basically the South Dakota 17U state tournament with the top teams from North Dakota and a few good ones from Minnesota sprinkled in as well. Want to see the best players in both North Dakota and South Dakota compete against one another? Your best chance is Summer Slam.
17U. The 17u event is split up into three divisions: 16 in the top division and then two six team divisions. From South Dakota the #1 PHD ranked Pentagon Schoolers, #3 South Dakota Attack, #5 ranked South Dakota Venom, #6 ranked Barn Burn Basketball Academy, and #7 ranked Sacred Hoops Rama are all here to compete. Sacred Hoops and Venom play in a round one game which will be really fun. There are several potential match-ups but let’s not kid ourselves, the game everyone hopes to see is South Dakota Attack versus the Pentagon Schoolers. Lots of obstacles for that though including…
Let’s not forget the top ranked team from North Dakota, #2 ranked ECI is competing as well. They of course want another shot at the Schoolers who have beat them twice. ECI has really turned a corner winning the GPA and improving to be a 17 win team. Also, there are two Wisconsin Academy teams, the Nebraska Select, and seven teams from Minnesota. The Minnesota squads will be in the thick of the race, especially the SE Minnesota Lightning who at 22-8 is ranked 8th in Minnesota. Minnesota Fury K (16-11, ranked 14th) and D1 Minnesota Rise (16-15 ranked 16th) are competitive teams that have played some of the best in the upper Midwest. Add in Heat Walljasper (ranked 25th at 17-12 on the year), UVA Tate (12-12), UVA Stan (a good team that we don’t have all the results for) and the Minnesota Knights and it’s a tough bunch.
This is a very strong 16 team field and the winner of the event will have a trophy they can be deeply proud of.
The second division is the 17U Orange and it has six teams. A couple teams from Iowa, Minnesota Heat Ismail (15-16 this year, unranked), a high school squad from Brandon Valley, and then two more 17u South Dakota teams. Those squads are #11 SD Crush (9-5) and #12 ranked Sacred Hoops Bertram (8-5).
Division three is called the Red Division and oddly has two pretty talented teams from North Dakota: the Phenom and the Attack. Both squads have won a dozen games this year and both seem to be on a collision course for a fun game. Then you add BBA Force Shane (if this is the BBA Shane squad they are 11-8 and just won the Minnesota Showcase) and Sacred Hoops McVey and I think you have a third division to really talk about. Seems to have more talent than the Orange and has several teams good enough to play in the top 16. Should be fun.
16U. The top eight is a pretty good heavy weight division with top teams form South Dakota and from Minnesota. South Dakota at 16-2 is the big favorite but Minnesota’s 6th ranked Fury K squad (25-8 on the year) and 9th ranked Matrix team (19-6) will have a strong say in who wins. Also from the Dakotas is ECI Prospects (8-16), Pentagon Schoolers (7-9), and South Dakota Network (7-9) and then Wisconsin Academy rounds out the group of eight. The group is really strong but the local favorite is the Attack.
Another assortment of .500 level Dakota squads headlines the second division including BBA Force, Gordon DTA Gold, and the North Dakota Attack. The third division has six teams and includes a pair of Sacred Hoops squad, the other Gordon DTA team, and Barn Burner Academy.
15U. The 15u division of the Summer Slam should be outstanding. The big question is who will win between the Pentagon Schoolers and South Dakota Attack for the top spot in the state? These teams are running a close parallel with the Attack holding a small edge (a 1-1 record vs Crossfire Belle, Schoolers are 0-1). Don’t sleep on 17-9 ECI Kretchman though or the Phenom or the other ECI squad. Add in three top 20 teams from Minnesota: #12 Lightning at 22-7, #14 Fury P at 18-11, and #17 Minnesota Knights at 16-8 plus the Southwest Stars and you have a very competitive field.
***Don’t forget there is also the SPBL finals which we will touch on later today.