Posted On: 05/11/19 1:06 PM

       Omaha Biliew

15u: Beyond Ball 24K 60 vs SE Minnesota Thunder 30

What started out as a competitive match-up quickly turned into utter dominance by the Iowa guys. The top Beyond Ball 15u squad features highly touted eight-grader Omaha Biliew, a 6’8 forward who is surely one of the best Class of 2023 guys in the nation; he scored a game-high 13 points including three jams and a pin-block off the backboard, but this team is much more than just him. Valley freshman point guard Mason Morrow was impressive, scoring 12 points in the blowout win. Guys like Parker Elder (Pleasantville), Ruot Bijiek (Dowling), Jevin Sullivan (North Polk) and Elijah Riordan (Valley) all make this BB unit one of the better 15u teams in Iowa. 

 

             Zeke Hans

17u: Wisconsin Focus 77 vs Iowa Chill 74 (OT)

This was a thriller from start to finish, with both starting red-hot and staying competitive throughout. At halftime the guys from Iowa looked to be in control, up 11, 47-36 behind 15 points from Martensdale St. Marys forward Trey Baker, and eight total team 3s. Iowa could not sustain that red-hot shooting in the second half, and although they still played well, the talented Wisconsin group was able to make the comeback and send it to OT. That’s when Focus’ Zecharia Hans (Lake Country Lutheran) canned a clutch corner 3 as time expired for the dramatic game-winner. Keota’s JD Stout was impressive for Iowa, he finished with 17 points. South Hamilton’s Doran Lutjen was terrific, he scored 24. For Wisconsin, it was Hans and Davion Winters both scoring 20. 

 

            Diondre Taylor

16u: Beyond Ball 24K 86 vs Iowa Mavs-Fisher 73

This Mavs-Fisher group is tough, but the Beyond Ball group was clearly the better unit in this one. For the Mavs, it was the outstanding back-court of Mekhi Jacobs and Alec Brown, both from Davenport North, that kept them close. The two of them combined for 44 points in the loss. Beyond Ball, though, is deep and has plenty of killers on the squad. It was Des Moines North’s Diondre Taylor who shined the brightest, he scored 17 second half points to help 24K separate from the fiery Mavs sqaud; Taylor finished with a team-high 23 points. James Glenn was red-hot from deep in the first half and finished with 18 in the win. Des Moines Christian’s Ben Loverdude was flashing his versatility, scoring from outside and inside en route to 13 points. 

 

Ty Walker gets fouled in the final minute of the game, he canned both FTs

16u: Kingdom Hoops Navy 68 vs JH1 Elite 64

We came into this tourney expecting this talented Kingdom Hoops squad to make a deep run through the platinum bracket, that notion was put in serious jeopardy here in the Round of 32. KH was down 12 at the break, but made their move in the second half, setting up what would be a dramatic final few minutes. A clutch 3-ball from Johnston’s Reid Grant, and some big-time clutch free-throws from Roosevelt’s Ty Walker and Waukee’s Payton Sandfort (who also pulled down some timely rebounds), helped seal the win for the Iowa guys. They’ll play in the Sweet 16 at 3:35 against Y&R Brim. 

 

Ryan Carlow

16u: Sacred Hoops Buus 46 vs Iowa Mavs-Huisman 30

The boys from South Dakota has some ballers on the roster, and they were in control of this one from the very beginning. The Mavs, though, despite trailing 31-16 at the break, would make it somewhat interesting in the second half. They cut the deficit to single digits for a large portion of the second stanza, thanks in large part to Rockford big-man Matthew Schubert notching 10 second half points. But it was Sacred Hoops’ Ryan Carlow who was the best player on the floor in this one. The 6’1 Red Cloud point guard was scoring in bunches, and poured in a game-high 21 points in the win. 

 

            Ajantae Hogan

16u: Iowa Barnstormers Gold 74 vs Gain Elite 65

The adidas Gold Iowa Barnstormers squad came to Minneapolis on a mission, and after a convincing win over Gain Elite, they find themselves in familiar territory, the Platinum Sweet 16. The name here is a bit misleading, yes, they’re the Iowa Barnstormers, however nearly roster comes from outside of Iowa. It was a Nebraska guy, Ajantae Hogan who impressed in this one, the big, strong guard was hard to handle for the Minnesota guys, and poured in a game-high 21 points as a result. Davenport Central’s Emarion Ellis has been generating a lot of buzz this spring and we see why. The 6’5 wing handles it and can create his own shot, he’s a capable shooter of the bounce. He sat out the first half and scored 12 in the second half alone. 

 

16u: Y&R-Jeremy 57 vs Iowa Intensity 54 (OT)

Iowa Intensity was down big in this one, it seemed as though it was going to stay that way. But when a team can shoot the ball like Intensity can, no lead is safe. The second half belonged to Dubuque Hempstead point guard Cam Davis, a former Barnstormer turned Intensity standout who netted a whooping 22 points in the second half, including a game-tying bucket at the rim to send the game to OT (see below). As a team, Iowa Intensity did what they do best and canned eight 3s in the second half to get back in it; Jakari Bradley, Cole Watts, Davis and Hogan Hansen accounted for the triples. The Illinois squad, though, found a way to prevail in overtime, and will have the opportunity to play Iowa Barnstormers Gold in the platinum Sweet 16. 

 

Trevion LaBeaux (left) and Jaron Crews

16u: All Iowa Attack 60 vs ET21 Buckeyes 30

Usually in a massive tournament like this, once you get to the point of playing for a Platinum Sweet 16 bid things start to get difficult. Not for this All Iowa Attack unit, though. This one was over from the very start, after the guys from Iowa raced out to a 16-4 lead, there was really nothing the Ohio guys could do to get back in it. The Attack unit was notably playing without one of its staples, big-man Angelo Winkel, he told us earlier today that he’s switched teams, to Iowa Chill 17u. All Iowa Attack fared just fine without the 6’8 power forward in this one, with guys like Jaron Crews and Trevion LaBeaux picking up the slack; those two combined for 25 points in the blowout win. Attack will play Wisconsin Crusaders in the Sweet 16.

 

16u Sweet 16: Y&R-Jeremy 67 vs Barnstormers Gold 65 

It’s hard to put this one into words. The Barnstormers were in complete control, they were simply the better team…that’s until the fire alarms went off. Seriously, the fire alarms went off, and everything was suspended. The game stopped, Stormers up by nine with nine minutes to go; they had consistently been up between 10 and 15 for most of the game. After about a 30 minute evacuation break (it was the popcorn machine that set the alarms off), the game resumed and the team from Illinois was ignited. They went right into a full-court press, it worked, the Stormers’ nine-point lead slowly diminished until eventually Y&R gained the lead. The bleeding for the Barnstormers stopped when Cedar Falls big-man Joe Knutson canned a short jumper. He followed that up with some big defensive plays and a massive and-one. But the onslaught from the Illinois squad was too much, and in the end — after three overtimes — it was Kynote Thomas who impressively put in the game-winning bucket at the rim for Y&R. 

 

                  Keaton Kutcher

16u Sweet 16: Martin Bros 66 vs All in Adidas Gold 65

This was a showcase game for the Martin Bros. The Iowa squad was playing an Adidas Gold Gauntlet squad, that means, it was playing a team considered among the best in the nation. This Martin Bros team, though, could probably be considered among the best, too. Michael Duax was recently named the state’s top-ranked 2021 prospect, he was again very good going for a co-team high 14 points. Keaton Kutcher, a Mount Vernon product, continues to impress, he scored 14  as well. Here’s where things get wild. Kutcher canned two 3s in the final minute; the first came right after a missed dunk that would have put the Illinois team up five. The subsequent five-point swing left the Bros with a two point deficit, then Kutcher put in a sidewinder 32-foot 3 at the buzzer to win the game by one, it was his fourth 3-ball of the second half, and a game-winner that sent them his Martin Bros squad to the Platinum Elite 8.