Posted On: 05/14/19 10:48 PM
Battle at the Lakes — initially a Minnesota tournament which manifested into something of a midwest showcase — was set ablaze by Wisconsin talent. By age group, let’s summarize the state’s triumphant weekend.
Though Wisconsin Playground Club was the only team to punch their ticket into the final four — where they would be hastily ousted by Fundamental University — individual prospect play would endure the lack of team success.
Johnny Davis played, well, like the number two prospect in the state. His athleticism stood out in every facet of his game, as his rebounds, drives, and head-to-the-rim dunks were all beautiful displays of that. His brother, Jordan, was a great compliment on both ends, as was center Terrance Thompson.
That said, single game honors should be bestowed on Wisconsin RAP guard Brandin Podziemski. The lefty guard scored 34 points in a single game, 24 of them coming in one half. He thrived in the mid-range and beyond the arc, while also showing off some crafty finishes in transition.
As for the rest of the 17U’s, Anthony Washington led Wisconsin Premier in their Elite Eight run, taking down Keaton Ferris and Wisconsin Crusaders on the way. Max Klesmit was another elite scoring guard who, despite valiant efforts in that respect, was knocked out in the Round of 32.
This group etched Wisconsin’s name into weekend lore — again we find ourselves patting the backs of Wisconsin Playground Club.
Their squad arrived in a championship matchup with Team Factory Gold, where they hit a looming stumbling block in Factory guard Chucky Hepburn. The loss, though a tad disappointing, wasn’t all too important, as their run to that point was extremely impressive. Guard Cam Palesse grew his following with 16 points against an elite defender in Martin Brothers guard Jadin Johnson. He also showed a high motor when attacking the rim and hunting shots. Teammate Brayden Dailey was another bright spot, his shooting from deep and methodical offensive style impressing many in attendance.
Wisconsin Blizzard, also a program that Team Factory beatdown on, happened to be one of the tournaments’ more well-rounded teams. They made a very strong run to the Elite Eight and they cameoed in Sunday’s action at Wayzata High School.
The big picture consistency with the 16U’s was also a noticeable takeaway. With some of the other state’s better programs throwing haymakers, very few resigned to a fitful mess. Seven of the eight Wisconsin 16U teams made it to, or past, the Round of 32 while four of those teams advanced to the Sweet Sixteen.
In the youngest age group listed, we find the highest volume of teams trekking far into their Sunday slate. And if we’re staying consistent with each age group, Wisconsin Playground Club’s far-reaching onslaught of brackets continued.
Both Playground White and Black made the Elite Eight, while a Jeffery Brazziel led White squad would make the Final Four. But, in some version of an underdog story, Wisconsin Crusaders AD made the 15U championship game. They would lose despite leading at the end of the first half.
Considering all three age groups, it’s hard to brush off the sheer talent being produced in the state. With the five-star jamboree starting to be monitored nationally and their “supporting cast” of sorts in the two, three, and four star recruits dominating tournaments like Battle at the Lakes, it’s obvious that Wisconsin is starting to form a bandwagon behind their stars.