With my hectic schedule on Sunday I was not able to get this out yesterday. Here it is.
The Summer Jam wrapped up their annual tournament with 20 championships scattered across the south metro. I was able to check up on four of the title games centered mostly on court one. I chose court 1 because they had more older grades featured. Drama was the watchword for games one (the only non-title game in the mix) and game three. 14 different programs earned titles with the two EYBL programs North Tartan & All Iowa Attack taking three. AIA took the top junior and soph divisions while NT grabbed the frosh. AIA was stopped in a dramatic one point game in the top 8th grade division. That contest went to the Fury 2023s. They also picked up a win via the Southern MN Fury. The MN Stars also had with two trophies.
And what is with all the “Attack” teams. Iowa was the first to brand themselves and they are the true standard bearers, but soon South Dakota, Nebraska, and now even North Dakota dons the moniker. When will Minnesota have an Attack offering? Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
GAME 1: CSS BISON 67, FLORIDA ESSENCE EYBL 63
This was the third place game in the Minnetonka division and featured a roller coaster ride with the CSS Bison rallying from a 61-45 deficit with seven minutes left. Or did they? I only had Florida Essence for 60 points for the game. It sees the table became confused at the 8:56 mark of the second half with mysterious points awarded. At any rate, using the scoreboard, and not my accurate account, the Bison outscored the southerners 22-2 the last seven minutes. The Bison defense led out front by long, lean, and lanky Nyayongah Gony caused Essence severe headaches. Essence lost their essence with six straight turnovers foreshadowing the impending doom. A 3 by Taylor McCabe put the Bison up 65-63 with 40 seconds left capping the miracle comeback. Essence wasn’t finished with their turnover demons as they added two more in their last three possessions.
The Essence bench outscored their starters 39-21 with a pp100 of 118. There were plenty of athletes, but no real leader when the heat increased.
Four Bison were in double digits. Essence had three players with double digits.
Two Bison made the 31 Club: center Olivia Hollenbeck and point guard Whitney Brown. (and not A. Whitney Brown, the comedy writer).
The Bison stunned Metro Stars Starks on Friday night to get their tournament off to a rousing start.
|CSS Bison||Florida Essence EYBL|
|Leading scorer||Olivia Hollenbeck 25||Trinity Hardy 12|
GAME 2: ALL IOWA ATTACK 9 BLACK 62, WIS CITY 49
This was the title game in the Ten Mile Lake Division, kind of a catch all division of sophs, frosh and 8th graders. It was the third freshman division if I am reading the bracketing correctly.
Early on Wis City (based in Eau Claire) led 10-3. By half All Iowa Attack had turned the tables and led 28-20—–a 25-10 effort. The dribble drive was alive and well for AIA, as was balance. Four players reached double figures. Only one player, Tessa Hazelton, made double digits for Wis City. Hazelton also joined the 31 Club and had over 100 pp100, but her help was limited and anemic.
|All Iowa Attack 9 Black||Wis City|
|Leading scorer||Meredith Rieker 17||Tessa Hazelton 24|
GAME 3: MN FURY 2023 UAA 43, ALL IOWA ATTACK 8 NIKE RED 42
This was the title game in the Pelican Lake Division, the top of the line for 8th graders. And this was the title game for memories too. With a one point game there are thousands of moments that “decided” the game. Here are a few:
1: with five seconds left in the first half AIA was at the line for a bonus free throw but missed the front end. Ashley Schuelke grabbed the miss, dashed down the court and nailed a 3 from the left top of the key. Fury led at the break 24-19.
2. Early in the second half the Fury had a turnover near their bench. But they passed it in, and the clock started. The correction was made with the ball returned to AIA, but six seconds vanished off the game clock forever with no one thinking about correcting that issue. That would come back to haunt AIA in the end.
3. After AIA closed the gap to 27-25, the Fury called time at 8:48. On the next Fury possession they did a high wire act almost losing the ball two times. In the end Zoey Washington nailed a 3 for Fury in the right corner. 30-25 Fury.
4. AIA jumped in front 42-38 with 1:50 left. In the ensuing AIA press, Kennedy Sanders found Brynn Beffert alone for a chip shot on the left block to make it 42-40. Which brings up what didn’t happen for AIA: they were a collective 4/14 on lay ups for the day. Add in the chip shots on the blocks at 1/9 and you have an ice cold 5/24 inside (20.8%). The Fury were a healthier, if not robust, 6/12 on lay ups and 4/12 with chip shots. Again, not scintillating but certainly better than a single solitary one.
5. With 1:20 left AIA attempted a 3 up 42-40. They missed. Beffert rebounded. That was the start of the possession where Kennedy Sanders hit the game winning three from the left side.
6. With 10 seconds left AIA was fouled. They missed the front end. They got the rebound and missed. They got the rebound again and the whistle blew on court 2 which froze action on court 1. Both teams relaxed as in “stood up and stopped.” The refs relaxed too. But there was no foul. Precious seconds melted away when AIA realized the ball was live and they better shoot. They did in a rushed manner and the game was over. How should this have been handled? This is the issue with multiple games next to each other. Everyone has heard of “play until the whistle.” I would now say in club ball “play until the refs physically stop you.”
Any one of these items, or a combination thereof could have altered the outcome. Awareness and execution are the watchwords going forward for every team.
MN Fury has now won the MN Qualifier, MN State AAU and the Summer Jam. They also won the Summer kick off (and I am sure several tournament I did not chart). They need to build shelves for all the awards piling up.
|MN Fury 2023 UAA||All Iowa Attack 8 Nike Red|
|Leading scorer||Kennedy Sanders 8||Ke’Ayla Madison 12|
GAME 4: NORTH TARTAN 15U ELITE 67, LADY MARTIN BROS 2022 39
This was the title game in the Mille Lacs Lake Division, the best frosh divisio. And oddly enough there was no team with Attack in the title. But NT did attack and attack and attack. They put the ferocious press on the Lady Martin Bros (a team from the Cedar Falls, IA area) and knew where the rim was. Fouls and turnovers piled up for LMB. This was a different NT team than the bored and disinterested one I charted in the State tournament. Coach Contreras was at the helm now, when he was prevented from coaching during May because of the multitude of Hopkins connections. But there was massive improvement from support players. The one-two punch of Amaya Battle and Taylor Woodson was potent as always with a combined 32 points. But help was forthcoming. Even with Tessa Johnson absent today, the NT crew came up with 35 points. That is light years ahead of the paltry six they put up in the MN State AAU title game. The Battle/Woodson touches in May were 47% of the team total. Today it was down to 37%. Still a lot but more contributions by others helped ignite this victory. Despite all the heat in the first half LMB were still hanging around trailing 37-26. The cumulative cognitive stress of facing the heat wore LMB down and they were soon exhausted, their tanks running on empty in the second half. Running time ensued. NT was only the second team to cross over to the century club (PP100) yesterday.
|North Tartan 15U Elite||Lady Martin Bros 2022|
|Leading scorer||Amaya Battle 17||Taylor Veach 13|
GAME 5: ALL IOWA ATTACK 17 EYBL 58, NEBRASKA ATTACK 11 UAA 44
This was the for the top prize in the top division: Minnetonka and it was all Attack affair. These two programs once were under the same umbrella but have since drifted apart. The Nebraska contingent dropped the “all” portion in their branding but kept the Attack. They also hitched up with UAA. The Nebraska side reached the final with a big opening day win over the host North Tartan 17 EYBL team followed by wins over WI Flight Elite and Florida Essence. All Iowa Attack’s path included wins over SD Attack, MN Stars Antl and the other Nebraska rival CSS Bison. Early on, Nebraska rode the emotional wave to a 12-7 lead. Iowa was not going to stay silent for long, especially behind the arc. Leading the attack for the Attack in the first half behind the arc was Kaya Laube with two 3s in three possessions and that forced a Nebraska time out. 11 unanswered points four minutes later Nebraska scored once again, but the damage was done. Iowa led 28-17 at the break and they would not be removed from the perch. Maya McDermott was the prime attacker early in the second half with three 3s in the first four possessions and Iowa was not going to be denied up 37-23.
|All Iowa Attack 17 EYBL||Nebraska Attack 11 UAA|
|Leading scorer||Maya McDermott 16||McKenna Minter 10|
GAME 1: Olivia Hollenbeck of CSS Bison (& Lincoln Christian) with 25 points, 138.9 pp100 and a 34 score in the 31 Club
GAME 2: Meredith Rieker of All Iowa Attack 9 Black (& West Des Moines Valley) with 17 points, 130.8 pp100 and a 25 score in the 31 Club.
GAME 3: Kennedy Sanders of MN Fury 2023 UAA (& Chaska) with 8 points, including the game winning 3, a pp100 of 72.7 and a 23 in the 31 Club.
GAME 4: Amaya Battle of North Tartan 15U Elite (& Hopkins) with 17 points, 121.4 pp100 and a 38 Score in the 31 Club—-a high for the weekend
GAME 5: Maya McDermott of All Iowa Attack (& Johnston) with 16 points, a 160 pp100 and a 31 Club score of 25
PLAYER OF THE DAY: AMAYA BATTLE
There were five 31 Clubbers today, a rarity in club ball, and oddly enough from three teams: Battle, and Woodson, Hollenbeck and Brown, and Hazelton—the only one whose team did not win.