With the “quiet” week in effect for Minnesota High School coaches, and the club scene prepping for the July onslaught, the window was open for camping, and the MN Basketball News hosted their annual Top 100 Expo camp at St. Benedict on Tuesday, July 2. There were NOT 100 campers there, but if you combined both boys and girls, then yes 100 players were in the house. Most of the players on the female side are not heavily involved in the club scene, although some were in attendance. Those that were had significant success. Most of the prominent 2020s and 2021s bypass this event with their exposure taken care of on the club scene. The same goes for AAAA players, only seven were rostered out of the 56 total players involved.
There were six teams, with two pools of three, nine players per team, with four nine minute stop time quarters. After playing the pool the corresponding place finisher faced off against the other side. Teams were named after collegiate teams. The coaches were a mixture of Community College and D3 coaches. I was able to chart all six teams at one stage or another with two teams getting viewed twice.
Game 1: HAWKEYES 67, CARDINALS 60
The Cardinals made ten 3s in this game, the best charted all day, with five players notching two each. That still wasn’t enough to dislodge the Hawkeyes from the win. The Hawkeyes took advantage of the free throw line with 20 attempts, a dozen better than the Cards. That gave an indication of their method of attacking the rim. The Hawkeyes attempted 14, the Cards 8. The Hawkeyes were also more patient on offense with 4.99 touches per point compared to the Cardinals 4.65. This is perhaps reflected best in the turnover differential, a plus seven for the Hawkeyes. The Cards came back in the fourth quarter, cutting a 14 point deficit in half.
|LEADING SCORER||Two with 16||Lexi Schermann 18|
Game 2: CARDINALS 49, CYCLONES 48
The most competitive game of the day, and the game that featured the lowest pp100 of the day. The Cardinals had just finished their first game and so can be excused for the drop of over 20 points in their pp100. The Cyclones were fresh so perhaps they were exhausted watching the first game. The first quarter gave a good indication where the teams were at with the Cyclones up 11-4. The Cardinals rose up in the second stanza to take a 27-22 half time lead. The Cards had to hang on for dear life at the end as the Cyclones scored seven unanswered points in the last minute only to come up one point short. Adeline Kent led the Cyclones charge down the stretch. In fact, she was whistled for a charge with 10 seconds left. The Cyclones got it right back and Kent nailed a final 3 with 3 ticks left. Again the Cards coughed the ball up, but the Cyclones did not have enough time to cap the comeback.
|LEADING SCORER||Riley Queensland 13||Adeline Kent 19|
Game 3: BEARS 78, BULLDOGS 59
This game took place after a lunch break, and apparently the Bears had a better meal. Or maybe they didn’t get enough and devoured the Bulldogs. This game featured the most points scored by a winning team and the only team to crack the century mark in the pp100. Six Bears had nine or more points and that was more than enough to offset the game high 20 points of Lilli Mackley. The Bears were 7/10 on lay ups and in addition 18/30 within an arm’s length of the rim meaning they had 50 points within five feet of the basket. The Bulldogs had over 50 more touches on the day, but the Bears were more efficient and effective in figuring out who was open with touch rates leading to points 8.63 to 11.96. Also the Bears dribbled the ball 260 fewer times than the bouncing Bulldogs. After three quarters the Bears had 57 points, three points away from enough to win the game.
|LEADING SCORER||Hannah Hannuksela 14||Lilli Mackley 20|
Championship: HUSKIES 73, HAWKEYES 69
Both teams were undefeated in pool play. And the key to this championship game was MVP Paige Meyer playing for the Huskies, the same mascot as her high school team. When a player can make the 41 Club in a camp environment where they are forced to sit that tells you something (she had a score of 44, same as her jersey number). When referees come over and make bountiful positive comments about “#44” that tells you something. When the Hawkeyes were surging at the end of the game and you are inserted back onto the floor after a 1:15 break to stop the bleeding that tells you something. Meyer’s ability to get to the rim quickly, dashing and darting by the defenders and then able to hang suspended in the air with the ability to twist her frame in an advantageous position helps explain her 22 points. Meyer was not a ball hog player either. She set up her teammates 22 times (her point total). They converted only six times, but the 22 mark was the best all day. The next highest was 15. Others had more assists (by one). This is because Meyer was aware the player was open before the player knew they were open often. Her ability to see the floor and see three plays ahead made her decision making easy. That vision and foresight also came in handy on the defensive end where she racked up a day’s high 16 d stops, 10 alone on d boards coming from the guard position. The ability to dominate the game at both ends cemented the win for the Huskies.
Here are the quarter scores
Huskies 17-14; 37-28; 56-44; 73-69.
The Hawkeyes stormed back in the final nine minutes with Marissa Radtke delivering a day’s high 26 points, 14 of those with a flourish in the fourth.
|LEADING SCORER||Paige Meyer 22||Marissa Radtke 26|
GAME 1: Megan Gamble of the Hawkeyes (and Becker) with 16 points, 114.3 pp100 and a 27 score in the 31 Club.
GAME 2: Riley Queensland of the Cardinals (and Grand Meadow) with 13 points, 86.7 pp100 and a 22 score in the 31 Club.
GAME 3: Karli Nixon of the Bears (and Crosby-Ironton) with 12 points, 100 pp100 and a 21 score in the 31 Club.
GAME 4: Paige Meyer of the Huskies (and Albany Huskies) with 22 points, 122.2 pp100 and a day’s best 44 score in the 31 Club. Make that the 41 Club.
Here are the numbers for the all-Tournament selections when I was charting. Five players were charted twice. Four AAA players, five AA and one A player made the list. Only two players are going into the senior year. Four are from the 2021 class (Juniors to be), three are 2022s and one is from 2023.
|NAME||CAMP TEAM||SCHOOL TEAM||YEAR||POINTS||PP100||31CLUB|
|Lexi Schermann||Cardinals||Mayer Lutheran||2020||18
|Marissa Radtke||Hawkeyes||Lester Prairie-Holy Trinity||2021||16
|Hannah Hannuksela||Bears||Mesabi East||2021||14||87.5||28|