4 SATURDAY GAMES FROM MILL CITY/CHANHASSEN
It was a good day to be a host (or co-host) to start the first day in the first D1 July window in Chanhassen. Both WI Flight Elite and MN Fury, co-hosts of the Mill City event, won the four games I charted on the feature court (#2 by the way).
With an hour and five minute window to squeeze the games in, even running time could not get the games back on track. That meant I was unable to chart some games like game number three between a Georgia and California team due to other pressing needs. In fact, I had to cut short the third charted game realizing I would not have time to take care of all my needs in the allotted three minute warm up period, since the restrooms were away from the action on the second floor. That is why some numbers won’t match in the third game. Games are on an industrial/factory level. Sometimes the level of play reflected that. Case in point is the touch per turnover count. The best high school teams are close to 30 touches per turnover. The window today went from a “best” of 19.8 down to 12.2. Ball handling, taking the ball right into the heart of the trap (and then dying), vision, decision making all better improve or many colleges will have to do heavy remedial work in the future.
This was my second time charting the SD Attack 15 & 17 teams. The 15U team’s pp100 dropped from 66 to 58.8 from the Summer Jam experience. The 17U’s pp100 was basically unchanged from 94.6 down to 92.8.
Oddly enough this was my first WFE chartings of the year. Maybe not so odd. My window to chart is shorter this summer due to papers I must write. I have four weeks left in my master’s program. Then I will be able to offer more insights and game analysis.
For the day (in the neighborhood) Wisconsin teams were 3-0, MN 1-1, and SD 0-2
GAME 1: WI FLIGHT ELITE 9 52, SD ATTACK 15U 40
The youngsters started off this day. Location, location, location. Despite some size disadvantages, WFE knew where the rim was and outscored SDA in lay ups 6-2. So what? That is eight points. Add in the free throws (12-3 WFE) and the score differential is 24-7. SDA “won” the rest of the game 33-28 minus those two categories. WFE was more aggressive to the rim 18.4 touches per free throw to 37.9 for SDA. You can draw concentric circles away from the rim to see how aggressive teams are on their shot selection. The lower the number, the more aggressive they are.
|WI FLIGHT ELITE 9||SD ATTACK 15U|
|LEADING SCORER||Lily Hansford 17||Brooklyn Meyer 13|
GAME 2: WI FLIGHT ELITE 11TH 61, METRO STARS 2020 STARKS 56
Paige Bueckers, the future UConn Huskie, will be spending her July 2019 prepping with the USA U19 team for their trip to Thailand. The Metro Stars rely heavily on Bueckers for on court leadership. Without her the Metro Stars sputtered early on. They were unable to find the bottom of the basket for nine minutes only scoring on a lay up with 7:27 left in the first half by Jer-Miyah DuBose. WFE was not in full flight mode and did not seize the advantage and they themselves sputtering only up 13-6 at that point. The Metro Stars also coughed up the ball nine times and missed five shots within five feet of the basket during this abysmal stretch. The Metro Stars trailed at the break 33-20. Things started to turn to the Metro Stars direction in the second half when they started to push the pace both on the offensive and defensive ends. The quicker rhythm helped spark the offense. They would go on to score 36 points in the second half, almost double their total in the first half. They “won” the second half 36-28, and this after falling further behind 36-20 at the start of the second half (make that 36-25 on the win). Liza Karlen was a bright spot for Metro Stars with 18 points and the only player during the day to make the 31 Club (in her case right on the nose). She also had a 128.6 pp100 compared to two other starters that could not crack 42. Her three from the right corner made visions of a remarkable comeback/upset dance in the Metro Stars heads (60-56). WFE held off the charge by going to a delay game. One free throw by Aaliyah Smith ended the scoring.
There is a distinct pattern to Metro Stars games by stumbling out the gate and then finishing with a flourish. The same pattern existed at the Summer Jam in the opening round loss to CSS Bison.
The Metro Stars have an addition Nneka Obiazor has moved over from the MN Stars. Mid-season switches are not that common these days, but I remember when some kids were on three teams during the course of the club season.
|WI FLIGHT ELITE 11TH||METRO STARS 2020 STARKS|
|LEADING SCORER||Caroline Stande 15||Liza Karlen 18|
GAME 3: WI FLIGHT ELITE 11TH 85, SD ATTACK 17U 76
This was the best game for pp100 for both the winning and losing team. In fact, SD Attack’s 92.8 placed them third overall for the day. They were enhanced by their ability to cash in behind the arc. When I was charting, they nailed eleven 3s. Not only did they have the best volume, but they had the most players connect from downtown with seven of their eight players dialing long distance. This ability helped build a first half lead which saw SD Attack up 20-9 with 9:30 left in the first half. WFE is not too shabby behind the arc either with four during my charting time. Two straight 3s (Aaliyah Smith and then Donarski) cut the deficit to 3 (23-20) in two minutes. That was the margin at half. Throughout the first half the WFE pleaded for the team to ramp up the speed and extend the pressure. They did so toward the end of the half and then unleashed the flood gates in the second half scoring 50 points. SDA could not handle the pressure up top and had 9 more turnovers to show for it. WFE’s ability to run paid off with 12 lay ups to SDA’s four.
|WI FLIGHT ELITE 11TH||SD ATTACK 17U|
|LEADING SCORER||Alexis Donarski 20||Katelyn Stanley 12|
GAME 4: MN FURY 2021 UAA 64, ARIZONA SELECT 16U 42
The 2021 Fury squad, the state AAU champs, did not have an issue with Arizona Select. The only issue for the Fury was their lack of production at the free throw line early in the game. It did not at all stop them, but they did miss four straight. After three minutes the Fury was up 6-0. In the first half there was a stoppage of play when it was determined there was no #55 listed for Arizona. She had to leave the floor; and the Fury was awarded an automatic two points plus the ball. Later #55 was able to return to the game because she really was listed as #3 on the roster. This does not explain who #3 was supposed to be. With the NCAA rules in place each team’s roster is supposed to be who they say they are. This contest did get to running time status. This was the widest margin of the four contests I charted. The Georgia/California game in the platinum bracket was the widest, but I did not chart it since it involved two teams outside my coverage area and I missed a good chunk of the first half.
|MN FURY 2021 UAA||AZ SELECT 16U|
|LEADING SCORER||Sophia Hart 12||Alena Dobryakova 10|
GAME 1: Lily Hansford of WFE9 (& Ashwaubenon) with 17 points, 121.4 pp100 and a 31 Club score of 26
GAME 2: Alexis Donarski of WFE11 (& LaCrosse Aquinas) with 13 points, 108.3 pp100 and a 31 Club score of 23. When WFE11 needed a score late in the game, they isolated Donarski and she delivered key baskets.
GAME 3: Alexis Donarski of WFE 11 (& LaCrosse Aquinas…. again) with 20 points, a 133.3 pp100 and a 31 Club score of 28. Donarski was one of six WFE11 players with a pp100 of over the century mark.
GAME 4: Kaylee Van Eps of MN Fury 2021 UAA (& Chaska) with 10 points, a 166.7 pp100 (not only team best but best pp100 of the day when a player had more than five possessions) and a 31 Club score of 21, another team best.
PLAYER OF THE DAY: Twice is nice: Donarski.