50 years ago humans walked on the surface of the moon. There wasn’t anything that extraordinary this morning at Edina for the opening of the Meltdown. Perhaps the novelty of holding the Meltdown at Edina rather than long time host Hopkins was the story of the day. The temperature did not live up to the tournament name as the mercury stayed in the lower 70s and that was ok with the players and the fans. The pp100s did rise to the century mark for both NT teams, and that was ok for both their players and coaches.
Even though the tournament opened today the D1 coaches will not be there until Sunday. The Meltdown format features pool play and that is the type of game fans got, no real competitive nail biter, but standard victories. North Tartan was featured twice when I was there on the feature court and there has been improvements from the May pp100s the 9th and 11th teams delivered at Shakopee in the State AAU finals, up 24 and 25 pp100 respectively. Much of that improvement can be explained by the 2fg%. Today both NT teams were close, if not higher, than 50%. In May they were at 38% and 32%. This is due to the ramped up pressure for the 9th graders as they went from 7/17 on lay ups to 14/22 today. The lay up scores were not the reason for the 11th grade victory as they only were 5/14. They thrived from behind the arc cashing in eight times. Both Lauren Jensen and Matty Wilke delivered seven and by a strange coincidence both were the only players to crack the 31 Club today.
GAME 1: NORTH TARTAN 9 ELITE 65, CENTRAL KY STORM 9 36
NT got off to a 9-1 start with a Alayna Conteras lay up off the tip to ignite the offense. CKS did get the margin to 12-10 but by half NT expanded it back to 28-16, a 16-6 finish the last seven minutes. Running time kicked in close to six minutes.
Subtracting the top three players in May the 9th grade only had six paltry points. This is where the improvement has shined for NT. Of course, it helps that Kaylnn Asberry left PREP Rabb Elite and joined NT. She had a dozen points even though she was saddled with three fouls in two minutes and 30 seconds of action off the bench in the first half. All nine players scored today with five players between seven and twelve points. Ball handling duties have increased from a starters total of 79% to 67% today. Back in May, Battle & Woodson had the ball 47% of the time. There is obviously more trust with the others now since the B&W touches dropped to 37%.
CKS based 13 miles north of Lexington, KY.
|North Tartan 9 Elite||Central KY Storm|
|TOP SCORER||Two with 12||Woodard 11|
GAME 2: WI IMPACT 2022 50, KFD SWISH (SD) 37
This was the only game of the three that did not feature a Minnesota team. It did feature a state to the East and West. The Impact trailed in the first half and had to scramble back tying the game up at 20 after a 3 by Emilie Wizner. An &1 at the buzzer by Kamorea Arnold, who led all scorers during the three games, gave Impact a 25-23 lead at the break. A big advantage in this game came behind the arc as Impact connected for 24 points to zero for Swish. Swish also was relying heavily on their starters as they touched the ball 88% of the time to 74% for Impact.
KFD Swish is based in Rapid City, SD. WI Impact is based in Southeast Wisconsin in the Milwaukee vicinity.
|WI IMPACT 2022||KFD SWISH|
|TOP SCORER||Kamorea Arnold 22||Two with 10|
GAME 3: NORTH TARTAN 17U EYBL 72, KINGDOM HOOPS 17U 58
Kingdom Hoops scored the first five points in this game, but the relentless pursuit of the boards and better finishing touches helped host NT to the win. That and Lauren Jensen’s touch. The first NT came after the second straight 3 by Jensen. The ability to convert second chancers played a big part. NT had seven more offensive boards and those extended possessions helped create separation. Mallory Brake had five offensive boards to lead NT. NT led at the break 39-29. KH did score early in the second half to cut the deficit to seven (39-32). When NT required an answer, it was Lauren Jensen with the exclamation point. She nailed one of her four 3s to get the margin back to double digits.
Missing for NT was Lauren Ware. The 6-4 North Dakotan has both high level volleyball and basketball offers on the table.
|NORTH TARTAN 17U EYBL||KINGDOM HOOPS 17U|
|TOP SCORER||Lauren Jensen 19||Paige Rocca 16|
GAME 1: Taylor Woodson of NT9E (& Hopkins) with 12 points, 100 pp100 and a game high 22 in the 31 Club.
GAME 2: Kamorea Arnold of WI22 (& Germantown, WI) with 22 points, 91.7 pp100 and a game high 31 Club score of 29.
GAME 3: Lauren Jensen of NT17 (& Lakeville North) with 19 points, team best 135.7 pp100 and a day’s high 38 in the 31 Club. Jensen was close to a kjasr triple double with 10 d stops and 9 distributions.
PLAYER OF THE DAY: Lauren Jensen