5 SUNDAY MELTDOWN GAMES
You could see that the 2019 Summer could not come to an end quick enough for some teams today. Like Napoleon’s retreat from Russia, the girls of summer ’19 have cashed it in and are eager for home. Simple body language explains this phenomenon. Even though there is a retreat, some players still refuse to get back on defense. Shots and passes that were once crisp and precise are sloppy. Of course, some teams still have an esprit de corps playing for and with each other. There why is still valid. Of course, some individuals are head and shoulders above the normal JAGs (Just Another Girl) that populate the courts. But the theme of the day was fatigue. Four of the ten teams were able to nose above 90 pp100; 6 were unable to crack 76, and four of them couldn’t find their way to 60.
GAME 1: NORTH TARTAN 9 ELITE 45, JAM ON IT GREY 25
NT9 won this game, but they did not show the same level of execution they did yesterday in their game against the Central Kentucky Storm. The pp100 dropped about 28. That didn’t alter their approach to the game. Relentless is probably the best word to describe them. 27 offensive rebounds, four more than JOIG had on defensive boards; a plus 18 in turnover differential. This non-stop aggressive play made the JOIG coaching staff unhappy. Usually I don’t talk about bench issues, but the JOIG coach could be known as Captain Hook, because anytime a player did something that wasn’t quite right, she soon was pulled from the game. It did not stop there. Then the perpetrator of the offense was made to do push ups on the side lines. This brought eye rolls from the players. The general had lost the troops. It does not surprise me that the score ended up the way it did. It is hard to play the game constantly looking over your shoulder in fear of making an error. It must be noted that both teams had the AAA free throw shooting exhibition: Awful, atrocious, appalling. 18%? 16? Yikes!!?? My advice is to spend some time working on this neglected aspect of the game. But I would NOT spend block practice on this. I would take the shots after fatigue set in, perhaps two at time just like a game. I would also ramp up the defensive intensity at JOIG practice. They are not used to heat. Neither team was happy to be playing the eye opener with a 19-9 NT9E lead at the start. They got much better in the second half. JOIG remained the same.
Jam On It Grey is located in Sparks, Nevada close to Reno with players also from California.
|NORTH TARTAN 9 ELITE||JAM ON IT GREY|
|TOP SCORER||Selam Maher 11||Samia Smith 12|
GAME 2: KDF SWISH 45, ALL IOWA ATTACK 9 NIKE BLACK 40
This was another contest in the 2022 (freshman) division and it was the tightest game I charted today. Yesterday KDF Swish fell to WI Impact. Today they hung on to beat All Iowa Attack 9 Nike Black. The last time we charted this AIA team, they were Summer Jam champs with a 62-45 win over WI City out of Eau Claire. Then their pp100 was 87.3. Today it plummeted to 58.8. The reverse was true for Swish with a slight uptick to 65.2 from 56.1. The Swish could be called the “clang” or “bricks” when it comes to 3s. They are a collective 0/23 behind the arc. Swish led 24-18 at the break and increased it to 35-24 with 6:51 left. The Attack offense at this stage was not clicking. But like a condemned soul on death row finding religion, the Attack found renewed focus. The 3s that are so much a part of the Attack repertoire started to fall. Three straight scores made it 35-31 with 5:30 remaining. There was a game on. Swish was able to answer each threat from there on. Opportunities for the Attack were not seized. The last 3, part of three straight scores, came during layups by Swish in response to the full court pressure. The last 30 seconds neither team scored. Even though this is a 2022 division game, 2023 player Olivia Kieffer was the engine for Swish with 17 points.
|KDF SWISH||ALL IOWA ATTACK 9 NIKE BLACK|
|TOP SCORER||Olivia Kieffer 17||Meredith Rieker 9|
GAME 3: CSS BISON 65, METRO STARS 2020 STARKS 42
This was a rematch of the Summer Jam shocker with the Bison eking out a one point win by the skin of their teeth. Much has changed in a month. The Bison were a thundering herd today. But the biggest difference in the two games was the absence of Paige Bueckers for the Metro Stars. She is with the U19 USA team in Thailand. The Metro Stars missed her scoring, if not her ball handling and leadership. Who was the point? Mia Curtis was the prime bouncer at 185. Kayhla Adams was the prime set up passer with 12, but both Curtis and Adams would prefer to catch & shoot 3s. Adams delivered once behind the arc.
The Bison were revved up and ramped up. Their zippy play caught Metro Stars flat footed. The Bison were 12/15 on layups. Metro Stars was only ¼. Metro Stars two inside players Nneka Obiazor and Liza Karlen scored 25 of the 42 points (59.5% of the points). The rest of the squad could only muster 15.
|CSS BISON||METRO STARS 2020 STARKS|
|TOP SCORER||Whitney Brown 16||Nneka Obiazor 13|
GAME 4: NORTH TARTAN 17U EYBL 59, MIAMI SUNS FOWLES 17U EYBL 50
Two EYBL teams met with the hosts dropping their southern sisters. Today’s NT driving force, engine, dynamo was, as it has been all year, Lauren Jensen. Today she popped for 32 on 10/12 2s and 3/6 3s (and perfect at the line at 3/3). In the past Paige Bueckers was Batman, Jensen was Robin. Now, with Bueckers gone, this is Jensen’s team. She is in the spotlight and delivering on the big stage. EYBL teams, from my experience, have lots of physical specimens. Miami is no exception. Quick, speed, height, length. Jensen stepped up and not only scored, but her touches per turnover were a head turning 87. (I consider anywhere around 30 to be worthwhile). Mallory Brake put the brakes on Miami with 10 D stops and led NT. Jensen was next in line with 7.
As for game flow, NT led 35-22 at the break. The Suns started to shine in the second half with some long range missiles. They cut it to four at 48-44 after two straight 3s with seven minutes remaining. A lay up by Matty Wilke and then a lay up by Jensen gave breathing space. Wilke nailed a 3 and then converted another lay up on two straight possessions and the crisis passed 57-48 with 3 minutes left.
How tired will NT be going forward in any championship tomorrow? The starters were used 87% of the time, the most of any team today.
|NORTH TARTAN 17U EYBL||MIAMI SUNS FOWLES 17U EYBL|
|TOP SCORER||Lauren Jensen 32||Sydney Shaw 13|
GAME 5: TREE OF HOPE EYBL 52, NORTH TARTAN 17U ELITE 30
Size matters. In this final game I charted NT Elite, a team that has been racking up some victories at Mill City, but they were placed in the second tier division. In this tournament they got to eat at the big girls table. And ToH has big girls. So does NT Elite. The difference was the rest of the squad. The threesome of Anna Miller, Annika Stewart and Lindsey Becher combined for 26 of the 30 points—or 87% of the total. Only one other player scored. Balance was not an issue for ToH with seven players scoring between five and 14 points. NT Elite scored 8 points in their first four possessions and led 8-6. They also scored on their last four possessions of the first half adding another eight points with ToH adding four. So the start and finish of the half NT “won” 16-10. ToH won the juicy middle 22-7. Keep in mind that seven because that is how much NT Elite was able to muster in the second half. One of the stats I track is mega dribbles. Mega Dribbles is 10+ bounces. It usually indicates a team that isn’t moving the ball quickly enough or players that aren’t moving quickly enough. NT Elite had 21 situations along those lines. ToH was no wiz bang on bounces as they out dribbled NTE for the game.
|TREE OF HOPE EYBL||NORTH TARTAN 17U ELITE|
|TOP SCORER||Jordyn Jenkins 14||Anna Miller 11|
GAME 1: Selam Maher of NT9E (& Hopkins) with 11 points, 122.2 pp100, and 18 in the 31 Club. Maher nailed three 3s to help boost that pp100 mark.
GAME 2: Olivia Kieffer of KDF Swish (& Rapid City Christian, SD) with 17 points, 100 pp100 and just one off the 31 Club at 30.
GAME 3: Whitney Brown of CSS Bison (& Grand Island Northwest, NE) with 16 points, 133.3 pp100 and a 28 score in the 31 Club
GAME 4: Lauren Jensen of NT17E (& Lakeville North) with 32 points, 168.4 pp100, and bypassed the 31 Club (made on just on points alone) for a membership in the 41 Club with 44. Jensen was the only player north of 31 today.
GAME 5: Jordyn Jenkins of TOH (& Kentridge, WA) with 12 points, 107.7 pp100 and a 19 in the 31 Club.
PLAYER OF THE DAY: Lauren Jensen for the second consecutive day.