3 FRIDAY STATE AAU GAMES—-2022 STYLE
The “real” Minnesota State AAU tournament got underway on Friday night at a variety of spots. I attended the games at Kennedy on court 2. There were a couple of differences from the seeding event two weeks ago. First off was the feeling of claustrophobia that I experienced. It seemed like there were more people and there was not the freedom of movement. At Jefferson two weeks ago court 3 was vacant. That was not the case on Friday. The curtain literally came down on me between the first and second games of the night. I lost some data at the start of the second game, but not too much. But I felt as if I was on the court. I was not comfortable. Add in the continued use of the required mask and the claustrophobia feeling was real. It should also be pointed out that the games were NOT running time this go around, but 15 minute stop time halves. The entrance and exits still were strictly choreographed and enforced.
As for the games themselves the theme was one of those out of the spotlight: the second teams. Whether you think of them as sidekicks, after thoughts, or little sisters, many clubs have more than one team. The situation in this tournament had one internal civil war game on dock on Friday (the Metro Stars); and two that were on collision courses with their bigger sisters. One survived the challenge on Friday to get that date. One was upset. Club programs absolutely hate the potential matchups. It creates anxiety as they do not want to cause any internal animosity. If fact many simply vacate the game in self-run tournaments avoiding a chance that the top team gets embarrassed by the lower level team. So, consider this weekend poetic justice: collision courses were set. Metro Stars more than handled their situation, but they struggled at the beginning. The Fury have an appointment for Saturday. North Tartan does not have to worry about the match up.
This also brings up where in the pantheon or caste system of club basketball, is the second team. Many feel that a second team from program A has to be behind the top team from program B. This of course is self-serving and ridiculous. When forming these teams some players are pried away with comments like “you will be on the top team here,” appealing to vanity. No one carefully examines the exposure (what many players/parents claim they need), the learning opportunities, or the benefits of each program. But that is another topic for another writing.
METRO STARS 2022 3SSB 68, METRO STARS 2022 VOIGT 35
The second seed ran over their sister team, but first had to overcome an early deficit of 7-4. Voigt’s team was able to get the ball inside early and score. 3SSB (or better known as Hopkins) was not able to get their full court press registered because the did not score their first three possessions. 3SSB even struggled at point blank range missing a transition lay up and then two put back attempts. Eventually the size, speed, depth caught up. Near the end of the first half 3SSB finished with an 8-2 burst helped by their defense to hold a 27-18 lead at half. Another 10-2 push at the start of the second half keyed by defense and transition translated to running time. 3SSB pressed until the final ticks of the clock.
Key stat: 3SSB was 20/27 in lay ups. Voigt 2/6.
|METRO STARS 2022 3SSB||METRO STARS 2022 VOIGT|
|TOP SCORER||Taylor Woodson 18||Grace Counts 13|
|TOP 31 CLUB||Liv McGill 28||Two with 19|
TRENCH PLAYER: Liv McGill (Hopkins) with 17 points, 141.7 pp100, and a 28 score in the 31 Club.
43HOOPS ELITE 47, NORTH TARTAN 17U ELITE 33
The #9 seed beat #8 NT 17u Elite thanks in part to better shooting. After the commotion on the curtain allowed me to focus on the game in front of me, 43Hoops pulled away from a 16-15 deficit to a half time lead of 28-18, a 13-2 turn around in the last 7 minutes of action. Part of the lament for NT came at the free throw line where they were below freezing at 31.6% in a healthy 19 attempts. NT also had issues from 2s signified by getting 10 shots from the right block neighborhood but only converting 30%—-3/13 inside overall. 43H delivered much better inside at 11/20 (.550). Neither team valued the ball very well. 43Hoops was somewhat better with 12.7 touches per turnover compared to NT’s 11.9.
|43HOOPS ELITE||NORTH TARTAN 17U ELITE|
|TOP SCORER||Lily Niebuhr 10||Lauren Feddema 10|
|TOP 31 CLUB||Dorothy Stotts 17||Lauren Feddema 17|
TRENCH PLAYER: Dorothy Stotts (Edina) with 7 points, team high 7 d stops, 100.0 pp100 and 17 score in the 31 Club.
MN FURY 2022 PREMIER 41, MBA CORDES 38
#6 MN Fury edged out #11 MBA Cordes 41-38 in the most competitive and down to the wire game of the night. These two teams have a budding rivalry. Last week at the Lake Slam tournament MBA Cordes upend Fury Premier in the semis 44-42 on their way to the title. It should also be noted that Hopkins is not the only school team masquerading as a club team. MBA Cordes has a heavy contingent of Shakopee players. Another side note: Fury Premier topped Metro Stars Voigt in the 3rd place game last weekend. At any rate Fury Premier got their revenge after stewing for a week thanks to better floor shooting. Their struggles at the free throw line almost cost them the game as they had a day’s best 22 attempts, but subpar .409 conversion. Fury Premier also struggled with decision making and turnovers with 14.8 turnovers per touch compared to 24.8.
Fury led 12-6 with five minutes left in the first half and extended that lead slightly to 22-15 at the break. A 3 by Kate Cordes (Shakopee) tied the action at 30 with 8:30 left. That was immediately responded to by Fury’s Jordan Munson’s triple (Tracy-Milroy-Balaton). The Fury pushed out to a five point lead but Cordes knocked down her third 3 of the night to close the gap to 38-37. MBA had one possession where they had an opportunity to take the lead, but a six foot runner missed the mark in traffic. Zoie Centers (Mahtomedi) connected twice at the free throw line with 6.7 ticks left to finish the scoring. Two late 3 attempts to potentially tie the game did not go for MBA.
|MN FURY 2022 PREMIER||MBA CORDES|
|TOP SCORER||Greta Krieger 16||Kate Cordes 16|
|TOP 31 CLUB||Greta Krieger 19||Kate Cordes 27|
TRENCH PLAYER: Greta Krieger (Forest Lake) with 16 points, 160.0 pp100, and 19 in the 31 Club—-only a value added of 3. Krieger delivered two 3s.