A year ago, life was in turmoil with the virus. Even one month ago there were “thou shalt do this, thou shalt not do that,” directives. Things were not normal. What a difference a month makes. Gone are the masks for players. Gone are the herding of cattle of the fans after each game. Open are the concessions. Life is starting to resemble life as we once knew it. Club tournament basketball is back in business.
I spent Friday at Shakopee on court 8 watching seven games in the best event in June—–the Summer Jam. Why the best? Players are fresh (some maybe too fresh). No one is fatigued by the long march of planes, trains and automobiles, to say nothing of the heat and humidity of July. Most teams still have the “hope springs eternal” outlook and some are not calloused and jaded by their fatalistic outlook on life. The Summer Jam brings the first smattering of regional teams to one location (if Eden Prairie, Kennedy, Jefferson & Shakopee can be considered one location). The best of Iowa, Wisconsin, the Dakotas have made their pilgrimage to the courts to face Minnesota teams and a smattering of high profile national teams from the NIKE circuit.
The Summer Jam also has the tournament naming convention divided into lakes—a nod to the state slogan “land of 10,000 lakes.” Each age has about four levels.
So, what did we learn on Friday?
Five states came across court 8 with Minnesota, by virtue of better routines in sleep, and eating habits, going 4-1. The Dakotas were a collective 0-3 as they are just starting to ramp up their seasons. Iowa, and Wisconsin, both with similar start times as Minnesota for their club seasons, were even with the same amount of wins and losses.
Overall, the pp100 was a respectable 82.4 for the day. Winners were even better at 98.5. The losers struggled with a 66.3. There were not many nail biters. The closest margin was eight. Three teams cracked the century mark with All Iowa Attack EYBL topping the list by 13+ at a eye popping 126.3.
As you would expect older teams were much more efficient than younger teams. Only one sub-varsity level game was on court 8 and Metro Stars stopped All IA Attack 8th grade. AIA was 2-1 for the day on my court. NT was 2-0. NIKE based teams then were 4-1. UAA based teams were split at 1-1.
By far the most entertaining and interesting game of the day was between AIA 11 EYBL and Playmakers. The western Wisconsin based program had the “best” pp100 of the losing teams at 94.5 which was the fifth best of the day of the 14 teams. Perhaps a collective 23 3s in the contest led to inflated pp100s.
Only the first game of the day had a sub-standard pp100 for a winning unit with 69.6 for WI Flight. If we eliminate that score from the winners the pp100 jumps five spots to 103.3.
The 3 is alive and well…..it is the signature calling card of the AIA teams. 61.4% of the Attack’s shots come from behind the 3. 57% of their points are generated beyond the arc. For AIA 11 Black 75% of their points came from long distance. The Playmakers were relatively competitive in their game with AIA EYBL because they cashed in 11 times deep for 63.5% of their 52 points.
North Tartan 17 EYBL won their game with some players out due to the state track meet that was concluded on Saturday. Two future Gophers (Mara Braun, Nia Holloway) made the track meet and were cheering their teammates on. NT showed their depth of talent.
As for individual highlights: the trench player of the game came from three states with Minnesota taking 3, Iowa and Wisconsin 2. But wait….didn’t Minnesota teams win four times? Yes. And the NT 15 Nike player Rainey Welson is from Hortonville, Wisconsin, four hours and 16 minutes east. Hortonville is close to the Appleton/Oshkosh area. Welson is no stranger to the Trench Player of the game honor—she picked it up in the MN State AAU championship title game and was under heavy consideration in the prelims. On Friday she sat a substantial portion of the game and was 6/8 on set up passes. …..the team most physically resembling a collegiate team was AIA 11 EYBL. Fast, powerful, explosive. A different level altogether. 6-3 Audey Crooks of CY Wolves already has several D1 BCS offers. Good hands and 8/10 on 2s despite having several defenders sandwiching her all game.
So, what happened today? Did the initial win lead to win #2? Friday’s winners advanced 5-1 with one game yet to be played.
Tomorrow there are many titles at stake. Again, my home will be on court 8 where the prime heavy hitters (17, 16, 15, 14) will take place. Already the 14s will see an all North Tartan affair. The other final match ups have yet to be determined as of publication.
GAME 1: LAKE SUPERIOR (16-1)
|WI FLIGHT 16||SD NETWORK 16|
|SCORER||Allie Ziebell 16||Jeide Metzer 11|
|31 CLUB||Allie Ziebell 27||Hannah Harpe 17|
TRENCH PLAYER: Allie Ziebell (Neenah, WI 2024) 16 points, 160 pp100, 27 in the 31 Club
GAME 2: HORSESHOE LAKE (14-2)
|METRO STARS 2025||ALL IA ATTACK 8 RED|
|SCORER||Brandi Washington 18||Adasyn Lamb 16|
|31 CLUB||Brandi Washington 28||Adasyn Lamb 24|
TRENCH PLAYER: Brandi Washington (Fridley, 2025) 18 points, 150.0 pp100, 28 in the 31 Club.
GAME 3: WHITE BEAR LAKE (17-2)
|ALL IA ATTACK 11 BLACK||MN FURY 2022 PREMIER|
|SCORER||Amaya Davison 16||Kyla Overskei 7|
|31 CLUB||Two with 20||Two with 15|
TRENCH PLAYER: Amaya Davison (Des Moines Roosevelt 2022) 16 points, 123.1 pp100; 20 in the 31 Club
GAME 4: WHITE BEAR LAKE (17-2)
|MN STARS BJORGAARD 11||ND PRO 2022|
|SCORER||Ava Stier 17||Terryn Johnson 10|
|31 CLUB||Ava Stier 23||Terryn Johnson 21|
TRENCH PLAYER: Ava Stier (Waconia 2022) 17 points, 141.7 pp100, 23 in the 31 Club
GAME 5: LAKE MINNETONKA (17-1)
|ALL IA ATTACK 11 EYBL||17U PLAYMAKERS SHOWCASE|
|SCORER||Sahara Williams 18||Jacy Weisbrod 16|
|31 CLUB||Sahara Williams 27||Jacy Weisbrod 22|
TRENCH PLAYER: Sahara Williams (Waterloo West 2023) 18 points, 150.0 pp100, 27 in the 31 Club
GAME 6: LAKE MINNETONKA (17-1)
|NORTH TARTAN 17U EYBL||CY SELECT WOVLES 2022|
|SCORER||Two with 14||Audi Crooks 16|
|31 CLUB||Kiana Lockett 30||Audi Crooks 27|
TRENCH PLAYER: Kiana Lockett (Minnetonka 2022) 14 points, 107.7 pp100, 30 in the 31 Club.
GAME 7: ROUND LAKE (15-1)
|NORTH TARTAN 15 NIKE||MISSOURI RIVER ELITE 15|
|SCORER||Rainey Welson 14||Paige Breuer 9|
|31 CLUB||Rainey Welson 24||#8 with 13|
TRENCH PLAYER: Rainey Welson (Hortonville, WI 2025) 14 points, 140 pp100, 24 in the 31 Club.