This weekend Tubby's Team Camp featured some of the state's better talent as Chaska, Benilde-St. Margaret's, St. Paul Johnson, MACCRAY, Columbia Heights, Owatonna, and several others participated. While each had their moments it was Tyus Jones and Apple Valley who finished as tournament champions with Gopher coaches watching just about every move Tyus made.
"It was a fun weekend at the University of Minnesota," said Apple Valley coach Zach Goring. "We went 8-0 defeating Owatonna, Prior Lake, Columbia Heights, St. Paul Johnson, Columbia Heights, St. Paul Johnson, Benilde-St. Margaret's, and Eagan. It was a total team effort. The kids have really bought into the philosophy of sharing the ball and making the extra pass. We were led by our returning all conference players, Thomas Schalk and Tyus Jones."
Everybody who attended the event raved about the play of Jones who would likely earn a camp MVP award if one was given and Tyus still hasn't started this freshman season of high school yet. Every game that Apple Valley played Tubby Smith and staff was right there checking on the ability of Jones.
"The top performer in my book was: number one Tyus Jones, he's a top five point guard in Minnesota no matter what class," said Al Harris, a St. Paul Johnson assistant coach.
While Jones and Schalk were the key performers it took the full group for Apple Valley to bring home the weekend championship.
"Gavin Bronson provided the muscle underneath and Harry Sonie and Dustin Fronk shot the ball extremely well from the three point line," said coach Goring. "Jordan Crockett and Mitch Hechsel provided athleticism and length off the bench. And Kent Egan, Evan Carlson, Jalen Stewart, and Robert Tobroxen gained valuable experience by playing against so many great teams."
Overall it was a great experience for the Apple Valley program from whatever angle Coach Goring looked at it.
"Coach Smith and his staff run an outstanding tourney," said Goring. "We were able to play four games on the Williams Arena floor which was a memorable experience for all our kids The Highlight of the weekend was definitely our two games with Johnson. Vern Simmons does such a great job with his kids. They play the game hard and with respect."
The next Apple Valley tournament is the Sweet 16 tournament at the end of July at St. Cloud.