The majority of the best 15 and Under teams in Minnesota traveled to Iowa last weekend for the Gym Rats King of the Court Classic event. Teams included Howard Pulley Black, Minnesota Elite, Minnesota Fury Black, Minnesota Heat Select, and the eventual event champions Minnesota Pump N Run.
The Fury Black, Heat Select, Minnesota Elite, Pump N Run, Heat Elite Frank, and Minnesota Warriors all won their pools. There were 16 pools total with 15 Minnesota squads spread out through the groupings. Because these six squads won their pools they moved on to the championship bracket (there were separate brackets for teams that didn't win their pool).
From there the Minnesota Fury Black defeated Kingdom Hoops 1 55-54, Heat Select defeated MoKan Black 45-39, Minnesota Pump N Run avenged their Spring Classic loss to Minnesota Elite with a 49-37 victory, and Heat Elite Frank beat the Minnesota Warriors 51-50.
In round two MoKan Red beat the Fury Black 57-37, Minnesota Pump N Run handled Heat Select 61-28, and the Midwest Trailblazers knocked out Heat Elite Frank 61-50. This left only the Minnesota Pump N Run from Minnesota in the semi-final round.
The Pumps beat MoKan Red 58-47 in that final four and then went home with tournament gold beating MoKan Elite 47-42.
Minnesota Pump N Run 15s Coach Jeremy Miller caught up with Minnesota Preps with a game by game summary and his quotes on each contest follow the individual headlines.
Pool Play versus Champion Sports
"Luis Williams (Richfield) and Marshawn Wilson (8th grader from Tartan) used their speed and athleticism to get us going in this one. We used our talent and depth in the second half to win this game comfortably."
Pool Play versus Iowa Magic
"The three 8th graders (Wilson, Jarvis Johnson of Prairie Seeds Academy, and Henry Ellenson of Rice Lake, Wisconsin) got us off to a great start. The game was highlighted by a half-court alley-oop from Jarvis Johnson to James Lawson (DeLaSalle). Henry Ellenson was a monster in this game scoring 24 points."
Championship Bracket Round One versus Minnesota Elite
"We lost to these guys by one in the championship of the Pump N Run Spring Classic and we were up by seven with less than two minutes to go, so my boys were very excited to get a chance to play them again. It was a hard fought game, as both teams really respect each other. Jarvis Johnson got us going early and we never looked back."
Round Two versus Minnesota Heat Select
"We played suffocating defense in this one, led by Dejojn Davis (St. Louis Park). Delshon Strickland (Minneapolis North) got us got off to a hot start before going down with an ankle injury. Reid Travis dominated inside the paint and outside the arc, they had no answer for him."
Semi-Final versus Spiece MoKan Red
"Mo-Kan Red was very well coached and this was a battle from the beginning. The game was a lot closer than the final score indicates. Jordan Dembley (Holy Angles) was clutch down the stretch. Got big efforts from Alex Herink (Hudson, Wisconsin) and Dejohn Davis on both ends of the floor."
Event Final versus Spiece MoKan Elite
"I was nervous heading in to this one, if Mo-Kan's second team was that good I could only imagine how good their Elite team would be. Every possession was a battle of execution and will. They were the best defensive team we have played all year. Reid Travis was a beast all weekend and this game was no different as he scored 26 points and snatched 14 boards. Alex Herink, Jordan Dembley, James Lawson, Dejohn Davis and Jarvis Johnson all made clutch plays down the stretch to help us seal the victory."