The first annual Breakdown Summer Showcase Invitational was played today with 20 teams playing in three divisions. In the Silver Division Blaine beat conference rival Champlin Park, in the Gold bracket Waterville-Elysian-Morristown defeated three bigger schools to take the crown, and Benilde-St. Margaret's won the "Big Four" pool of play competing against an elite team from each class.
Joey Bartlett - (Senior, St. Peter) - Joey has consistently shown that he can put up numbers (points, rebounds, etc) consistently whether it be at the AAU or high school level. The part of his game that leaves such a strong impression is the way he steps in on drives defensively, the way he passes the basketball, the decisions he makes overall, how hard he plays, and these are the type of things that will make him a good role player for a college team the second he steps on campus and throughout his career.
Alex Cappard - (Senior, Blaine) - Blaine turned to Cappard to handle the ball for much of their Summer Showcase contests and Cappard responded by getting his team to the finals. Cappard has more of an off-guard's game because of his athletic slashing ability but he's versatile enough to handle some and potentially be a lock down defender next to Duke Anywanu who is already one of the elite defenders in the state. Cappard has come a long way after playing on the 9th grade B team and his potential showed today that his basketball career has years left on it at the next level somewhere.
Will Dunn - (Senior, Benilde-St. Margaret's) - The Red Knights won the prestigious Big Four Division and large part was in thanks to Will Dunn. Will shot over 50 percent from behind the arc in three games including five three-point makes in the event championship against Apple Valley. He also has a knack for consistently making hotly contested shots at the rim off of penetration. Will scored 25 points in the Big Four championship game.
Dustin Fronk - (Junior, Apple Valley) - If you don't know take note, Dustin Fronk is a deadly shooter and playing a zone against him is hazardous. Benilde-St. Margaret's played some first half zone (they had only six guys for three games) and Fronk torched it with five first half three point makes. Fronk is one of the elite shooters in Minnesota and he scored 22 points in the Big Four title contest.
Tate Harmon - (Senior, Waterville-Elysian-Morristown) - Harmon is a scorer plain and simple. He may take some shots that have coaches asking for Advil but he's also the young man you want in your corner if you need 20 points from the wing. He put up 20 on Lakeville South as WEM won the Gold division championship hitting gutty treys whenever the Cougars threatened to overtake the Bucs lead.
Anthony Hill - (Senior, Champlin Park) - Anthony was the best scorer in his bracket of the Summer Showcase Invite using his strength, first step off the dribble, and his touch to finish opponents off. Hill was hitting bombs and absorbing contact to score with grenades (impact three point plays the hard way) on a consistent basis for the Rebels putting them in the finals. I would expect him to be amongst the Northwest Suburban Conference leaders in scoring.
Mitch Leidner - (Senior, Lakeville South) - The Gopher quarterback commit is one tough customer. He started about the last ten games at the four spot for South as a junior on the basketball court and today he showed his inside toughness as well as his cannon arm. With three seconds left and his team down a point Leidner hit Devon Bzoskie, who is a scholarship wideout recruit, with a direct length of the court strike. From there Bzoskie (who hit a huge three just earlier) found Nick Sanborn for a game winner over Osseo. Leidner showed toughness, he showed his quarterback arm and accuracy, and Mitch almost dunked on an opponent. Plus he grabbed a dozen rebounds in the championship game.
Sanjay Lumpkin - (Senior, Benilde-St. Margaret's) - Lumpkin was easily the most explosive player in the field today and he showed it with several hard attacking dunks that consistently brought fans to watch on the sidelines of court one. Most of his point production today came on the drive but in the title game he also knocked down a pair of threes including the most important shot of the game in overtime. Lumpkin's athletic potential is high major quality and it definitely looked like it today.
Grant Pope - (Senior, Waterville-Elysian-Morristown) - I honestly can't think of one high school or AAU coach who has watched Grant Pope and hasn't loved what he does his teams. Everybody loves his toughness and grit on both ends of the court. Pope was in the lane all day long sucking in defenders and squeezing out passes to open teammates as the Bucs went on to beat big schools Roseville, Bemidji, and Lakeville South.
Ty Powell - (Senior, Lakeville South) - South lost a lot of players but do not expect a monster drop off next season. Why? Because Powell, while short in size, seems big on results. He's a quick point guard who squeezes through spaces to produce and opponents are going to have a tough time finding a player that can keep Powell in front of them. Powell transferred to Lakeville last year from Bloomington Jefferson and he played on the Cougar junior varsity as a junior.
Mark Schumacher - (Senior, Perham) - This 6-foot-6 power forward has length and this summer he's proven that he can put up near 20 point games against the metro likes of Cooper, Benilde-St. Margaret's and Apple Valley. Schumacher runs the floor well at a rangy 6-foot-6 and playing with the Yellowjackets Mark is well schooled in the arts of halfcourt offense.
Tanner Schumacher - (Senior, Blaine) - Schumacher is a 6-foot-3 shooter who sunk 14 threes Sunday in three games played. At 6-foot-3 Schumacher has the type of size, with relatively quick release, that will allow him to consistently get looks on the wing and as he showed last year as an all-conference performer and this weekend at the Summer Showcase, Schumacher will consistently burry attempts. Sounds like a quality MIAC shooter to me and who knows, maybe more.
Harry Sonie - (Junior, Apple Valley) - In the absence of Tyus Jones (who came to the gym but had a stomach virus so he didn't play) Sonie ran the offense and racked up the assists. In three games Harry totaled 24 assists including ten in the championship contest. The junior has college corner back speed plus a physical build and that combination allows him to get where he wants on the court.
Ian Theisen - (Sophomore, Osseo) - The 6-foot-8 four man definitely has one of the softest shooting touches of any big in the state of Minnesota. Ian caught while moving on the break to finish, he can turn over a shoulder and softly score, Ian has the ability to catch a reversal and make a pretty midrange jumper, and his free throws look picture perfect. As a big man with this soft of a touch around the basket and at midrange Theisen is likely getting loads of recruiting mail from schools all around the country.
Bridge Tusler - (Junior, Osseo) - Tusler is on the verge of big things. He is fearless in his dribble attack as his combo of quicks and strength gets him to the hole consistently. Bridge's high arcing three point jumper was made consistently on Sunday and his form looks good. Plus defensively he can sit down and move his feet with just about any Minnesota guard. When it comes to his style of defense think former Gopher Eric Harris minus a couple inches. Tusler has a similar build and can play defense with Eric Harris style intensity.
Carey Woods - (Senior, Bemidji) - I continue to stand by my claim of Carey Woods being a northern Minnesota 6-foot-2 Paul Pierce. Woods just has that Pierce like offensive craft and strength. He finds his way to the paint constantly and then maneuvers his way into pretty bank shots or floaters that sink with high accuracy. Woods didn't have his three point stroke quite as often as he would have liked this weekend but he still made some threes and you can see in his form and confidence that the ability is definitely there.