AAU Prelim Report, the 2020s
The 2020s were full of surprises at the AAU Prelims, but small surprises. The only really big surprise—a loss for North Tartan’s #1-rated and #1-seeded 9th grade team led by Paige Bueckers—was the one that didn’t happen. But E1T1 Premiere,…
The 2020s were full of surprises at the AAU Prelims, but small surprises. The only really big surprise—a loss for North Tartan’s #1-rated and #1-seeded 9th grade team led by Paige Bueckers—was the one that didn’t happen.
But E1T1 Premiere, Stars Antl and Heat Hinck all exceeded expectations, while Crossfire Jorgenson, Tartan 9 West and So Minn Fury Blue did not.
But, at the top, as expected, were Tartan 9 and Fury Blue, and I guess there was a little surprise after all, which is to say that Tartan squeaked by Fury in the final 53-50 as Bueckers scored 20 points for the winners and Ysareia Chevre 14 for the losers. Bueckers led all 2020 scores for the tournament by more than 20 points. Tartan also beat Crossfire Jorgenson, Tartan West and Stars Antl.
Meanwhile, the Blue defeated E1T1, Heat Hinck and So Minn Fury Blue before losing the finale. Chevre and Ravyn Miles each scored about 9 ppg.
E1T1 lost its 1st game to Fury Blue, then won 3 games by an average of 17 ppg to take the #3 seed. I think that qualifies as a small surprise. Zhane Thompson led the way with 11 in the 3rd place final vs. Stars Antl.
Despite the 2 losses, Stars Antl finished 4th compared to a 7th seed and a #13 ranking here at Northstar Girls Hoops. They beat Tartan West and Crossfire Jorgenson, then lost to Tartan 9th and E1T1. Emily Russo led the Stars in the final, also with 11 points.
Heat Hinck also lost twice but finished at #5 versus a #8 seed and a 6th place rank at NSGH. That had to surprise at least some folks. They defeated So Minn Fury Blue and Crossfire Jorgenson. Amme Sheforgen scored 15 points and Lindsey Becher 11 in the 5th place final.
Crossfire Jorgenson took #6 after coming in with a #5 seed, beat Tartan West 40-36 but losing its other 3 games. Tartan West is #7, losing 3 times in the pool but beating So Minn Fury Blue 46-43 in the 7th place final. So Minn Fury Blue took #8 with 4 losses.
The Not-So Golden
The other 6 teams that will compete in the D1 tournament are as follows.
• Pool C—Fury 2020 Gold went 3-0 to take #9.
• Pool D—Comets 9 Select went 2-1, losing to Fury Gold 50-29, good for #10. Anna Olson of the Selects is a beast.
• Pool E and F—Comets 9 Elite and Stars McAlpine each went 3-0, good for #11 and #12.
• Pool G and H—Crossfire St. John and Lady Hawks each went 2-1, good for #13 and #14.
I refer to these teams as not-so golden not through any fault of theirs. It’s just that once they’re seeded below #8 for the Prelims, they have zero chance of moving into the top 8 no matter what they do.
So Minn Fury Gold at #15 and Energy 2020 at #16 are the top seeds in D2. #17 Heat Dineen and #28 High Impact Briski could also make some noise, or not.
But I like Force Wilson, the #19 seed, to take the D2 title. They lost one to the Comets Select 44-41, then bounced back to win 3 games. Point guard Amari Piepkorn makes them go.
As I said before, the seeds in D2 don’t mean much because some of the lower pools played 2 pool games and no bracket games. So there’s very little to go on for any kind of prognosticating. It doesn’t slow us down particularly, but we admit these choices are based on not much real information other than who’s on the roster. But, go see Nurjei Weems, Energy power forward, and Hi Impact point guard Kaelynn Kulis if you get a chance.
So, here are your 1st and 2nd round upset specials.
• As always, #8 vs. #9. #9 Fury Gold can probably get past #8 So Minn Fury Blue.
• #11 Comets Elite is a good bet vs. #6 Crossfire Jorgenson. And, if so, they can give #3 E1T1 a game, too.
• #5 Heat Hinck vs. #12 Stars McAlpine will be competitive, but I think the Heat will not only win that game but then beat #4 Stars Antl.
So, it says here that the semis will have #1 Tartan 9 vs. #5 Heat Hinck, and #2 Fury Blue vs. #11 Comets Elite. There’s your upset special, Comets Elite beating 2 higher seeds.
In D2, we’ll go with the top 2 seeds #15 So Minn Fury Gold and #16 Energy.
Oh, and look for our updated team ratings in their usual place.