Break out the brooms: Its a clean sweep by the Fury at the Great Plains
Break out the brooms and paint ‘em yellow, blue and pink – the Minnesota Fury have made it a clean sweep. Led by their flagship team, Fury 2018 Elite, the Twin Cities club captured the Gold, Silver and Bronze divisions…
Break out the brooms and paint ‘em yellow, blue and pink – the Minnesota Fury have made it a clean sweep. Led by their flagship team, Fury 2018 Elite, the Twin Cities club captured the Gold, Silver and Bronze divisions on Saturday to conquer the Great Plains Alliance AAU field at Chanhassen High School. The top Fury juniors knocked off their stablemates from Southern Minnesota Fury 2018 Elite by a score of 78-66 in the championship game. Fury 2019 Blue – the top Fury sophomore squad – finished third. Here are some of the day’s highlights and the players who stood out.
Gold Division: Minnesota Fury 2018 Elite
Fury 2018 Elite were always supposed to win this division and did not disappoint, knocking off Wisconsin Playmakers to get into the title game. The contest that felt more like a championship encounter, however, was the other semifinal, one that saw Southern Minnesota Fury 2018 Elite defeat Minnesota Fury 2019 Blue in a 65-63 nail-biter. This game had a little of everything, including a very hot squad from down south that jumped out to a 10-point lead early and a 31-18 margin at the half. Led by Katie Tornstrom, Sydney Schultz, and Wynter Bergner, SMF was on fire. Not surprisingly, however, 2019 Blue got its act together in the second half led by an outstanding performance by Carly Krsul of Robbinsdale Armstrong.
Rated #14 in the class of 2019 , Krsul is a 5’11” forward who is long and lean but much, much stronger than she looks. Krsul knows how to get to the rim and possesses a vast array of moves in the paint to accomplish that goal. She is a relentless rebounder and fills up multiple boxes across the scoresheet every night. Krsul made 10 field goals in this game, en route to a 23-point performance that enabled her team to roar back and take the lead for the first time with just under three minutes left. But Southern Minnesota wouldn’t be denied and held on for the win despite some long-distance heroics by Prior Lake’s McKenna Hofschild (#6 in 2019) in the final minute.
Tornstrom was everywhere for SMF. The 5-9 guard from Caledonia is a vastly underappreciated athlete with great power and strength. Although Tornstrom is a nice all-around talent, it is her shooting that pays the bills. Tornstrom has a quick release and will knock it down from everywhere. She is a top 50 player among the 2019s and on this day scored 20 points. Bergner, the forward from Rochester Lourdes (#72 in 2018), made five from beyond the arc. Schultz, the bruising 5’11” power forward from Owatonna (#28), put 18 on the board and was her usual stellar self. This was a terrific basketball game between two very good teams.
Silver Division: Minnesota Fury 2020 Blue
As they often do, Fury 2020 Blue played up a grade this weekend, and why not. This is one of the top two 9th grade teams in the state and it is loaded with scholarship-level talent. The championship of the Silver division was by no means a cakewalk, but you just got the feeling the Fury’s superior depth would be too much for Minnesota Comets 10 Elite. In the end, that was the case as the Fury prevailed down the stretch to win 60-54. Ravyn Miles of Simley, rated 11th in the class of 2020, led the way with 11 points while Molly Mogenson of Farmington (#13) added 10. As usual with 2020 Blue, there were too many solid performances to mention.
In addition to leading scorer Lariah Washington of St. Cloud Apollo, this Comets team has some other nice pieces. I thought 6-2 post Erin O’Brien of Kimball held her own against the Fury bigs. O’Brien is a very large body, exceptionally strong in the lane, and always plays tough, physical defense. Guard Kaylie Isaman of Pelican Rapids did nice work, as well, but their best player on this day was probably 5-foot-6 combo guard Alyssa Daugherty of Zimmerman. Rated #27 in the class of 2019, Daugherty is a terrific shooter with great handles and nice basketball instincts. Rumer Flatness, the stocky, do-everything guard from Bemidji, had 4 threes. These Comets were good on Saturday. Fury 2020 Blue was just a little bit better.
Bronze Division: Minnesota Fury 2021 Blue
Saturday’s Bronze Division championship game went to another Fury squad as the club’s best 8th graders defeated the 9th grade Fury Gold team 47-45. Fury Gold was very good this weekend. After a slow start on Friday, Gold roared back from 15 down to defeat a stunned Minnesota Stars 8 Hersch squad by 11. Fury 2020 Gold appears to have been inspired by the return of point guard Neveah Moeschter of Tartan H.S. Rated #42 in the class of 2020, Moeschter was out for an extended period of time with a knee injury but she looks great now. Moeschter is quick and aggressive. She loves to push the pace and drive to the hoop in transition. Sometimes she’ll dish, sometimes she’ll score, all the time she makes everyone around her better.
Fury 2021 Blue has several players who are likely to become household names before they are done. One already has based on the work of her two older sisters. Miah Monahan of Glencoe-Silver Lake is a super fast guard who combines with Alexis Pratt of Stillwater to give the team more pace than most opponents can handle. Miah is the younger sister of Maddie, who will suit up for D-I Drake University this fall, and McKenna, who is #66 in class of 2018. She’s more of a pass-first kind of player than her siblings but what really makes her stand out is her defense, as she is dogged and relentless on the perimeter. There’s no doubt that Fury 2021 Blue is going to win a lot of tournaments in the coming years and Miah is one of many reasons why.