It all must come to an end…

First, let me say… there is no sense in stewing over things gone by in the past… let it go and be a happier person for it.

Our young men’s AAU careers are now at an end… who knows, some day THEY may be the ones out doing the coaching on an AAU floor.
Whimper, cry, cheer… do what you must.

Even with the season ending frustrations, in the end, it was really a pretty decent final year when you look back at it:

  • finished with a record of 25-20.
  • finished the season ranked #24 in the state (of ALL 17u AAU squads)
  • finished in semi-finals of Des Moines – Midwest LIVE! Tournament
  • finished in semi-finals of NY2LA Spring Extravaganza
  • finished with 6 of 9 players ranked in the top 250 – 2018 grads OVERALL in the state
  • several players were talked to by many college coaches
  • at least 2 players (Keegan and JJ) that received write-ups on the Prep Hoops website (If I missed someone let me know, I’ll update this gladly!)

I will leave everyone with this simple statement:
This was the most “basketball talented” team that JJ has ever played on, and he was quite honored to be personally invited by Crossfire’s Nathan Bellefeuille to be a part of it.
He very much enjoyed getting to know and play with such a talented group.

Also I’d like to send a special thank you to Tyler Schmidt for taking the time our of a very busy college coaching schedule (and personal life) to coach our players this season.

The Strumbels would also like to wish everyone in our Crossfire extended family the very best fortune in their future endeavors.

Please, stay in touch and let us know how your senior year and life after High School goes!

BTW: I’ll be sending out an email in the near future about how to obtain a pocket-drive with ALL of the videos I shot all season (in HD Quality — instead of that crappy YouTube compressed HD).

~ THE Admin

Sanford Pentagon Basketball League Championships (UPDATED 7/21/2017)

Truly pains me to write this summary…

The boys came into the tournament looking tired and with an air of “not really caring” if they win or lose.
And it showed on the court.

After just barely pulling out a win over MN Comets Little (52 – 50), they ran into a “modified” ND Phenom National squad and got beat (60-39)… no, not a typo.
That is the team they had beatup on 2x already this year. The team however had 2 “new” players (later found out they had been rostered all year, just hadn’t played).
Those 2 players (and our shoddy play) produced roughly a 40 point swing compared to prior results against the same team.

The poor performance in the final game of the pool play dropped Crossfire from the #2 seed to the #4 seed entering the bracket day (which means we now played the #5 ranked squad instead of the #7 or #8… a result that would haunt us the rest of the way through the bracket).
Bracket Game 1 vs MN Heat Johnson – LOSS 61-58
Bracket Game 2 vs SD Heat – WIN 64 – 54
Bracket Game 3 vs the same ND Phenom National squad – LOSS 79-62

That left us in the 7/8 place game vs a much improved (without bringing in new players) Iowa Mavericks team… losing at the buzzer with a “rim roller” – LOSS 52-51.

So, the tournament they played so hard in the early pool rounds to set themselves up with a good seeding headed into the brackets, came crashing down on their heads because they simply didn’t play with the necessary teamwork and mentality for 4 of the 6 final games; even the games they won, there was way too much “Hero Ball” being played… this just doesn’t work in high level games.

I heard complaints from parents and players of officiating issues, even I complained about opposing player issues (possibly going too far…) … but in the end it all boils down to… the guys did not play well as a team.

Hopefully they can turn things around for the final tournament of the year.

Let’s go Crossfire, finish strong!

~ Rod Strumbel

Great Plains Alliance Tourney

Boys came out sleep walking and never really recovered against ECI Select (a team they had beat once before in Ames, IA).
A final “Hail Mary” with 2 seconds on the clock full length of the court completed to the “receiver” but was unable to finish.
Lost 46-45.

Next game was vs a pretty good ND Cougars squad. LOTS of college coaches watching one of their players and rightfully so.
Boys just couldn’t quite get over the hump in this game.
Lost 65-60.

Now well into the losers bracket side of things the guys faced the ND Phenom Regional squad. Having beat the
NDP National squad twice already, confidence exuded.
In the end…
Win 72-44.
So when are we going to learn to treat EVERY opponent like we beat their top level team already and simply go out to DESTROY them ? /Soapbox

Then some more St Cloud strangeness ensued… scheduled to play the Wisconsin Playmakers squad on Saturday.
They were a no show.
And the ND Phenom Regional team was a no show.
So we won by forfeit as did the Mid MN team that had had a very hapless tournament.
But since we were both there, the St Cloud folks paired us up to play a game.
We ended up winning it…
Win 73-57.

So, 2 and 2 on the weekend, but a very disappointing showing for sure.

Guys gotta learn to play ALL OUT from buzzer to buzzer in EVERY game no matter what time it starts nor whom it is against, and for God’s sake… develop the STEP ON THEIR THROAT mentality if you plan to play ball beyond high school. You can’t let a team back into a game when you have them down, in the blink of an eye a 12 point lead can turn into a 12 point deficit.

Enough preaching…

Videos will be a bit delayed for this tournament, lots of work at the office I gotta catch up on first.
Will get them up though ASAP.

~ Rod

NHRState Tournament

Well the schedulers did us no favors in the NHRState tourney. With our low quantity of in-state play NHR has been chomping at the bit to get us matched up with local teams to see where we really stand in that comparison for Grass Roots Rankings. So… they threw some serious beef our way, that in combination with losing a player who decided to jump-ship mid season to play for a different squad and it was a recipe for trouble this weekend.

Game #1 – Heat Johnson (Rank #22) – WIN 55-35
Game #2 – Powerhouse Hoops Red (Rank #5) – After a 29-27 half time lead… LOSS 60-38 (this was an abusive game due to referee indifference)
Game #3 – MN Fury Antl (Rank #12) – LOSS 58-38 (tired players this game)
Game #4 – Minneapolis FAB (Rank #9) – LOSS 67-63 (no excuses here, guys only played so-so and still hung with this squad)

That takes us to 19-12 on the season.

Time to regroup and prep HARD for the Great Plains Alliance tourney and use that as a spring board into the Pentagon Finals and the D1 Classic to wrap up the AAU careers of these young men.

Forget the past, and now PREPARE for the future.

Let’s go Crossfire… Rally!

~ Rod Strumbel

Midwest Cup – Ames, IA

This past weekend the 17u Crossfire Schmidt team headed to Iowa to play in the Midwest Cup Prep Hoops event.

In pool play we went a disappointing 1-2 losing to the Iowa Dynasty and the TriCity Thunder before coming back and slapping around the Iowa Cornsharks select team. Heading into bracket play on Sunday we found ourselves in a lower bracket than is typical for this squad, and they turned on the fire and beat up on these teams… the final squad made a good run at us, but other than that was pretty much a cakewalk through the bracket ending with a “Silver” tier championship (Platinum and Gold brackets above us).

Game 1 vs Iowa Dynasty Loss 68-41
Game 2 vs TriCity Thunder (Chicago) Loss 76-46
Game 3 vs Iowa Cornsharks Select Win 87-71
Game 4 vs Tryon Gym 2 (western Iowa) Win 78-44
Game 5 vs Iowa Cornsharks Metro Win 55-42
Game 6 vs Iowa Pump-n-Run Win 54-51

Takes the team to 18-9 on the season going into the off week.

~Rod

Sanford Pentagon Basketball League (SPBL)

The next 2 weeks are not really tournaments in and of themselves.
They are SEEDING PLAY for the SIOUX FALLS tournament later in the summer.
There will be 8 games of SEEDING PLAY at different venues before Sioux Falls (and another 2 seeding games in Sioux Falls).

In the end the 10 teams involved will be seeded into the tournament bracket and fight it out for the championship.

The schedule and results can be seen here.

~ Let’s go CrossFire!

Rod

NY2LA Extravaganza – Hopkins/Mtka/Eden P

The NY2LA tournament followed an interesting format. 40 teams vying to get get into the 32 team Platinum bracket. Teams that were known power-houses were “grand-fathered” into the Platinum so whether they lost or won their Friday night qualifier didn’t matter. Our team wasn’t so lucky, we had to go through the “Win to get in” games (8 of them).
Winners got into the Platinum Bracket, losers fell into the Silver/Bronze Brackets.
We won, so started up in the Platinum.
Unfortunately due to the organization of the bracket we started against a VERY good 43 Hoops team (that went on to finish as Runner-Up in the Platinum bracket).
So yes… that means they beat us… soundly, and pushed us into the Gold Bracket instead.
We didn’t play well, and the game could have been a lot closer, but this team is good.

Once in the Gold Bracket, every game was a WIN or BE ELIMINATED scenario.
Got a walk-over win over Real Athletics Robinson.
Got a “revenge” win over a STACKED MN-Select Leafblad squad.
And then finally got knocked out of the bracket in the Semi-Final game against a VERY good South Dakota Attack squad giving them all they could handle.

Game Results:
—————–
Game 1 vs (WI) Blizzard Kuranda – WIN 50-36
Game 2 vs (MN) 43 Hoops – LOSS 60-28
Game 3 vs (MN) Real Athletics Robinson – WIN 65-55
Game 4 vs (MN) Select Leafblad – WIN 58-53
Game 5 vs (SD) SD Attack – LOSS 52-44

The final game was a LOT closer than the score indicates, lots of fouls and “chances taken” at the end ballooned the spread.
In reality it was about a 4 or 5 point game.

Again, one game away from the championship game.
Sadly the SD Attack game we had firmly in hand by 14 points early on… and gave it away.
Once we got the lead our team play turned into “hero” play instead of continuing on with what got us there.
Hard lesson to learn, but an important one.

~Rod

Midwest LIVE! – Des Moines

Game 1: vs Iowa Respect – WIN 62 – 45
Game 2: vs Iowa Pump-n-Run – WIN 53 – 42
Game 3: vs Kansas Hoggs – WIN 71 – 65
Game 4: vs Nebraska Hoffman Hoops Academy – Loss 56 – 67

Not bad, up to 5 – 3 on the year with a 3rd/4th place finish at Midwest LIVE!

Next up is the NY2LA event in Hopkins/Minnetonka/Eden Prairie this coming weekend Fri 4/28, Sat 4/29 and Sun 4/30.

~Rod

COMETS SHOOTOUT!

SATURDAY – POOL PLAY (M)
Game 1: vs MN-Select Ellis WIN 70-64
Game 2: vs WC United LOSS 55-45


SUNDAY – BRACKET PLAY (Gold Bracket)
Game 3: vs MN-Select Leafblad LOSS 53-54
Game 4: vs ND Phenom National WIN 59-48


Losing 2 games by a total of only 7 points in the first outing of the season… GREAT job guys!

Great things to come for this team this season.

Videos should be up in the videos section by end of day Monday 4/10/2017.

Password for videos will be given out either in practice or via email.

~Rod Strumbel (JJ’s old man)