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Bracket Buster preview: Class 4A

By Ryan James, Breakdown Sports USA, 07/27/15, 10:45PM CDT


Eight top big-school programs collide in summer closing event

2016 Border Battle schedule

Time MN Team WI Team
11 a.m. Spring Grove Columbus Catholic
12:45 p.m. Lake City Westby
2:30 p.m. Tartan Eau Claire Memorial
4:15 p.m. DeLaSalle La Crosse Central
6:00 p.m. Minneapolis North Onalaska
7:45 p.m. Minnetonka Stevens Point

2016 MLK Jr. Classic schedule

Time Away Team Home Team
10:00 a.m. Braham Providence Academy
11:30 a.m. St. Cloud Apollo Hibbing
1:15 p.m. Benilde-St. Margaret's Duluth East
2:45 p.m. Perham Esko
4:15 p.m. Becker (girls) Mt. Iron-Buhl (girls)
6:00 p.m. Hinckley-Finlayson Mt. Iron-Buhl
7:30 p.m. Cambridge-Isanti Hermantown

2016 Winter Lakes Classic schedule

Time Away Team Home Team
10:30 a.m. Mt. Iron-Buhl (girls) Browerville (girls)
12:00 p.m. Mt. Iron-Buhl Browerville
1:45 p.m. St. Croix Lutheran (girls) Sauk Centre (girls)
3:15 p.m. St. Croix Lutheran Sauk Centre
4:45 p.m. Monticello Perham
6:30 p.m. Edina (girls) Alexandria (girls)
8:00 p.m. Edina Alexandria

2016 March to Madness younger level schedule

Time Team Team Court
8:00 a.m. Rosemount 9th Anoka 9th 4
8:00 a.m. Rosemount Soph. Anoka Soph. 3
8:00 a.m. Rosemount JV Anoka JV 2
9:15 a.m. Champlin Park 9th New Prague 9th 4
9:15 a.m. Champlin Park Soph. New Prague Soph. 3
9:15 a.m. Champlin Park JV New Prague JV 2
10:30 a.m. Hutchinson JV Hopkins JV 4
10:30 a.m. Hutchinson 9th Hopkins 9th 3
10:30 a.m. Elk River 9th Moorhead 9th 2
11:45 a.m. Becker JV DGF JV 4
11:45 a.m. Elk River Soph. Moorhead Soph. 3
11:45 a.m. Elk River JV Moorhead JV 2

2016 March to Madness schedule

Court Time Away Team Home Team
Main 2:00 p.m. Rosemount Anoka
Main 3:30 p.m. Champlin Park New Prague
Main 5:15 p.m. Hutchinson Hopkins
East 2:00 p.m. Roseau Waseca
East 3:30 p.m. Becker Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton
East 5:15 p.m. Elk River Moorhead

2015 Granite City Classic schedule - Dec. 29 at SCSU

Time Away Team Home Team
11 a.m. Becker Rocori
12:30 p.m. Monticello Sartell-St. Stephen
2:15 p.m. Mpls North Rogers
3:45 p.m. St. Cloud Apollo Albany
5:30 p.m. Orono St. Cloud Tech
7 p.m. Wayzata Champlin Park
8:30 p.m. Apple Valley Maple Grove

2015 Granite City Classic schedule - Dec. 30 at Apollo

Time Away Team Home Team
11 a.m. Albany Monticello
12:30 p.m. Orono Becker
2:15 p.m. Rogers Sartell-St. Stephen
3:45 p.m. Champlin Park Mpls North
5:30 p.m. St. Cloud Tech Maple Grove
7 p.m. Rocori St. Cloud Apollo
8:30 p.m. Wayzata Apple Valley


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Our own Ryan James will preview each of the four super-powered brackets at our summer-closing Bracket Buster event at Maple Grove Jr. High School this Thursday, July 30. He started with the Class 4A field, which includes defending state champion Apple Valley and runner-up Champlin Park in what could be another collision course. It won't be easy with this field, though.

Apple Valley vs. Eden Prairie

Apple Valley's Gary Trent, Jr.

In 2 sentences: The defending champs against a top Lake Conference opponent who brings back much of their late season rotation.  Goring vs Flom is excellent and you know the EP frontcourt will be rough and rugged with the champs who bring everybody back and have the top SG in the 2017 class (Gary Trent Jr) and the PG that USA picked for their 16U team (Tre Jones).

Top Match-Ups: Tre Jones vs Ryan Jacobus, Gary Trent Jr vs Nick Geolat, Cameron Kirksey vs Brady Rudrud, Brock Bertram vs Jake Vermedahl

2014-15 Records: Apple Valley (30-2) vs Eden Prairie (24-5)

Prediction:  Apple Valley wins by nine.  I believe they have too much fire power although they have dealt with some injuries (Tre-ankle, Trent-flu, Brock-legs, Jordan-not sure) so injuries could derail that pick if all aren’t playing.

Wayzata vs. Tartan

Wayzata's Johnny Beeninga

In 2 Sentences: Two of the teams that are expected to make a huge jump because both bring back everything including excellent head coaches.  Tartan was incredibly young and now adds Jarvis Thomas to the equation while Wayzata was red hot at the end of the year beating Maple Grove in sections

Top Match-Ups: Johnny Beeninga vs Jordan Horn, King Myles vs Jack Sowada, Jarvis Thomas vs Austin Slater, Gavin Baumgartner vs Joevon Walker vs Alex Jensen, Denario Jackson vs Gavin Bamgartner

2014-15 Records: Wayzata (21-7) vs Tartan (21-8)

Prediction:  I give Wayzata a one-score win edge on experience, that is it.  Both are deep and talented with good coaches but Wayzata is older and has been playing together as all summer as Minnesota Heat Wayzata.

Champlin Park vs. Shakopee

Shakopee's Steffon Mitchell

In 2 Sentences: Champlin Park is the state runner-up, Shakopee has been the third place winner for the last two seasons.  CP brings back two starters and a JV that was unbeatable, Shakopee returns a Mr. Basketball top candidate and three starters. 

Top Match-Ups:  Theo John vs Steffon Mitchell, Booker Coplin vs McKinley Wright, Chris Davis vs Taylor Triplett, Drew Hanbury vs Marcus Hill

2014-15 Records: Champlin Park (31-1) vs Shakopee (24-8)

Prediction:  I go with the Rebels by six because the guys filling roles are better than people know, because Shakopee usually doesn’t get on a major steamroll until mid January, and because Steffon Mitchell has been dealing with a nagging injury. 

Maple Grove vs Rochester JM

Rochester JM's Michael Hurt

In 2 Sentences:  Both fell short in the playoffs in a way that left a bad taste in their mouth.  A big step towards retribution starts in this game.  You have a Gopher committed Michael Hurt, a Gopher offered Reed Nikko who could possibly play a future college teammate if that was his choice, a high major offered Brad Davison, and Matthew Hurt who has the early signs of things that have only come to the best.

Top Match-Ups:  Reed Nikko vs Matthew Hurt, Michael Hurt vs Tywhon Pickford, Isaiah Walden vs Brad Davison, DJ Hardin vs Taron Pickford, Josh Mattison vs Jack Hutchison

2014-15 Records: Maple Grove (23-4), Rochester JM (23-6)

Prediction:  Maple Grove is deeper and their players have all been on different teams for spring and summer while the JM kids have had their three best players practicing and traveling together for four months.  This will also be a one score game won in overtime, we go with the Crimson because of depth.

Event brackets

Twenty players to watch at Bracket Buster

Michael Hurt, 2016
Reed Nikko, 2016
Brock Bertram, 2016
Steffon Mitchell, 2016
Tyler Johnson, 2016
Ade Lamu, 2016
Austin Slater, 2016
Dalante Peyton, 2016
Johnny Beeninga, 2016
Brady Rudrud, 2016
Gary Trent Jr, 2017
Theo John, 2017
McKinley Wright, 2017
Brad Davison, 2017
Jordan Horn, 2017
Tre Jones, 2018
Jarvis Thomas, 2018
Adam Trapp, 2018
Matthew Hurt, 2019
Jalen Suggs, 2020