Midwest Live

A recap of Friday and Saturday's AAU basketball action at the Midwest Live event in Des Moines, Iowa.

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17U BLACK DIVISION

Two local teams are participating in the top division of the event in Des Moines: Omaha Sports Academy 17U National and Team Nebraska Express 17U.

OSA National went 2-1 on the first two days, winning its first two games before falling to a tough MOKAN Elite EYBL 16U team playing up a grade in the quarterfinals. The Crusaders beat Team Carroll Premier 79-52 on Friday night, then knocked off Oklahoma Impact 78-58 on Saturday.

Kyle Luedtke (Omaha Creighton Prep), Joe Burt (Lincoln Pius X) and Sam Griesel (Lincoln East) led the way for a balanced and explosive offensive team. Against Oklahoma Impact, the Crusaders shot 15 of 31 from 3-point range with 16 assists to six turnovers. Luedtke led the way with 16 points (4-of-8 from 3) while Burt and Griesel added 10 apiece. Jayden Temme (Omaha Creighton Prep) also stepped up in the second game with 12 points on 4-of-7 shooting from 3, 10 rebounds and three assists without a turnover. 

OSA finishes up at 9:05 a.m Sunday with a consolation game against 43 Hoops.

TNE won its first-round game against Iowa Dynasty 75-72 and had a first-half lead against Minnesota Fury-Wilde before hitting an offensive rut and never pulling out of it, falling 52-35. Ty Johnson (Omaha Concordia) led the way with 26 points between the two games while Jay Pal (Omaha Central) and Tuach Dol (Papillion-La Vista South) hosted a block party, using their long arms to reject a number of opponents’ shots around the basket. 

TNE’s first consolation opponent forfeited, meaning they finish up at 10:10 a.m. Sunday against Team KC.

17U RED

The second division semifinals feature a pair of local teams in OSA 17U Porter on one side and Hoffman’s Hoops Academy 17U on the other.

OSA Porter dug itself a double-digit hole in both halves of its first round game against SSA Elite White, but the Crusaders battled back to win 54-51 behind 15 points from Austin Ash (Omaha Skutt), all of which came after halftime. He shot 5-of-7 from the field and 3-of-4 from deep in the final 16 minutes. 

The Crusaders gradually pulled away from Showtime Hoopers Black for a 59-43 win in the second round behind 12 points from Brendan Lacey (Wahoo) and another 11 from Ash (4-of-5, 2-of-3 from 3). OSA again dug itself a double-digit hole in the quarterfinals against Chicago Grinders 773, but a 16-point second-half from Austin Slie (Bellevue East) on a perfect 6-of-6 from the field combined with some strong defense resulted in a 64-48 win. Lacey added another 12 and while Ash cooled off and missed all five of his field goals, he made up for it with a team-best five assists. 

The Crusaders will face Minnesota Magic Elite at 10:10 a.m. Sunday for a trip to the title game.

On the other side, HHA went 3-0 despite playing short-handed with just seven and sometimes six players available. In the first round, HHA pulled out a 45-40 win over MPLS Fab 16U behind 20 points and nine rebounds from Chance Sterling (Gretna) and 14 points from Zach Rust (Elmwood-Murdock). 

In the second round, HHA beat Illinois Bears-White 70-67 thanks in large part to 21 points and 10 rebounds from Sterling and another 14 points from Rust. HHA blew out its third-round opponent, Kingdom Hoops Red, with a 74-46 win. Sterling recorded another double-double with 17 points and 12 rebounds and Rust exploded for 26 points, including seven 3-pointers. Rust knocked down 13 triples through the first three games. 

HHA will take on Crossfire Schmidt at 10:10 a.m. Sunday.

16U WHITE

Three local teams (Thunder Elite Platinum 16U, OSA National 16U and TNE 16U) took part in the top 16U division, but only Thunder Elite remains alive in the championship bracket. 

Thunder Elite cruised through its first-round game with a 75-39 win over Minnesota Heat McDonald behind a balanced attack. They were more tested in the second round but pulled out a 71-65 overtime win against Minnesota Fury Mikiska behind 27 points from talented combo-guard Javen Udofia (Omaha Bryan). TJ Skradski, the 6-foot-7 center from Omaha Skutt, paced Thunder with 17 points in the third round as they knocked off MOKAN Select. 

Thunder Elite will move on to face off against All Iowa Attack Red at 12:20 p.m. Sunday in the semifinals. All Iowa Attack features a pair of players from Nebraska in Omaha North’s Malachi O’Neal and Omaha Bryan’s Antione Curtis.

16U BLUE

Two local teams advanced to the championship bracket in the second 16U division and will face off in the semifinals.

OSA 16U Zimmer went 2-0 in pool play, beating Team Iowa Silver 55-50 and Iowa Intensity 2019 71-51. The Crusaders moved on to the championship bracket and beat SSA Elite White 64-53 to advance to Sunday’s semifinal.

Lincoln Supreme Black beat Iowa Prep 71-41 and Kingdom Hoops Black 80-32 in pool play and took down Minnesota Magic Elite 77-38 in the first bracket game.

Sunday’s semifinal is set for 10:10 a.m.

15U GREEN

Lincoln Supreme Black is the only local team to advance to the championship bracket in the top 15U division, and it has also advanced to the final four.

Supreme beat Kingdom Hoops Elite 66-61 in round one, edged out Powergroup D5 Elite 2021 45-44 and handled Wisconsin Academy Noll 60-45 in the third round. Supreme will take on MOKAN Elite in the semis at 10:10 a.m. Sunday. Lincoln North Star’s Donovan Williams is on the MOKAN roster.

David Moreano (Omaha Skutt) is competing with Iowa Barnstormers Gold, who also advanced to the semifinals.

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