World-Herald prep recruiting specialist Mike Sautter was in Council Bluffs over the weekend to watch the Battle in the Bluffs event.
Midlands teams in the tournament included two teams in the 16-and-under division from Omaha Elite, Omaha Celtics 16U, Team Factory 16U and 15U, Hoffman Hoops Academy 17U and 16U, and national and regional teams from OSA's 17U, 16U and 15U.
Here the standouts from the weekend at the Iowa West Field House
2018 Omaha Central guard Roman Behrens: Behrens was a catalyst in his first weekend with All Iowa Attack’s top 17U team. The unsigned senior helpd his squad take the division crown.
2019 Omaha Skutt guard Jake Kudron and Lincoln Southest guard Michael Anderson: Anderson missed Saturday’s action due to his junior prom. Jake Kudron, who normally plays for OSA 17U Gauntlet, stepped in for Anderson. He proceeded to score a tournament-high 42 points, including 10 3-pointers in the OSA 17U National win over Hinton Blackhawks. Anderson was back in action on Sunday morning and took over his leading scorer role from a year ago on the OSA national team. Anderson scored 10 of his team's first 12 points and finished with 19 points in a game at 9 a.m. the day after his junior prom.
2020 Millard North forward Max Murrell: At 6-foot-8, Murell is a high-level player for Team Factory. He has great length with a knack for blocking shots. He has plus athleticism and can stretch the defense from beyond the 3-point line. On multiple occasions he knocked down contested deep shots.
2020 Omaha South guard Jay Saunders: Saunders backed up his strong weekend in Ames at the Super 16 with another at the Battle in the Bluffs for Omaha Elite. The floor general is a sneaky athletic point guard with a high motor.
2020 Gretna wing Hershal Vuksich: Vuksich can score in bunches for OSA National. On Sunday he connected on four 3-pointers en route to his game-high 18 points. He is a rhythm shooter and a longer wing that can disrupt defensively.
2020 Millard North guard Skyler Wilson: Wilson is longer than tall. Although he doesn’t score a ton, he is a plus defender that uses length and strong defensive instincts to cause havoc.
2020 Millard West forward Zach Olson: Olson is a fiery competitor for Team Factory. Although he doesn’t have a typical looking jumper, he makes more than he misses. Olson is a true wing player that is strong enough to battle in the paint against stronger post players and can stretch the floor offensively.
2020 Omaha North wing Wal Chuol: Like his Omaha Elite teammate Jay Saunders, Chuol followed up a solid weekend in Ames at the Super 16 with another solid performance in Council Bluffs. He used his length to force turnovers and can finish at the basket with contact.
2021 Bellevue West guard Chucky Hepburn: Hepburn showed what he is capable of throughout the weekend for Team Factory. He was close to a triple-double with nine points, nine rebounds and eight assists versus Kingdom Hoops Elite on Sunday. He has high-level timing on the defensive end with quick hands. In the championship game he knocked down midrange shots and connected on both of his 3-point attempts.
2021 Papillion-La Vista South forward Chase Lett: Lett was a consistent producer all weekend for OSA National-Porter. Lett is strong and crafty around the basket and converted some tough attempts around the rim. He is a more than capable shooter from range.
2021 Omaha Central guard Faisaun Germany: Germany scored a variety ways throughout the weekend for Omaha Elite. He is an above average 3-point shooter and can finish over defenders around the rim. When he isn’t scoring, he is getting his teammates involved and is an above-average passer. Germany showed he was one of the more athletic players in the 15U top division.
2021 Omaha Burke guard Jaren Marshall: Marshall can score from all three levels. He is a plus 3-point shooter and has a lethal midrange game. He's a good passer that can get his Team Factory teammates involved and is effective in transition as well as the pick-and-roll.
2021 Gretna guard Quinn Frost: Frost led OSA National-Porter twice in scoring, including Saturday's win against All Iowa Attack 9th Red. Frost consistently got to the basket and drew fouls while making smart plays. He connected on 10 of 13 free throws in his last game.
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