Herald and Journal, Aug. 28, 2000

Area basketball team plays in national tourney

A group of local seventh graders flew out to West Virginia recently to participate in the N.Y.B.C. National Championship Basketball Tournament.

The Hollywood Tornadoes were one of three Minnesota teams to participate in the West Virginia tournament.

The team qualified for the tournament by winning a Minnesota Sports Federation state tournament earlier this spring. The Tornadoes team includes players from Winsted, Lester Prairie, Hollywood, Watertown, Glencoe, Mayer, Howard Lake, Biscay, Minnetrista, and Waconia.

The Hollywood team won three of their last five games to place sixth. The level of competition in the W.Va. tournament was much tougher than the coaches had anticipated. The N. C. Comets, considered by many to be one of the best seventh grade teams in the entire state of Minnesota, went 0 for 5 in the tourney. The third Minnesota team, from Milaca, also went 0 for 5 in the tournament.

Two of Hollywood's wins were come-from-behind victories in the final minute of play. Their third victory was over a team from South Parkersburg, W. Va., 57-43.

The team also had the opportunity to play against the best seventh grade team in the nation, The Mifflin Sharks (50-0 on the season). The Sharks, from Ohio, have traveled to 11 out-state tournaments this year, and they've won all 11. At the W.Va. tournament, the Sharks beat the defending A.A.U. champs, the W. V. Wildcats, for the championship.

The Tornadoes played well against the Sharks in the first half. Even the referee commented that our local boys stayed with them for much of the first half. But the Sharks' tremendous talent proved too much and they eventually blew the game wide open. We'll keep the final score a secret, but it was a great learning experience for the kids playing against that kind of talent.

Leading scorers for the tourney were Robert "Showtime" Schmidt with 75, Mike Bartels, alias Captain Knowledge, 57; Jeff "Clutch" Andersen, 53, Tim "The Wizard" Olmstead, 45; and Tim "Primetime" Thomas, 30.

Thomas won the 3-point shooting contest and Jeremy Martin took second in the free throw contest at tournament headquarters. Both players are from Glencoe.

The Tornadoes are coached by Tom Schmidt of Hollywood, and assistant coaches Steve Olmstead of Glencoe, and Dan Gueningsman of Lester Prairie.

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