Crossfire Theisen came into the season’s 1st week of play rated #1 among the 15U/10th/2019s but with a very, very tough schedule in the 11th Black/2018 division of the Midwest Kickoff. 1st up was the big Iowa Barnstormers 2018 with 4 6-footers and 5 D1 commits so far.
It was nip and tuck throughout the 1st half. The highlight was CF point guard Taylie Scott (Heritage) taking an elbow to the nose around the 8 minute mark of the 1st half. She left the game but not before depositing a large pool of blood on the floor. Then, wouldn’t you know, the maintenance staff at Kennedy High School and the proper equipment for cleaning up a big blood spill could not be found. Eventually, after 10 minutes or so, tournament director Andy Meinhardt of the Metro Stars cleaned it up himself, with gloves.
Amazingly, Scott was back in around 5:30 with 2 big gauze nose plugs and about a minute late she scored to give the Crossfire an 18-17 lead. The Iowans led 23-22 at the half.
Later, with the Crossfire leading 41-38 around the 7 minute mark of the 2nd half, Scott got popped on the nose again and left the floor in agony. She was back 4 minutes later with the score tied at 41. Kallie Theisen missed a pair of throws and a pair of FG tries and the Iowans went up 43-41. Hannah Purcell hit a 3 from the top of the key for a 1-point Crossfire lead. Iowa went back up but then Theisen snared a defensive rebound and scored on the ensuing possession off an assist by Purcell. This tied things up at 46 with 1 minute remaining.
Iowa missed a 3, then Purcell scored off an in-bounds play from Taylie Scott to make it 48-46 at 0:33. Iowa turned it over twice inside of 20 seconds, the second after a 3rd missed throw by Theisen, but then Kaylee Nelson hit a pair of throws for the 50-46 final.
Theisen led the Crossfire with 18 points, 11 boards and 4 blocks. Scott managed 8 points, 4 assists and 4 steals despite 7-8 minutes on the bench. Purcell finished with 15 points, 5 boards and 4 assists—including 5 points and an assist inside of 2 minutes. For that, we picked Purcell as the Player of the Game.
It was one of the most physical games you’ll ever want to see, even aside from Scott’s trials and tribulations. The Crossfire lost to another 2018 club, Tayler Hill Elite, 47-41 the following day, then beat yet another 2018, Metro Stars Black (or Metro Stars Wiese) 53-52 for 3rd place.