The 2014 NY2LASPORTS Invitational returns to Milwaukee, where some of the Midwest’s best travel teams and players will compete in another strong event. Taking the floor on opening night, the Illinois Stars and Wisconsin Playground Warriors highlight Friday night’s action in what’s expected to be one of the more entertaining games across the country.  Here are some of Friday’s 17U and 16U top games of note…

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2014 NY2LA SPORTS INVITATIONAL TIPS OFF TONIGHT 

17U DIVISION
Chicago Lockdown vs. Milwaukee Spartans
6:00 PM – Homestead HS – Court 5

The Invitational kicks off with an intriguing matchup in the paint between Matt Rafferty of Chicago Lockdown and Matt Heldt of the Milwaukee Spartans. Both bigs have seen their stocks rise this spring and will do battle Friday night. Also, some exciting, fast-paced guards will be on display in this one, including Te’Jon Lucas of the Spartans. 

Illinois Stars vs. Wisconsin Playground Warriors
7:10 PM – Homestead HS – Court 5

Some of the best players in the country will be on the floor in the second game of the evening. The Illinois Stars, led by future Big Ten players Aaron Jordan (Illinois) and Brandon Hutton (Iowa), matchup against one of the hottest prospects in the country Brevin Pritzl and Nick McGlynn of the Wisconsin Playground Warriors. Both teams are very deep and feature a number of future division one players. 

Quad City Elite vs. Wisconsin Academy – Robinson
8:20 PM Homestead HS – Court 3

A high octane offense versus a speedy, tough-minded defensive team. That’s what’s on the floor between Quad City Elite and Wisconsin Academy, which should prove to be a very well-played game. Tyler Hall and Grant Gibson will look to overpower what’s been one of the toughest outs this spring in Wisconsin Academy, led by J.T. Ruffin, Drew Fredrickson, Darold Thomas, and Shareef Smith. 

Wisconsin United vs. Team NLP
8:20 PM – Homestead HS – Court 5

Wisconsin United has been one of the best teams on the circuit this spring, winning a couple tournaments, including the NY2LA SPORTS Spring Extravaganza in Minneapolis. Led by Marshawn Wilson, Levi Bradley, Jaylen Key, Donnell Gresham, etc., this group has been hurting teams with 3-point shooting and transition play. Punishing power forward Evan Boudreaux, along with high-flying wing Admiral Schofield will look to put a stop to United’s run. 

Illinois Irish vs. Wisconsin Blizzard – Pronschinske
9:30 PM - Homestead HS – Court 5

The Illinois Irish, led by the dynamic duo of Christian Williams and Obediah Church, will look to get off to a good start by taking on high-scoring, versatile forward Cody Schwartz and the Wisconsin Blizzard. Both teams continue to advance deep into their respective tournaments this spring, but will now be looking to get over the hump and come home with some hardware at an NY2LA event. 

16U DIVISION
Playground Elite – Smith vs. Quad City Elite – Orange
9:30 PM – Homestead HS – Court 2

Two of the tournament’s favorites will meet on opening night as both teams feature deep, talented, and athletic lineups. Playground Elite can beat you from the inside with powerful big man Kaj Days and the high-upside forward Deang Deang, or on the outside with shooters Jordan Poole and Bobby Hambright, and the straw that stirs the drink Juwan McCloud. Quad City Elite has budding star Isaiah Roby, but also a number of players who are capable of going off on any given night, including Noah McCarty, Donovan Oliver, and Isaac Gassman. 

Net Gain Sports vs. Wisconsin Shooters
9:30 PM – Homestead HS – Court 3 

The Wisconsin Shooters have impressed all spring with their play. Led by the exciting guard Keishon Parker, the Shooters have a lineup that gets it done on both ends of the floor. They’ll get a good Net Gain Sports group that has already had some strong finishes in other tournaments this spring.

Wisconsin Academy – Kotroski vs. Illinois Irish
9:30 PM – Homestead HS – Court 6

Wisconsin Academy will be looking for yet another NY2LA title this weekend. Sam Hauser and Trevor Anderson have been their usual selves, but Academy has gotten a big boost from Jack Popp this spring as well. Perhaps a deep Illinois Irish team, led by the likes of Dangelo Hughes, Lou Griffith, and Joah Robinett can pull off the upset on opening night.