Over the years in the Rumble in the Bronx Tournament, Iowa has always produced talented 17U teams. This year's event was no different as the Iowa Barnstormer decimated their competition in pool play, seemingly forging a clear path to the championship. Standing in their way was New Heights who would end their run, 79-69.
Armed with two Division I commits in Wyatt Lohaus and 6'9" Casey Schlatter, the Barnstormers faced New Heights, a team from New York, in the first round. Both teams had contrasting styles as well. New Heights was a very physical team that attacked aggressive at the rim while the Iowa Barnstormers, dressed in army fatigue jerseys were built on precision, moving the ball and finding the open man.
The Barnstormers lived up to the name early on as Lohaus drained jump shots but New Heights quickly countered as Jordan Washington beasted defenders in the paint and sharpshooter Chris Robinson knocked down shots from the arc. With 9:58 left in the first half New Heights maintained a three point lead.
Iowa gave as good as they got and tied the game at 24 with 7:15 left. Soon the Barnstormers took the lead as Schlatter nailed a three-ball in Washington's face and yelled "They can't play with us" as he huddled with his teammates as New Heights called a time-out . The Barnstormers lead grew to 6 points but New Heights finished strong and only trailed 38-36 as the second half began.
Washington regained the lead for New Heights to start the half as he began to bogard his way down low. The Barnstormers took a brief 4 point lead spearheaded by Lohaus but they were clearly succumbing to their opponent's physicality.
Robinson joined Jordan in an offensive attack and when Bashir Ahmed and Larry Beckett joined in, New Heights lead grew to 7 points with 3:46 left in regulation. The Barnstormers fought valiantly until the end but could only manage to trade bucket down the stretch.
Washington led New Heights with 25 points with Beckett and Robinson contributing 18 and 15 points respectively. Lohaus led the Iowa Barnstormers with a game high 26 points with Schlatter adding 13 points.