Monday, March 23, 2009

All-State Snub

Fans were surprised Saturday night (2009) at the Target Center when St. Michael-Albertville guard Brittani Wiese failed to make the Class AAA All-Tournament team. She was, after all, the leading scorer for a state championship team. How often, fans wondered, does that happen?

We're not aware that it has ever happened in the girls tournament. But the fact is that it happens all the time in the boys tournament. Following are the boys who led their state championship team in scoring without being selected to the All-Tournament team (each played in 3 games unless otherwise indicated).

1923--Matt Turk, Aurora 45 points (4 games)
1939--Harry Franz, Mountain Lake 30
1956--Bob Freund, Mpls. Roosevelt 57
1959--Bo Vanman, Wayzata 43
1999--Mark Wingo, St. Paul Highland Park 49

Wiese finished with 43 points in three tournament games in leading her Knights to the state title while teammates Courtney Barthel, Carly Rothstein and Anna Valerius, all of whom won All-Tournament honors, were next with 34, 33 points and 25 points for the tournament.

There are a couple of explanations for Wiese's oversight. The All-Tournament team was selected, like all such teams, at half-time of the championship game. Mpls. North had run out to a 20-5 lead in the game, and there may have been a presumption that North would win the game and the championship. Thus, the Polars placed four players on the All-Tournament team to the Knights' three. And, at that time, Wiese was not the Knights' leading scorer. She finished the night with 19 points, 15 of them after half-time. At the time the vote was taken, Rothstein was St. Michael-Albertville's leading scorer with 31 points to Wiese's 28. Still, in addition to being the Knights' leading scorer, she as also its principle ball-handler and clearly deserved to make the All-Tournament team.

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