Sunday, March 29, 2009

All-State Sub

To the best of my knowledge, Aaron Anderson of Osseo and Mike Weah of St. Bernard's are just the second and third boys in 97 years of state high school tournament play to win all-tournament honors without starting a single game for his team. 

The first was Loren Stadum, back-up forward for Thief River Falls' 1938 state champs. He wasn't even the first forward off of the Prowlers' bench, but he led Thief with 12 points in their 31-29 championship game win over Mpls. North. 

It all happened because star forward Clark Mickelson badly sprained a knee in a first round 37-29 win over Faribault and future Heisman Trophy winner Bruce Smith. Mickelson started the Prowlers' semi-final game against Crosby-Ironton but couldn't play and quickly came out of the game. Mel Haugham was Thief's first front-court sub and scored a big bucket at 3:30 to bring the Prowlers back within 25-24. Stadum played a good long spell, too, and scored five points.

Mickelson came back into the game in overtime, however, and scored the game-winning bucket. In those days, overtime was a race to two and both teams had shot two free throws, making one. Thief ran (or, I should say, hobbled) a play for Mickelson, who swished a long set shot to win the game.

Mickelson didn't even dress for the final, and Haugham started in his place. But it was Stadum who mostly battled North's all-state forwards Dick Burk and Dick Hallman. 

Thief surprised by returning to the 1939 state tournament--they had lost all five of their starters, though they returned an all-state sub. Stadum won all-tournament honors a second time, now as the Prowlers' starting center. Thief slipped to sixth place, however. Stadum went on from there to a career as a high school coach.

About Anderson and Weah

Anderson, a 5-10 junior, is Osseo's back-up point behind 5-7 senior D. J. Philips though, through two games, Anderson had played 48 minutes to Philips' 33. Against Hopkins' defensive pressure in the championship, coach Tim Theisen played the two together for a fair stretch of time. Anderson finished with 71 minutes played, 27 points and a team-high seven assists.

St. Bernard's Coach Ed Cassidy brought Weah off the bench in each game for some instant offense and for  a total of 68 minutes of play. He made 4-for-5 field goal attempts in all three games, and he also made 4-for-5 free throws in a first round victory over Triton 67-48. Nine of his 15 field goal attempts were threes, and he made six of those. He scored in double figures every game with 16 against Triton, 13 in a 68-61 semi-final win over Plainview-Elgin-Millville, and ten in an 80-68 championship game defeat at the hands of Pelican Rapids. 

Part-Time Subs

Other players have made all-tournament without starting all of its team's games, but all of these other examples started at least one. Just the previous week Justine Dammerman and Cassie Ziemer of New London-Spicer earned all-tournament honors while starting two of three tournament games. And in 1962 Dave Meisner of Cloquet didn't start for his team in a first round loss to North St. Paul. Meisner started the next two tournament games as Cloquet came back to win the consolation championship. The following year Meisner led his team to the championship final and he made the all-tournament team for a second time. 

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