Saturday, April 17, 2010

Girls HS All-Star Games

In the finals, 1A surprised 4A by staying close, but 4A prevailed 82-68. For 3rd place, 2A bounced back from a terrible thrashing the night before to beat 3A 89-70.

After the games Carissa Wolyniec of DeLaSalle won the 3 point shooting contest.

In the 1st round, 1A shocked 3A 91-90 and 4A hammered 2A 95-47 in the 1st round of the Minnesota Girls Coaches Association all-star series Friday night, April 16, at Macalester.

Here, IMO, are the all-stars' all-stars.

First Team

C- Cassie Rochel, Lakeville North, 4A, Wisconsin. The Rochel bashers got some ammunition on Friday night as Cassie committed 3 fouls in 8 minutes of the 1st half and sat out for a good long stretch. Still, she had 6 points, 3 boards and a block in those 8 minutes as 4A ran out to a 52-21 half-time lead. But she just flat out took over in the 2nd half, scoring another 6 with 7 boards and 7 blocks. If you haven't seen her lately, you probably haven't seen her this aggressive in going to the rim with the ball, even putting it on the floor and creating her own shot from 10-12 feet out. And then, just for fun, Rochel made it to the finals of the 3 point shooting contest, with 12 3s. Then she scored 11 more points on Saturday, and she was named the 4A MVP after being announced as Ms. Basketball earlier in the day.

F- Katrina Newman, Barnum, A, Minnesota-Duluth. A bunch of kids contributed to Class A's big comeback on Friday (17 down at 10:00, still 12 down at 3:16), but Newman was pretty much the only one who could score consistently, and so she did. 18 in the 1st half, or A would have trailed by a lot more than 48-40. 11 more in the 2nd. Then, it was Newman's steal and 2 that sparked the comeback at the 3:16 mark, and it was her bucket at 0:45 that gave A its 1st lead, 89-88. Then after a 3A score, Newman hit the game-winner at 0:04.5. In addition to her 29 points, she contributed 8 boards, 3 assists and 3 steals. Then on Saturday she scored 12 points, and was named the 1A MVP.

G- Angela Christianson, Alexandria, 3A, Drake. Right up until the final minute, Christianson was the MVP of the Friday night game, only to see her team overtaken by an unlikely Class A comeback and her own contributions overshadowed by Newman's. But here's a kid who had a remarkable career at Alex, who made all-state as a sophomore and then came up as the forgotten arm, failing to make all-state as a senior. That was a big mistake, but maybe it is why she asserted herself so powerfully last night with 26 points, 10 boards, 3 assists and 2 steals. And then, oh yeah, by the way, she hit 17 3s to advance to the finals of the 3 point shooting contest. She scored 18 to lead 3A again on Saturday. She led all scorers with 44 for the 2 games, and was named the 3A MVP.

G- Tyisha Smith, Mpls. South, 4A, undecided. I hadn't seen Smith play this year, but I know that she hurt her knee late in 2009 and got off to a slow start last fall. But I am happy to say that she is back, all the way back. It was her lightning quickness and on-ball defense that set the tone for 4A in their romp over 2A. She had 4 steals in the game's first 4+ minutes as 4A ran out to a 17-0 lead. She finished with 8 points, but 6 of them came in those 1st few minutes when the game was won, and she also finished with 7 steals, 5 assists and a couple of boards. She is "undecided" about college, meaning that college coaches have shied away from her because of her knee. But, wow, can she play. Then on Saturday she scored another 8 points for a total of 14 on the weekend.

G- Bree Holleman, Hancock, A, Southwest State. Her mom, Class A coach, didn't start her daughter on Friday night, and gave a lot of minutes to her other guards. It almost cost 1A the game. But when crunch time came, Bree had to be on the court for A, and she was, and she along with Newman was the difference. She hadn't scored as of the 3:00 mark, but hit 3 3s down the stretch. And, then, she broke down the 3A D and penetrated from the right wing to get the assist to Newman for the game-winning bucket. Along with the 9 points, she finished with 5 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals. On Saturday, she scored 13 to lead 1A.

Second Team

C- Jade Geif, Lakeville South, 4A, Navy. As if 2A didn't have enough problems with Cassie Rochel, when Rochel went to the bench, Geif came in and pretty much dominated, too. She finished with 11 points, 10 boards, 3 blocks, a steal and an assist. Then on Saturday she led 4A with 13 points, and led them over the 2 days with 24.

F- Jodi Batzel, F, Dover-Eyota, Concordia St. Paul. A big strong kid, but mobile in and around the paint (not perimeter mobile). 8 points, 4 boards, 3 steals on Friday, and led all scorers on Saturday with 21.

F- Molly Duehn, Burnsville, 4A, Northern Colorado. A nice all-around game on Friday with 13 points, 3 boards, 2 steals, 2 assists and a block. She also advanced to the finals of the 3 point shooting contest. On Saturday she added 9 more points.

G- Haley Thomforde, Eastview, 4A, Moorhead State. Thomforde was on the court with Smith for that early 17-0 run that put the Friday game away for 4A, and Thomforde's 8 1st half points were instrumental in setting the tone for her team. She finished with 13 points, 2 steals, 2 rebounds and an assist. Other than that, she played within a team concept, she moves the ball, she moves without the ball, she doesn't make mistakes. On Saturday she scored 8.

G- Brooke Brown, Chaska, 4A, Northern Iowa. Kind of an afterthought among 4A's star-studded roster, at least Friday night. Still, she got to the rim with impunity and finished with 9 points, 2 steals and a block. No assists, however. On Saturday she scored 12.

Third Team

C- Megan Quiram, Cannon Valley Lutheran, A, Concordia St. Paul. A bit (6-4) strong kid with pretty fair low post skills, she'll still be a project for coach Fessler at Concordia, as she spent her high school career against as weak of opposition as you can find in the state of Minnesota. She needs to show that she can speed things up a little bit, and learn to stop bringing the ball down where kids a foot shorter than she can snatch it away. Time will tell. But last night, Class A would have been totally lost without her down low. She took contact well, scored when hit, got to the FT line and made her FT. You can build on that. 15 points, 6 rebounds, 2 blocks, 1 steal, 1 assist. She was held to 4 points on Saturday.

C-F- Amanda Barton, Waterville-EM, 2A, Northern Iowa. Big, strong kid. At 6-2 will have to show that she can play away from the hoop a little bit. 20 points for the weekend.

F- Megan Waytashek, Centennial, 4A, South Dakota State. Just as people were beginning to grumble that Waytashek hadn't done anything, she took over as the leading scorer in the 2nd half. She finished with 13 points and 3 assists. Just 1 board, though. She added 9 points on Saturday.

F- Ali Dunkelberger, Waconia, 3A, undecided. She's not the quickest or the most athletic, and her ball-handling skills are pretty marginal for the next level. But she knows how to play the game and she can score. Her line is 15 points, mostly on mid-range jumpers but she also canned a 3, 4 boards, 2 assists and a block. She added 8 points on Saturday.

G- Jessica Finck, Bertha-Hewitt, A. undecided. Her line--9 points, 3 assists--isn't great, but Class A coaches Holleman and, er, Finck, had her on the court at crunch time and her team came back to win. So there.

Honorable Mention

Taylor Young, F, Edina, 4A, St. Thomas. Young was instrumental in getting 4A off to the devastating start with 10 1st half points, 4 boards, a steal and an assist. But she tweaked the knee she initially hurt in the section final against Chaska (and, apparently, favoring the knee, she now has a sore achilles area as well). So she sat out all but the 1st minute of the 2nd half and sat out Saturday. She made Saturday worthwhile, however, by announcing her college choice, which had been widely rumored for several months.

Best Coaching Job

I'm tempted to say Paul Goetz of 4A for having the audacity to put Rochel, Geif and 6-2 Moorhead post Miki Stephenson all out there at the same time, late on Friday. What was that about unless somebody wanted to test the sturdiness of the new Leonard Center floor. But the best coaching job was clearly that of Jodi Holleman of Hancock and Class A. She did her damnedest not to favor her own kid, at least on Friday, but in the end talent told the tale and Holleman did what she had to do to win. And did.

3 Point Shooting Contest

2 players from each roster advanced.

Christianson 17. Wow.
Duehn 13
Rochel 12! Who knew?
Rachel Hansen, Minnehaha 11
Abby Fragodt, Benson 10
Dunkelberger 10
Jade Pelzl, Rushford-Peterson 9
Sarah Myhre, Barnum 9

You will note that as a technical thing Carissa Wolyniec didn't qualify for the finals. I don't know if somebody withdrew but Wolyniec participated and won.

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