Friday, March 30, 2012

Minnesota 2011-2012 Season Awards Candidates

Player of the Year Candidates

Lindsay Whalen, Minnesota Lynx, PG. In case you'd forgotten, the Lynx won the WNBA title this (2011-2012) basketball season in darn near a cakewalk, and many thought that Whalen was their best player. She scored 12 ppg on 46 percent shooting and team-bests of 4 assists and 1.5 steals.

Kevin Love, Minnesota Timberwolves, PF. Just keeps getting better, and now he's pulling his team along with him. Averaging 27 points and 14 boards, while the Wolves are 25-27 and 2.5 games out of the playoffs.

Rachel Banham, Minnesota Gopher women, fr., PG. Scored 16 ppg as a true freshman, and added 5 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals.

Tyus Jones, Apple Valley boys, soph., PG. Will be the most heavily recruited Minnesota boy before he's through.

Ricky Rubio, Minnesota Timberwolves, PG. A terrifically charismatic and creative force with the rock, he averaged 11 points and 8 assists before going down with the knee injury. Along with Adelman and Love, most responsible for the Wolves' turnaround.

Nia Coffey, Hopkins girls, jr., F. Girls player of the year according to several selections. A terrific force on defense, creating turnovers, mopping up on the boards. Does it all.

Seimone Augustus, Minnesota Lynx, SG. In case you'd forgotten, the Lynx won the WNBA title last year in darn near a cakewalk, and shooting guard Augustus was the Lynx' top vote-getting in WNBA MVP voting. She was also the Lynx' leading scorer at 22 ppg on the ridiculous shooting percentage for her position of 53 percent.

Trevor Mbakwe, Minnesota Gopher men, sr., PF. A man among boys until he tore his ACL. He scored 14 ppg on 60 percent shooting, and he added 9 boards per game. Now it looks like he'll be back for a 6th year.

Joey King, Eastview, sr., F. One and done in the state tournament, but he is a force and a high flyer.

James Ellisor, Bemidji State, sr., F. Led the Beavers to a shocking #1 seed in the NSIC playoffs. NSIC Player of the Year, very deservedly so.

Coach of the Year Candidates

Rick Adelman, Minnesota Timberwolves. Probably deserves more credit than anybody for the Wolves improvement.

Ruth Sinn, St. Thomas women. Took her Tommies to the Final Four for the 1st time since 2002.

Billy McKee, Augsburg women. Made a moribund program competitive again.

Brian Cosgriff, Hopkins girls. Repeat Class AAAA champions, Cosgriff's 4th overall.

Johnny Tauer, St. Thomas men. Led Tommies to co-championship of regular season and championship of post-season in his 1st year as Steve Fritz' successor.

Tim Thiesen, Osseo boys. Pulled the big upset.

Mark Gerber, Eastview boys. The best team in the state for much of the season, no more so than when beating Lakeville North, Apple Valley and Madison (WI) Memorial in one week.

Tubby Smith, Minnesota Gophers. Gophers showed signs of breaking through.

Dave Montbriand, Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa. Second time was the charm.

Matt Bowen, Bemidji State. Led Bemidji to a shocking #1 seed into NSIC post-season tournament.

Team of the Year Candidates

Hopkins girls. Repeat Class AAAA champs. Would have been unbeatable except they somehow lost one.

St. Thomas women. Made it all the way to the D3 Final Four.

Minnesota Timberwolves, Improvement, competitiveness, excitement at last.

Eastview boys. They didn't win it all but nobody has ever had a week like they had in January, beating Lakeville North, Apple Valley and Madison (WI) Memorial.

St. Thomas men. Regular season co-champion, post-season champion of the MIAC.

Osseo boys. Pulled the big upset of the year 87-86 over Hopkins in 3OT in the state semi.

Winona State men. Regular season champion of the NSIC but for use of an ineligible player.

Gopher men. Showed signs of life.

Augsburg women. Much improved, from doormat to nearly .500 in the MIAC.

Bemidji State men. Won the #1 seed into the NSIC tournament.

Game of the Year Candidates

Osseo boys 87 Hopkins 86 (3OT), state AAAA semi-final

Minnesota Gopher women 76 Ohio State 65, Big 10 regular season game

Augsburg women 61 St. Ben's 53. Mike Durkin's 1st loss to Augsburg in his 26 years on the job.

Minnesota Gopher men 77 Indiana 74

Benilde boys 76 Hopkins 71

Wayzata girls 66 Hopkins 57

Eastview boys 64 Madison Memorial 37

Prairie Seeds boys 165 Math & Science Academy 37. All-time high scoring game for 1 team.

Augsburg men 74 Houston Baptist 68. Rare D3 over D1 upset.

Moorhead State men 81 Ausustana 76
(tie) Moorhead State men 90 Winona State 72

Minnesota Hoops Girls All-State Team

I have already published by my girls all-state basketball team but I thought I would compare it to some of the others out there. Included in my "consensus all-state" calculations are the AP and Pioneer Press all-state teams, the Tribune all-metro team, the Ms. Basketball finalists, the coaches all-state team, the all-state-tournament teams and, finally, just out today, Kevin Andersons' "Dozen" best players. I had hoped to include Gary Knox's choices from over at gPrep. There's a 2011 all-state team posted, but nothing for 2012 yet, and I got tired of waiting. But the consensus all-state team consists of the following, with my picks indicated insofar as they diverge from the consensus. They're listed in order of how many points they picked up (3 for a 1st team, 2 for 2nd, 1 for 3rd, and etc.).

Consensus All-State (among 8 teams) with my picks for comparison

First Team

Nia Coffey, Hopkins, Sr., F
Marissa Janning, Watertown-Mayer, Jr.., G
Jackie Johnson, Eden Prairie, Sr., C
Carlie Wagner, New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva, Soph., G--my 2nd team
Rebekah Dakhman, Braham, Jr., G

Second Team

Tyseanna Johnson, DeLaSalle, Jr., F--my 1st team (note that I pick a 6th player for a total of 6 per team)
Whitney Tinjum, Chisago Lakes, Sr., F
Alexis Foley, White Bear Lake, Sr., G--my 3rd team
Tessa Cichy, Hill-Murray, Sr., G--my 3rd team
Sydney Coffey, Hopkins, Sr., F--my 1st team

Third Team

Jessica January, Richfield, Jr., G--my 2nd team
Marissa Grossfeld, Wayzata, Sr., F
Katybeth Biewen, Edina, Sr., G--my 2nd team
Shayne Mullaney, Eden Prairie, Sr., G--my 2nd team
Kali Peschel, Sauk Centre, Sr., F--my 4th team

Fourth Team

Allina Starr, DeLaSalle, Jr., G--my 3rd team
Brittney Scherber, Bloomington Jefferson, Sr., G--my 3rd team
AnneMarie Healy, Providence, Sr., F
Maria Mohnke, Fergus Falls, Sr., C--not on my top 4 teams

Kadidjah Shumpert, Benilde-St. Margaret's, Sr., F--my 3rd team
Kayla Timmerman, Wayzata, Sr., C

Not among the consensus but on my teams:

Cayla McMorris, Park Center, soph., F--my 2nd team
Mia Loyd, DeLaSalle, Sr., F--my 4th team
Tia Elbert, Tartan, Soph., G--my 4th team
Maddie Guebert, Eastview, Soph., G--my 4th team

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Boys HS Season Recap

The state tournament recap is elsewhere. Here we look back over the entire season. First, the consensus all-state (various different all-state, all-metro, Mr. Basketball, etc. etc.) all mushed together, plus my all-state team where it differs. Then the overall top 50 follows.

Consensus All-State and My All-State (where it differs, unless called out, I am in agreement)

1st Team

Siyani Chambers, Hopkins, sr., G--my Player of the Year, my overall state tournament MVP
Tyus Jones, Apple Valley, soph., G--AP Player of the Year and Gatorade Player of the Year
Joey King, Eastview, sr., F
Sanjay Lumpkin, Benilde-SM, sr., F--my 3rd team
Isaiah Zierden, Benilde-SM, sr., G--my 2nd team

2nd Team

Johnny Woodard, Duluth East, sr., G--my 3rd team
Rashad Vaughn, Cooper, soph., F
Reid Travis, DeLaSalle, soph., C
Travis Vaughan, Braham, sr., G
Zach Huisken, Southwest MN Christian, sr., C--my 3rd team

3rd Team

Marcus Marshall, St. Paul Johnson, sr., G--my 1st team
Sean Scott, Spring Lake Park, sr., F--my 1st team
Austin Pohlen, Grand Rapids, sr., G
Mike Tyus, Anoka, sr., G--my 4th team
Quinton Hooker, Park Center, jr., G--not on my 1st through 4th teams

4th Team

Alex Illikainen, Grand Rapids, fr., C
Ian Theissen, Osseo, soph., C
Sander Mohn, Eden Prairie, sr., G--my 4th team
Connor Goodwin, Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa, sr., C--not on my 1st through 4th teams
Kebu Johnson, Blake, jr., F--not on my 1st through 4th teams

Not Consensus All-State

Anders Broman, Lakeview Christian,  jr., F--my 2nd team
Tyler Flack, Lakeville North, sr., F--my 3rd team
Joey Bartlett, St. Peter, sr., F--my 4th team

Final Top 50

1. Hopkins 30-2--if they play the state tournament 10 times, Hopkins wins 7

2. Osseo 30-2--but they only play it once, and Osseo is Class AAAA champion
3. Lakeville North 30-2--Class AAAA runners-up
4. Eastview 30-2
5. DeLaSalle 26-6--Class AAA champion

6. Minneapolis Washburn 29-3--Class AAA runners-up
7. Benilde-St. Margaret's 27-2
8. Eden Prairie 23-9
9. Apple Valley 23-6
10. Woodbury 24-6

11. Roseville 24-5
12. Chanhassan 23-6
13. Cretin-Derham Hall 19-9
14. Spring Lake Park 23-6
15. St. Paul Johnson 22-9
16. Edina 19-10
17. Champlin Park 18-11
18. Minnetonka 19-9
19. Wayzata 19-8
20. Grand Rapids 25-7

21. Park Center 18-9
22. Austin 23-6
23. Moorhead 18-10
24. Mankato East 25-5
25. Owatonna 22-7
26. Mounds View 18-10
27. Blake 24-4
28. Plainview-Elgin-Millville 27-6--Class AA champion
29. Detroit Lakes 22-8
30. Tartan 20-7

31. Buffalo 17-10
32. St. Thomas 18-11
33. St. Peter 28-2
34. Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa 33-0--Class A champion
35. Waconia 22-7
36. Duluth Denfeld 21-8
37. Blaine 17-12
38. Southwest MN Christian 28-2--Class A runners-up
39. Willmar 18-9
40. Rocori 18-12

41. Litchfield 26-6--Class AA runners-up
42. Zimmerman 23-5
43. Eagan 15-13
44. Rogers 19-9
45. Delano 22-7
46. Rushford-Peterson 26-6
47. White Bear Lake 15-13
48. St. Michael-Albertville 20-7
49. Perham 29-3
50. Braham 20-3

Next Year

Class AAAA--Apple Valley is the early favorite, yes, even vs. Hopkins, though I would not recommend underestimating Hopkins. All of the other state tournament teams have some talent coming back and will be a contender to return to the tournament, but I doubt if any of them have enough talent to contend for the state title. On paper, in other words, Apple Valley is a pretty solid favorite. I guess I'd make Osseo #3, Park Center #4 and Eden Prairie #5.

Class AAA--DeLaSalle will be loaded next year. It has been rumored that Wally Ellenson's (Minnesota Gophers recruit from Rice Lake, WI) brothers will be following him to the Twin Cities and enrolling at DeLaSalle (2 kids worth about 25 ppg between them). But this of course is just a rumor, like Ricky Rubio's sister coming to Hopkins. Stay tuned. Austin #2 and Grand Rapids #3 should be tough. Maybe Blake #4 and Johnson #5.

Class AA--Here I have no idea what to expect. Wide open. Let's say Litchfield #1 with Fairmont and Melrose following.

Class A--BBE has some talent coming back as does Lakeview Christian, they would be obvious #1 and #2 to start the new season. How about Dawson-Boyd #3, Browerville #4 and Sleepy Eye St. Mary's #5.

All-State--Tyus Jones, Anders Broman, Rashad Vaughn, Reid Travis, Ian Theissen

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Big Game 3-27-12: Gopher men outlast Huskies

2 teams with something to play for: Washington, the only regular season champion of a BCS conference ever left out of the NCAA tournament field. Minnesota, with 2 straight years of terrible play in February. Here they are in the semi-finals of the NIT, clawing and scratching for every point and every rebound and every little advantage they can come up with, through regulation and on into OT.

Minnesota never trailed in regulation. It was tied at 11 and 61. The Gophers largest leads were 38-23 at :09 of the 1st half (but Washington hit a 3 at the buzzer), and 53-42 at 8:18 of the 2nd. But the Huskies went on a 19-8 run to the final buzzer and tied it with 16 seconds left. Dre made a pair of throws at :28. Washington countered with a pair of throws at :22 and then a bucket at :16. I don't know what happened in between there but I can tell you this. The Live Stats shows the Minnesota has 0 (zero) turnovers and that Washington has 0 (zero) turnovers. My guess is one of those happened. Dre missed a shot at the buzzer.

But he (Dre) hit a 2 + 1 early in OT for a 64-61 lead. Otherwise both teams missed 7 shots before a 2nd bucket was scored, then a third, then a fourth. The Gophers led 66-65 at the 1 minute mark. A Dre J made it 68-65 at :28 and Minnesota still has never trailed in the game. But it hadn't yet gotten a stop at the end of a "period" of play. Nor this time, but Terrence Ross missed a 3 and the Huskies settled for a two-point put-back by Darrell Gant at :04. Gophers by 1. Julian Welch missed 2 throws (wow, is there a pattern there?) but Washington was unable to do anything in the time that remained.

Minnesota 68 Washington 67. Rodney Williams 18 points 10 boards. Dre Hollins 20 points 5 assists. Austin Hollins 12 points. Now it is on to the NIT final where they will meet Stanford, 74-64 winners over  UMass. Minnesota will be looking to win the NIT for the third time.

Player of the Day

Dre Hollins

Coach of the Day

Tubby Smith

Sunday, March 25, 2012

The Big Game 3-25-12: Gopher women win the WBI, Look to 2013

Minnesota rallied from a 9-point half-time deficit to run away from Northern Iowa 88-74 Sunday afternoon to claim the championship of the Women's Basketball Invitational.

Many Gopher fans have expressed outrage that the team chose to play in the WBI rather than the NIT. The WBI afforded the Gophers 4 home games against mid-majors (or less) Charleston Southern (won 80-51), Bradley (won 85-59), Manhattan (won 67-54) and now Northern Iowa. The Gophers were the only BCS school in the 16-team field. Some have said, So they beat teams they're supposed to beat.

Well, when was the last time they beat 4 straight teams that they were supposed to beat? I figure, enjoy it. I hope the team did.

Minnesota started slowly, falling behind 12-6, 19-10, 34-24 and 40-28. At the half Northern Iowa led 41-32. Northern then extended its led to 49-36 early in the 2nd half, but the Gophers stormed back to tie at 55-all (a 19-6 run) as Rachel Banham scored 6 and Jackie Voigt 4.

Minnesota scored 5 more points, a 3 by Sari Noga and another 2 by Banham, extending the run to 24-6 and the Gophers' 1st lead since 4-3 to 60-55, before Northern scored again. 3 minutes later it was 69-59. Game over.

Banham closed out a spectacular freshman season with 26 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists and was named to the all-WBI tournament team. Kiara Buford closed out her Gopher career with 14 points, 6 assists and 4 steals and was named WBI tournament MVP. Noga, Voigt and Micaella Riche alsoscored in double figures while Riche led all players with 8 boards.

For the 4 games, Banham had 62 points, 9 boards, 14 assists and 8 steals. Buford had 52 points, 7 boards, 17 assists, 6 steals and 3 blocked shots.

Minnesota finished with a winning record (19-17) the only way possible, by winning all 4 WBI games.

For the record, here are the minutes played per game by position in these 4 games.

Center--Riche (soph.) 21 Loberg (jr.) 16 Dvorak (redshirt soph.) 3
Power Forward--Kellogg (soph.) 22 Voigt (sr.) 17 N. Mastey (sr.) 1
Small Forward--B. Mastey (sr.) 21 Noga (soph.) 17.5 N. Mastey (sr.) 1.5
Point Guard--Banham (fr.) 30 Cotton (jr.) 10
Shooting Guard--Buford (sr.) 28.5 Cotton (jr.) 7.5 Ionescu (fr.) 2 Noga (soph.) 2


To replace Buford, B. Mastey and Voigt next year you've got Kayla Hirt (redshirt fr.), Jackie Johnson (fr.) and Shayne Mullaney (fr.). I'm guessing something like this:

Center--Riche (jr.) 21 Loberg (sr.) 16 Dvorak (redshirt jr.) 3
Power Forward--Kellogg (jr.) 27 J. Johnson (fr.) 13 (Shonte Clay?)
Small Forward--Hirt (redshirt fr.) 26 Noga (jr.) 14
Point Guard--Banham (soph.) 30 Cotton (sr.) 10
Shooting Guard--Mullaney (fr.) 22 Cotton (sr.) 15 Noga (jr.) 2 Ionescu (soph.) 1 (M. Bailey?)

Comparing 2012 to 2013, the Gophers are really really really going to miss Kiara Buford. The other seniors, no disrespect intended, can be replaced.

Girls Season/State Tournament Recap

Well, we've already said that the concentration of talent at Hopkins, Osseo, DeLaSalle, Providence and Maranatha has reached a historic level. Benilde belongs on the list though they missed the tournament due to a fluke combination of a great team (Richfield) in their section and a key injury for themselves.

Kevin Anderson noted that you could draw a circle with a radius of about 10 miles over the northwestern metro and you would encircle all 4 state champs--Hopkins, DeLaSalle, Providence and Maranatha--plus the AAAA runner-up and 3rd place teams Osseo and Edina and probably Benilde, and Richfield wouldn't miss by much.

And we've said there's nothing that can be done about it but, for us fans, to sit back and enjoy. Someday there will be parity again and you know as well as I do what we will say. Gosh, what happened to the great teams? Those were the good old days!

Tournament Leaders

Class AAAA

Scoring Katybeth Biewen, Edina 53 (Olivia Antilla, Osseo, just missed with 52, and MC McGrory, Edina, also had 52)
Rebounding Nia Coffey, Hopkins 26
Assists Taylor Anderson, Hopkins; Biewen 10
Steals T.T. Starks, Hopkins 6
Blocks N. Coffey 11
My MVP N. Coffey and Sydney Coffey, Hopkins

Class AAA

Scoring Tyseanna Johnson, DeLaSalle 64 (Jessica January, Richfield, 2nd with 56)
Rebounding Mia Loyd, DeLaSalle 32 (Bryann Guyton, Richfield, 2nd with 31)
Assists Allina Starr, DeLaSalle 23
Steals Starr 14
Blocks Mariah Monke, Fergus Falls 5
My MVP Starr and Jessica January, Richfield

Class AA

Scoring Carlie Wagner, NRHEG 112 (Mattie Lueck, Pequot Lakes, was 2nd with 62)
Rebounding Anna Schlaak, NRHEG 28 
Assists Kali Peschel, Sauk Centre 9 
Steals Wagner 9
Blocks Lueck 10
My MVP Wagner and AnneMarie Healy, Providence

Class A

Scoring Richell Mehus, Spring Grove 81 (Megan Kolness, Ada, next at 55)
Rebounding Onye Osemenam, Maranatha 38
Assists Taylor Elton, Spring Grove 10
Steals Mehus 16 
Blocks Osemenam 16
My MVP Mehus and Osemenam


First Team

C- Olivia Antilla, Osseo
F- Nia Coffey, Hopkins, co-Tournament MVP
F- Sydney Coffey, Hopkins
G- Jessica January, Richfield
G- Allina Starr, DeLaSalle, co-Tournament MVP
6th Player- Carlie Wagner, NRHEG

Second Team

C- Onye Osemenam, Maranatha
F- AnneMarie Healy, Providence
F- Tyseanna Johnson, DeLaSalle
G- Phyllis Webb, Osseo
G- Richell Mehus, Spring Grove
6th- Kali Peschel, Sauk Centre

Third Team

C- Mariah Monke, Fergus Falls
F- Mia Loyd, DeLaSalle
G- Rebekah Dahlman, Braham
G- Brianna Zimmerman, Fergus Falls
G- Katybeth Biewen, Edina
6th- Sierra Ford-Washington, Richfield

Fourth Team

C- Taylor Reiss, Minneota
F- Nicole Wittman, Hutchinson
F- Macy Weller, Sauk Centre
G- Mattie Lueck, Pequot Lakes
G- Taylor Anderson, Hopkins
6th- Mariah Adanane, DeLaSalle

All-State (all season)

First Team

C- Jackie Johnson, Eden Prairie
F- Nia Coffey, Hopkins, jr.
F- Tyseanna Johnson, DeLaSalle, jr.
G- Marissa Janning, Watertown-Mayer
G- Rebekah Dahlman, Braham, jr.
6th Player- Sydney Coffey, Hopkins

Second Team

F- Whitney Tinjum, Chisago Lakes
F- Cayla McMorris, Park Center. soph.
G-Shayne Mullaney, Eden Prairie
G- Jessica January, Richfield, jr.
G- Katybeth Biewen, Edina
6th- Carlie Wagner, NRHEG, soph.

Third Team

F- Kadidjah Shumpert, Benilde-St. Margaret's
F- Marissa Grossfeld, Wayzata
G- Allina Starr, DeLaSalle, jr.
G- Tessa Cichy, Hill-Murray
G- Alexis Foley, White Bear Lake
6th- Brittney Scherber, Bloomington Jefferson

Fourth Team

C- Kayla Timmerman, Wayzata
F- Mia Loyd, DeLaSalle
F- AnneMarie Healy, Providence
G- Tia Elbert, Tartan, soph.
G- Maddie Guebert, Eastview, fr.
6th- Kali Peschel, Sauk Centre

Final Ranking

1. Hopkins 31-1, Class AAAA Champion, early favorite for 2013 Class AAAA champion

2. Hopkins bench (OK, just kidding)

2. DeLaSalle 26-3. Class AAA Champion. How good is Hopkins? They beat the #2 Islanders 76-53 on the Island. Early favorite for 2013 Class AAA champion.

3. Osseo 26-6, Class AA Runner-Up, strong contender to return to 2013 tournament
4. Edina 27-5
5. Wayzata 23-6
6. Providence 27-4. Class AA Champion, early favorite for 2013 Class AA champion.
7. Eden Prairie 22-6
8. Eastview 25-7
9. Benilde-St. Margaret's 23-5
10. Bloomington Kennedy 23-5

11. White Bear Lake 23-6
12. Lakeville North 21-9, strong contender to return to 2013 tournament
14. Roseville 24-4
15. Richfield 27-5, Class AAA Runner-Up, contender to return to 2013 tournament
16. Sauk Centre 27-5, Class AA Runner-Up
17. Maranatha 28-5, Class A Champion, early favorite for 2013 Class A champion
18. Hutchinson 26-5
19. Park Center 
20. Mounds View 21-7

21. St. Paul Central 20-7
22. Duluth East 22-6
23. St. Michael Albertville 22-8
24. Hill-Murray 22-8
25. Park 20-9
26. New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva 32-1, contender to return to 2013 tournament
27. Buffalo 24-6
28. Chisago Lakes 24-6
29. Chanhassan 22-5
30. Braham 29-2

31. Watertown-Mayer 25-4
32. Mankato East 26-3
33. Robbinsdale Cooper 23-5
34. Centennial 20-9
35. Cambridge-Isanti 20-8
36. Red Wing 19-11
37. Champlin Park 15-12
38. Esko 26-4
39. Minnetonka 14-14
40. Prior Lake 14-14

41. St. Peter 24-5
42. Forest Lake 16-12
43. Mountain-Buhl 31-2, Class A Runner-Up, likely to return to 2013 tournament
44. Rochester Mayo 21-7
45. Ada-Borup 28-3, strong contender to return to 2013 tournament
46. Spring Grove 28-5
47. Marshall 21-7
48. Minneota 29-2, likely to return to 2013 tournament
49. Bloomington Jefferson
50. Simley 22-6

Moron the Concentration of Talent

It all started with open enrollment, you know. Is it about 20 years ago, now, that kids were given the right to enroll wherever they pleased. The idea was that, well, different strokes for different folks. And, more than that, some schools just aren't doing the job, and kids should have a right to transfer out of such schools.

People say, but open enrollment wasn't meant for sports. I don't know if it was or not, but the rules don't say you can't. So why shouldn't athletes be able to seek out the best situation, the same as math majors? But of course we already do discriminate against athletes, who either have to sit out a year if they transfer...(wait for it, now, wait for it)...or they have to navigate their way through loopholes bigger than the East Ridge gym. I guess a  kid who can dribble behind her back under pressure and pop a 3 can manage that.

If you're really serious about no-transfers, then you gotta eliminate the loopholes like the NCAA. If you transfer, you sit. I don't care what your parents did. Sit.

And if you used an ineligible player, you would be banned from the tournament. Not just the ineligible player, the whole team. I mean, that's the way it used to be. Spare the rod, none of this spoil the child stuff.

Well, guess what? Nobody's gonna do that.

So like I said, sit back and enjoy. The present system is better for the truly blue chip athlete. It might not be better for the fans, and it might not even be better for the average kid. But it works great for the blue chipper. And that is totally consistent with where American values are at today. If you have the ability to make $100 million, go for it! If you have $100 million to spend on a political campaign, go for it! If you can make that $200 million by shutting down the factory in East St. Paul and shipping those jobs to Mexico, what are you waiting for?

And if you have the ability to earn a Division I basketball scholarship, then you should be able to do whatever is needed to cross that finish line.

The rich are getting richer everywhere else in America today. Why would we deny elite athletes that ability?

Boys State Tournament Recap

Final Results

Osseo 49 Lakeville North 47 High Scorer: DJ Hebert, Osseo 13
DeLaSalle 57 Minneapolis Washburn 56 (OT) Joseph Doby, Washburn 21
Plainview-Elgin-Millville 55 Litchfield 39 Beau Nelson, PEM 21
Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa 54 Southwest Minnesota Christian 45 Brian Goodwin, BBE 29


First Team

Siyani Chambers, Hopkins, G 90 points, 7 steals Tournament MVP
Reid Travis, DeLaSalle, F 57 points, 36 rebounds Class AAA MVP
Tyler Vaughan, Braham, G 85 points, 30 rebounds, 10 steals Class AA MVP
Zach Huisken, Southwest Christian, C 39 points, 43 rebounds, 13 blocks Class A MVP
Marcus Marshall, St. Paul Johnson, G 84 points

6th man--Brian Goodwin, Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa, G 69 points, 11 assists, 10 steals

Second Team

Ian Theissen, Osseo, C 40 points, 26 rebounds
Alex Illikainen, Grand Rapids, C 56 points, 37 rebounds, 6 blocks
Austin Pohlen, Grand Rapids, G 71 points, 16 assists, 9 steals
Sander Mohn, Eden Prairie, G 58 points
Bridge Tusler, Osseo, G 32 points, 26 rebounds

6th--Joseph Doby, Minneapolis Washburn, F 53 points, 20 rebounds

Third Team

Grant Shaeffer, Eden Prairie, G 50 points (41 in 1 game!), 12 assists
Joey Bartlett, St. Peter, F 23 points, 8 blocks (1 game)
Nick Thompson, Rushford-Peterson, F 78 points
Demetrius Martin, Hopkins, F-G 52 points
Connor Goodwin, Belgrade-Brooten-Elrose, G 50 points, 33 rebounds

6th--Tyler Flack, Lakeville North 34 points, 24 rebounds, 6 blocks

Fourth Team

Jordan Bruhn, Perham, G 37 points, 20 rebounds, 16 assists
Beau Herrig, Mountain Lake-Butterfield-Odin, F 56 points, 30 rebounds
Trent Vix, Rushford-Peterson, G 54 points, 10 steals, 9 assists
Joey King, Eastview, F 27 points (1 game)
Cory Speer, Plainview-Elgin-Millville, G 54 points

6th--Renard Suggs, Woodbury, G 21 points, 5 assists (1 game)

This is obviously MY all-tournament team. The MSHSL does not pick an all-tournament team. Well, yes, they call it an all-tournament team but it is either NOT an ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM, really, or last Wednesday and Thursday's quarter-finals are NOT part of the tournament. My point is--if you do not play in a semi-final game, you are ineligible for the, er, ah, ALL-SEMI-FINAL team. But wait, Rebekah Dahlman made the all-tournament team!? OK, it is the all-semi-final + big shot team. If you are a big enough star you can do it. But if you are, say, Mr. Basketball finalist Joey King, you are not a big enough name. If you are just Joey Bartlett of St. Peter, of whom no one has heard, then 23 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists and 8 block are certainly not good enough.

So as things sit, the all-tournament committee thought that Mitch Wollin of Litchfield (22 points in 3 games) was a better ballplayer than Joey Bartlett of St. Peter (23 points in 1 game). But since it is impossible to have seen them play and to think that, like I say, the only conclusion on can possibly draw is that Bartlett was ineligible. At least, that is what I prefer to believe. I do not want to even contemplate the idea that the all-tournament committee really thought Wollin was better.


Class AAAA

Scoring--Siyani Chambers, Hopkins 90 points
Rebounding--Nick Jorgenson, Hopkins and Ryan Saarela, Lakeville North 28 rebounds
Assists--Grant Shaeffer, Eden Prairie 18 assists
Blocks--Tyler Flack, Lakeville North 6 blocks
Steals--S. Chambers 7 steals

Class AAA

Scoring--Marcus Marshall, St. Paul Johnson 84 points
Rebounding--Alex Illikainen, Grand Rapids 37 rebounds
Assists--Austin Pohlen, Grand Rapids 16 assists
Blocks--Illikainen 6 blocks
Steals--Pohlen 9 steals

Class AA

Scoring--Tyler Vaughan, Braham 85 points
Rebounding--Vaughan 30 rebounds
Assists--Jordan Bruhn, Perham 16 assists
Blocks--Joey Bartlett, St. Peter 8 blocks (1 game!)
Steals--Pohlen 9 steals

Class A

Scoring--Nick Thompson, Rushford-Peterson 73 points
Rebounding--Zach Hupsken, Southwest Christian 43 rebounds
Assists--Brian Goodwin, Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa 16 assists
Blocks--Huisken 13 blocks
Steals--B. Goodwin; Matt Olson, St. Croix Lutheran;Trent Vix, Rushford-Peterson 10 steals

Final Rankings (Top 10)

1. Osseo 30-2
2. Hopkins 30-2
3. Lakeville North 30-2
4. DeLaSalle 26-6
5. Eastview 28-2
6. Minneapolis Washburn 29-3
7. Benilde-St. Margaret's 27-2
8. Eden Prairie 23-9
9. Woodbury 24-6
10. Apple Valley 23-6

Top 50 will be posted this week.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Boys HS Tournament--Saturday's Finals

Class A #1 Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa vs. #2 Southwest Minnesota Christian

Class A has gone according to Hoyle and so #1 plays #2 in today's final. It will be a contrast in styles as BBE loves to get out and run while SWC plays a deliberate, ball control style of play. BBE has scored 142 points in 2 tournament wins, SWC just 105,

The match-up to watch, well there's 2. One is in the post where 6-7 Connor Goodwin of BBE will match up with 6-9 Zach Huisken of SWC. Goodwin is BBE's go-to guy, and has 42 points and 23 boards in 2 games. It is shocking how seldom SWC gets shots--or even touches--for Huisken other than off the offensive glass. He has 22 points, 27 boards and 9 blocks in 2 games. So it will Goodwin's offense vs. Huisken's D, and don't be surprised if Huisken and SWC are able to slow Goodwin down.

That means that guard Brian Goodwin will need to have a good game for BBE. He has 40 points, 9 assists and 8 steals in 2 games. But don't forget 6-6 forward Billy Borgerding and guard Kirby Montbriand, each of whom scored 14 in yesterday's semi-final. Their depth and balance will make them hard to shut down.

But SWC has even more balanced scoring. 1st among equals is Andrew Top with 11 points in each tournament game. But 4 other players scored 6 or more points in each game. It probably comes down to which SWC team shows up today--the one that shot 52 percent against Fosston, or the one that shot 32 percent against RP.

But the same can be said of BBE, who shot 52 and 31 percent in their 2 games so far. So it's not shooting ability that distinguishes these teams, it is the pace at which they prefer to play.

My guess is SWC will be able to control the pace. If BBE gets out ahead early on, they may be able to force SWC to pick up that pace a bit, which would further advantage BBE. If SWC gets out ahead, look out, it could be more like yesterday's Class AA semi which as you know ended 33-31.

Still I think BBE has too many weapons and will prevail 53-45.

AA #3 Litchfield vs. unseeded Plainview-Elgin-Millville

Class AA has gone anything but according to plan as #4 Litch defeated #1 Perham yesterday, and then unseeded PEM easily defeated #3 Braham. If the Class A final features contrasting styles, this game does more of the same on steroids.

PEM scored 84 points yesterday, Litch 33. Litch and Perham stalled out the final 7:28 yesterday, so the pace was not quite as slow as the score indicates for the 1st 28:30. But Litch will move the ball around and get lots of touches for everybody before putting up a shot. PEM will be looking for shots before the Litchfield defense can get set.

PEM has great balance. In 2 tournament games the scoring is like this: Speer 36 Nelson 34 Ruth 34 and Montgomery 25. Like the 2 Class A finalists, PEM has had 1 tournament game shooting in the 30s percent and 1 in the 50s. It is taking about 60 shots per game.

Litch has good balance, too, but at a different level. They have shot in the 30s in both games and have attempted an average of just 37 shots. Kinny leads with 22 points, while Terning has 18, Doll 15, Wollin 13 and Whitchurch 10.

As always if a team wants to be deliberate and if it can protect the ball, which is not a problem for Litchfield today, then the pace will be slow. And the pace will again depend on who gets out ahead. If PEM gets out ahead it will be hard for Litch to catch up.

Once again, I will take offense over defense. I will probably regret that. But I'll take PEM 48-44.

AAA #1 Minneapolis Washburn vs. #2 DeLaSalle

Hey guess what! Nobody will be trying to slow this one down. Both have averaged in the 60s for points, but Washburn has shot in the 30s and 40s percent, DeLaSalle at 50 percent or better in both of its tournament games. For the full season Washburn out-scored it opponents 78-58, DeLaSalle 72-51.

Each team seems to have 3 guys who will do more of the scoring.

DeLaSalle is led by sophomores Reid Travis with 37 tournament points and 18 boards, and Jarvis Johnson with 30 tournament points in 2 games. And junior Lucas Scott has 27 points so far.

For Washburn, it is Joseph Doby with 32 points, Jerry Pratt with 31 and Nick Anderson with 27 so far.

Right now I think DeLaSalle is playing a little better ball. I'll take the Islanders 72-64.

AAAA #2 Lakeville North vs. #4 Osseo

Osseo is the talk of the tournament as a result of its 87-86 3OT win over 3-time defending champion Hopkins, rightfully described as "one of" the greatest games in tournament history. I mean, there is certainly no precedent for a 3-time defending champ losing in its effort to become the 1st team to win 4 straight at the highest level, and losing in 3OT to boot.

But can Osseo maintain its focus after such a game and such an achievement? I would say that emotionally the edge may go to Lakeville North, which has low-keyed its way into the finals. They expended very little emotion in winning in the 1st round 61-55 over Moorhead. So they had lots of gas left in the tank, and used some of it, to come from 27-13 down to easily defeat Eden Prairie 58-41. The way that math works out is Lakeville out-scored EP 45-14 after its early deficit.

Osseo will run, Lakeville will slow it down somewhat though not like SWC or Litch will slow it down, by any means. Their top scorer in the regular season, Tyler Flack, was pretty much MIA for 3 halves (10 points) before breaking out with 12 2nd half points vs. Eden Prairie. He will need to be there for the whole game tonight.

Still, Osseo has the look of destiny's team. The only reason for any reticence in picking them to win tonight is that there could be an emotional let-down after Thursday incredible game. But I'll pick Osseo 71-65.

Target Center All-Stars Friday March 23

Connor Goodwin, BBE 18 points 13 rebounds
Brian Goodwin, BBE 15 points 8 boards 3 assists 3 steals
Tyler Vaughan, Braham 35 points 10 boards 2 assists 3 steals
Cory Speer, PEM 22 points 7 rebounds 4 assists
Nick Thompson, RP 20 pionts 10 rebounds 2 blocks

2nd Team

Beau Herrig, MLBO 12 points 9 boards 2 assists
Zach Kinny, Litchfield 8 points 10 boards 4 assists
Sam Ruth, PEM 22 points 8 boards 2 assists
Trent Vix, RP 14 points 3 assists 3 steals
Zach Huisken, SWC 7 points 13 rebounds 2 assists 3 blocks

Friday, March 23, 2012

Plainview-Elgin-Millville Bulldogs 84 Braham Bombers 67

Plainview-Elgin-Millville made 30-of-57 shots to dominate Braham. The Bulldogs led by as much as 22 and finally prevailed 84-67.

P-E-M led by 16 at the half at 40-24. Tyler Vaughan picked up the pace in the 2nd half for Braham, hitting a 2, a 3 and a 2 + 1 to cut P-E-M's lead from 16 at the half to 13 at 47-34 at 14:40. Braham shot 40 percent in the 1st half and over 50 percent in the 2nd.

But in the end P-E-M extended its lead in the 2nd half, as it shot 52 percent in the 1st half and 53 percent in the 2nd. Now it was Beau Nelson and Sam Ruth with 13 points each as Speer cooled off a bit.

The closest Braham got was 49-37, but P-E-M scored the next 8 points to make it 57-37 at 11: 37. Later Braham got within 13 at 70-57 and 72-59 but again P-E-M answered to lead by as much as 22 at 84-62. Braham scored the last 5 to cut it to 84-67.

First Half Summary

Braham and P-E-M started out as fast as Litchfield and Perham played slowly. After 4 minutes it was P-E-M 14 Braham 7 as P-E-M hit 5 of their 1st 7 shots, 4 of them 3s.

P-E-M extended the lead continually throughout the middle portion of the half, to lead 38-17 as it kept its shooting well above 50 percent, while the Bombers dropped down into the 30s. The half ended at P-E-M 40 Braham 24. Cory Speer hit 2 more threes for a total of 4 and to get to a game-high 17 points at intermission.

Litchfield Dragons 33 Perham Yellowjacket 31 (Final, No Really)

Perham led 27-23, 29-26 and 31-28 in the 2nd half, but Litch came back to tie as Dylan Koll hi a 2 and then a 3. The latter was at 7:28. The next bucket came at the final buzzer, and it was courtesy of Litch's Zach Kinney with a J from the FT line as time expired.

Both teams co-conspired to run the clock after 7:28. But Litchfield missed 3 shots and turned it over once. Perham missed 2 shots and turned it over 2 times, the last time (last possession) at 1:24 when Mitch Wollin blocked a Perham shot. Litch ran out the last minute, then Kinney drove to the FT line as his defender slipped and fell down. Kinney did not miss, and the horn sounded before Perham could do anything on its own behalf.

Perham made 5-of-14 shots in the 2nd half, Litch 4-for-14. Litch scored 15 points off turnovers, Perham just 2. The leading scorer is Jordan Bruhn of Perham with 8.

Half-Time Report

Litch and Perham were neck and neck through most of the 1st half. Perham led 14-8 early, but Litch came back within 18-17 and leads at half-time 21-20. Neither team scored in the final 3:43. Jordan Anderson and Mike Schumacher have 7 points each for theYellowjackets, while Zach Whitchurch of Litch also has 7.

Perham is shooting 50 percent, Litch 45. Turnovers are Perham 9 Litch 6, 2 while points off turnovers are 11-2 Litch. There has been but one offensive board so far, that belonging to Litch, and that is indicative of the caution with which both teams are proceeding. I would expect a little higher pace in the 2nd half, but with what result I am not sure?

Southwest Christian 46 Rushford-Peterson 44

Nick Thompson hit what looked like a 3 for Rushford-Peterson at :08.6 to tie it up at 45. But wait, the officials reviewed the call and called it a 2. So after an RP timeout, Top shot 1 + 1 and hit the 1st as he had done 16 seconds earlier. This time he missed the 2nd, but Thompson missed a possible game-winning 3 and Zach Huisken grabbed the board.

Both teams started very slowly in the 2nd half, RP at 1-of-4 and SWC 1-of-7 FG attempts through the 13:00 mark. Each team was looking for a spark. RP thought it might be Nick Thompson's put-back at 12:03. SWC thought it might be a steal and assist by Klint Knutson and a fast break bucket by Andrew
Top at 11:37. But 90 seconds later it was still a 6-point RP lead.

Then at the 8 minute mark Zach Huisken scored on a put-back, and Eric Talsma did not same for an + 1 to get within 34-33. Then it was Dominick Nibbelink scored  on a home run pass after a defensive rebound by Huisken and SWC was within one again at at 36-35, and a Nibbelink 3 gave SWC their 1st lead of the 2nd half. Trent Vix countered with a 3 of his own yo put RP back up 39-38. The 2 teams traded leads until SWC went up 45-42 on a pair of FT by Andrew Top at :24.

Half-time Report

RP leads SWC 28-22 at the half. The story so far is Nick Thompson and Trent Vix with 21 of RP's 28 points, and the inability of SWC to get 6-9 Zach Huisken involved in the offense. He's got 7 boards but only 1 FG and 3 points. RP is shooting 42 percent, SWC 26. All else is pretty even.

What is mystifying about SWC is how seldom they look for the 6-9 Huisken.

Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa 56 Mountain Lake-Butterfield-Odin 36

Belgrade Brooten Elrosa slowly but surely built its lead over Mountain Lake Butterfield Odin, to as much as 8 in the 1st half and 5 at intermission. It hit double figures at 12:42, 15 at 49-34 and 18 at 54-36. The final was 56-36 as MLBO scored only 5 points in the 2nd half on 2-of-21 shooting.

An athletic tip-in by Billy Borgerding made it 43-32. Beau Herrig, MLBO's leading offensive threa committed his 4th foul after the play. BBE retained possession and Brian Goodwin scored on a layup at 12:41 for a 45-32 lead.

6 minutes later it was 49-34 as MLBO had scored just 3 points the entire 2nd half. Turnovers continued to be a bugaboo for the Wolverines with 7 versus 2 for BBE at that point, and points off turnovers during the 2nd half 7-0 in favor of BBE and 25-3 for the game.

Offensive boards were also all BBE, 17-10, and the Jags enjoyed 1 15-6 edge on 2nd chance points.

Senior post Connor Goodwin and sophomore guard Brian Goodwin led BBE with 18 and 15 points, respectively, while Connor added 13 rebounds and Brian 3 assists. Borgerding and Kirby Montbriand added 10 points each. Herrig was the only Wolverine in double figures with 12, and he also led his team with 9 boards.

First Half Summary

Mountain Lake Butterfield Odin has done a great job of slowing down Belgrade Booten Elrosa during this 1st half and staying close to the favored, usually running Jaguars. Of course the goal is not to stay close, it's to win. But the Wolverines have given themselves a chance to do that, as a long 2 by Carter (Captain) Kirk at the 1st half buzzer brought MLBO within 36-31.

MLBO last led at 22-21 at 6:58 but Cody Penner, Beau Herrig and Kyle Thiessen all pick up their 3rd fouls and came out of the game for MLBO after that, and Connor Goodwin made a 2 and 5-of-6 throws down the stretch for BBE's largest lead at 35-28.

MLBO is out-shooting the Jags 52 percent to 35 but the turnovers are 14 MLBO and 4 for BBE, and the points off turnovers are 18-3 in favor of the Jags.

B. Goodwin has 13 and C. Goodwin 11 for the Jags, Herrig 11 for the Wolverines. MLBO needs to do a much better job of protecting the ball in the 2nd half.

Fosston vs. Mountain Lake

Fosston vs. Mountain Lake? (Pardon my shorthand for Mountain Lake-Butterfield-Odin.) It's not going to happen. MLBO surprised #4 seed Browerville yesterday 73-61 while Fosston lost to #2 Southwest MN Christian 59-41. So MLBO plays this afternoon vs. Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa in the 1st Class A semi-final at 12 noon, while Fosston's season has come to an end.

Fosston vs. Mountain Lake? Well, yes, as a matter of fact, they did play one another. 99 years ago. Everybody knows (I'm kidding) that Fosston won the very 1st state tournament in what was described as "a complete surprise." I mean, even then it was understood that a smaller school with fewer kids to choose from was at a disadvantage.

But who exactly did Fosston defeat in that 1st state final? Mountain Lake. The score was 29-27.

What are the odds that those 1st 2 finalists would both be here to help celebrate the 100th year of high school tournament basketball? Try slim and slimmer. These are no longer household names.

Since 1913, Fosston appeared in 5 more tournaments for a total of 6 of the 1st 9 through 1921. It had not appeared in the tournament for 90 years when the Greyhounds made it down last year. This year they made it 2 in a row as if making up for lost time.

Meanwhile, Mountain Lake became something of a fixture, appearing in 13 tournaments from 1913 to 1952, and winning the state title in 1939 with a huge upset over Minneapolis Marshall. But they had not appeared since 1952, for a period of 60 years. That they chose to return in this 100th year--and that Fosston is here to greet their old friends once again--is karma of the highest order.

It was deemed almost as unlikely that they would meet. Both were underdogs in yesterday's 1st round. And so indeed it will not happen. Except the MSHSL has been talking to the 2 schools about doing something today to honor the 2 and their predecessors from 99 years ago. The fact that MLBO is playing today complicates that a bit. But don't be surprised if there isn't some type of ceremony at half-time some time today with Fosston and Mountain Lake players taking the court together for the 1st time in 99 years.

The Big Game 3-22-12: Osseo 87 Hopkins 86 (3OT)

There was talk last night on TV that this might be one of the greatest games in tournament history and, yes, there is no precedent for a 3-time defending champion losing in 3 OT. That has definitely never happened before.

I'm talking of course about Osseo 87 Hopkins 86, a game which saw the lead change hands a total of 19 times but only once, finally, in that 3rd OT. From 77-all, Osseo scored the 1st 2 points on a jumper by reserve Cal Bloom, and the Orioles never trailed again. Bloom scored the next 5 Osseo points to maintain an 84-81 lead, and 3-of-4 FT made it 87-83 with 5 seconds remaining, and rendering moot a 3-pointer by Siyani Chambers at the buzzer.

Neither team had scored in the 1st OT, and then each team scored 13 in the 2nd. Hopkins never led in the 3OT but tied it up in the 2nd on a 3-point bank shot by Jacob Wright at :01. It was Wright's 3rd 3 of the 2nd OT, which wiped out a 73-64 Osseo lead after the Orioles scored the 1st 9 points of the 2nd OT.

Bloom scored the last 4 points of the 2nd OT and Osseo's 1st 7 of the 3rd, as the reserve became an unlikely hero for the Orioles. He finished with 17 points, 11 boards and 3 assists coming off the bench. He was the only reserve on either side to play more than 11 minutes or score more than 2 points. Hopkins' starters averaged an unlikely 44 minutes per man, while Osseo's 5 starters plus Bloom averaged 37.5 minutes apiece.

Hopkins had opened the game with an 18-8 lead but Osseo scored 10 straight points to tie it up at 18-all. Hopkins led 32-28 at the half, then appeared to have the game won with a 47-30 lead early in the 2nd half. Osseo only caught up at 57, and took its 1st lead since 22-20 at 59-57 at 2:35 of regulation on a Bridge Tusler 2. A Wright FT at :09 was needed to force the OT for Hopkins.

Osseo shot 49 percent, Hopkins 42, and Osseo dominated the boards 56-31, and scored 19 2nd chance points to 10 for the Royals. But the Orioles turned it over 25 times and Hopkins led on points off turnovers 24-17.

Player of the Game was Bloom for his OT heroics.

6-9 sophomore Ian Theisen led a balanced Osseo attack with 21 points and 13 rebounds, plus 3 blocks. DJ Hebert scored 16, Tusler 13 with 12 boards and 3 assists. Michael Brush added 10 points.

For Hopkins, it was of course Siyani Chambers leading the way with 31 points, 3 assists and 2 steals. Nick Jorgensen added 19 points and 10 boards. Demetrius Martin added 14 points and 3 steals, and Wright 13 points and 7 boards.

Greatest Ever?

Again there is no precedent for this game. The closest I can come up with is Hopkins' 90-82 semi-final win over Henry Sibley 2 years ago in a game that went to 2 OT. And any Hopkins OT game has to also be reminiscent of the 71-60 win over Eastview in the 2006 final in which Blake Hoffarber hit his famous "butt shot."

Just yesterday I posted my list of the greatest games ever in the 100 years of Minnesota high school tournament basketball. The Eastview-Hopkins game is #4 overall (#3 among the boys). #1 and #2 are also OT games. #1 is Wabasso 117 Red Lake 113 in a single OT in 1997. #2 is Edgerton over Richfield 63-60 in 1960 in a single OT.

Along with OTs and championship implications, the greatest games also tend to feature great players--#3 overall is Janet Karvonen and New York Mills vs. Albany's Kelly Skalicky in 1979. On my list you've also got Hoffarber, Bill Davis vs. Dean Veenhof, Lingenfelter vs. McHale. In tonight's big game you've got Siyani Chambers, whose career can now be fairly summarized, though he's got a 3rd place game vs. Eden Prairie remaining now on Saturday afternoon.

Chambers now has scored 124 points in 10 tournament games in 4 seasons, with 20 rebounds, 30 assists and 13 steals. He came off the bench for limited minutes in 2009, but has started at the point guard position for three years now with 7-1 won-lost record, 2 titles and an all-tournament award in 2011. He is a lock to earn a 2nd all-tournament award this year, as his 56 points so far leads all scorers in Class AAAA (and leads all scorers in AAAA or AAA, who have played 2 games. Class A and AA will play their 2nd games tonight.)

With 3 championship rings, 2 as a starter, and 2 all-tournament honors Chambers moved on to the list of elite tournament players. Off the top I would rate him as probably 1 of the top 15 point guards, maybe higher.

Ranking this game may also depend on the development of Theisen. Again, great games feature great players and Theisen has the chance to be 1 of the great posts of the 21st century so far. If that happens, and especially if Osseo wins a title (or, better yet, 2) he could end up being a top 15 all-time post.

Bottom line: Let's see 1) what happens tomorrow night. If Osseo does not win the title, then this game lacks championship impact. And 2) let's see how this game looks in a year or 2. But it clearly has the potential to end up as 1 of the top 5 to 10 boys games ever.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Friday's Semi-Finals

Class A

BBE looked solid with Connor Goodwin inside and Tommy Goodwin outside. Lots of weapons. MLBO also scored both inside and out but overall not quite as athletic as BBE. BBE should win.

Huisken is a load for Southwest Christian, while Thompson and Vix are a nice pairing for Rushford Pete. I guess 2-on-1 usually goes to 2.

So I'll take BBE and RP in the final.

Class AA

I saw Perham and Litch, and Perham has more weapons in Bruhn, Cresap and Schumacher.

I did not see the others but from what I have read, well, I still have no clue. I guess I'd say PEM in a close one.

Perham and PEM in the final.

Stars of Williams Arena Thursday 3-22

Stars of Class A Quarter-Finals

Brian Goodwin, Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa 25 points 6 assists
Connor Goodwin, Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa 24 points 10 rebounds 4 steals
Beau Herrig, Mountain Lake-Butterfield-Odin 30 points 15 rebounds
Nick Thompson, Rushford-Peterson 34 points 6 rebounds 4 steals
Zach Huisken, Southwest Minnesota Christian 15 points 14 rebounds 6 blocks

Second Team

Gage Deis, Prairie Seeds 14 points 12 rebounds 8 assists
Carter Kirk, Mountain Lake-Butterfield-Odin 13 points 13 rebounds 4 blocks 2 steals
Billy Borgerding, Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa 18 points 9 rebounds
Seth Christenson, Browerville 21 points 10 rebounds 2 blocks
Bjorn Broman, Lakeville Christian 19 points 7 assists

Rushford-Peterson Trojans 74 Prairie Seeds Lycans 68

Prairie Seeds, playing in their 1st state tournament ever, ran out to a 31-19 1st half lead over perennial power Rushford-Peterson. But then the wheels came off for the Lycans.

Nick Thompson hit 2 throws. Then with Cole Kingsley at the FT line for RP, Robert Robertson checked into the game for Prairie Seeds wearing a different number (#24) than he was listed at on the scorecard (#44). A technical foul was called. Kingsley made 1-of-2 on the initial foul, and Thompson made 1-of-2 on the technical. Then, maintaining possession after the technical, RP got a 3 from Trent Vix to complete a 5 point possession. Then Vix hit another 2 with 16 seconds remaining. Going from 31-19 at 2:21 to 31-28 at half-time, RP now had all kinds of momentum for the 2nd half.

Seeds held RP off initially, scoring the 1st 5 points of the 2nd half for a 36-28 lead. But RP quickly tied it up on 3s by Thompson and Vix, and took the lead on yet another 3 from Thompson. Seeds responded, but RP then took the lead for good at 44-41 on another 3 (of the old-fashioned 2 + 1 variety) by Thompson.

The lead bounced between 3 and 6 for several minutes, then grew to 7 at 60-53, and to 10 at 67-57, and as high as 12 before Seeds fought back to within 6 at the final buzzer 74-68.

Thompson was a rock for RP with 34 points, 6 boards and 4 steals. 6-7 Gage Deis of Seeds was just as tough with 14 points, 12 boards and 8 assists. Each team shot 44 percent from the field, but RP had a 26-5 edge from the line. They also had a 26-13 edge on points off turnovers,

Player of the Game: Nick Thompson, RP

Southwest MN Christian 59 Fosston 41

Fosston ran out to an 8-2 lead over #2 Southwest Minnesota Christian, but SWC recovered quickly to lead 19-10 at 5:29 and 29-17 at the half. Andrew Top closed out the 17-2 run with a 3 and a 2 45 seconds apart around 5:30, and finished with a game-high 9 1st half points. The 1st half stats, generally, were pretty close except for one not insignificant number: SWC shot 50 percent and Fosston just 26 percent.

Fosston didn't do anything special to deny 6-9 Zach Huisken of SWC, and in the 1st half he had just 4 points but 7 boards and 3 blocks. In the 2nd he asserted himself a little more and scored 11 points, with 7 more boards and 3 more blocks, for totals of 15 points, 14 boards and 6 blocks.

So, in the 2nd half the lead went as high as 44-19 at 12:59 and as low as 56-41, but that was with just 37 seconds remaining. SWC shot 51 percent and Fosston just 29, and that was all she wrote.

Player of the Game: Zach Huisken

Mountain Lake Butterfield Odin 73 Browerville 61

#4 seed Browerville and unseeded Mountain Lake-Butterfield-Odin played an even 1st half, MLBO leading 38-37 on the basis of Beau Herrig's 4-for-4 shooting from 3-point range. Browerville countered with some strong inside play: A 14-7 edge in offensive rebounds, a 12-7 edge in 2nd chance points and a 24-14 edge on points in the paint.

All of that changed in the 2nd half, as Browerville's shooting percentage plummeted to 29 percent for the half. MLBO took over on the offensive boards 9-6 , 2nd chance points 6-4 and points in the paint 18-12. Browerville, meanwhile, took the edge in 3-point shooting 3-2, but it wasn't nearly enough as MLBO pulled away to a 73-61 win.

MLBO only took the lead for good at 55-53 on a Carter Kirk lay-up at 7:09. By the time Browerville scored again it was 63-53 as Kirk hit another 2 and a FT, Kyle Thiessen hit a 3, Herrig a 2 and Cody Penner a pair of throws at 4:07. Browerville never got closer than 8.

Herrig finished with 30 points and 15 rebounds and Carter with 13 and 13. Seth Christenson finished with 21 and 10 rebounds for Browerville, indicative of the degree to which this game was played in the paint. Still it was Herrig's 1st half 3s that kept MLBO in the game through some rocky moments. 

Player of the Game: Herrig

Belgrade Brooten Elrosa 85 Lakeview Christian 76

As expected BBE and Lakeview put on a great show. BBE ran out to an early lead of as much as 19 points at 36-17 at 5:34 of the 1st half. BBE played a 2-3 and 1-3-1 zones, and didn't do anything too terribly special to defend Lakeview's 44 points-per-game scorer, Anders Broman, yet Broman struggled, hitting 4-of-9 shots with 5 turnovers in the 1st half.

But Anders' 9th grade brother Bjorn stepped up, scoring 16 1st half points, and Josh Plys hit 4-of-8 3s for 12 1st half points, and by half-time Lakeview was within 47-39.

Lakeview got within 1 at 52-51 and 54-53 in the 2nd half but couldn't seal the deal. BBE guard Brian Goodwin took over at that point, repeatedly driving to the rim for a total of 15 2nd half points to go with 10 in the 1st half. Earlier it had been older brother Connor Goodwin with 15 1st half points who had dominated in the paint. He added 9 2nd half points for a total of 24. And Billy Borgerding showed a beautiful shooting stroke, hitting 7-of-10 FG and scoring a total of 18 points.

In the end the outcome was all about shooting percentage: BBE 53 percent, Lakeview 38. That and BBE's persistence in pushing the ball upcourt, even while trying to protect the lead. Its aggressive style resulted in a great many lay-ups and a 22-16 edge scoring in the paint.

Anders finished at 5-of-19 and 2-of-10 3s, well below his 44 point average with just 18 points. Bjorn finished with 18 as well on 6-of-10 shooting. Plys scored 18 on 6 3s, and Luke Borchardt scored 12 with 10 boards.

Player of the Game: Brian Goodwin edges out brother Connor. Brian had 25 points, 6 assists and 5 steals.

100 Years of Minnesota High School Tournament Basketball: Best Games

The MSHSL has been running a historical feature celebrating the 100th year of tournament basketball for the past 2 months. You can see them on its Web site at (then click on 100 Yrs of BB. Scroll down to the bottom of the column for links to past features.)

The final 2 installments cover the top boys games and the top girls games in tournament history. In the interest of full disclosure, I helped to pick the top games, players, coaches, etc., so it's a little late to complain now. Still, the group didn't agree with my every whim and wish. So what I am doing here is listing my own picks of the top 10 games ever--both boys and girls, all mushed together in one list.

1. Wabasso 117 Red Lake 113 (OT), 1997 boys Class A semi-final. Just a completely incredible game, even without Gerald Kingbird's fantastic finish (13 points in one minute to force OT). I wouldn't believe it if I hadn't seen it with my own eyes. In fact, I did see it with my own eyes, and I'm still not sure I believe it.

2. Edgerton 63 Richfield 60 (OT), 1960 boys semi-final. This was the game that made the Edgerton legend. The final was an afterthought.

3. New York Mills 61 Albany 52, 1979 girls Class A final. The MSHSL underplayed this one. This put girls basketball on the map. Karvonen vs. Skalicky was like Ali-Frazier, Bird and Magic. Yes, it was Magic. Girls ball was never the same.

4. Hopkins 71 Eastview 60 (OT), 2005 boys Class AAAA final. Already a greeeeaaaat game before Hoffarber's unbelievable shot.

5, Lynd 58 Crosby-Ironton 47, 1946 boys quarter-final. Lynd was the 1st team ever to run a modern fast break in the state high school tournament, and they ran on every possession if they could. No one had ever seen such a thing, least of all heavily favored (#2 rated) C-I. They had no inkling of what they were running into, and ended up taking 3 timeouts in the 1st quarter to catch their breath.

6, Buhl 41 Mpls. Edison 32, 1936 boys quarter-final. Way back in the day when 20 percent was a "good" shooting percentage, Buhl upset #1 rated, undefeated Edison by shooting an unheard of 50 percent.

7. Rochester Mayo 78 Bloomington Jefferson 70, 1997 girls Class AAAA semi-final. Mayo, led by Coco and Kelly Miller, came from way behind in the 4th quarter in the highest scoring game in the girls tournament to that time.

8. Gaylord 13 Gilbert 9, 1926 boys final. It's funny. When people complained about the lack of action in basketball back in the 1920s and 1930s, they're talking about games like this one. But nobody cared. When Gaylord pulled its 3rd straight upset, it was as if every small town had won (except Gilbert, of course). Fans were so excited that when a hat was passed among the crowd in the Kenwood Armory lobby to help pay Gaylord's way to the national tournament in Chicago, the not untidy sum (in those days) of $500 was raised.

9. Osseo 66 Rochester Mayo 58, 1996 girls Class AA semi-final. As in 1960, the final was an afterthought. Oh, but wait, Hastings defeated Osseo in one of the biggest upsets in tournament history. Still most old-timers prefer this game to the Osseo-Mayo game of the following year. I am in the minority on this one.

10. Marshall 75 Cloquet 74, 1963 boys final. Like Wabasso and Lynd, Cloquet was one of those rare teams that liked to fast break on every possession. So why is it that such a team has never won on Saturday night? There's a terrific photo of Cloquet's Dave Meisner crying on the shoulder of Marshall's John Nefstead just after the final buzzer.

And now 2 more just for good measure. Honorable Mention, we'll call it.

11. Bloomington Jefferson 60 Hibbing 51, 1976 boys Class AA final. Lingenfelter vs. McHale. Lingenfelter outplayed McHale for the 2nd straight year (it was in a consolation final the previous year). Most thought Lingenfelter the better player. Their college and pro careers didn't bear that out, I guess.

12. Fosston 29 Mountain Lake 27, 1913 boys final. Not so much the game, though by all accounts it was well played.

But the point is that the inaugural tournament was an experiment. Nobody knew how it would come off, or if it would come off at all. It was a smashing success. So much so that it was announced immediately afterwards that there would not only be a tournament in 1914, but permanently thereafter. How could they know it would be "permanent"? We know that it is and has been "permanent." But its founders and the participants all seemed to understand that they had created something special, and reports from 1913 indicate that an incredibly positive spirit was shared by all. Wouldn't it be fun to go back in our time machine (if only we had one) to experience that spirit? Well, on the other hand, maybe we have and maybe we do experience that spirit, even if only now and again, as when Wabasso and Red Lake delighted us so indescribably, or when Edgerton gave us all that attitude adjustment in 1960, or when Hoffarber drained that totally impossible shot in 2005. Maybe. Or maybe we experience it, to some degree at least, every year, every tournament.

But I'd still like to go back and see for sure. Is the tournament of today more or less what they had in mind? Have we (everyone associated with the tournament over the succeeding 99 years) lived up to the hopes of its founders? Would they approve of what their tournament (and ours) has become? I think yes. It would be fun to go back and share in the spirit of 1913. But it would be fun to share with them, insofar as mere words can convey it, the spirit of these ensuing 99 years. I think yes, I think they would approve. Congrats to all on 100 years of ethical play. Not a slam dunk, but you did it.

Thursday's Semi-Finals

Having now seen the 4 AAAA quarter-finals, but none of the AAA games, it's time to update my state tournament predictions. I got 7 of these 8 quarter-final games right, missing only on Eden Prairie over Eastview. 

Class AAA Noon Thursday

Washburn 77 Johnson 74. Washburn won the TC Game 90-89. This is also a replay of a 2009 semi-final won by Washburn 91-66. Marcus Marshall scored 23 with 3 steals for Johnson on Wednesday, Jerry Pratt had 14 points, 8 boards, 6 steals and 3 blocks for Washburn. No change.

DeLaSalle 62 Grand Rapids 58. The Thunderhawks unable to replicate their big upset of 2010? Jarvis Johnson scored 22 with 9 boards for DeLaSalle. He is a freshman, brother of DLS girls star Tyseanna. DLS girls coach Faith Johnson Patterson is auntie to both. No change.

Class AAAA 6 p.m Thursday

Hopkins 69 Osseo 65. I think the window to beat Hopkins was open Wednesday. It may not be there Thursday or Saturday. This is a replay of the 2009 final won by Hopkins 69-59. The 2 also played in a 2002 semi-final and that was also won by Hopkins 71-58. Siyani Chambers scored 25 for Hopkins, DJ Hebert 18 for Osseo on Wednesday. No change. 

Eden Prairie 60 Lakeville North 58. EP was the class of AAAA today and Grant Shaeffer scored 41 points. Change alert. 

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Target Center All-Stars Wednesday

4 AAAA quarter-finals and 2 AA quarter-finals. The stars of the stars are:

Grant Shaeffer, Eden Prairie, 6-0, jr, G, 41 points
Siyani Chambers, Hopkins, 6-0, sr, G, 25 points, 2 assists, 2 steals
Renard Suggs, Woodbury, 6-2, jr, G, 21 points, 5 assists
Joey King, Eastview, 6-9, sr, F, 27 points, 7 rebounds
Mitch Weg, Worthington, 6-8, sr, C, 24 points, 10 rebounds

Second Team

Jordan Bruhn, Perham, 6-2, sr, G, 21 points, 7 assists, 2 steals
Sander Mohn, Eden Prairie, 6-4, sr, G, 19 points, 3 assists
DJ Hebert, Osseo, 6-2, sr., G, 18 points, 2 assists
Demetrius Martin, Hopkins, 6-2, sr, G, 21 points, 2 assists
Ryan Saarela, Lakeville North, 6-5, sr, F, 13 points, 13 rebounds, 1 block

Litchfield Dragons 51 Watertown-Mayer Royals 40

Early on Watertown-Mayer couldn't buy a basket. Later on it got its shooting percentage up above Litchfield's, but it couldn't get enough chances due to its own turnovers and Litch's offensive boards. Mostly those extra possessions translated into FT. Litch made 17-of-27, WM only 5-of-8.

Nate Krach had 18 points and 12 boards for WM. Jon Terning and Zach Kinny had 14 points each for WM.

Litchfield will play Perham in Friday's semi-final. Perham looks a little to skilled for Litchfield but I've been wrong before.


Terning 2 more FT and Kinny 2 FT. 51-40 with 10 seconds to play.

Terning 2 FT for Litch, and an offensive foul on WM, then an easy lay-up off a back door cut. Now it is over 47-37 inside of a minute. WM has out-shot Litch, but Litch has had 12 extra posessions, again due to more 2nd chances and fewer turnovers.

Terrific in-bounds play from Litch as Zach Kinny fed Quinn Anderson for 2. Kratch answers. 43-37 at 1:20.

Litch again not smart. Missed a FT and committed a foul to stop the clock going after the rebound. Weinmann made 2 FT to get within 6.

But then Kratch hits a 2 + 1. 40-33 at 1:55. Not over.

Both teams turning it over with careless passes. WM got within 40-30 and had the ball back but promptly threw it away.

Litch timeout. The only conceivable reason is for coach John Carlson to tell them to be patient. 40-28 at 3:15.

Litch had been so patient but now not doing as good a job of milking the clock. A steal #+ 2 by Trevor Weinmann followed by a turnover by Litch, but WM was unable to capitalize. 39-28 at 3:24.

Krach suddenly leads all scorers with 13, but within 8 for the 1st time in a very long time, WM threw up an NBA 3 which, predictably, did not go in. Litch answered with a 3, and WM committed the charge. Big turnaround the past minute. 37-26 at 4:42.

32-22 after a Nate Krach 2 + 1. Momentum slowly shifting, Litchfield now looking frustrated as both teams are shooting poorly. And now another big time baseline drive by Kratch. 32-24 at 6:30.

Suddenly 27-14. I still think it's over but there's at least a glimmer. But Litch is so patient, they'll just run out the clock if they have to.

Litch scores 1st 3 buckets of the 2nd half, one of them a 3. 27-8. Game over. But I will say this. Nate Krach just now finally showed why he is Nate Krach with a nice baseline drive and a big stretch to reach the rim. He now has 2 2nd half buckets to go with just 1 in the 1st.

Lost my connection there for a bit. At the half it is 20-8. Litch is shooting 29 percent, WM 25 percent, but Litch has 12 extra possessions due to 4 more offensive boards and 8 fewer turnovers. Jon Terning leads all scorers with 8 points and that's not for WM.


This one is close to getting out of hand. It is 17-5. Litch has 10 more possessions than WM. WM needs to protect the ball and hit the defensive boards. If it doesn't do that, getting its shooting percentage up will be too little too late.

I counted 12 passes on the last Litch possession, and it felt like a pretty quick shot!

There's the 1st turnover on Litch, a good aggressive one, a charge by Zach Whitchurch. Alex Runck of WM did a great job to get position. But after a WM turnover, Litch came back to score to make it 13-5 at 8:30. WM is finding it hard to get a good look and is getting zero 2nd chances.

Litch is up 11-2 but is only shooting 29 percent. Of course, WM is at 20 percent and has the only 3 turnovers. Litch also has the edge in offensive boards 2-0.

This is starting out as by far the most deliberate game we've seen today with the pace being very much to the liking of Litchfield, who is up 9-2 at 12:00. Both teams are playing an aggressive man defense and forcing their opponent to move the ball around ad infinitum, not that either offense seems really to mind.

Litchfield and Watertown-Mayer are now warming up, 18 minutes til game time. this game cannot possibly top the 2 OT games we've had today, or can it. The winner of this game gets Perham, a daunting task. Perham wasn't dazzling but, hey, they were giving up 2-3 inches per man.

Litchfield is the #4 seed, Watertown is unseeded. But Watertown is 28-2 and Litch is 24-4. Litch bet Watertown 63-50 back in January. But the 2 have several common opponents and Watertown beat one of them, Howard Lake-WW, twice while Litch lost.

Perham Yellowjackets 51 Worthington Trojans 47

Final: Perham 51 Worthington 47. The stats are very very even: Perham shot 48 percent, Worthington 47. Worthington had 26 boards to 23 for Perham. Worthington had 11 turnovers to nine for Perham, though points off turnovers were 13-8 Perham. 2nd chance points were 8-4 Worthington. FT wre 8-2 Perham. (Yes, Worthington made just 2 FT of just 4 attempts. The FT and the points of turnovers were the story.

Mitch Weg scored 24, Jordan Bruhn 21 but Bruhn had more help, specifically 13 by Jordan Cresap.


Perham now using its fouls to prevent the 3 pointer, though now there's a foul against Perham on the rebound. But FT missed. Game over.

Weg has out-scored Bruhn 24-21. You know, size vs. moves. But Bruhn has had a little more help, except trying to in-bound the ball just now. He has been unable to do so, twice, and has called 2 timeeouts. 3rd time's a charm. He gets it to Anderson, who is fouled and makes 1 of 2, 51-47. 7 seconds left to play.

Vorwald gets inside but misses a lay-up at 23 seconds. Perham is fouled at 22 seconds. Jordan Anderson makes them both, Perham by 5. Weg hits a lay-up, 50-47 at 10.9 seconds.

Perham just keeps milking the clock and is able to play keep-away effectively. Inside of 2 minutes now, the Trojns not fouling. Finally Bluhm is fouled at 0:57 exactly and misses the throw. Weg for a layuup at 36 seconds. 48-45 Perham, timeout Worthington.

Perham running a lot of clock on it's last possession, then getting inside for a lay-up. Worthington responds.

Approaching 5 minutes, Worthington has been unable to use its size much of the 2nd half, whereas Perham's quickness in getting the shots they want is more tangible.

Schumacher with a steal, Bruhn advances it, and gets it to Cresap for a breakaway layup. Textbook. 39-35.

Now, Bruhn finds Wiskow under the hoop for an easy 2. 37-35 Perham. Timeout Worthington.

Cresap from the outside and Bruhn driving to the rim is keeping Perham close. In fact they're back to even at 35-all at 11 minutes.

They're trading baskets--it's just that for the moment that's 2 Worthington baskets to 1 for Perham. The Trojans are getting inside easily. but Mitch Weg has drawn a 3rd foul, though he is staying in the game. 35-30 Worthington at 12:45.

Worthington draws first blood in the 2nd on a 3 by Lucas Henning but Mark Schumacher responds with only his 2nd bucket of the night. 27-24.

Weg has 15 for Worthington and 7 boards leading all players on both teams in both categories. Bruhn has 11 for Perham and has 3 of only 4 assists that were recorded in the 1st half.

In the 2nd half, Perham has to find a way to neutralize Worthington's edge in the lane (20 points in the paint to 12 for Perham) and in 2nd chance points (6-0). I expect to see it step up the defensive pressure at least in the half court. As for Perham, they need to capitalize on their quickness, they need to get out a run a little more.

Did I mention we're inside of a minute. This game is zooming along, unlike every other one today. A Perham steal gives them a chance to tie or lead at half-time. But Bruhn misses the 3. Worthington 24 Perham 22 at half-time.

A Bruhn 2 on a drive and Cresap with a 3 and suddenly it's 22-all. Worthington still dominating the boards as Weg rebounds his own shot, puts it in the bucket and draws the foul. But misses the throw. 24-22 Worthington.

Points in the paint now 18-10 Worthington, overall it is 22-17 Worthington. Perham timeout. The Trojans are finding it much too easy to score. Rebounds are 14-7 and offensive boards 4-0 Worthington.

2 more Worthington buckets in the paint sandwiched around a Bruhn drive. 18-17 Worthington. Offensive boards are 3-0 Worthington.

The 2 teams have decided they like my story line--size vs. quickness. Worthington's last 3 buckets are from point-blank range, 1 of them a put-back. Whereas last time down Perham's Wiskow beat the defense down court for a breakaway layup. 15-14 Perham.

Right now quickness is winning 10-7. Perham has been getting to the rim but has misseed 6-of-10 shots. Turnovers are 5 for Worthington 2 for Perham.

Worthington is huge in case you didn't know. Not huge for AA, just huge. 6-8, 6-5, 6-3, 6-3, 6-2 huge. Perham is quick especially in the person of point guard Jordan Bruhn. Right now it is 7-6 Worthington and the Trojans have an 8-2 edge on the boards.

Eden Prairie Eagles 75 Eastview Lightning 68 (OT)

Final score: Eden Prairie 75 Eastview 68. One of four seeded teams falls. What happened? Grant Shaeffer happened. 39 points in the 2nd half and OT happened. Holy cow!

Eastview had this game won most of the way. They lost it on the last possession of regulation. Ahead by 3 and WITH A FOUL TO GIVE, all they had to do was prevent Shaeffer, who was 8-for-9 in the 2nd half and 4-for-4 on 3-pointers, from beating them. Instead, they lost sight of Shaeffer and didn't use their foul. Of course he converted. OT. Check and mate, EP.


Shaeffer is having one of the greatest halves (plus OT) of basketball I have ever seen. He had 2 points on 0-of-4 shooting at the half. He now has 37 points on 11-of-16 shooting plus 11-of-11 FT and EP is on its way to tomorrow's semi-final against Lakeville North. (It is 70-61 at 1:14.)

Shaeffer blows by everybody for another layup, and then deja vu all over again except it's an and 1. in between it's King for 2 and now King draw another foul. Makes 2 throws this time. 62-61 EP 2:45.

I'll tell you what's overrated, it's that stupid overrated chant. But King misses 2 throws.

I am sorry but Eastview booted that defensive possesion. Shaeffer is 8-of-9 and they had a foul to give, and they lost the guy for an open 3. Ouch. Momentum with EP now.


EP will get a shot. King shooting 2, ahead 55-54, 8 seconds to play. 1st throw is good, 2nd is good. 57-54. Full court pressure by Eastview. Eastview has a foul to give. But it doesn't give it AND MICHAEL JORDAN--NO, NO, THAT'S GRANT SHAEFFER--HITS THE 3. OVERTIME. Eastview lost Shaeffer who is now 8-of-9 in the 2nd half and 3-for-3 on 3s, and they had a foul to give.

Eastview very adept at keep-away, forcing EP to foul. King gets 1-of-2, Sander Mohn his 4th foul. But Shaffer continues his Michael Jordan impression with a long 3. 55-54, still 14 seconds left.

Shaeffer for 3, EP timeout, 47 seconds to play, Eastview's ball leading 54-51.

EP kept the ball out of King's hands but Haugh made a pretty dribble drive through a double to the rim for 2. Mohn hit a pair of throws. 54-48.

Down the stretch it will be Mohn and Shaeffer taking EP's shots, while Eastview tries to get the ball into King's hand where he can do something. Like now, a dribble drive from the top of the key, a foul and 2 FT. 51-46 Eastview and EP takes timeout at 3:40.

2 more on the dribble drive for Shaeffer, who has been unstoppable. 46-46 at 5:50.

King has 7 of Eastview's last 9 points, and Shaeffer 4 of the last 7. Mohn has finally relinquished his job of guarding King. King is scoring and Mohn picked up a 3rd foul.

Eastview's little 7-3 run has come as Grant Shaeffer sat after his 2nd foul at about 12:00. Now would be a good time to get his aggressiveness back in the lineup for EP, and here he comes.

Bolger makes 1-of-2 FT, and King hits a 3 off the offensive board. Suddenly Eastview is up 35-34.

Mohn very physical guarding King. Mohn listed at 6-4, King 6-9, but no way is there 5 inches of difference.

A Mohn 3 makes it 34-28 EP at 12:00. Bolger answers. Where would Eastview be without his 11 points off the bench? 34-31.

2 EP buckets by Shaeffer and Carpenter on a put-back of his own miss gives EP its largest lead at 26-21 but Eastview scores on a King put-back and a pair of throws by Haugh. 26-25 EP at 15:00.

Aside from those 2 FT, the 2nd half is being delayed by an electrical problem. They are setting up a step ladder under the Eastview basket and calling for an elelctrician. OK, now we are ready.

Those are 2nd half points, according to Live Stats, so the half-time score was indeed 21-20 in favor of Eastview. They have to be happy to have Joey King back in the game after he sat out the last 15 minutes of the 1st half. They cannot be happy about much of anything else in this game. They were ahead 21-11 at about 6 minutes and have been out-scored 11-0 since then.

I guess this game has gotten just a bit chippy, or maybe just physical. EP will shoot 2 FT to open the 2nd half (or end the 1st) due to a flagrant foul in the last seconds of the 1st half. Grant Shaeffer shoots 1, it's good, and 2, also good. 22-21 EP, and they retain possession to open the half.


EP students doing the "boring" chant. I don't think Eastview is trying to run the clock, the EP D is just that good. Eastview ended up getting only a desperation shot to end the 1st half after running the clock down from :21. A technical foul was then called on Eastview's Quinn Trusty for some kind of flagrant act in a scrum at the end. EP will shoot 2 foul shots before the start of the 2nd half. So I am not sure that 21-20 is our half-time score. Eastview leads 21-20 right now, but if a FT is made, I would assume it would be attributed to the 1st half.

EP really turned it around, out-scoring Eastview 9-0 in the final 5:30 of the half. Mohn scored 5 of those points for a total of 10 in the 1st half. Haugh has 7 and Bolger 5 for Eastview. Eastview leads 9-4 on points off turnovers, EP leads 6-0 on 2nd chancers. Eastview cannot be happy to be up 21-20 and potentially still to trail at the half after leading 21-11 at 5:30.


A stoppage of play at 2:33 and a lengthy discussion. EP pulled #23 Carpenter off the floor and it looked like a technical foul might ensue. But no, and Eastview in-bounded the ball. Not sure what that was all about.

Sander Mohn has 8 of EP's 14 points but he needs some more help. Haugh leads  Eastview with 7.

EP just broke an almost 5 minute drought on buckets by Jake Hari and Jordan Peterson 19-11.

Now its Sam Burt scoring off the bench, with the assist to Bolger, and makes the and 1. 17-7 at 8:43. EP looking frustrated and getting physical.

Eastview's guards--Haugh and Narum--look a little bit quicker getting to th4e wspot on offense and defense. Haugh adds another bucket, and Bolger a 3 off the bench. 14-7 at 9:30.

Joey King got 2 quick offensive fouls, the 2nd coming at 14:53, and King sat down. For how long? Meanwhile, Sander Mohn scored Eden Prairie's 1st points on a 2 + 1 and Abriam Carpenter scored off the offensive glass. Darin Haugh countered with a 3. Eastview 9 EP 7.

We are underway, and Joey King and Ben Oberfeld score the 1st 2 buckets inside for Eastview, who leads early 4-0.

Lakeville North Panthers 61 Moorhead Spuds 55

Lakeville North started slowly--and especially started very slowly to exploit its size advantage inside. but ultimately it got going both inside and outside. After trailing 18-9 midway through the 1st half, North outscored Moorhead 52-37 the rest of the way. Mr. Inside was Ryan Saarela with 13 points and 13 boards. Mr. Outside was Grant Erickson  with 11 points. Leading scorer Tyler Flack added 8 points and 6 rebounds, all but 1 rebound in the 2nd half.

Ultimately Lakeville North won the game at the FT line with a 17-7 edge, and with 2nd chance points (a 15-5 edge). All the other numbers were very close.


A 3 by Ellingson but 1-of-2 FT by Erickson. And now a missed 3, a North rebound and another Moorhead foul. Saarela hits 2 for a 61-55 lead. And that is the final score.

56-52 North, now 57 as Grant Erickson drains a FT, and now another, 58-52 with 30 seconds remaining.

Tyler Flack for 2 on a nice turnaround from the right baseline. Lakeville North 54 Moorhead 50 with 1:17 to play. Moorhead takes a timeout. They've been looking to Lien of late. What about Nelson?

An exchange of 3s by Tyler of Lakeville and Ellingson (from Lien) for Moorhead. 50-50 . Now 51-50 Lakeville at exactly 5:00. Lien and Nelson will have to do some scoring for Moorhead, Lakeville ought to be looking inside to Flack and Saarela.

Moorhead is trying hard to exploit a mis-match: 6-4 Aaron Lien being guarded by 6-1 Trey Heid. There's a Lein bucket to tie it at 47.

Erik Bye hit a 3 for Moorhead at 8:47, then got the assist on a Camden Bosche lay-up, then Bosche assisted Austin Nelson. Suddenly 45-45 and a Lakeville North timeout at 7:12. The mo has shifted again.

Inside and out. Saarela gets a tip-in, then Grant Erickson an aggressive drive to the hoop. 443-38.

A pair of David Tyler buckets, his 1st of the day, gave North the lead at 37-35, then extended it to 39-35. North is also getting inside a little better with Flack and Saarela in there.

There at 14:13 is Flack's 1st FG, a 3 from the left wing. 35-34 Moorhead. Here on press row, everybody is waiting for Lakeville to catch a spark. They appear flat. Those 2 Moorhead buckets right out of the half-time break were too easy.

All-metro Tyler Flack of Lakeville did not start either half, and has not yet scored. He is at the FT line and there, finally, is his 1st point. He also has just 1 rebound. He does not appear hurt, just a little indifferent.

Moorhead with the 1st 2 buckets of the 2nd half to lead 33-26, but Lakeville counters with a pair. 33-30 at 15:45.


Camden Bosche for 2, Moorhead retakes the lead. Then after a Lakeville miss, Aaron Lien knocks down a pair of throws for a 29-26 half-time lead. The shooting pct. are both in the 40s but Moorhead has 5 3s to just 1 for North, while Lakeville is getting to the FT line, and leading 9 to 2 on FT. Nelson has 12 for Moorhead, all on 3s while Rasmussen and Trey Heid have 8 and 7 for Lakeville North.


A pair of aggressive moves to the hoop by Lakeville's Brett Rasmussen result in a 2 and a 2 + 1 to take the lead at 26-25.

And another 3 for Nelson after a little blow. 21-17 Moorhead at 3:30.

Grant Erickson with a terrific high-speed spin move in the lane for an open lay-up. Am I sure he didn't shuffle his feet? They were a blur, all right. Suddenly it's 18-16.

Right now Moorhead has 6-2 Judd Roessler on 6-7 Tyler Flack. It is hard to envision that as a long-term strategy. And trailing 18-9, Lakeville just scored off the offensive glass to get within 18-11.

Another 3 for Nelson, all from deep in the left corner, and Moorhead leads 15-7.

Moorhead shooting 5-of-9, Lakeville 2-of-5 with 5 turnovers.

A pair of early 3s by Moorhead's Austin Nelson has the Spuds up 10-7 at 13:06.

Another player MIA. Tyler Flack, Lakeville North's leading scorer did not start. But wait, he is into the game at 15:08 with Moorhead up 4-3.