Saturday, March 10, 2012

The Third Season: Girls Field, Seeds All Set

The seeding for the girls AAAA and AAA tournaments were announced this a.m., meaning that all of the brackets are now set. First up on Wednesday morning and afternoon are AAAA at Target and AAA at Williams. AA starts Wednesday evening at both locations, and A kicks off at Williams on Thursday.

AAAA Target

10 a.m. #1 Hopkins vs. Lakeville North. Tough draw for North, who could be a top 4 team. Now, we'll never know. Hopkins is not going to lose in this tournament, certainly not in the QF, unless they come out without their usual defensive intensity. They did that against Wayzata a month ago and lost. The other night they had their intensity and led 42-10. Yes, North took 'em to OT early on but, again, this will be a more intense Hopkins effort. Hopkins 61 Lakeville North 42.

Noon #4 Eastview vs. St. Michael-Albertville. Eastview is led by freshman Maddie Guebert. Could she be nervous in her 1st state tournament. No, I don't think that will happen. Could Thorn and Van Whye shut her down? That could happen. This will be closer than you think. Eastview 62 St. Michael-Albertville 56.

2 p.m. #2 Edina vs. Duluth East. Edina held Shayne Mullaney and Jackie Johnson to 9 and 8 points. They are not going to give up 40 here. Edina 46 Duluth East 36.

4 p.m. #3 White Bear Lake vs. Osseo. This will be very competitive, a more athletic group on one side but probably better basketball skills on the other. I like White Bear, the interior defense is just awesome and with Alexis Foley they can score just enough. White Bear Lake 58 Osseo 54.

If I'm right about the QF, then Hopkins wins easily (62-43) in the SF, while Edina and White Bear are too close to call. I guess I'll take Edina 52-51.

In the final, Hopkins 63 Edina 51.

All-State 1st team Nia Coffey, Katybeth Biewen, Alexis Foley, Maddie Guebert and Sydney Coffey.

AAA Williams Arena

10 a.m. #1 Richfield vs. Red Wing. Great draw for Richfield, not so much Red Wing but #1 with 4 losses, while Fergus and DeLaSalle with 4 losses between them at #2 and #3, and in theory only Hill-Murray with 7 losses between the Spartans and the final. Still, this is a competitive match-up but Richfield will be a little too athletic. Richfield 61 Red Wing 49.

Noon #4 Hill-Murray vs. Hutchinson. Hutch with 3 losses and no seed vs. the Pioneers with 7 losses, including 2 to Richfield by 19 and 22 points, but a #4 seed. Tessa Cichy is handfull, to be sure, but Alicia Retterath of Hutch is terrific, too. Hutch 57 Hill Murray 53.

2 p.m. #2 Fergus Falls vs. Chisago Lakes. You can't count out anybody that's got Whitney Tinjum. Fergus post Mariah Monke vs. Chisago's 6-5 soph Bryanna Fernstrom is one to watch. This is a tough pick but I'll say Fergus 59 Chisago 55.

4 p.m. #3 DeLaSalle vs. Monticello. The Islanders win easily against the 17-12 Magic, let's say about 68-45. Tyseanna Johnson may already be the best player in the state of Minnesota, and you don't think I really mean it. She's a more polished offensive player than Nia Coffey and plays a lot more D than Rebekah Dahlman.

In the SF Richfield 57 Hutch 54, and DLS 62-50. In the final, DLS 58 Richfield 54. 1st team all-state Tyseanna Johnson, Mia Loyd, Jessica January, Whitney Tinjum, Tessa Cichy.

AA Target

6 p.m. New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva, the last unbeaten in the state vs. Braham, defending champs. The highlight of the entire first round, all classes. This should be the final. You know about Rebekah Dahlman, you're about to find out about Carlie Wagner. NRHEG 68 Braham 64.

8 p.m. Sauk Centre vs. Worthington. Kali Peschel is back, is she really at full strength? Sauk might not need that here, but certainly in the SFs.... Sauk 60 Worthington 48.

AA Williams

6 p.m. Minnehaha vs. Providence. Providence will grind their way through this one without a lot of trouble. Providence 55-42.

8 p.m. Pequot Lakes vs. Zumbrota. Ashley Hinsch of Zumbrota is terrific. I don't know anything about Pequot. Each has 11 losses. I guess Zumbrota wins the underdog match-up 57-55.

In the SF, the NRHEG-Braham winner and Providence should advance easily. Since I've already picked NRHEG I'll do so again 65-58, and Providence beats Zumbrota 56-39. In the final, I like NRHEG 50-46. Carlie Wagner is your MVP, Rebekah Dahlman, Kali Peschel, Ashley Hinsch, and AnneMarie Healy are your big five.

A Williams Thursday

11 a.m. Mountain Iron-Buhl vs. Sleepy Eye. The Eye's are the big surprise, coming in at 13-13 as a #7 seed. MIB should have no trouble with this one, 60-39.

1 p.m. Ada vs. Minneota. Minneota is 29-1 and #1 in QRF. But I can't bring myself to pick against the smartest coach in Minnesota, David Smart. Ada 52 Minneota 48.

3 p.m. Maranatha vs. Isle. The defending champs and #1 rated (MBN, not QRF) Maranatha should have little trouble, let's say 64-51.

5 p.m. Spring Grove vs. Warren-AO. Mehus and Elton are a nice Class A guard pairing. WAO may have the same but I don't know about it so I have little choice to go other than Spring Grove 59 WAO 40.

In the SF I would, again, be hesitant to think the Ada wouldn't win, and Maranatha is a lead pipe cinch.  then I'll eschew the upset in the finals and go with Maranatha 61-52.

All-star five includes Onye Osemenam and Lexi Long, Taylor Kujava, Richell Mehus and, to be honest, I don't have a clue who else.

All-Tournament 5 + 1

Your top players regardless of class:

Nia Coffey, Hopkins, Jr., F
Tyseanna Johnson, DeLaSalle, Jr., F
Carlie Wagner, NRHEG, Soph., G
Sydney Coffey, Hopkins, Sr., F
Onye Osemenam, Maranatha, Jr., C

6th Player: Katybeth Biewen, Edina, Sr., G

2nd Team

Rebekah Dahlman, Braham, Jr., G
Alexis Foley, White Bear Lake, Sr., G
AnneMarie Healy, Providence, Sr., F
Mia Loyd, DeLaSalle, Sr., F
Mariah Monke, Fergus Falls, Sr., C

6th Player: Jessica January, Richfield, Jr., G

3rd Team

Ashley Hirsch, Zumbrota, Sr., G--the best player you've never heard of
MC McGrory, Edina, Jr., G
Whitney Tinjum, Chisago Lakes, Sr., F
Phyllis Webb, Osseo, Jr., F
Maddie Guebert, Eastview, Fr., G

6th Player: Brianna Rasmussen, Fergus Falls, Soph., G

4th Team--mopping up all the extra guards

Leah Szabla, Providence, Sr., G
Taylor Kujava, Ada, Sr., G
Kelsey Sorenson-Giffrow, Braham, Sr., G

Tessa Cichy, Hill Murray, Sr., G

Alicia Retterath, Hutchinson, Sr., G

6th Player: Allina Starr, DeLaSalle, Jr., G

Diaper Dandies (soph. or less)

Carlie Wagner, NRHEG, Soph., G
Brianna Rasmussen, Fergus Falls, Soph., G
Maddie Guebert, Eastview, Fr., G
Bryanna Fernstrom, Chisago Lakes, Soph., C
Viria Livingston, Hopkins, Fr., G

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