Monday, March 18, 2013

Girls State Tournament Recap

Tournament Stats

I am working on some tournament stats that I have not seen published anywhere else.


Top Scorers--C. Wagner 129 Dahlman 97 Reiss 73 Guebert 68 Coffey 67 January 66 and Buck 63 all scored more than 20 ppg.

Top Rebounders--Kaster 34 Coffey and Buck and Tyseanna Johnson and C. Wagner 33. Coley and Reiss also exceeded 10 boards per game.

Top Assists--Hennen 19 Sawatzke 16 Starr 15 Dahlman 14 Morton 13 January 12 all exceeded 4 per game.

Top Blocks--Chase Coley 16 Coffey 9 Jas. Martin 8 E. O'Toole, Tyra Johnson and Eull 6 each.

Top Steals--Mathews 17 January 16 Tyseanna Johnson 13 C. Wagner 11 Sawatzke, Ross and Vega 9 each.

Only Carlie Wagner made the top 5 in 3 categories with 43 ppg, 11 rebounds per game and 4 steals. Dahlman had 32 points and 5 assists. Coffey 22 points and 11 boards. Tyseanna Johnson 11 boards and 4 steals.

Class AAAA

Top Scorers--Guebert 68 Coffey 67 Webb 51
Top Rebounders--Coffey 33 Metoxen 22 Porte 21
Top Assists--Morton 13 Metoxen 6 T. Anderson 5
Top Blocks--Coffey 9 Jas. Martin 8 E. O'Toole 6 Tyra Johnson 6
Top Steals--K. Russell 7 Tyra Johnson 7 Metoxen 5 Morton 5

Metoxen, Porte and Kiara Russell didn't make the all-tournament team among these statistical leaders. I would have preferred Hana Metoxen of Eastview over her teammate Tyra Johnson (Metoxen 25 points, 22 boards, 6 assists, 5 steals; Johnson 19 points, 10 rebounds, 6 blocks, 7 steals), and I would have taken Porte (31 points, 21 boards, 4 blocks) ahead of Kenisha Bell (23 points, 4 assists, 4 steals). I get that Bell had to play Eastview and Hopkins back to back, but so did Porte, who outplayed both Metoxen and Johnson on Saturday. Meanwhile, Kiara Russell had a better tournament than Bell did.

Class AAA

Top Scorers--January 66 Buck 63 T. Johnson 56
Top Rebounders--Buck 33 T. Johnson 33 Lentner 25
Top Assists--Sawatzke 16 Starr 15 January 12
Top Blocks--Eull 6
Top Steals--January 16 T. Johnson 13 Sawatzke 9

Only Natalie Eull failed to make the all-tournament team among these stats leaders, and she scored just 12 points (but with 22 boards) across the 3 games. Here is where I thought the conventional 3-3-2-2 all-tournament format really let 'em down. Not only that but they arguably got confused between McKenzie and McKenna. McKenna Schaeffer, who made the all-tournament team, had 19 points, 4 boards, 3 steals and 2 assists. McKenzie Muelken, who did not, had 31 points and 18 boards.

I would have picked Brianna Fernstrom of Chisago Lakes (17 points, 14 rebounds, 2 blocks), or Bailey Strand of Fergus Falls (26 points, 6 assists), or Anna Monke of Fergus (19 points, 9 boards, 5 assists and 3 blocks) ahead of a either of these Red Wing candidates. And in fact I would go with 2 of them (I guess Fernstrom and Monke) ahead of both Schaeffer and Patience Griffin of DeLaSalle. Griffin, it should be noted, is one of the very rare all-tournament picks who didn't start (Kaelin Smieja of Upsala being the other one this year. Most years there are none.)

Class AA

Top Scorers--Wagner 129 Dahlman 97 Szabla 51
Top Rebounders--Wagner 33 Coley 30 Overgaard 27
Top Assists--Dahlman 14 Szabla 10 Wagner and Korf 6
Top Blocks--Coley 16
Top Steals--Wagner 11 Schultz 6 Nickles 5

There's some pretty amazing numbers here. Well, duh. OK, aside from the obvious. I mean Coley's 30 boards and 16 blocks, which came in just 2 games--well, plus 7 minutes. I have never heard why Coley only played 7 minutes of the 3rd place game with zeroes all the way across her line in the box score. I assume she was hurt. And then there's Jade Schultz whose 6 steals is 2nd best in the class. That came in just 1 game, well, plus a couple of minutes before she got hurt in the semi-final. And Mackenzie Korf's 6 assists in 1 game was still 3rd best after 3 days of tournament play.

Paige Overgaard, NRHEG, and Korf, Pelican Rapids, didn't make the all-tournament team. The numbers say they should have. I might have put Korf in there ahead of a 2nd player from Mpls. Washburn. With Overgaard, I guess it comes down to her or teammate Maddie Wagner. The other mild surprise was Kayla Nickles missing out in favor of teammates Dani Braund and Jaclyn Hollencamp. They're all pretty close but I probably would go with Nickles and Braund.

Class A

Top Scorers--Reiss 73 Kaster 53 Mathews 51
Top Rebounders--Kaster 34 Reiss 31 Mathews 26
Top Assists--Hennen 19 Mathews 10 McKeever 9
Top Blocks--Osemenam 5 (in 1 game)
Top Steals--Mathews 17 Ross 9 Vega 9

Onye Osemenam and Korbyn Ross did not make the all-tournament team. I am not suggesting that they should, though Ross makes a good case: 30 points 16 rebounds 9 steals 6 assists. I might have tried to squeeze her in there ahead of Steinessen or Stevenson. Yes, that would give 4th place Win-E-Mac 3 choices and the 1st place or 2nd place team only 2, and I can see why the tournament committee wouldn't do that. But if you match 'em up head-to-head, Ross has the better numbers in every category except points and there Steinessen and Stevenson only lead 34-33-30. Among the 3, Steinessen outplayed Stevenson head-to-head while Stevenson and Ross were pretty even in the semi. All 3 had a good game in the quarter-finals though Stevenson was slightly the more impressive of the 3 on Thursday.

I would again say that Taylor Reiss has to be the Class A tournament MVP, but how often do you see a player in the top 3 in 4 categories. Jessie Mathews is #1 in steals, #2 in assists and #3 in points and #3 even in rebounds.


There were just 2 3-peats among the girls prior to today: New York Mills and Mpls. North. Now, in 1 day, that's been doubled with DeLaSalle and Hopkins. Interesting that 2 of the 3 had a coach in common, Faith Patterson of North and DeLaSalle. I didn't know anybody connected with New York Mills, but it's nice to know that the 4th was accomplished by a real class act in Hopkins coach Brian Cosgriff.


Minnesota Hoops All-Tournament Team All Classes

C- Taylor Reiss, Minneota
F- Jade Martin, Bloomington Kennedy
F- Nia Coffey, Hopkins
G- Maddie Guebert, Eastvew
G- Leah Szabla, Providence
6th- Jasmyn Martin, Bloomington Kennedy

2nd Team

C- Erin O’Toole, Hopkins
F- Hana Metoxen, Eastview
F- Tyseanna Johnson, DeLaSalle
G- Carlie Wagner, New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva
G- Rebekah Dahlman, Braham
G- Allina Starr, DeLaSalle

3rd Team

C- Rachel Doll, Rochester Mayo
F- Shelby Kaster, Win-E-Marc
F-Megan Kolness, Ada-Borup
G- Jessica January, Richfield
G- Tesha Buck, Red Wing
6th- Jessie Mathews, Faribault Bethlehem Academy

Yeah, yeah, I know. But Wagner and Dahlman's productivity was not very good overall. Wagner's was better in the final. But seriously, she took a record number of shots and her points per FG attempt was barely better than 1-to-1. So, sure, she's a great player, the best player on a state champ. That's a great accomplishment. But Leah Szabla was vastly more efficient, as were many other players.


I do wish that Kennedy had been able to pretend to be proud or happy or to have some positive emotion about being the 2nd best team in the state. I don't mean specifically to come down on Kennedy, long faces are endemic. But I think that's too bad.


Class AAAA All-Tournament Team

Osseo--Phyllis Webb and Janay Morton
Eastview--Maddie Guebert and Tyra Johnson, despite her 0 points game in the 1st round
Kennedy--Jade Martin, Jasmyn Martin, Kenisha Bell
Hopkins--Nia Coffey, Taylor Anderson, Erin O'Toole

Not too much to argue here. I would have preferred Hana Metoxen to Tyra Johnson after 2 rounds but I didn't see the 3rd place game. I would assume that the selection committee did.


Wow! Kennedy led Hopkins late in the 1st half 25-20. Now it is 45-28. Hopkins is on a 25-3 run and this game is over. What happened?


I mentioned earlier that one of the really admirable things about Carlie Wagner's game is the pull-up jumper. Let me say that again: The pull-up jumper. The lost art. Today the essence of hip or cool or whatever they call it nowadays in getting to the rim. Everybody's got to get to the rim. You know, like LeBron. Well, you're not LeBron. Kevin keeps telling me that the shooting percentage on layups is 30 percent, and I believe it. In high school, that is, among the girls. You get to the rim and, guess what, there's people waiting for you there. The layup is heavily defended. It is not an open shot.

And when Carlie Wagner gets to the rim, she gets rejected; she has to alter her shot; she misses some. When she shoots her pull-up anywhere from 12 to 5 feet, she is usually open. She doesn't make 'em all, but it's not because she's getting stuffed. She just misses.

Then there's Nia Coffey. She gets to the rim. I don't know how she does it. Nobody else gets to the rim and does it in such a way that it's an open shot. She gets there quicker, I guess; she get's there more deceptively; she doesn't get stuffed; she puts the ball in the basket.

But you're not Nia Coffey. The pull-up is more open. Use it!


Class AAA All-Tournament Team

DeLaSalle--Tyseanna Johnson, Allina Starr, Patience Griffin

Red Wing--Tesha Buck, Macy Kelly, McKenna Schaeffe

Richfield--Jessica January, Kyla Adams

Monticello--Grace Sawatzke, Alyssa Lentner

For Tyseanna Johnson it was her 5th all-tournamanrt team. I am not sure but she may be the 1st and only player ever to do that, girls or boys. Starr made all-tournament in 2009, missed in 2010, then made it in 2011, 2012 and 2013.

This is also Rebekah Dahlman's 4th time on the all-tournament team.

Class AA All-Tournament Team

Braham--Rebekah Dahlman, Dani Braund, Jaclyn Hollenkamp

NRHEG--Carlie and Maddie Wagner

Providence--Leah Szabla, Taylor Finley, Natalie Ratcliff (I think they mean Ratliff)

Mpls. Washburn--Chase Coley, Natalie Holdahl

It would have been historic had they only picked 1 from the state champion, though of course they didn't know who the champ would be at half-time when they had to pick the winners. I might have squeezed Mackenzie Korf of Pelican Rapids in there somewhere.


Carlie Wagner has set a tournament record for scoring over the course of 3 games. With 41 so far today (plus 31 and 48) she is at 120 with 3:51 remaining in today's final.


NRHEG out-scored Braham 17-7 with Rebekah Dahlman on the court, and 10-8 after Dahlman sat down with her 3rd foul. Carlie Wagner, who made 15-of-39 shots last night with 16 turnovers, is marginally better so far today at 8-of-20 with 5 turnovers in the 1st half. Dahlman is 0-for-2 with 6 turnovers. The 2 teams are shooting 31 and 23 percent, which has become pretty much the norm in this tournament so far.


Pam Borton and Kelly Roysland are sitting at courtside watching their recruit Carlie Wagner take it to Braham. It is 19-7 in the early going. Rebekah Dahlman is out with 3 fouls as of about 7:30.


Jade Schultz will not be starting or playing for NRHEG today. She hurt her knee early last night. Maddie Wagner is starting in her place, a loss of 3 inches and 3 years of experience.


All-Tournament Team Class A

Minneota--Taylor Reiss who would be the MVP if there was one; Molly Hennen and Emily Stienessen

Ada--Megan Kolness, Shaia Stevenson who must be the shortest all-tournament player ever at 5-1, and Monica Vega

Win-E-Mac--Madison McKeever and Shelby Kaster

Faribault BA--Jessie Mathews, 2nd best player in Class A by a wide margin

Upsala--Kaelin Smieja, what a story: she made 7 3s all year long and made 7 in the 1st round to tie the tournament record. People on the all-tournament committee said several times that, wow, it takes an awesome performance for a 1st round loser to make the all-tournament team. Hey, Kaelin: "Awesome!"


No way did this feel like a 10 point game. Of course, Minneota only led by 3 with 2 minutes to go. I saw Minneota all 3 games and they played by far their best today, better even than the upset of MIB, really disrupting Ada's usually machine-like offense, especially denying Megan Kolness, who finished with just 3-of-11 FG. Molly Hennen guarded Kolness much of the way.


Ada vs. Minneota: The 1st half was one of the best to watch in awhile. The pace was vigorous but not out-of-control like several games the past couple of days, and not too slow if you know what I'm saying. Still Minneota seems a bit turnover-prone (11 good for 8 Ada points) but also crashes the boards (11 offensive boards for 10 Minneota points). Ada avoids the turnovers (5 for just 3 Minneota points) but just 1 offensive boards for zero points.


For whatever reason, there seem not to have been any Live Stats available during today's 1st game, making it very tough on us digitally-dependent types. We had to watch what was going on on the floor in order to know what was happening.


Thank goodness the Ada band is on the other end of the court today. Don't get me wrong, I love 'em. But two electric guitars, two--count 'em, two--electric basses, full rock 'n' roll trap drums, and all of it not ten feet behind us here on the end line. Yikes!


Having seen all of the AAAA and A games so far and the 4 of 6 AA games (and not a single AAA game so far), here's what I'm expecting to see today.

Oh, and as always, my game reports will be posted over at

Class A

Senior Jessie Mathews vs. freshman Madison McKeever for 3rd place. Quick vs. double-quick. 

Oh, you wanted to hear about the final? Ada is still "the machine." I said they wouldn't beat themselves, and wouldn't you know they turned it over 17 times against Win-E-Mac, but they out-scored the Patriots 17-10 on said turnovers. It's hard not to like Taylor Reiss. Hey, I love Taylor Reiss. But I think Ada wins this in another close shave, say 53-48.. Reiss is the Class A tournament MVP, however.

I would also add that this has been the best-played tournament of the 4, I mean in terms of close games.

Class AA

Overall the caliber of play hasn't been stellar. Dahlman and Wagner shot 20-of 57 yesterday. Providence got themselves totally out of whack.

But this has been by far the most dramatic tournament, especially in the last 2 days: Braham vs. Providence in a grudge match, now Dahlman finishing her career against Carlie Wagner, who torched her and the Bombers for 43 points last year. Likely Ms. Basketball 2013 vs. Ms. Basketball 2014. Minnesota's sweetheart vs. cold and calculating one.

You won't see them guarding each other except by accident (in transition, etc.) because the fouls would pile up way too fast. They are needed on offense, merely wanted on defense. 

Dahlman's supporting crew had 24 points, 24 boards, 1 assists and 3 steals yesterday while shooting 7-of-22. Wagner's shot 6-of-23 for 21 points, 36 boards, 1 assist and 2 steals. I still think Dahlman is a better player right now. At the post and forward spots, I also like Braund and Nickles over Overgaard, Lundberg and Cole for NRHEG. And among the supporting guards, I like Braham's Hollencamp best of the bunch.

Oh. Jade Schultz went out with a knee injury yesterday, early, and she never came back. If she is out, that is huge. She is at least the 3rd if not the 2nd option, and probably NRHEG's best defender.

And, so, ultimately, I like Braham 65-62. This is your classic for the day. And ergo, Dahlman is the MVP.

Class AAA and AAAA

Sorry, but these are going to be virtually no contest. Yes, Kennedy will have its moments and it will not get beat by a bunch--maybe a dozen? But Hopkins will keep things under control and it will not feel like an upset in the making. I'll say 55-43. Coffey, who else?

Even less so in Class AAA though, as I said, I have not seen these teams. But I think DeLaSalle in a walk. 70-50, something like that. Not sure who really steps up for the Islanders. I'll pick Tyseanna Johnson as the most likely scenario.

Player, Team and Coach of the Year

Overall tournament MVP? Wow. Coffey, Dahlman, Johnson? Dahlman was just named Gatorade Player of the Year. I have Tyseanna rated as the top college prospect, but for her high school career (and for this tournament) I agree with Dahlman. Hopkins is the Team of the Year, I expect.

If the 4 games go like I've mapped it out here, I like Dave Smart for Coach of the Year.


  1. You have a very myopic interpretation of "productive." Productivity is about far more than shooting percentage or assists/turnover ratios or other similar quantitative statistics. Productivity is also about emotional effectiveness.

    For example, Carlie Wagner took her team on her shoulders after 2 starters were lost to injury (one late in the season and the other--NRHEG's #2 player--in the first game of the state tourney). The result? Winning a state championship. THAT is productivity. Also, for Carlie to have a 1:1 FG percentage when 3 people are guarding her? THAT is productivity. And to inspire tireless defense from her teammates, who are willing to forego personal stats and do the often thankless job of good defense because they believe so much in her offensive talents? THAT is productivity.

    Much of the same should be said of Rebekah Dahlman, whose team also defeated the superficially vaulted/over-inflated Providence Academy. THAT is productivity. And 30 points in a single half? THAT is productivity.

    Your All-Tournament Team First Team reads like someone who is overly enamored with the Metro Area and, in particular, the big schools. You list only two players from state champion teams on the First Team, and all but one of them are from the metro. The list wreaks of an all too common trend in sports reporting.

    You'd be better served expanding your interpretation of "productivity" and recognizing that, yes, there is basketball talent outside of the Twin Cities. Heck, Faribault BA gave eventual champ Minneota its closest game. NRHEG and Faribault BA play in the same athletic conference. On a conference level, THAT is productivity.

    I welcome a more nuanced interpretation of "productivity" that isn't so ill-considered.

  2. I would be disappointed if somebody didn't disagree with my choices, and that would pertain anytime, anywhere, but especially when Wagner and Dahlman are both very deservedly in the record books for all to see. But lets just put it this way. If I had to face Hopkins' defense, I think that Guebert and Szabla would get a better result than Dahlman and Wagner. But by all means, feel free to disagree.

    And dude. I don't see your name either. Anybody can have a blog. Not everybody saw 20 games in the last 4 days.

  3. Sunnyday, it'd be nice to see you make a stronger case defending your opinions. You only really make claims without providing support for your arguments. Let's elevate the discussion rather than simply repeating pithy claims.

    Also, you're extrapolating results from very different circumstances. Put Dahlman and/or Wagner in the exact same position with Guebert and/or Szabla--with all other variables (i.e., teammates, roles, style of play, etc.) being equal--and Wagner/Dahlman would wipe the floor with the latter.

    But now we're getting off-topic. Because this was about this past tournament--about play that did, in fact, happen. We're not surmising potential performances. Re: play that actually happened, you show more respect for players who didn't make it to the championship game than those who did. And you go so far as to call that "productivity." Again, I'd like to see you offer a more sophisticated argument.

  4. Sunnyday,
    Thanks so much for your great coverage of girls tournament. Loved your comments on Wagner's pull up jumper. Very, very few players (even top ones) have this ability. I've told my daughter over and over...if you want to get to the next level, whether its D1, D2, or D3, learn to do take a jump shot off the dribble. I think Wagner has a similar game to Jamie Russell of Illinois St or Alysa Karel of Cretin, then Wisconsin, more than Banham. All three have beautiful pull up jumpers.
    Jasmyn Martin over Wagner on your all tourney team is a tough call, but understandable after Wagner's 16 turnovers with 1 assist in the semi's...just plain sloppy and careless. Also, given Dahlman's foul trouble in the final, NHREG should probably have won this by more than one point. NHREG just had to have more patience...especially with 3 min to go and a lead of 5 or 6 points. But I think I have conceded...that is just their and gun regardless of score and time.
    I would have had Dahlman on the second team as well. I'm not a fan of her style of play..driving to the hoop, creating contact, and flopping...looking for a call. Officials did a nice job in the final by not giving her the the semi's...not so much. Over and over in the final, Dahlman was laying on the floor under her own hoop, while the ball is headed the other direction creating a numbers advantage for NHREG and Wagner. I watched the games via tape and was also not happy when she "hooked" Providence players on two different occasions and drug them to the floor. I don't think most saw this watching live. None the less, she is an absolute star and hope she does well at Vandi. The most glaring stat of the Prov-Braham game was 2 for 15.... Providence's 3 point shooting.
    Thanks again for all your hard work!

  5. I do not understand your selection of Jasmyn Martin over Wagner--or a couple other of those first-teamers over Wagner. Clearly, Wagner was more productive on the whole; the cumulative stats don't lie, to say nothing of winning the state championship. Also, why, oh why, does Providence Academy repeatedly get such praise (i.e., 3 players on the state tourney team; one on your first team...over Wagner)? And then perhaps the most glaring bias: that you'd give Providence Academy a 5th ranking if they'd have won the championship. But you couldn't possibly grasp the concept of an out-state school beating a metro school? Expand your worldview, Sunnyday.