Some say it's the big event of the summer season, some say it's not. I mean, it's not even summer yet, yesterday's 98 degree weather notwithstanding.
But I say it is. Where else can you see the 10 years and under state championship game, followed by the11s, then the 12s, and then the 13s.... Those are 8th graders in the class of 2017 for those of you keeping score at home. And then the 14s (9th grade/2016), 15s (10th grade/2015) and finally the 16 and unders, the 11th graders, the next senior class of 2014. 7 classes, 14 teams, back to back to back to...well, you get the picture.
You can't. There is nowhere else that you can see a parade of talent that will be Minnesota girls basketball for the next 7 years. Only on Sunday, May 19, at Bloomington Jefferson High School, Court #6.
But of course there are dozens of other teams (152 in all if my addition is correct), probably 500 games or more on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, culminating in those 7 state championship games. People talk about the state high school tournament being too complicated because you can't see every game or every team, or because there's more than 8 teams participating? Are you serious? This, my friends, is true head-swimming territory.
And that, of course, is just the girls. The boys are going on at the same time.... OMG!
But just to simplify it a little bit...if things go according to Hoyle (and, of course, they won't, but if they do), here's who you would see in Sunday's girls championship games. All finals, again, are Sunday, May 19, at Jefferson 6.
The full schedule is at http://www.aauevents.com/Documents/2013%20MN%20AAU%20State%20Championship%20Schedules.pdf
9:10 a.m. 6th Grade/Class of 2019/11 & Under
If all goes according to Hoyle it will be #1 Crossfire vs. #2 MN Stars Nelson. Crossfire defeated the Stars 36-30 at the Qualifier as Kallie Thiesen, 5-9 forward from Wayzata, scored 13 points with 7 boards in the final and a tournament-high 42 points in 4 games. Mimi Schrader, also of Wayzata, didn't score in the final but was the #3 scorer overall with 35 points. Taylie Scott of Maple Grove scored 8 and 32.
Post Destinee Oberg came up big for the Stars in the final with 11 points and 19 boards, and led her team with 21 points overall. Jordyn Wald of Forest Lake scored 8 in the final. Kacie Borowicz of MN Gym Rats was the #2 scorer with 40 points, but the Rats are seeded just #13 and therefore dropped down into the Classic bracket.
10:20 a.m. 5th Grade/Class of 2020/10 & Under
#1 seed North Tartan 10u vs. #2 MN Fury 2020. Tartan beat Fury 34-15 at the AAU Qualifier 2 weeks ago. Paige Bueckers, a 5-0 point guard from St. Louis Park, led NT with 34 points in 3 games, 2nd only to Ivy Edwards of the #8 seeded MN Gym Rats with 37 in 4 games. Katie Borowicz also of Gym Rats was 3rd with 33 points and yet another Rat, Kelsi Pederson, was 4th with 26.
The Rats open on Saturday morning with Tartan's 2nd string, the Silver. The winner of that game will get #1 Tartan on Saturday afternoon.
Jana Swanson, 5-10 forward from Cambridge-Isanti, was Tartan's 2nd option. Lauren Link from Shakopee led Fury in the final with 5 points and 7 boards.
11:30 a.m. 7th Grade/Class of 2018/12 & Under
#1 North Tartan 12& vs. #2 43 Hoops. Tartan beat 43 Hoops 44-38 in the Qualifier final. Kayla Mershon, a 6-1 post from Minnetonka, scored 13 in the final and 21 overall. Sam Haiby, a 5-6 guard from Moorhead, scored 6 and 19, and Madi Kerzman, a 6-1 post from Becker 2 and 14.
43 Hoops was led by Zoe Hardwick of Eden Prairie with 8 and 19 and Mariah Alipate of Jefferson with 8 and 12. The 2 combined for 17 boards.
Alexis Mathews of North Metro Aftershock led all scorers with 28 points in 3 games. Aftershock is seeded #10 and will have to upset #7 Metro Stars 12U to get a crack at 43 Hoops in Saturday's quarter-finals.
12:40 p.m. 8th Grade/Class of 2017/13 & Under
The top seeds here are #1 North Tartan 13U and #2 North Tartan West 13U. The former defeated the latter 62-52 in the Qualifier final. But Gabi Haack of Tartan West and Elk River outshone all of Tartan's 13s with 20 points in the final and a tournament-high 52 points in 4 games. Halley Busse from Gibbon-Fairfax-Winthrop added 11 in the final. Erin Navratil of Albany scored 14 for the Tartan regulars and Danielle Schaub of Park Center added 13. Navratil is 5-11, Haack is 5-8, Busse is 5-5.
Azaria Reed of Osseo and Annissa Krause of Tartan, both playing for the Thunderbirds, tied for 2nd in 13U scoring with 43 points each. The T-Birds are seeded #5.
1:50 p.m. 11th Grade/Class of 2014/16 & Under
You maybe noticed the games are a little out of order. Or are they? I guess somebody thinks this is sort of the feature game. Well, it depends. If #1 North Tartan Nike Elite plays #2 Fury Elite, then it will be. Tartan won the Qualifier final 61-46 as Tia Elbert scored 22 points and Cayla McMorris 13 with 7 (count 'em, 7) steals. T.T. Starks added 7 points, 7 boards and 4 assists. Hannah Grim led the Fury with 15 points, while Elle Thompson had 19 with 6 boards.
Top scorers for the tournament were Thompson with 56 points, Elbert with 50, Mia Anderson of duluth East and Northern Lights with 48, Grim 47 and Bryanna Fernstrom of MN Stars Borowicz 45.
Just for the record, the 2nd 5 was Taylor Thunstedt of Metro Stars Reiter with 39, Gabby Smith of MN Stars DeWitt 38, Anita McCoy of MN 36ers Keys and Baily Norby of MN Stars Borowicz 36, and Sydney Lamberty also of Stars Borowicz 35. Stars Borowicz is seeded #3 and their semi-final with the Fury, if it comes off, should be as much of a doozy as the final.
3 p.m. 10th Grade/Class of 2015/15 & Under
Should be #1 Metro Stars vs. #2 Fury Blue. The Stars beat the Fury in the Qualifier final 39-25 as Marina Nowak of Rogers scored 10 points and Maddie Guebert 8. Guebert led the 15s in scoring for the tournament with 49 points, Nowak scored 30.
Brynn Murphy of Fury Gold was next with 45, while Lyrik Williams and Alexis Wittinger of MN Suns Hill and North Tartan Herbrechtsmeyer, respectively, were next with 44. Ali Greene of the Fury also broke 40.
But Taylor Hagen of Blooming Prairie led Fury in the final with 10 points and 10 boards, Greene had 7 and 6. Wittinger and Hannah Schaub lead #3 North Tartan Herbie.
4:10 9th Grade/Class of 2016/14 & Under
This is the finale and maybe it's the feature game after all. If all goes according to, well, you know who, it will be #1 MN Stars Martin featuring Jasmyn Martin, Nia Hollie, Alaina Jarnot, Kiara Russell and Tyrah Spencer and more versus the #2 underdogs Crossfire Robertson led by Sarah Kaminski. The Stars hounded Kaminski in a 61-48 Qualifier final win, holding her to 5 points, but a respectable 4 assists and 9 boards. But Jarnot with 13, Martin with 11, Ashley Bates with 8 and 5 girls with 5 or 6 was just too much.
Karly Murphy of MN Heat Lund led all scorers with 50. Taylor Koenen of the Fury was 2nd was 47, while Kaminski and Jarnot were next with 37 each. Alison Hinck of Heat Lund and Martin scored 36. Fury is the #3 seed while Heat Lund is #5. It won't be too much of a surprise of the Fury ends up in the final.