6 SUNDAY SEEDING GAMES FROM THE MN STATE QUALIFIER
Late it is true, but here are the details finally….
For the past two state tournament cycles North Tartan has won one title—-and that was at 4th grade in 2020. The Nike based club put their foot down on Sunday indicating they expect to be hoisting several trophies on May 23. NT took four number one seeds in the top five age brackets. NT also claimed the first spot in 4th grade for a program best this weekend of five (11/2022; 10/2023; 9/2024; 8/2025; 4/2029). The other number one seeds went to MN Stars (7/2026, 5/2028), and 43 Hoops (6/2027). Both MN Stars titles came on former Tayler Hill Elite coattails, who have since merged with the Stars.
Some common themes this weekend: who ever controlled the board won the day in four of the six contests. Oddly enough more turnovers led to victories in three of the six. Perhaps this rewards more aggressive play. One trend that is totally different from previous years is the amount of free throws attempted. Possession counts plummeted thanks to the running time instituted to move things along in the virus era. Instead of the 69, 68s two years ago, we were in the low 50s. That didn’t seem to impact the scores or pp100s however. Shooting was strong with four teams at .500 or better in the 2FG neighborhood with a best .652 put up by North Tartan 14U. 3FG% was subpar with the clear exception of North Tartan 16U at .667. They had the hottest hands of the day at 190.7 across all three levels (FT, 2FG, 3FG).
GAME 1: 2026
The bad news for this game is for some reason my computer rebelled at the start of the second half and I lost information—-about eight minutes of running time. I got back on track with saved data at the 12 minute mark. As a result, the numbers will not be complete and accurate. The final score is accurate. But some of the numbers are undercounted.
WHEN THE GAME WAS WON: The Stars scored on their first three possessions and that led to a 6-0 lead. That lead grew to 15-5 with 5:56 left in the first half. The Stars led 19-10 at the break and maintained the rest of the way.
Maddyn Greenway did not play for NT.
|MN STARS HILL 7||NORTH TARTAN 7 NIKE|
|TOP SCORER||Maggie Fricke 16||Lanelle Wright 16|
|31 CLUB||Maggie Fricke 21||Lanelle Wright 21|
TRENCH PLAYER: Maggie Fricke (Minot) 16 points, 160 pp100, 21 in the 31 Club
GAME 2: 2025
Two time defending champion MN Stars Borowicz was upended in the semis by MN Fury 2025 Blue. This ended up being the “best” game when looking at the losing team’s pp100—-the Fury checked in at 93.9.
This game also featured two coaches from the Suburban East. NT is led by Ashley Ellis-Milan of East Ridge; Fury is led by Stillwater’s new coach Tim Peper.
WHEN THE GAME WAS WON: This game harkened back to the Friday theme of early 3s. Both teams connected on their first possession. NT then delivered three free throws after a foul on an attempted 3. It was 11-6 NT after a third 3 point play (second from behind the arc). Eventually that lead ballooned to 20-6, nine unanswered points with 9 minutes remaining in the first half. NT led 30-19 at the break.
|NORTH TARTAN 14U NIKE||MN FURY 2025 BLUE|
|TOP SCORER||2 with 11||Elsie Dieterle 16|
|31 CLUB||2 with 18||Elsie Dieterle 21|
TRENCH PLAYER: Abbey Hoselton of NT (St. Michael-Albertville) with 11 points, 220 pp100, and an 18 score in the 31 Club.
GAME 3: 2024
This was the closest game of the day. It also featured the only 20 point scorer of the day. Olivia Olson had over half of the Fury’s points in the loss to NT. This also was the lowest PP100 of any winner of the day at 75. Was it stellar defense? Or something else?
WHEN THE GAME WAS WON: The Fury held a 12-6 lead, but saw that advantage disappear to a 20-16 deficit by half. NT grabbed their lead at 15-14 after an &1 by Kylie Waytashek, during a 14-2 run. The biggest NT advantage in the second half came at 38-31.
|North Tartan 15u NIKE||MN FURY 2024 UAA|
|TOP SCORER||Lauren Arnold 15||Olivia Olson 21|
|31 CLUB||Rainey Welson 26||Olivia Olson 28|
TRENCH PLAYER: I realize Olivia Olson Fury team (Benilde-St. Margaret’s) did not win the game, but she ended up with 21 points (day’s high), 116.7 pp100, and a 31 score of 28.
GAME 4: 2023
NT delivered eye popping shooting numbers and it was balance above all. Four players scored between 8 and 9 points for NT. Balance was also on the docket for the Stars with eight players scoring between 2 and 3 points. Not the right kind of balance.
For some reason this was the only age division that did not have an earlier Sunday game. Perhaps this is why the numbers popped so high for NT.
WHEN THE GAME WAS WON: NT leaped to a 9-1 lead after seven possessions and the Stars were forced to play catch up the rest of the way. NT did hold a ten point lead late in the first half before the Stars narrowed it to 20-13. It was back to a ten point advantage after three possessions in the second half.
|NORTH TARTAN 16U EYBL||MN STARS HERSCH 10|
|TOP SCORER||Molly Lenz 9||Emily Christensen 9|
|31 CLUB||Clara Glad 16||Emily Christensen 15|
TRENCH PLAYER: Clara Glad of NT (Rogers) with 8 points, 133.3 pp100 and a 16 score in the31 Club in a choice between balanced teammates, any number of which could fill the bill.
GAME 5: 2022 semis
Metro Stars, better known in the winter as Hopkins, had a measure of revenge. In early April Chaska beat Hopkins in the AAAA state semis. The Fury has one Hawk on their roster. The MS has ALMOST everyone from the Royals crew with the chief exception of Maya Nnaji.
WHEN THE GAME WAS WON: Eight straight MS scores in the first half after a changing of the Fury line-up proved decisive. MS took an 11-8 lead and transformed it to a 27-17 advantage. When the starters returned for Fury they closed to 33-30 at half. The game stayed in one possession territory until more Fury substitutions allowed MS to score on four straight possessions (8-0 run) to lead 47-37. Those two runs combined gave the MS a 24-11 differential. The Fury “won” the rest of the 40-35.
|METRO STARS 2022||MN FURY 2022 UAA|
|TOP SCORER||Amaya Battle 19||Mallory Heyer 16|
|31 CLUB||2 with 28||Mallory Heyer 27|
TRENCH PLAYER: Amaya Battle of MS (Hopkins) with 19 points, 126.7 pp100, and a 28 score in the 31 club.
GAME 6: 2022 1st
Variance: how well does a team or player play consistently. The narrower the variance, the more consistent and reliable the player. Coaches would like to shy away from the supernova player that has numbers that scream “come watch me play”, but then returns to a whisper or worse—-not even crickets. MS had a wide range of variance in the two games. The key stat came with touches per turnover. MS is known for their ferocious defense, turning over opponents, but it was they on offense guilty of coughing up the ball. NT more than doubled MS 22.18 to 10.26 in touches per turnover. Most teams were north of 20, better teams 30+. This was the worst performance in that category all day. That also led to a doubling of distributions to turnovers of 1.9 to 0.79. Was it lack of focus? Part of the MS problem was staring down the pass to an immobile receiver—-in other words guarding a cone. Tbink stagnation. I don’t think we can lay the blame exclusively on fatigue—physical or mental. Both teams had semis at the same time. Many factors and causes can go into a performance like this: from improper sleep habits, to lack of adequate diet. Small things lead to big things. NT dealt well with the small details and that led to a convincing win. Also, the bench was non-existent for MS. NT won that battle with a doughnut 15-0.
WHEN THE GAME WAS WON: NT scored the first three times they touched the ball, forcing the MS to play catch up. What proved fatal was a 14-4 surge by NT with 4 points coming on second chancers to open the deluge. MS also had five of their turnovers in that stretch that did not help their cause. By half NT led 31-18, five points away from the final MS game total.
|NORTH TARTAN 17U EYBL||METRO STARS 2022|
|TOP SCORER||Mara Braun 16||Taylor Woodson 10|
|31 CLUB||Mara Braun 23||Amaya Battle 24|
TRENCH PLAYER: Mara Bruan of NT (Wayzata) with 16 points, 100 pp100 and a 23 score in the 31 Club.