CHANHASSEN 73, BUFFALO 52
Thursday night a flurry of 3s descended upon the game at Chanhassen with a combined 21 for the game. The Storm had one more than the Bison. That did not explain the differential in the margin, however. The main difference came inside with the Storm ruling around the rim for 26 points, Buffalo 16. Chanhassen leveraged advantages in rebounds (11) and turnovers (9) to coble together their win. Chan used the paint to their collective advantage with 59 touches to 40. For the game Chan hit 112.3 pp100, their starters 124.5. Buffalo was at 80 for the night.
There were a lot of similarities to Wednesday night’s game with blistering starts followed by less sharp second halves. That team pp100 stood at 134.3 in the first half for Chan, dropping to 86.7 in the second half. Chan opened the night with the first seven points. Buffalo burned their first time out down 13-4 with 13:10 left. Four minutes later Chan had built a 27-9 lead. The hosts led 47-22 at the break. Running time was within sight but was off in the distance. The Bison used the long ball to stave off the clock. Buffalo won the second half 30-26. Their pp100 went from a low 64 in the first half to 96.8 in the second.
Two players reached the coveted 31 Club membership, and one was one shy at 30. The TRENCH PLAYER of the game was Madi Hicks of Chan with a team high 23 points, a whopping 209.1 pp100 and a 36 in the 31 Club. She was propelled by scintillating 7/9 shooting beyond the arc. Ironically, Hicks will be a Bison in college. She has signed with North Dakota State University for golf.
Teammate, and future Nebraska Cornhusker, Callin Hake had a 30 in the 31 Club. Buffalo had the game’s top scorer with Brooke Gunderson scoring 25 points. Her 31 Club score was one better than the 31 Club entry at 32 with a 131.6 pp100. Gunderson was 3/5 on 3s but got to the rim effectively for the Bison with 5/7 inside. The rest of the team was only 3/14 near the rim.
This was the second straight Lake Conference opponent for Chanhassen. They put a scare on Wayzata falling 65-64 Tuesday night on the road. The Storm is 3-1 on the year. The Bison dropped below .500 at 2-3 with both wins coming against former Mississippi 8 conference rivals Monticello and Cambridge-Isanti.
Chanhassen has the unenviable fortune of residing in the most wicked section in the state: 2AAAA. My projections have the #8 seed (whoever it is) with over 15 wins on the year. That would usually be a recipe for third or fourth in most sections. The #2, #4, #6, #11, #13, and #18 teams live there. Chan is #17 in the last poll. The only unranked team in that section is Waconia, who has moved up from AAA this year.
Buffalo has the unenviable fortune of residing in the most wicked conference in the state: the “Great” Lake. That is the home of the #1, #2, #3, #4, #7, and #13 teams in AAAA. Buffalo is the only unranked Lake Conference team. Post season they are in the nine team 8AAAA section.
The Bison are under new management. And there is a touch of the Northwest Suburban (and North Dakota) in the mix. Head coach Barb Metcalfe has moved over from Park Center. Greg Amundson is an assistant. He has coached at Centennial and Rogers (along with Columbia Heights) in Minnesota. Both coaches won large school championships in ND with West Fargo and Mandan respectively.
This game featured nine senior (2022) starters. The only underclass player to break into the starting five was Chan sophomore guard Lauren Arnold. Usually there are not nine seniors combined for both teams.