GBB Week That Was #7 Plus Seeding the State


The first week of 2022 was spent primarily watching teams from section 2AAA—perhaps the deepest section in AAA. The benefits of watching games this week, despite the frigid weather and snowy conditions, was the level of competitiveness in the games chosen for viewing—thanks to the algorithms. Three of the five games were down to the last minute, down to the last few possessions. Indeed, the Mankato East win was decided with 2.9 ticks left on the clock on Ellie Edberg’s 3. She was a perfect 3/3 for the day behind the arc.

The week started off with a check up on my volleyball school—-Avail Academy. The Valor are down to an iron five. They only have eight players to begin with. They were at home against Nova Classical and the Knights outlasted the Iron Five. Two of my volleyball starters led Avail in double digits.

Tuesday and Friday were spent with Mahtomedi contests.

Wednesday saw Spring Lake Park halt Roseville’s undefeated streak at nine. The Panthers did not start out of the gate strong (a theme for the week as it turned out). The Raiders looked like the team I saw earlier at St. Thomas Academy at Thanksgiving building a 21-14 lead  with nine minutes left in the first half. Roseville led by as many as 10 (15-5) as early at 14:20. The problem was the Raiders went into offensive hibernation the last nine minutes of the half while the hosts came to life with a 17-2 burst to lead at half 31-23. Bella Sutch and Mikayla Thomas spearheaded that advantage with seven points each in the run. Roseville scored on possessions 2, 3, & 4 to make it a contest again trailing 31-30. Scoring led to the institution of the press which bothered SLP with two straight steals leading to immediate lay ups. Roseville didn’t grab the lead until under nine minutes to go after a trey by Drew Johnston made it 45-43. There would be four lead changes after that, the last coming with a Thomas lay up to make it 60-59 with about two minutes to go. A Roseville turnover with a Camryn Smith lay up made it 65-59 with about 1:10 left.  It helped SLP’s cause that Johnston fouled out with 34 seconds left.

Thursday my attention turned to 169 and the route to southwest Minnesota. The first stop on that frozen night was St. Peter to see Fairmont, both teams with one loss going into the contest. This game was an extreme example of ball control. Both teams were deliberate and valued their touches. After a 3 by Fairmont’s Rayah Quiring cut the deficit to 42-41, the St. Peter defense ramped it up with three straight steals, the first two by Annika Southworth. The lead soon expanded to 48-41 which happened to be the largest lead of the night. The Cardinals were not done yet. Another 3 by Quiring, who was well tended to most of the night, made it 48-46 with 33 seconds left. On the next Saint possession Southworth converted two free throws for the final margin.

Saturday it was back south down 169, just a further down the road to Mankato. First stop was East for a critical section match up with Marshall. The Tigers were down Danya Estrada, a guard who was out with a knee injury suffered in practice on Wednesday. The visitors led through much of the game including a nine point bulge in the first half. With 56 seconds left Marshall had the ball on their side of the court on a sideline out of bounds. The pass was thrown to their back court deep. Mackenzie Schweim was there to make the steal and the chip shot from the right block which gave the home teal a jolt of energy and a ray of hope. Marshall would turn it over their next two possessions as well. Two free throws by Peyton Stevermer tied at 45. The next Cougar possession ended with a 3 by Edberg with 2.9 seconds left. The miracle comeback was complete. What made it even sweeter for ME was they did it without the services of Lexi Karge who fouled out with 1:56 left. Shortly thereafter Marshall extended their lead to 45-40. ME scored eight unanswered points to secure a vital section marker.

The final spot on my 2AAA tour was at Mankato West as they hosted Jordan in the evening. That meant I saw five teams over the course of two days in that section, and with the addition of New Prague back in December, it means I have seen six of the eight teams there. Easily the best check list of the AAA sections. In many ways this game touched on earlier themes of the week—-Iron Five, and the tendency of the hosts trailing early only to come back to win. MW relied heavily on their starters. Three made the exalted 31 Club. But the Scarlets faced a double digit first half deficit. MW kept chipping away turning the 14-4 hole into a 37-35 lead with about 1:30 left in the half. Jordan’s long distance shooting, which provided them a lift in the first half keyed by Savi Borowicz’s four 3s did not keep pace in the second half. Borowicz was held scoreless the second half and the Jaguars pp100 plummeted from 118.2 to 75.8. A huge difference came at the line in the second half with MW cashing in 17/27. Jordan only tried five. MW was making hay off the &1 with Annnika Younge getting four of the five opportunities.

Here is a look at home deficits overcome for the week.


Game Home Visitor 1st half deficit Final margin
Wednesday Spring Lake Park Roseville -10 +4
Thursday St. Peter Fairmont -7 +4
Saturday 1 Mankato East Marshall -9 +3
Saturday 2 Mankato West Jordan -10 +14


The best pp100 for the week came on the last game with Mankato West topping the charts at 118.2. It was also the highest pp100 for a losing team with Jordan a shade under at 97. This follows my mantra: there is no such thing as good defense—-only bad offense. So many things contribute to the pp100—shot selection when, where & who, balance, space, pace. The “fastest” paced game came on Monday with Nova Classical & Avail going at 76 possessions. To be clear this wasn’t breakneck basketball, but fumbles, stumbles and bumbles. There were a combined 60 turnovers in that game. The lowest possession game happened with Mankato East & Marshall at 54. There were only 34 combined turnovers in this one. I expected the St. Peter/Fairmont game to be on the lower end, but that ended closer to 60. That game did have the most touches at 808 compared to 677 for ME/Marshall. This made it seem more deliberate and “slower.”

That brings us to the 31 Club. Mankato West had 3 join the club, with Lani Schoper the highest for the week at 44, only one of two 41 Clubbers. The reason for the Scarlets high totals in this exclusive grouping is the “iron five” nature of the team. The starters accumulated 94% of the touches for the game. The bench was almost non-existent. All told there were six that joined the 31 Club, two the 41 Club. The other 41 Clubber? That belonged to another “iron five” squadron—Avail with Lily Anderson. Schoper had a 152 pp100. Anderson made the 41 Club more on the defensive side with a week’s high 22 d stops. Her pp100 was 58.6. Avail only had five players. Absolute zero bench. So, if we combine 31 club score over possessions Schoper comes in at .667, Anderson .539.


Right on cue the teams accommodated my single digit views this week. We dropped almost in half from 15 to 8. There will be no undefeated champion in AAA for sure with the last remaining unbeaten, Austin, falling on Saturday to Como Park. I saw Roseville stumble at Spring Lake Park on Wednesday. They were joined in AAAA by Blaine. Montevideo fell off the chart. Class A has the most unbeatens still standing with four. But I expect that Hopkins is the only real unbeaten season long possibility. Besides AAA having a champion with more than one loss I expect AA to follow suit. A has a remote possibility with three still in the hunt. South Ridge must get through Mountain Iron-Buhl—-a remote outcome at this stage.

The number of unblemished is sure to drop again, but I won’t expect seven this week. It could be we are still at eight next week. Hopkins and Minnetonka don’t see each other until Groundhog Day.

AAAA (2): Hopkins; Minnetonka

AAA (0): none

AA (2): Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial, Minneapolis Roosevelt

A (4): Hancock; Hayfield; Mayer Lutheran; South Ridge

TOP 100

As for my checklist—-I am doing the best at the larger schools with both AAAA & AAA now at 9 of the top 10 done. Smaller classes are 5 in AA and 2 in A.

As for the QRF based list improvements all around. The biggest improvements came at the 50 level, up 18 from the week before. That was the targeting of AAA, specifically section 2 that helped prop up those numbers.
1-10: 80%
1-25: 72% up 8
1-50: 76% up 18
1-75: 64% up 16
1-100: 54% up 7





  1. Hopkins (6)
  2. Minnetonka (2)
  3. St. Michael-Albertville (8)
  4. Stillwater (4)
  5. Maple Grove (5)
  6. Rosemount (3)
  7. Rochester JM (1)
  8. Blaine (7)


  1. Becker (5)
  2. St. Paul Como Park (3)
  3. Austin (1)
  4. Holy Angels (6)
  5. Totino-Grace (4)
  6. Mankato West (2)
  7. Grand Rapids (7)
  8. Willmar (8)


  1. Minnehaha (4)
  2. Providence (5)
  3. Goodhue (1)
  4. New London-Spicer (3)
  5. Perham (8)
  6. Sauk Centre (6)
  7. Pequot Lakes (7)
  8. Glencoe-Silver Lake (2)


  1. Mountain Iron-Buhl (7)
  2. Mayer Lutheran (2)
  3. Hancock (6)
  4. Minneota (3)
  5. Hayfield (1)
  6. Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa (5)
  7. Cass Lake-Bena (8)
  8. New Life (4)

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