A week later the “real” state tournament is taking place, again at Kennedy. I spent early Saturday morning watching a trio of games—-two massacres (running time affairs) and one with plenty of time outs in the last minute indicating a much tighter contest. There are different levels of the state tournament—-each age level is divided into as many as three divisions. Opposed to last week with pool against pool on Sunday, is the proverbial one and done bracket. The done meaning once you lose you will no longer be in the championship hunt but may be playing for some lower level honors. Of the six teams I charted today only one was a repeater from last week, and as it turns out, I will be charting them again tomorrow in the 2025/9th grade title game. #1 seed North Tartan Nike 15 cruised to their quarterfinal win over MN Stars DeSart. Of the other four teams I charted, three had a definite outstate feel. Regional teams exist and some clubs have umbrellas expanding into other regions of the state—like North Tartan and the Fury. One is a traditional regional entry—-the MN Comets based in the St. Cloud orbit. The other two were in the first match of the day and they are both mom and pop clubs. West Central United is not located near the West Central high school, at least not this creation. This 2023 group, with a few 2024s thrown in the mix, is located further north with US 10 as a centerpiece. Players from Detroit Lakes, Perham and even further north like Fosston make up most of the players in this club. The other team, Central Lakes Thunder, tended to be located just to the east of WCU and included players from Pequot Lakes, Royalton, and Pierz.
A clear distinction between all these teams is not necessarily physical, but experience. The team that can roster more all conference type players, and players that come from high profile winning programs have a vastly superior advantage over players that do not start much less have no post-season awards. For example, PL had six all conference / honorable mention players. Only one was on the CLT. That is why looking at the rosters and looking at the results should not shock anyone. The better players from the better high school teams on the better clubs produced in spades today.
GAME 1: 2023 D3 QUARTERFINAL: WEST CENTRAL UNITED 69, CENTRAL LAKES THUNDER 33
GAME 2: 2025 D1 QUARTERFINAL: NORTH TARTAN 15 NIKE 78, MN STARS DE SART 9TH 27
GAME 3: 2024 D1 SWEET 16: COMETS ELITE 2024 41, CROSSFIRE BLUE STAR SCHUCK 35
TEAM PP100S: as befitting running time wins, the winners were well past the century mark. WCU checked in with a 123.2 pp100. For the starters it was an even healthier 135.9. All five starters were at 110 or better with Mya Morris (Perham) the best at 166.7 pp100. But what do you expect when your team shoots 15/26 behind the arc? That is a deadly 57.7% clip. Morris was 6/9. But even WCU was left in the dust behind the 147.2 pp100 by NT 15 Nike. There starters were even brighter at 162.1. I will repeat 1-6-2-point-1. That is extremely rarefied air. More rarified than that was Maddyn Greenway (Providence) at a stratospheric 260 pp100 on just five possessions. She racked up a lucky 13 points. She is one of two 2026s on the 2025 squad. One starter did not make the century club for NT. But the rest of the squad did including all the reserves. NT did not quite blaze a fire along the arc like WCU (NT was “only” 10/21 or 47.6%), but they were scintillating with a point every 3.03 touches. It took WCU 5.01 touches for every point.
As you can imagine it was difficult to get mileage for the running time losers with pp100s of 61 and 51.
The final game was the “best” game in that it avoided running time. But the pp100s were vastly down. The winning Comets could not get to 70 and finished at 69.5. With a bit more than 5:40 to go the Comets led 34-30. The Comets tacked on five points including an &1 by Alyssa Sand to make it 39-30. With just over a minute left Crossfire again narrowed the margin to four 39-35 after a three from the right side by Berkley Neubauer (Holy Family). That would be their final points. The Comets called time with 55 seconds because of the potential of a back court violation. After the time out there was a turnover with the change out of bounds, not live. That prompted a Crossfire time out with 48.1 ticks. They could not get the ball in and turned it over themselves—another dead ball variety. With a potential trap turnover again, the Comets called time with 39 seconds. Finally, there was a score after the break as Sand found Alexis Rose for the final points.
INDIVIDUAL MARKS: 31 CLUB
As you probably could guess Mya Morris broke into the 31 Club right on the nose with a 31. Part of the problem with running time is the 31 Club in club ball is it is hard to hit the mark. For NT 15 Nike two players made it to 24—-Greenway and Sophie Hawkinson (Wayzata). The second best score of the day belonged to Alyssa Sand (Albany) with Comets Elite 2024. She ended up with 28, 3 shy of the standard. The mobile 6-2 center casts a big shadow on defense and ended up with 14 d stops.
Some of the teams I charted last Sunday will not be making a reappearance on Sunday this week. Fury 2024 fell in the quarters 49-48 today. Without Olivia Olson it impacts quite a bit. The 2025s will have a repeat performance as NT and MN Stars Borowicz already have punched their tickets to the event. Many games are still to be determined as of this posting.