MORE OF THE SAME
Week 8 was similar to many of the weeks recently—mega-events, a day of cancelled plans, and another Saturday spent in the southeast corner of the state. The result was six days of games, ten total. I was able to complete one more conference, and two sections. Six more teams came off the top 100. Thursday messed with my plans and instead of heading to Norwood Young America I made my way to my volleyball home at Avail Academy in Fridley to see how the multiple sport athletes were competing. They proved to hang on in the tightest game of the week, a one point win over Eagle Ridge 44-43. I thought the game was over twice, but the officials kept adding seconds. In the end the Valor was victorious and their was not a repeat of Munich 1972. I had two all-conference players that are the cornerstones of the basketball team, and they held up their end of the bargain. Both made the 31 Club and were essential in the win. The week started off at St. Catherine’s for their multiple game event. Since I have charted all the teams in the event, I only did the Mahtomedi game. I need to save my cognitive bandwidth. The Zephyrs were the first of many big deficit games during the week. They faced Eden Prairie and were quickly underwater at 18-3 after six minutes. Things did not improve. Avail got out to an 8-0 start on Thursday. The held on for the win. But Saturday featured a couple of avalanche games in the Hiawatha Valley v Three Rivers battle in Rochester with no rallies in site. Byron blitzed Winona Cotter at the start 24-0 and Goodhue did the same to LaCrescent 23-0. The HVL was 3-2 in the games I charted that day. That exposure almost has me completed in section 1AA. I have seen nine of the top eleven teams in that 16 team section, 13 total. Having multiple games at one site (provided they aren’t duplicates X10) is ideal for me.
There were a couple of puzzling situations for me during the week. Players would come off the court and I would wonder “Why isn’t #14” back on the court? Indeed why is #14 on the bench?” These players were hot in their games. I don’t know if it was illness, injury, family emergency or whatever it was just plain flat out mystifying.
METRO WEST COMPLETED
The fourth conference to be completed is the Metro West. They live in the shadow of their more prolific neighbors—the Lake. True to form you can compare the pp100 with the Lake at 92.25, the MW at 81.96. This does not mean that the MW has second rate teams. Benilde-St. Margaret’s is currently the #1 AAA team and Chaska is #2 in AAAA. Chaska, again true to form, tops the MW with a 103.2 pp100, and BSM is next at 92.6. There really is not a severe drop with New Prague trailing all at 69.8. In fact they are the only sub 70 team in the MW. The Lake had two when I have been in the house. The MW conference is 4-4 when I have charted. This is behind the Lake at 8-3. The Lake Superior is 6-6 and the Suburban East is far behind at 4-7 and 78.55.
SECTIONS 2AAAA & 3AAAA COMPLETED
I have now completed three sections, two this week on back to back days Tuesday and Wednesday. The southern suburbs (2AAAA in the southwest metro, 3AAAA in the southeast metro) are now finished along with the northwest quadrant of the state. 2AAAA has rightfully laid stake to the toughest section in AAAA. If you judge that by the pp100 you would be dead right. As it stands 2AAAA is 17 points better in pp100 than the next level (3AAAA) with an 91.6. Both 3AAAA and 8AAAA are hovering around 74, but 3 is ahead 74.0 to 73.9—-not much separation. I was surprised that 3AAAA was ahead actually due to the abysmal numbers of Apple Valley—at only 17.3—dragging the average severely downward. Rosemount tops the pp100 list and as a top 10 team that should not be a shock to anyone. The Irish check in at 102. Further west there were four times the century mark was cracked with EP doing the honors both times I charted them plus one each with Chaska and Shakopee. Minnetonka has also been charted twice in 2AAAA, while Eastview has been twice in 3AAAA. 2AAAA also has a better W/L mark at 7-3.
On the individual side of the equation Aaliyah Crump of Minnetonka tops the 2AAAA list. She has done so twice (the only player to do so in either section) with one time surpassing the 41 Club with a 48. The best in 3AAAA (so far) is Keagan McVicker of Hastings at 34. There are six entries in 2AAAA, three in 3AAAA again showing the performance standards and quality of each section.
Another week of erosion in the average pp100 with a 78.6 pp100 down 0.8. Winners were at 88.7, losers 65.3, a gap of 23.4. There were three centurions with Goodhue leading the way at 118.8 in their win over LaCrescent. On the short end of the stick, six times teams failed to reach 70. That was also true for once on the winners’ side (the Avail win over Eagle Ridge 57.1 to 56.6). The class numbers should not surprise anyone with AAAA at 86.45 going 3-1; AAA 82.75 and 3-3; AA 75.64 and 3-5; with A far behind at 56.85. I must qualify “best game” with an explanation. “Best” in this case means the team with the highest pp100 in a loss. That means Caledonia with an 85.5 in the loss to Stewartville qualifies. That game had the best overall performances, but oddly no 31 Clubbers. If you measure score and gap between pp100 then Avail vs. Eagle Ridge, a one point game, kept fans riveted to their seat. If you wanted comebacks then Chanhassen over Orono on Tuesday in the Metro West completion round with the Storm storming back from a five point deficit with 5:36 left. The Spartans had chances but failed to grab missed front end free throws twice in the last minute only trailing by two. On the third crack Chan converted both making the Spartans blue. If you wanted upsets then Owatonna (another “O” host team) pulled off a mild surprise on Mankato East Friday with a 48-37 win. East is in 5th place with a 7-4 mark, the Huskies are in 6th with a record of 5-6 in the Big 9. Prior to that game East won six straight.
As far as the game behind the arc, Caledonia led with nine made. But wait…that was done in a 36 minute contest. My team plays in 14 minute halves (28 minutes) and made seven. Prorated out that means we would have cashed in nine times too. Here is where the difference lies—-Caledonia had three players deliver. My group had five. We are a combo of 9th and 8th graders.
Saturday will be relatively quiet with any multiple viewing taking place in multiple gyms. The events seem to take a break this weekend. The Community Clash does take place, but just like Monday’s St. Kate’s event I have charted all the teams in that event. Obviously, some choice games in those matchups. I won’t be there, however. Time is running short for 100—see below.
We dropped to ten 31 Clubbers in week 8 with no one reaching the 41 level or higher. Saturday had the biggest haul with four, but that was with five games. Wednesday had three entries in the Mahtomedi v Hastings game. Junior guard Elisabeth Gadient of Goodhue claimed top spot with 39. This is her second time on the list this year. And in a mark of consistency her second 39 score. The pp100 separator limited the 31 Club list to six. Sophomore forward Anna Greene of Mahtomedi topped the list with a 171.4 pp100 in the Hastings win. This was her second time on the list this year. Gadient had a 143.8 in the LaCrescent win. Stewartville, a perennial Saturday viewing, did not have any join the party this week. Avail, Chatfield and Mahtomedi had two entries each this week.
Two fell by the wayside this past week. AAA will not have an undefeated champion. Jordan fell 64-62 to Delano on Friday followed by a loss at Worthington on Saturday. Buffalo Lake-Hector-Stewart is the lone survivor (so far) in A as Fosston fell on Friday at home to Fertile-Beltrami 51-44. The Las Vegas odds favor Hopkins to remain the only unbeaten team at the end of March.
AAAA 1: Hopkins
AAA 0: none
AA 1: New London-Spicer
A 1: Buffalo Lake-Hector-Stewart
The surprise on this list remains Spectrum, a 6AA team that plays quite a bit of A level schools.
Who is behind the leader in AAAA? Rochester Mayo with 13 quietly building their resume. Their latest victim was Stillwater at home on Saturday.
AAAA: 28 Hopkins (14 ’22 + 14 ’23)
AAA: 14 Grand Rapids
AA: 12 New London-Spicer, Spectrum
A: 14 Henning
SEARCH FOR 100
18 teams to go for 100. Five regular season weeks left. That is about 3.5 per week. Now comes the tougher sledding. There will be limited opportunities for “two-fers” where two teams are charted that are in the top 100 (last week only Chanhassen at Orono qualified).
The markers now extend out to—250.
Looking at the top 10s I am at 100% in AAAA, 90% in AAA; 70% in AA; 40% in A
Looking at the “seeding the state” I am holding steady with no change for the week with 100% in AAAA & AAA; 75% in AA; 37.5% in A
The other search for—-all 64 AAAA teams— is now down to 10 remaining, four of which are also in the top 100. Translation 84.4%. It is important to clear that deck (and any AAA) prior to sections because the games are generally scheduled the same night. It is hard to be in two places at once.
As always the biggest fish left to fry is Lakeville South coming at #16.
SEEDING THE STATE
Reshuffling in AAA & A.
- Hopkins (6)
- Chaska (2)
- Michael-Albertville (8)
- East Ridge (4)
- Maple Grove (5)
- Rosemount (3)
- Lakeville North (1)
- Anoka (7)
- Benilde-St. Margaret’s (6)
- Becker (5)
- Grand Rapids (7)
- Stewartville (1)
- Alexandria (8)
- DeLaSalle (3)
- Jordan (2)
- Mahtomedi (4)
- Providence (5)
- Albany (6)
- New London-Spicer (3)
- Goodhue (1)
- Minnehaha (4)
- Pequot Lakes (7)
- Perham (8)
- Southwest Christian (2)
- Mountain Iron-Buhl (7)
- Buffalo Lake-Hector-Stewart (2)
- Henning (6)
- Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa (5)
- Hayfield (1)
- Fertile-Beltrami (8)
- Southwest MN Christian (3)
- Heritage Christian (4)