We are in the closing stretch of the high school season with two weeks remaining in the regular season; and then the two weeks of section tournaments followed by the week of the state tournament. Conference titles still remain up in the air in several leagues. Positioning for the post-season run took several turns over the course of last week. Wayzata’s victory over conference/section nemesis Hopkins may not have changed the standings in the Lake Conference; Hopkins has one loss, STMA & Wayzata have a pair; or changed the status of section six, but what it has done is given hopes and dreams new life. There is a path to victory over the mighty Royals. Hopkins wasn’t the only casualty. Benilde-St. Margaret’s fell to Becker on Saturday. That basically flipped the two teams from #1 to #2 and from #2 to #1. The other result with post-season implications came in the 2A North subsection where Mayer Lutheran moved back to the #1 slot after their win at home over previously unbeaten Buffalo Lake-Hector-Stewart. Now BLHS has to face (potentially) BOLD in that semifinal, a tough draw.
The week for me was spent chasing a few teams. Saturday was not a good draw for games. I only chose one and the highest team charted was Foley at #139. I had the option to run to Crookston but a five hour trip did not beat out a one hour trip. If I see Crookston it will likely be in the 8AA semis at Detroit Lakes on a Tuesday.
The next few weeks are going to showcase teams that continue on the process road; those that keep on improving. Every March at state tournament time there is a general lament that the #1 seed in the section stumbled. Upsets (if you ask the #1 seed) happen. I expect a healthy dose of “upsets” this year too. This week certainly made that clear.
Looking at the MN GBB Sports Hub there are 53 conferences and/or divisions. I have seen the top team in 35 of those conferences so far—or 66%. More will fall in the coming weeks. Most of the unseen are Class A variety. Montevideo in the West Central was the only team checked off this week.
There were no completions for sections or for conferences this week. There are a few sections where it could happen. I expect to complete one conference this week, and another in the final regular season week.
The pp100 dropped slightly this week to 76.47, down 1.4 for the week. Winning teams were at 89.72, relatively healthy, but down 3.1 from last week. The losing teams continue their upward ascent with a rise of 2.3 to 63.2. But severe lows were found on Saturday on both the winning and losing sides. Foley had a 65.6, which three losing teams bested from ranges of 30 to 12. Little Falls did not make it to freeing with a 25.4. The best score of the week belonged to Mahtomedi in the win over Hill-Murray Thursday at 117.5. That also was the “best” game with the losing pp100 for the Pioneers at 95.1. That would have won the other four games I charted this week. If you measure “best” by closest spread between winner and loser then Friday’s win by Montevideo at Bird Island against the host BOLD Warriors qualifies with the margin only 5.4. BOLD stormed back from a 47-26 deficit with eleven minutes left in the game. That was a 24-8 finishing kick. BOLD made sure Avery Koenen did not break free to dominate the paint. Her position was well noted by the defense with one player totally face guarding the 6-3 North Dakota State recruit. The game was physical. Koenen was knocked to down at midcourt with 6:11 and did not return. At that point the Thunder Hawks led 51-31. Without Koenen in the mix, and the long distance game cold—-Monte made ten 3s in the first half, zero in the second—the Warriors pounced. With another minute BOLD might have pulled off a comeback. As it was Montevideo secured the West Central title for the second straight year.
Examining the class structure AA checked in at 80.65, about nine points better than the AAA at 71.76. AAA was hampered by Little Falls 25.4 and South St. Paul’s 34.7.
Two weeks left in the regular season. I don’t want to jinx it, but the weather has been co-operating lately. My Saturday will be bigger this weekend. From only one game charted on the 11th, I expect seven this next week. That is more than the total this past week. If you notice the travel radius is also getting larger. In December, and early January, the concentric circles from the metro migrated from about thirty-forty five minutes to an hour-hour and a half. Now we are stretching it to past two hours. Such is the way of the calendar, the lay of the state, and my availability.
Still hard to get in. Especially when I only chart five games. We are still in the single digits, indeed single hand, to count members. Only two games produced 31 Clubbers. The week’s leader made the 41 Club: Mylea Monahan from Glencoe-Silver Lake made it on the nose in Monday’s win at Norwood-Young America (or as they say Central). The best pp100 of the 31 Clubbers also came in that game with NYA’s Norah Erickson racking up a 133.3. Four of the 31 Club members cleared the century mark. The other game that delivered 31 Clubbers came in the Thursday match up with Mahtomedi and Hill-Murray.
One on top of the mountain. With Buffalo Lake-Hector-Stewart’s loss at Mayer Lutheran on Monday that leaves one solitary unbeaten team in the nearly 400 teams that field a girls basketball squad. The Wildcats of New London-Spicer still have not tasted defeat and seem to be picking up steam. They doubled up Sauk Centre on Saturday on the road. Back to back challenges await this week. Glencoe-Silver Lake will try to do what no one else has done so far this year on Friday at NLS. Then the Wildcats go to Crosby-Ironton on Saturday in another battle with a team with state aspirations.
AAAA 0: none
AAA 0: none
AA 1: New London-Spicer
A 0: none
New London-Spicer is the top of the streak list too at 22. Can all four get to state? Yes. Can all four win state? Right now my magic 8 ball says unlikely.
AAAA: 16 Chaska
AAA: 21 Grand Rapids
AA: 22 New London-Spicer
A: 21 Henning
SEARCH FOR 100
Six teams to go for 100. Two regular season weeks. The needed number is 3 per week, up from recent weeks. Grading out the 150s move into B range. 175s move to Cs. The biggest improvement this week came in the 175 category, up four.
Looking at the top 10s I am at 100% in AAAA, AAA; 90% AA; up to 50% in A with the addition now of BOLD.
Looking at the “seeding the state” nothing changes. 100% in AAAA & AAA; 87.5% in AA; 37.5% in A
The #1s (according to QRF) in each section is 100% in AAAA & AAA; 80% in AA with Glencoe-Silver Lake off the to-do list; 23.1% in A.
Holding steady at the final four in the 64 AAAA quest—or 93.8%. I will not get to the full list here. Some of the remaining teams are just too far down and out to get to the complete list.
Luverne is still the biggest fish out there at #65.
SEEDING THE STATE
The world is topsy-turvey now. Hopkins and Benilde-St. Margaret’s both are out at the one slot. Indeed, the Royals are no longer on the list with the loss to Wayzata. And all this came after STMA pounded the Trojans on Tuesday. Stillwater replaces East Ridge after the Raptors loss to White Bear Lake. East Ridge will be looking to reassert themselves on Friday with a home game against the Ponies.
So far this year there has been one constant in the top spot: Providence in AA. Expect that to remain the case throughout the rest of the year.
- Chaska (2)
- Michael-Albertville (8)
- Wayzata (6)
- Maple Grove (5)
- Stillwater (4)
- Lakeville North (1)
- Rosemount (3)
- Centennial (7)
- Becker (5)
- Benilde-St. Margaret’s (6)
- Grand Rapids (7)
- Stewartville (1)
- DeLaSalle (7)
- Jordan (2)
- Alexandria (8)
- Mahtomedi (4)
- Providence (5)
- Albany (6)
- New London-Spicer (3)
- Goodhue (1)
- Minnehaha (4)
- Pequot Lakes (7)
- Perham (8)
- Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial (2)
- Mountain Iron-Buhl (7)
- Mayer Lutheran (2)
- Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa (5)
- Henning (6)
- Hayfield (1)
- Badger-Greenbush-Middle River (8)
- Lac qui Parle Valley (3)
- Heritage Christian (4)