Yes that refers to the season coming to a close. We are in the fourth quarter and seconds remain in some players careers. But it also refers to the 4-2 game in Oklahoma (a boy’s contest) and the 126-93 scoreboard lightbulb popping performance by Providence and Minnehaha. The shot clock is on the way so no one has to worry about 4-2s here in Minnesota (unless it is a softball score). Some conferences already are using the shot clock. I expect those schools to be ahead of the learning curve the rest will have next year. Looking at the past week and the possession count the low was 53 on Thursday’s Breckenridge v. Pelican Rapids game. The highest possession count was 86 in the Windom victory over Worthington. The weekly average was 69.3. This is in line with historical charting. If we use the 86 possession count for Providence, the estimated pp100 would be an extremely healthy 146.5. At the further limits like 96 the pp100 is still strong at 131.5. This is what a well run offense looks like. Here is a warning to all the fans. The possession count drops in sections and state—-on average. Better teams don’t cough up the ball that much.
Once upon a time I coached boys varsity and we ran the four corners. Back in those days if you had the lead and the ball, the defense could not stay in their comfortable zone. They were forced to come out and guard. Somewhere along the lines that rule was altered. No one wants to see the 4-2 score, but my teams were not the strongest and we prevailed in some tight games. It was a tactic that underdogs could use against favorites. All rule changes have been for the benefit of the favored.
Two more players joined the 2000 point club this week—both fab frosh: Maddyn Greenway of Providence and Tori Oehrlein of Crosby-Ironton. Last year they were the only 8th graders to reach that mark in state history with Oehrlein ahead. Greenway won the race to 2000 this year with a sizzling 60 on Friday. Not only is there the calendar race, but the game race. Both got to 1000 in the 40s: Oehrlein on game 40; Greenway on game 46. Oehrlein got to 2000 faster in that regard too with game 72; Greenway game 80. The previous best to 2000 was 82 games by Megan Taylor of Roseau and Kierah Kimbrough of BGMR. But those marks happened in their junior year. Tayler Hill of Minneapolis South got to 2000 as a sophomore in game 85. Rebekah Dahlman (Braham 2013), the leader right now at 5060, got to 2000 in game 97.
Furthermore, both Greenway and Oehrlein reached the 2000 mark in each team’s 23 game of the year. Both have 722 points and average 31.4 ppg. This will be an interesting race to chart. Greenway has one distinct advantage—more postseason options—make that state games (so far). Greenway has had three years to Oehrlein’s zero.
By the way I have charted all 2000 point scorers this year. Last year I missed out on three.
BIG SOUTH EAST & WEST
It is easy to complete a conference when the weather is nice and that conference brings all 13 teams to one site on a Saturday. In the past the Big South held this event in December. They pushed this to the last regular season Saturday this year. Due to weather the title game could not take place. So some divisional postponed work remained.
The strange thing is the BS East had a better pp100 than the BS West. This is counterintuitive because the West beat the East in the opening two matchups. Redwood Valley and Pipestone both picked up wins. As it is the East has a pp100 of 91.49 which is slightly below the Lake. Before we all go jump in the Lake claiming the BSE is right there with them, context needs to be examined. Indeed, the BSE give up more than they score putting them in negative territory. In fact, the BSW has a better won loss mark. The BSW also is positive with more pp100 for than against. One reason the offensive pp100 is low for the BSW is that three times the team charted could not break out of the 60s (or worse). Windom is the flag bearer for the highest pp100 in the BSW. That was helped by 15 3s in the win over Worthington.
|Big South East||4-5||91.49||121.1||St. Peter|
|Big South West||5-4||82.06||100||Windom|
|Metro East-no m||1-1||68.20||87.7||Hill-Murray|
The second section in AAA is now in the bank. The southwest corner of the state joins the northeast metro corner in being fully charted. 2AAA has a few Big South teams, plus both Mankatos from the Big nine in addition to a pair on the metro fringe–Jordan from the Wright County East and New Prague from the Metro West. This could be a wide open section this year. Right now, St. Peter has the best pp100 with their first win over Waseca. But, as the saying goes, defense wins titles. St. Peter leads there too with a 61.3 in the Saturday second win over the Bluejays. Marshall was extremely physical in the Saturday revenge win over Luverne holding the Cardinals to 64.3.
This is what is out so far. Southern small class sections. FYI I have seen eight of the nine AA; only one of the nine A.
1: 1. Goodhue; 2. Rochester Lourdes; 3. Caledonia
3N: 1. New London-Spicer; 2. Montevideo; 3. Minnewaska
3S: 1. Luverne; 2. Pipestone; 3. Fairmont
1: 1. Hayfield; 2. Grand Meadow; 3. Randolph
3N: 1. Lac qui Parle Valley; 2. Minneota; 3. MACCRAY
3S: 1. Southwest MN Christian; 2. Westbrook-Walnut Grove; 3. Edgerton
WEEKLY TEAM REVIEW
Ka-pow! The pp100 leaped 7.22 this week to 83.69. This was the result of nine of the twelve games above 90. Winning teams were just three off the century mark at 97.14. A rising tide lifts all boats and the losing teams pp100 jumped to 70.23. A good week all the way around in that regard. The highest totals belonged to Mahtomedi in the win over Hastings with a 107.8 pp100. We bottomed out with a 49.4 by Tri-City United in their loss to Jackson County Central, the only non-Big South team in the event. The ”best” game with the losing team’s pp100 came in the St. James win over Fairmont with the Cardinals (one of three Cardinal teams to play that day, 1-2 for Saturday), checking in at 88.4. That was only better than two of the wins I had charted over the course of the week. The lowest pp100 for a winning team came in Thursday’s journey to the northwest part of the state in Breckenridge’s comeback win at Pelican Rapids. The Cowgirls had an 81.8 pp100. That also was the tightest game of the week with Breckenridge trailing by six with about six minutes left. They held host Pelican scoreless the rest of the game and didn’t take the lead until about a minute was left on a steal and lay up by Parker Yaggie.
All four classes were charted this week with Hastings & Tartan fulfilling the AAAA obligations. That was the lowest class at 67.35 pp100. Both opponents were Mahtomedi. AAA, with eight games, had a week’s best at 88.21. AA trailed at 83.62. Breckenridge was the sole A rep with an 81.1.
How big an impact did the Big South Showcase have? It did lift the average, but not by that much. The regular week came in at 83.04; the Saturday seven 84.15. I credit that to the balanced team match ups. The last two games had much lower pp100s because of more physical defense, and playing for titles. If one of those four played the other teams, the pp100s may be greater.
With the regular season curtain coming down there will be a scramble to get things charted. Especially with the impending blizzard barreling toward us mid-week. I am sure there will be some cancellations. The sections get underway this week as well with subsection quarters in 3A & 3AA.
Apparently not that hard to get it. Eighteen made it to the halls of the 31 Club this week, a lucky 13 more than the week before. Partly that was the result of the Big South Saturday seven game extravaganza. Ten players made it there that day. Earlier in the week there were a pair of games that saw three players get in. LCWM topped the list with three entries in the Monday win over Waterville-Elysian-Morristown. Mahtomedi, Jackson County Central and Windom each had a pair join in the same game. Not only did 18 make the cut, three of those made the even more exclusive 41 Club. JCC had two players. But the top of the line belonged to 5-11 St. James senior guard Taylor Sodeman with a 49, one better than JCC senior guard Maci Farmer. 13 31 Clubbers also were pp100 centurions. Oddly enough the top score there also came in the St. James game, but on the losing side. Fairmont junior guard Grace Pendergast had an impressive 175 pp100 with a 31 Club score on the nose at 31.
UNBEATEN & SOLOS
With New London-Spicer falling to Crosby-Ironton on the road Saturday we will have no unbeaten champions in 2023. As such we now move to the one loss category. There are six teams left in that mix.
Is there a danger for any school picking up number two (weather permitting) this week? NLS will be starting sections Saturday. They should move on in a 1-8 battle. For most of the six the next loss knocks them off the state title chase.
AAAA 1: Chaska
AAA 0: none
AA 3: Abany, Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial, New London-Spicer
A 2: Buffalo Lake-Hector-Stewart, Henning
Henning is the leader now at 23 straight wins. Only AAAA lacks a 20 game streak winner. That streak will be on the line Tuesday against 6A North rival Underwood.
AAAA: 18 Chaska
AAA: 22 Grand Rapids
AA: 20 Providence
A: 23 Henning
SEARCH FOR 100
Four teams to go for 100. One regular season week. Completing 100 won’t happen during the regular season. At best three will come off the list this week. But the weather may limit that to one.
Looking at the top 10s I am at 100% in AAAA, AAA; and AA with Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial added; 50% in A.
Looking at the “seeding the state” it moves to three classes at 100%: AAAA, AAA; and AA with LCWM added Monday. Still at 37.5% in A
The #1s (according to QRF) in each section is 100% in AAAA & AAA; 92.3% in AA with Southwest Christian of Chaska the only fly in the ointment; Much work to do in A at 23.1%.
With Saturday’s haul the big improvement came up bit in 100 to 175. 125 is now over 90%
Spring Lake Park is now the biggest fish out there at #70.
SEEDING THE STATE
Hopkins, after a week’s penance, is back on the list. The eyes of the basketball world will be dialed in on the return match up with Wayzata in sections. There are a few new faces in the AAAA listing this week, or should I say returning faces. East Ridge replaces Stillwater in 4; Blaine replaces Centennial in 7. Crosby-Ironton, by virtue of their toppling the last unbeaten team in New London-Spicer appears for the first time in AA.
- Chaska (2)
- Hopkins (6)
- Michael-Albertville (8)
- East Ridge (4)
- Maple Grove (5)
- Lakeville North (1)
- Rosemount (3)
- Blaine (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)
- Goodhue (1)
- Minnehaha (4)
- Crosby-Ironton (7)
- New London-Spicer (3)
- Perham (8)
- Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial (2)
- Mountain Iron-Buhl (7)
- Mayer Lutheran (2)
- Henning (6)
- Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa (5)
- Hayfield (1)
- Badger-Greenbush-Middle River (8)
- Lac qui Parle Valley (3)
- Heritage Christian (4)