OR IS IT THE WEEK THAT WASN’T…..OR THE WEEK OF OLIVE
The best laid plans of mice and men go to waste when weather is involved. Yes winter storm “Olive” made a mess starting Tuesday and wrapping up on Thursday. But an unnamed storm on Monday ruined my plans as well. I was to go to Belgrade on Monday to see BBE. It started off benign. Yes it was windy when I filled on gas. Sure, the winds on 94 did blow some snow across the roads making a slick segment near Monticello. But when I got past Cold Spring things deteriorated quickly. The winds were unabated and the gentle across the road skimming turned into full blown white outs above the height of the car. It was still daylight. One section of 23, where it goes from a four lane to two was completed covered in ice and the speeds dropped with the temps to under 30 miles an hour. I reached Belgrade and then turned tail. I figured the conditions were not going to get better and I would use the five minutes left of scant daylight to advantage. I decided to move up 71 to Sauk Centre. The GPS insisted I take a right here at this county road or that county road. I did not want to go on some less traveled road where for sure the conditions, especially at night, would lead to visits with the ditch and no one finding my carcass until May. I inched up 71 at 10 MPH with full blown semis moving south and unknown ditches on my right. It took forever to reach 94 at Sauk Centre. Once I was on that freeway the roads were fine—green in the language of the MN511. It took two hours and twenty minutes to return home. Usually, it would be 1:35. I figured I didn’t need to spend the night in a strange bed, or in a strange ditch or in a strange hospital. That meant for the week only a diet of Mahtomedi games Tuesday (nothing Wednesday) Thursday and Friday. Saturday I had a freshman tournament that tipped off at 8 am at East Ridge. I didn’t leave until about 4. I was exhausted and bypassed some evening opportunities. BTW we finished third out of 16 teams losing in the semis by three after trailing by ten with 3 minutes to go, then tying it up. We did not get that stop after the tie and had a crack at a 3 at the buzzer that rimmed out.
NW SUBURBAN COMPLETED
Of the “Big 4” conferences, the NW Suburban underperformed according to the pp100 and in overall wins and losses this season. Examining only non-con match ups the NW Suburban was 3-7. They were four points under the South Suburban and trailed the top of the line Lake Conference by 19. Only five players were able to crack the 31 Club with Rogers’ senior Clara Glad the top of the list with a 36. But the NW Suburban can send out a potential (5,6,7,8 in AAAA, 4 in AAA) schools to the state tournament across two classes. Indeed Totino-Grace is the defending AAA champion. Of course, the potential is also zero arrive at state. Their best crack would be in 5AAAA & 7AAAA this year. Maple Grove is the favorite in 5, and four options exist in 7.
|Big South East||4-5||91.49||121.1||St. Peter|
|Big South West||5-4||82.06||100||Windom|
|NW Suburban||5-9||73.46||94.6||Spring Lake Park|
|Metro East-no m||1-1||68.20||87.7||Hill-Murray|
Spring Lake Park also completed the 5AAAA action which means five of the eight sections in AAAA are finished. This section is in the north central suburbs of the metro with the NW Suburban and Suburban East the two conferences represented. Last year Roseville as a lower seed upend Maple Grove in the title game. The Raiders are not going to be the one seed, but they do own the best pp100 when I was out charting in their win over Totino-Grace. It is the only century mark in the bunch. Two teams were able to get to the 90s, but both times those teams fell to Mahtomedi (Mounds View & Spring Lake Park). Maple Grove is currently the favorite in this section and has been in the top 10 all year. They had the unfortunate calendar date with Hopkins when I charted and checked in with a 74.2. The Crimson will strive to avoid being Crimson faced again at the end of section times.
If you are wondering why 1, 4, & 6AAAA are not evaluated—I am missing Northfield, St. Paul Central and Minneapolis Washburn respectively. Seeing all AAAA teams this year—-that boat has sailed, and I am still on the shore.
Not every section was out when this was published. But AAAA was completed. AAA was close. Every year some #2s and a stray #3 gets to dance at state. Last year five #1s in AAAA made it. Not great odds. The only year I know where all #1s made it in AAAA was the virus year of 2021.
1: 1. Lakeville North; 2. Rochester Mayo; 3. Lakeville South
2: 1. Chaska; 2. Eden Prairie; 3. Prior Lake
3: 1. Rosemount; 2. Eagan; 3. Eastview
4: 1. East Ridge; 2. White Bear Lake; 3. Stillwater
5: 1. Maple Grove; 2. Roseville; 3. Champlin Park
6: 1. Hopkins; 2. Wayzata; 3. Cooper
7: 1. Centennial; 2. Blaine; 3. Anoka
8: 1. St. Michael-Albertville; 2. Rogers; 3. Elk River
1: 1. Stewartville; 2. Red Wing; 3. Austin
2: 1. Jordan; 2. Mankato East; 3. St. Peter
3: 1. DeLaSalle; 2. Visitation; 3. St. Paul Como Park
4: 1. Mahtomedi; 2. Hill-Murray; 3. North St. Paul
5: 1. Becker; 2. Monticello; 3. Zimmerman
6: 1. Benilde-St. Margaret’s; 2. Holy Angels; 3. Orono
7: 1. Grand Rapids; 2. Cloquet; 3. Hermantown
1: 1. Goodhue; 2. Rochester Lourdes; 3. Caledonia
2N: 1. Southwest Christian Chaska; 2. Glencoe-Silver Lake; 3. Norwood-Young America
2S: 1. Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial; 2. Waseca; 3. NRHEG
3N: 1. New London-Spicer; 2. Montevideo; 3. Minnewaska
3S: 1. Luverne; 2. Pipestone; 3. Fairmont
6: 1. Albany; 2. Sauk Centre; 3. Holdingford
7: 1. Pequot Lakes; 2. Proctor; 3. Crosby-Ironton
8: 1. Perham; 2. Thief River Falls; 3. Pelican Rapids
1: 1. Hayfield; 2. Grand Meadow; 3. Randolph
2N: 1. Mayer Lutheran; 2. Buffalo Lake-Hector-Stewart; 3. BOLD
2S: 1. Sleepy Eye St. Mary’s; 2. Sleepy Eye; 3. Mountain Lake-Comfrey
3N: 1. Lac qui Parle Valley; 2. Minneota; 3. MACCRAY
3S: 1. Southwest MN Christian; 2. Westbrook-Walnut Grove; 3. Edgerton
5E: 1. Braham; 2. Barnum; 3. Ogilvie
5W: 1. Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa; 2. Nevis; 3. Walker-Hackensack-Akeley
7: 1. Mountain Iron-Buhl; 2. Cromwell-Wright; 3. Ely
8E: 1. Kelliher-Northome; 2. Fosston; 3. Fertile-Beltrami
8W: 1. BGMR; 2. Goodridge-Grygla-Gatzke; 3. EGF Sacred Heart
Here are the most dangerous 2,3,4,5 seeds in each class (when seeds are known). BTW AA and A have several sections split into either north/south or east/west. That means six teams are listed. I am only going to 2 & 3 in those two classes.
AAAA: 2. Blaine; 3. Stillwater; 4. Minnetonka; 5 Cambridge-Isanti
AAA*: 2. Hill-Murray; 3. St. Peter; 4. Marshall; 5. Totino-Grace
AA*: 2. Rochester Lourdes; 3. Crosby-Ironton
A*: 2. BLHS; 3. BOLD;
WEEKLY TEAM REVIEW
Thanks to Olive I was limited to three games. It was a Mahtomedi exclusive week. Twice they cracked the century mark. But two times the opponents failed to break past 51. So the average of 83.7 needs to be taken with a grain of salt. By far the “best” game with the losing team’s pp100 and margin differential was the Thursday rescheduled game with Spring Lake Park with the Panthers checking in with 94.6 and a differential of 8.1. Host SLP did pull ahead by one point after a put back made it 60-59 with about 6 minutes remaining. That was immediately answered on the next Mahtomedi possession with a long ball. SLP tied it at 62 and again at 68 with two minutes left. The Zephs scored on six of their next seven possessions. The unique feature of this game was the shot clock. It was Mahtomedi’s first time under the clock. I have been at many games this year where the conference has already moved to the 35 second clock. Those conferences would seem to hold an advantage in the learning curve in the upcoming years.
Sections will be in full swing. Some sections will get down to a final four by Saturday night. Some will be at the final two. It goes by fast.
Since it was all Mahtomedi based games this week it should not be a shock that the four entries are all Zephyrs. There were four entries, but only two players: Sonya Pothoff made the 41 Club with a “Sonya” night (senior night—the only senior in Zephyrland) 31 point performance on Tuesday against Simley. Anna Greene also was a double entry. She had the best pp100 of the week between the two at 183.3, but it was narrow. Pothoff trailed at 182.4.
Next week I expect to see many more games. I am hopeful that the roads and weather behave.
We are down to five with Henning’s loss to Underwood in a 6A North preview battle. The log jam is at AA with three contestants left.
AAAA 1: Chaska
AAA 0: none
AA 3: Albany, Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial, New London-Spicer
A 1: Buffalo Lake-Hector-Stewart
Grand Rapids moves into the lead with 24 straight wins with Henning’s loss to Underwood. That also means there is a new leader in A—Grand Meadow with 19 straight wins. A is the only class at the sub-20 win mark.
AAAA: 20 Chaska
AAA: 24 Grand Rapids
AA: 23 Providence
A: 19 Grand Meadow
SEARCH FOR 100
Only one crossed off this week—Spring Lake Park. Even with that soloist I cut the list to 100 two times leaving two to go for the finish. Now, with playoffs, there is no wiggle room.
Looking at the top 10s I am at 100% in AAAA, AAA; and AA; 50% in A.
Looking at the “seeding the state” it moves to three classes at 100%: AAAA, AAA; and AA. Still at 37.5% in A
No changes here too. 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%.
Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa is now the biggest fish out there at #91.
SEEDING THE STATE
If, and that is a big IF, these seeds would hold true into the state tournament, we might see a battle between two frosh 2000 point phenoms in the AA semis. Crosby-Ironton has been on a roll recently knocking off quality teams.
- 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)
- Jordan (2)
- DeLaSalle (7)
- Alexandria (8)
- Mahtomedi (4)
- Providence (5)
- Albany (6)
- Goodhue (1)
- Crosby-Ironton (7)
- New London-Spicer (3)
- Minnehaha (4)
- Perham (8)
- Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial (2)
- Mountain Iron-Buhl (7)
- Mayer Lutheran (2)
- Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa (5)
- Hayfield (1)
- Underwood (6)
- Badger-Greenbush-Middle River (8)
- Lac qui Parle Valley (3)
- Heritage Christian (4)