2022-23 Week That Was #17 Plus Seeding the State—-2024 Style



It is hard to pinpoint changes of momentum or pivot points in contests—–when the game flow moves from one team to another. In the A semifinals between Mountain Iron-Buhl and Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa  I think that point came 11:39 mark of the second half when both teams were hit with a double foul. At that juncture BBE led 45-34. MIB had the ball at the time. After both fouls were tabulated, it was MIB’s ball. In the ensuing play there was a missed three. In the scramble for the jump it was dual possession at 11:15. But the ball stayed with the Rangers. Jordan Zubich nailed a 3 on the in bound play to start the MIB resurrection. In the next seven possessions MIB outscored BBE 15-3. Momentum was now clearly in the #1 seeds hands. They rode it out and continued their ride in a dominating championship game for their first title.

With 4:30 left in regulation in the AAA title game Stewartville held on to a 52-49 lead over Benilde-St. Margaret’s. Sierra Lumpkin turned the tables on the Tigers with a three & another three sandwiched around a layup by Zahara Bishop. That put the #2 seed Red Knights in the driver’s seat with under three minutes remaining 59-55. BSM had to achieve this without All State guard Kendall McGee who went down with a knee injury in the semis.


To reprise: in order to win a tournament a team must endure a bad half and survive it. Hopkins did not. St. Michael-Albertville did. At half time in the AAAA championship game everything was rolling for the Knights. The Royals were basically floundering. Also the conventional wisdom heading into the tournament was “The Hopkins vs. Wayzata game was the “real” state championship.” I can tell you that it is not and was not. If you are Wayzata, you can make that statement and it won’t cost you. If you are Hopkins and hear it, say it, then you are setting yourself up for comeuppance. The Knights had a whopping (vs. Hopkins) 21 point lead in the first half. Their pp100s was over 120. Hopkins was mired in the 60s. I realized there was going to be a regression to the mean in the second half. Hopkins would produce more, STMA would not shine as brightly. I also thought that 67 points were needed to win. At that time STMA had 42 points. Hopkins had 25. I was wrong. STMA needed and got 71 from a hard charging Royal crew. With the loss we may have seen an end of an era. Hopkins has been a fixture on the state tournament scene and in the title game particularly. They have been the #1 seed in a doze of the last 13 years. The only time they failed to get to state was in 2014 in that stretch. The curtain may have come down on the era of Hopkins. I don’t see the D1 talent in the pipeline that was there previously. That isn’t to say that Hopkins will wither away. They just won’t be at the cutting edge, have the depth that has marked the era. Expect AAAA to be wide open with multiple scenarios about to play out.


Anything that happens in the state tournament is magnified. Players, their actions, and production is under the microscope like it or not. One’s “competitive fire” to another person is a cheap shot by a bully/thug. Behavior toward officials—-with the constant questioning—who ME????—or incredulous looks—-was apparent. Not called for. I have never seen a call reversed after the lawyering of players. My guess is that these players are in this mode all year and get away with it. Several people commented on multiple examples of behavior issues—–I was not at all the games, but the sources are credible. The in-your-face mentality must be eliminated. There are consequences for behavior.


One thing I heard and observed throughout the tournament is the longing for retired coaches, or coaches that are not or were not at the show, for one more score, one more hit, the high of competing at the higher levels. There is a tinge of regret that they are not part of the atmosphere. They want that adrenaline rush leading up to the game—the plotting and the prep. There is nothing else like it. Obviously for the players there is a finality with the senior season. Coaches can experience the rush continually. I hope those that were at the show savored every minute. You never know when you will get another opportunity like it again.


The last week, with the best teams in the state saw a continued rise of the pp100, up 2.7. Again the better teams probably handle the ball better, probably take better shots, and make them then the teams that remained at home. Winners jumped 4.1. The oddity this week was the increase in the point differential. That also went up 3.3 to 24. Centurions exploded to eleven this week. The highest came on the very first game of the tournament with Hopkins reaching 126.6 in their win over Roseville. That game also featured the biggest gap of 64.1. There was one losing team that reached the century mark—-that happened in the very next game. Lakeville North lost despite getting 101.6. Stillwater edged them out at 104.7. That was the “best” game if you look at the losing team’s pp100. The final game of the tournament, St. Michael-Albertville’s holding on to dethrone Hopkins, would qualify as the “best” not only for the drama, and intrigue, and history making—closing of an era, but for the slimmest margin of 1.3 in pp100. Last week the Hopkins vs Wayzata game was mentioned as worthy of a state championship. The final thing was definitely worthy, with the added benefit of actually being the final game of the state championship. The fans got a treat.

Here is a look at the pp100s on different levels:
AAAA: 94.1, AAA 86.9 (1 game only), AA 88.9, A 81.0. All this shows is AAAA has teams and players that are of high quality. It is too bad I can not do all the games and get an accurate account. I cannot evaluate AAA with only the small sample size of one.  It appears that AA was the second best event. The A level came in as the lowest, 13, lower than AAAA, but also lower than many weekly averages this season.

Daily: Wednesday 91.0, Thursday 79.8, Friday 90.9, Saturday 86.8. What to make of this category? Wednesday featured AAAA teams (plus two AA games) that were fresh. Thursday four A games with the entire field. The lowest winner of the week came in one of the A quarters checking in with a 77.8. Friday bumped up to 90.9 with A & AA semifinals. Saturday should have an asterisk. Yes the “average” was 86.8, but if we eliminate the BOLD fold it was the best at 93.2.


There were 19 games and 33 entries into the 31 Club. The only class that had quarterfinal to final charting was A— a total of seven games. AAAA was next with six. AA had five with only one AAA game—the championship. So on multiple fronts the best anyone could do would be a trifecta. Only one player got in three times and got in three times in the 41 Club—-Tessa Johnson of state champion STMA. Other multiples include Addison Mack, Grace Counts, Lainey Braulick, Maddyn Greenway, Mari Ryberg, Sage Ganyo, Taylor Woodson. BOLD had five entries, the most of any school, but was stopped colder than a mackerel by MIB in the A championship. Then no Warrior even got to the 21 club. The 41 Club saw a dozen entries. Besides Johnson getting in thrice, Greenway and Ryberg doubled up (Greenway charted twice, Ryberg thrice). The next level 51 Club only had Greenway, the best of the week at 51 on the nose.  31 Clubbers were 26-7 for the week. 26 31 Clubbers also made the centurion collection (pp100 of 100+). The best pp100 score in the 31 Club was Ja’Kahla Craft’s perfect 200 in the STMA win over Eagan on Thursday. For the 41 Club the best was 185.7 by Mari Ryberg in BOLD’s win over United Christian. Providence’s Grace Counts was remarkably consistent with her pp100 of 154.5 (vs Albany) and 153.89 (vs Minnehaha). That is what coaches crave. You can count on Counts.


No team had one loss this year (much less undefeated) and was a state champ. The closest anyone came to the finals was Albany. The Huskies had one loss until they met the juggernaut Providence Lions.


Two teams retain their spots from a week ago, both on the lower classes. Providence and Mountain Iron-Buhl continue their strings.  Both are over 20.  New strings are started with St. Michael-Albertville and Benilde-St. Margaret’s. Both have a ways to go to reach the Lions & Rangers distance.

AAAA: 7 St. Michael-Albertville
AAA: 10 Benilde-St. Margaret’s
AA: 29 Providence
A: 22 Mountain Iron-Buhl


Only two more teams were charted for the first time this week: BGMR & United Christian. And UCA was outside the top 200 so that won’t help the percentages below.

#110 Rock Ridge is the team that stops my run. With BGMR added the next miss comes in at #125. For my schedule getting to 123 out of 125 was something that I am grateful for.



This is a waaaaaay to early look at 2024. Three of the 2023 champions are set to repeat. And for the first time in a verrrrry long time AAAA is going to be a wild, wild, carnival ride with many possibilities. Of course this listing can all change, and probably will because of unfortunate injuries and the portal…..I mean transfer market. Things never are static, but shifts do cause static.


  1. Minnetonka (2)
  2. Wayzata (6)
  3. Lakeville North (1)
  4. Michael-Albertville (8)
  5. Maple Grove (5)
  6. Stillwater (4)
  7. Eagan (3)
  8. Centennial (7)


  1. Benilde-St. Margaret’s (6)
  2. Stewartville (1)
  3. Alexandria (8)
  4. DeLaSalle (3)
  5. Peter (2)
  6. Monticello (5)
  7. Grand Rapids (7)
  8. Mahtomedi (4)


  1. Providence (5)
  2. Albany (6)
  3. Goodhue (1)
  4. Minnehaha (4)
  5. Crosby-Ironton (7)
  6. Perham (8)
  7. Glencoe-Silver Lake (2)
  8. New London-Spicer (3)


  1. Mountain Iron-Buhl (7)
  2. Hayfield (1)
  3. Buffalo Lake-Hector-Stewart (2)
  4. Walker-Hackensack-Akeley (5)
  5. Hancock (6)
  6. Kelliher-Northome (8)
  7. Southwest MN Christian (3)
  8. United Christian (4)

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