2018 State Tourney Preview

Its state tournament time and thankfully no blizzard in the forecast.  Here is what catches my eye.

Class A
Bracket (1st round at Williams Arena on Thursday)
Mahnomen/Waubun vs 1 Mayer Lutheran
5 Hinckley-Finlayson vs 4 Russell-Tyler-Ruthton
Heritage Christian vs 2 North Woods
Rushford-Peterson vs 3 Cass Lake-Bena

Beware of underdog team: Rushford-Peterson
I love the draw for Rushford-Peterson here.  They are 23-7 with 3 1 point losses against bigger school schedule.  North Woods and Cass Lake-Bena have beaten up on many weak teams up north.  In my bold predictions in the Breakdown book at the start of the year I said an unseeded team would make the final in class A.  Rushford-Peterson is that team.

Mayer Lutheran has all the pieces of size and shooting.  They've won 20 in a row and their losses are all to big schools.  That includes AA state opponents Minnehaha and Jordan. Hinckley-Finlayson is experienced.  They lost to AA Virginia by 3 at Virginia while North Woods at home beat Virginia by 3.  RTR is from the always tough section 3 with a record of 30-1 so expect that to be a terrific 4 vs 5 game and the winner can give Mayer Lutheran a run.  In the end, I take Mayer Lutheran over Rushford-Peterson for the title.

Class AA
Bracket (top half qtrs at Target Center, bottom half at Williams Arena on Wednesday night)
Jordan vs 1 Minnehaha
5 St. Cloud Cathedral vs 4 Esko
Breckenridge vs 2 Brooklyn Center
Minnewaska vs 3 Caledonia

Minnehaha's road opened up when Minneapolis North collapsed in the section 5AA final.  I saw Jordan lose to Minneapolis South on MLK day, quickness was a problem then and will be a problem here.  The state tourney lights will be on so I expect Jalen Suggs to raise his game to a championship level.  Esko is always dangerous with 7'3" Adam Trapp in the middle.  But Cathedral is making a return trip with a pair of stars in Michael Schaefer and Mitch Plombom.  If they get a lead, Esko can't leave Trapp in the middle of a zone.

Noah Christensen has been fantastic for Breckenridge.  They took out undefeated Perham in the section final so don't sleep on the Cowboys.  Brooklyn Center doesn't like to defend but they'll find a way to survive round 1.  That won't be the case in the semis.  The King clan has been fantastic, including Mr Basketball finalist, Owen King.  The Warriors will be motivated for another shot at Minnehaha and I think they get it.  Caledonia let Minnehaha get a 16 point lead last month before losing by 4.  Owen King was huge in that game despite some foul trouble.  I think they keep it interesting.  Minnehaha wins their 2nd straight AA title.  The wildcard for the Redhawks is Terry Lockett.  He's been out with an injury.  If he doesn't play, that means the already thin bench gets thinner and Jalen Suggs handles the ball much much more.

Class AAA
Bracket (1st round at Williams Arena on Wednesday)
Hermantown vs 1 De La Salle
5 St. Thomas Academy vs 4 Columbia Heights
Sauk Rapids-Rice vs 2 Austin
Delano vs 3 Mankato East

Beware of underdog team: Delano
Mr Basketball finalist Calvin Wishart leads a very talented roster that has also has a shooter/handler in Derek Techam and a very solid man in the middle in Keegan O'Neill.  They can spread the floor and can score a bunch of points.  Their lack of depth and Mankato East's athletic size present a big challenge in round 1.  Austin and De La Salle no problems in round 1.  Columbia Heights will probably use the 4 seed as motivation.  I like the draw against a St. Thomas Academy team that will have a tough time matching up athletically.  But Columbia Heights isn't deep and St. Thomas Academy can hit enough shots to win.  De La Salle and Austin move on to the final and the curse and streak continue.  De La Salle wins #7 in a row.

Class AAAA
Bracket (1st round at Target Center on Wednesday)
Wayzata vs 1 Cretin-Derham Hall
5 Osseo vs 4 Eden Prairie
Forest Lake vs 2 Apple Valley
Maple Grove vs 3 Lakeville North

Beware of underdog team: Wayzata
Wayzata got a great draw.  They just knocked off a team with bigs in Hopkins in the 6AAAA final.  With their ball and player movement, this is the draw that CDH didn't want.  Not to mention, CDH would be looking at EP (who beat them) and Apple Valley after that.  That's as tough a road as you could have created for the 1 seed.  Jacob Beeninga is tough as nails physically and competitively to will his team to wins.  They went small in the section final taking Tanner Jonas off the floor which would force Daniel Oturu to defend away from the rim.  Does CDH dare play 1-3-1 against the shooting potential.  Shooting teams are great but the big building is a great equalizer.  If Wayzata advances, they split with Eden Prairie in the regular season and Osseo is banged up right now.

But don't discount how Osseo is defending right now.  Plus Emmette Page has been fantastic all year getting buckets.  They'll need every bucket with forward Anthony Williams out and guard Zach Theisen hobbled.  Eden Prairie too sound and too balanced.  Expect a fairly low scoring game with Eden Prairie moving on.  Apple Valley will find a way to contain Manny Jingco and move on.  Lakeville North too deep and too good defensively, they'll move on over Maple Grove.

That sets up the top 4 seeds by my picks for a couple of terrific semifinals.  Eden Prairie beat CDH at the buzzer at the end of the year.  I think they do it again by getting Oturu and Sy Chatman away from the basket with pick and roll.  That's been the magic potion against the Raiders all year.  CDH has gotten away with Sy Chatman away from the rim defensively (he's a center by trade and still learning perimeter defense where he often gets lost), it bit them in the last meeting and will do so again here.  Apple Valley won the rematch with Apple Valley with Luke Martens back in the lineup.  I won't bet against Tre Jones after what he did last year.  He leads them to the title with 2 big games in the semis and championship.

Heritage wears the Cinderella slipper

To Anoka-Ramsey Community College for the section 4A final between 5 seed Heritage Christian (12-17) and 6 seed Mounds Park Academy (9-19).  Once upon a time I used to do the combined 4A/4AA finals at Holy Angels.  Once that went away, I stayed away.  But the story of one of these Cinderella teams making it was too good to pass up.  Hollywood on the call with black sleeves tonight.  The good folks at ARCC taking care of me for a rare evening of the low angle view at the scorer's table.

Game Time
Heritage comes out 2-3 zone and that's just part of a slow early pace.  MPA patient in their zone offense.  Heritage patient in their Swing Offense.  Yahya Mader 2 early 3s for Mounds Park.  Ben Allen a deep Heritage 3.  Seth Halvorsen adds a putback and 2 FTs at the 9:15 mark for Heritage.  13-12 Mounds Park Academy on top.  The free throws come on Madar's 2nd foul.  He stays in but MPA goes 3-2 to try to save him. 

Later, the teams trade triples and Halverson hits from deep as he starts to turn it on.  Heritage takes the lead 22-19.  MPA then starts to turn it over.  Halvorsen adds a free throw and a bucket on 2 of those.  That's inbetween 2 putbacks by MPA soph Alex Nicoski.  27-25 Heritage before an end to end trip by Nick Guiang ties it.  .  MPA 1 last possession to tie it, they go a few seconds too quick and Halvorsen runs out for a hammer 1 handed slam just before the buzzer. 31-27 Heritage at the break.  Halvorsen 15 points with the momentum dunk.  Madar 9 before sitting late in the half with the fouls.

The stars keep it going to start the 2nd half.  Madar 2 blocks on 1 possession and he'll take it the other way for the hoop and harm.  Halverson converts a turnover on a pretty Eurostep move.  Soph TJ Guggenberger comes up big for Heritage off their bench with 8 in a row via 2 triples and a drive for a nice scoop finish.  43-33 Heritage stretching the lead with 11:35 left.  Halvorsen adds a 3 for a Mokiller timeout and a free throw.  9:32 left as Heritage leads 49-35 after a 14-4 run in under 4 minutes.  Sam Frederickson adds 2 layups to stretch the lead to 16 with 8:20 left.

Mounds Park Academy won't go away.  Ben Nippolt with his 3rd and 4th triples of the night before fouling out with 4:23 left.  Those cut the lead to 10.  Madar with a pair of 3s to cut the lead to 6 with 1:30 left.  They'll press and force a turnover as Heritage ducks the shoulder trying to gain space with 1:05 left.  But turnovers will seal it.  Ben Allen converts 1 into 2 free throws.  Then a Halvorsen steal and an absolutely nasty monster 2 handed dunk on Madar with the foul.  Easily the best dunk I've seen all year (Here's the video).  Heritage Christian Academy advances to the state tournament with the 64-56.

Post Game
Junior Yahya Madar leads Mounds Park Academy with 4 triples and 19 points.  Junior guard Ben Nippolt adds 4 triples of his own off the bench for 12 points.  Nick Guiang chips in with 10 points.  The Panthers finish their season 9-20.  That's more wins than they had in the last 2 years.  That included breaking a 10 year 100+ game losing streak in conference games and a win over Larpenteur Ave neighbor Hill-Murray.  Lots for head coach Jake Schwartz to be proud of in his 1st year.

Seth Halvorsen was terrific for Heritage.  He leads the Eagles with 26 points.  Him and Ben Allen really controlled the pace of the game.  Sam Frederickson and soph TJ Guggenberger each add 10 critical points.  The Eagles defense generated enough turnovers to be the difference.  Heritage is pretty thin depth wise but they're well coached and who ever they draw at state will have to work to knock them out.

A Section Final For the Ages

To Chanhassen for the highly anticipated 6AAA final between Orono and De La Salle.  These teams regarded as state title contenders when the season began and both have lived up to that expectation.  Its a full house in the bleachers and on the rails.  Lithgow, a JMOA rep and a 3rd on the whistles.  A quality performance as usual from the De La Salle pep band.  Richard Pitino in the house to watch his 2 Gopher recruits Gabe Kalscheur and Jarvis Omersa

Game Time
Max Bjorklund carrying the Orono offense early.  He goes floater, drifts to the weakside corner for 3, adds a free throw and hits a kickout 3.  12 all at the 10:16 mark.  CJ Dickson runs the floor hard for a layup, Gabe Kalscheur 2 FTs and a slick drive by Tyrell Terry for a 18-15 DLS lead.  Griffin Sage then knocks down 2 3s in a personal 8-0 run.  Then a Jarvis Omersa block and he'll grab that and find Bjorklund running out for a dunk.  10-0 Orono run and DLS needs a timeout.  25-18 Spartans lead at the 6:10 mark.  Kalscheur quickly responds with a 3 and a 3 point play.  Bjorklund with a jumper and 3 in a 8-0 Orono run.  Kalscheur answers that too with a pair of bombs.  Then a turnover and nobody finds Tyrell Terry so he says why not and buries a 3.  Kalscheur adds 2 free throws to end the half.  35 all going to halftime.  Kalscheur with 20 and 3 triples.  Bjorklund 16 with 3 triples of his own.

Kalscheur shot 5-5 from the line in the 1st half but incredibly had a stretch where he missed 7 out of 9 in the 2nd half.  He makes 1 of 3 FTs and a layup off a turnover to start the half.  Omersa very quiet in the 1st half on offense with only 2 FTs.  He picks that up in the 2nd half.  His back to back buckets put Orono back on top before Colton Codute sits with his 4th foul with 13:59 left.  Thomas Lecy for 3 and a Omersa putback for a 3 point play.  The Orono run is 11-2 for a 49-43 lead with 11:37 left.

An extra pass finds Jamison Battle for a left corner 3.  Omersa counters that with his own 3 to keep the lead at 4.  Codute back in the game and makes 4-4 FTs, all on the 1 and 1.  That counters a couple of Dickson buckets.  58-56 Orono inside of 7 minutes left.  Then 2 offensive boards for Orono leads to another Bjorklund 3.  Then its bang again from deep for Bjorklund.  Bjorklund then kicks to Sage for another bomb.  Omersa then smacks away a Kalscheur drive and Codute finishes that.  69-57 Orono with 4:47 left.  Orono crowd erupts and De La Salle needs a timeout.  Islanders in real trouble here.  Its an 11-1 Orono run in about 1:20.  Everything on their side.

But champions don't go away and Kalscheur rises to the occasion.  Terry scores, Orono misses a front end.  Rayquan Moore for 3.  Kalscheur an offensive board for 2 free throws after an Orono timeout.  Then its Kalscheur with a block and he turns that into a 3 on the other end.  Bjorklund 2 FTs to keep the lead at 4.  Then Kalscheur for 3 as Battle gets run over setting the screen.  Count the basket and Battle makes both ends of the bonus.  De La Salle has the lead back 72-71 with 1:39 left.  OH MY!  15-2 Islanders run in under 3 minutes.

Oh the fun is just beginning.  The fans will stand for the rest of the game.  Bjorklund responds with a clutch 3.  Kalscheur with a charge at the 1:15 mark.  Orono has the ball back up 2 and Codute makes 2 FTs with 46.8 left for a 4 point lead.  Kalscheur with a 3, Omersa 2 free throws and its Kalscheur again for 3.  78 all with 13.9 left.  How clutch is that!  De La Salle takes timeout on the make to set the defense.

But in this game, you know the fun can't be over yet.  Orono gets into nothing out of the timeout and a pass is knocked out of bounds with 5.2 left.  Orono has it on the side in front of their bench.  Omersa sets a zipper screen and gets the ball a step off the right block.  He takes 1 rhythm dribble and then spins right shoulder to the basket.  His attempt is short, Dickson grabs the rebound and time has not run out before Omersa fouls him on the frustration foul with 0.5 left.  The entire building is stunned and in disbelief.  Dickson makes both free throws to win it.  Heartbreak city for Orono after leading by 12 with 4:47 left and 4 with 46.8 left.  De La Salle wins 80-78.

Post Game:
Orono finishes the season 23-6.  Max Bjorklund was fantastic with 28 points and 6 triples to lead the Orono offense.  Colton Codute 17 points.  Griffen Sage with 11 ponits.  Jarvis Omersa 16 points, 18 rebounds and 5 blocks.  You have to feel terrible for him having his high school career end that way.  Without his play during the season and in the 2nd half of this one, the Spartans likely don't make it this far.  He had a great look inside at the end to win it and that's all you can ask.

Gabe Kalscheur with 7 3s and 38 points to lead the Islanders despite 9-16 FTs.  He scored 14 out of 16 De La Salle points to bring them back to tied at the end.  That included 4 3s in the last 2 minutes.  Couldn't have asked for a better game from him.  CJ Dickson with 12 points off the bench.  He ran the floor and attacked the basket in the full court and half court very effectively.  De La Salle's shot at a 7th straight class AAA title stays alive.  They'll be the top seed in next week's state tourney.

What a fantastic game that will go down in the memory bank.  Great environment, high quality play.  De La Salle just so sound defensively.  Orono solid play on their end as well.  Both teams making big time plays.   Star players making star plays.  And oh by the way, an absolutely improbable ending.  It doesn't get better than all of that.

The Trojan Horse strikes again

To Osseo for the 6AAAA championship game.  Its a 1 vs 2 seed rematch of last year's game between Wayzata and Hopkins.  Last year Wayzata played about a perfect a game as you can expect and pulled the upset.  Is that in the cards again?  Hopkins won both regular season meetings including the last one at Wayzata 89-63.  That was a game that Wayzata had a 9 point lead in before Hopkins blew them out.  Both bands on hand but disappointing student sections.  Jet's Pizza and Pepsi to fill the long pregame wait.

Game Time:
Three combined triples start the scoring in this one.  Then a 6-0 Hopkins spurt.  Anthony Davis converts a turnover and puts back a free throw miss for a bucket during that run.  14-7 Hopkins looking to pull away early.  But then the always deadly Wayzata shooting heats up.  Drew Galinson and Jacob Beeninga with bombs.  Dane Zimmer with back to back hoops for a 21-13 lead inside the 9:30 mark.  Then a long Wayzata possession results in an Anthony Davis steal for a 3 point play.  Akeem Woods adds a reverse layup.  That's a 10-2 Hopkins run.  26-15 Royals at the 7:03 mark and Wayzata needs a timeout.  That timeout works as the rest of the half is all Wayzata.  They go on a 19-5 run over a 4 minute stretch and is all of the scoring for the rest of the half.  Five Wayzata threes in the run.  Beeninga with 3 of those and a layup during the run.  Kerwin Walton all of the Hopkins offense in that run.  34-31 Wayzata at the break.  Beeninga with 4 3s and 16 points in the half.  Kerwin Walton with 12 points to lead the Hopkins offense.  Wayzata with 8 makes from the deep beyond in the half.

Beeninga pivots and buries another bomb.  Galinson adds a difficult 2 and a short jumper over Joe Hedstrom.  41-32 Wayzata just under 2 minutes into the 2nd half.  Hopkins comes right back.  Zeke Nnaji with 2 inside buckets in a 9-0 run and we're tied at 41 with 12:56 left.  Nnaji with an elbow jumper.  Beeninga counters with a 3 point play. Then a tie up which leads to a shove and a Hopkins technical for 2 Beeninga free throws.  48-43 Trojans with 8:56 left.  Wayzata very patient in their possessions and not risking anything against the bigs inside.  Plenty of dribble weave like action with kickouts.  Luke Paulson with a tough lefty finish at the 3:25 mark and the lead is 6.  The rest of Wayzata's points are at the charity stripe. They go 8-8 including all 3 front ends in the last 1:03.  They would need all of them.  Zeke Nnaji and Kerwin Walton with late 3s.  Anthony Davis straight to the rim and the lead is 1 with 6.1 left.  Beeninga makes the last 2 free throws with 5.3 left and Wayzata smartly fouls in a Foul or Defend situation with 2 seconds left.  Anthony Davis makes the 1st, intentionally misses the 2nd.  Nobody gets the board.  Wayzata wins 63-61.

Post Game:
Hopkins finishes the season 26-2 with the only losses in their first and last games.  Kerwin Walton with 4 triples and 18 points to lead the Royals.  Zeke Nnaji adds 16 and was also on the glass.  Anthony Davis with 14.  The 3 Hopkins bigs combined for 51 points in the last meeting.  They combined for 21 points in this one.  This opens up a seed for Section 1, 2 or 5 as it looked like there would be only 2 seeds available for those 3 section winners (assuming CDH, AV and Hopkins took the top 3 seeds).  Eden Prairie, Park Center and the winner of Lakeville North and Rochester John Marshall would take the other 3 spots.  Now if Edina and/or Osseo win their finals on Friday, then the discussion for the 5th seed could get interesting.  Edina would definitely have a leg up though.

Wayzata moves on to state for the 2nd straight year.  Jacob Beeninga absolutely outstanding with 30 points in the win.  He knocked down 5 treys and was 11-11 FTs.  He absolutely would not let the Trojans lose.  After the Hopkins 9-0 run to tie the game, he had a laser assist for a layup then 5 points in a row as the Trojans built a lead they would not relinquish.  Then he was 6-6 from the foul line in the last 1:03 including the last 2 clutch ones with 5.3 left to force the Foul Or Defend situation at the end.  Drew Galinson adds 12 points.  Nobody else more than 5.  But the Trojans stayed very composed.

2018 4AA Semifinals

Since I was told concessions were supplied, I had to make the trip to St. Paul Washington for the 4AA semifinals.  For the record, the concessions were wonderful.  A shoutout for the great hospitality.  I saw a couple of games early in section 4AA play but none of these teams.

Game 1: 1 Minnehaha vs 4 Trinity
Terry Lockett out of the Minnehaha lineup.  He's replaced by frosh Chet Holmgren.  Trinity incredibly patient with their possessions and taking care of the ball for the most part.  But if you could draw up a more poorly played half for Minnehaha, I'd like to see it.  Ben Maslow 2 3s and its 8-5 Trinity at the 12:47 mark.  Jalen Suggs to Prince Aligbe for 3 to tie before the offenses go really quiet.  10-8 Trinity at 11:24.  Suggs sits with his 2nd foul and Minnehaha goes 1-3-1 to try and up their energy level.  Trinity goes scoreless for 7 minutes with that lead but when its broken they go up 12-10 at the 4:21 mark.  4 straight Trinity turnovers change the momentum.  Suggs with 2 hoops but then a technical for his 3rd foul late in the half.  The Redhawks still manage a 13-4 run over the last 3:25 for a 23-17 lead.

They'll quickly stretch that lead to 27-17 with Suggs on the bench to start the 2nd half.  But Trinity   rallies with a 10-2 run.  Oliver Waldron with a nice up and under move for a 3 point play and a Aaron Wessel triple in the run.  29-27 Minnehaha with 12:40 left and they take timeout.  Suggs with a steal for a dunk countered by another Masek hoop.  That would be the end of Trinity's scoring for the night with 11:05 left.  Suggs again, Bickham with a putback and then a kickout to Kaden Johnson for 3. Then its Suggs on the break with an angry dunk and Bickham in the post again.  Etc etc etc.  Trinity can't throw it in the ocean and its a runaway.  Minnehaha scores the last 31 points of the game in the last 10:55.  That takes a 2 point game to a 62-29 Minnehaha win.  Jalen Suggs 14 points and 5 steals.  JaVonni Bickham 14 points.  Aaron Wessel 7 for Trinity.  Minnehaha finally woke up but everything that could go wrong in the 1st half did.  Missing bunnies, silly fouls, silly gambling on defense etc etc.

Game 2: 3 New Life Academy vs 7 St. Paul Academy
St. Paul Academy coming in on a 9 game winning streak including a win over New Life so this looked very interesting.  But speaking of difficult offense, SPA couldn't get anything to go their way early on.  In the 1st 14+, they get a turnover for a layup and an offensive rebound bucket.  That's it.  I liked the idea of the packed in flat 3-2 zone.  Mark Rygh with a couple of 3s against that early on.  Big man Zach Thor's hammer strikes from 3 as well as the Eagles build a 20-4 lead.  The SPA offense would finally come to life and they pull to within 25-13 at the break.

Post Ryan Moore productive for SPA out of the Princeton Offense.  His early bucket cuts the margin to 10.  But then the Spartans miss a layup on a turnover and Rygh turns that into a 3 point play on the other end and then cuts vs the zone for another bucket.  So instead of being single digits, New Life has the lead back to 30-15 with 12:33 left.  Moore puts back his own miss and adds 2 free throws as SPA tries to stay close.  Thor's hammer strikes again from deep, Rygh with 2 more free throws and Drew Wynia's 1st hoop of the night.  Gus Grunau 4 straight but SPA has to extend down 14 inside of 10 left.  It gets out of hand from there and New Life wins 58-30.  Mark Rygh with 18 points to lead the Eagles in the victory.  Zach Thor adds 12.  Gus Grunau 11, Ryan Moore 10 for SPA.  SPA was patient and ran some solid Princeton stuff but they weren't going to get much inside against the New Life size. 

The section final is Friday at Washington.  Maranatha forced New Life to turn it over a truckload in the MCAA championship game and it became blowout material.  This Minnehaha roster is like that only on steroids (figuratively, that's not a cheap shot people).  Plus Minnehaha really likes to gamble for steals.  New Life's size can bother JaVonni Bickham inside where he can struggle to finish against fellow bigs his size.  Plus the bigs are mobile enough to not be totally mismatched when he steps away.  Minnehaha is a heavy favorite if they come to play.  But tonight for almost 3/4 of the game they didn't.  That's the big wildcard.

A dynamic duo of section semifinals

What a day on the schedule with the 2AAAA semis in the afternoon.  That followed by the 4AAAA semis at night.  On paper this promised to be big time games and they did not disappoint.  Excellent crowds on the whole.  Plenty of miles to go and plenty of Pepsi to drink.  Let's get to the details.

2AAAA: 1 Eden Prairie vs 4 Chaska
Quick 6-0 start for Eden Prairie thanks to a turnover and blocked shot.  Chaska with a timeout 1:02 into the game after that.  They respond with an 11-2 run.  Connor Christensen with a pair of 3s and a jumper, Austin Andrews 4 late FTs for a 38-30 EP lead at the break.  The 2nd half was a defensive struggle.  Both teams cranked it up on that end.  But in particular it was the Eden Prairie defense that held Chaska to 4 2nd half field goals.  Eden Prairie would pull alway thanks to that and win 67-48.  Great balance for Eden Prairie with 5 of their 6 scorers in double figures,  Kyler Kluge leads with 16 points.  Cole Nicholson 15 points and Parker Bjorklund 13 points to lead Chaska but they didn't get any help.

2AAAA: 2 Prior Lake vs 3 Edina
Edina would use an early 13-2 run to take a 17-9 lead.  Jacob Hutson doing work inside with 9 early points.  Dawson Garcia with 3 FTs and a triple as he was the only major 1st half offense for Prior Lake.  Jack Middleton with a couple of 3s in the half and 10 points for a 30-21 Edina halftime lead.  Edina opens the half on a 9-0 run with 4 different players scoring.  Robert Jones stops that with an emphatic dunk but the Edina lead is 16.  Jones with 2 more buckets as Garcia has to sit with 4 fouls at the 10:53 mark.  Jones 3 more hoops in a 12-2 Prior Lake run after the lead got to 20.  55-45 Edina with 5 minutes left.  Then its Sam Nissen and Brandon Collins for 3 and the Lakers are within 57-51 with 3 minutes left.  That's a 20-6 run for Prior Lake.  But Edina's guards too good with a lead late.  Middleton with a layup and 3 free throws to push the lead back to double digits.  8-8 Edina FTs in the last 1:15 seal it.  Edina advances with a 70-62 win.  They'll play at Eden Prairie on Friday.  They lost at EP 72-63 in the regular season.  Jack Middleton 23 points for Edina.  Jacob Hutson 13 of his 19 in the 1st half.  Anders Nelson 10 of his 15 in the 2nd half.  Dawson Garcia with 13 points and 11 boards on my sheet.  Robert Jones 13 points, 10 boards and 5 blocks unofficially.  He was passive offensively in the 1st half but transformed to be a force in the 2nd half.  After pounding Edina inside in the 1st meeting, I was surprised at the lack of post touches or a post plan for Prior Lake.  Edina fantastic job of spreading the floor and moving the ball for great looks.  That was in spite of not wanting to challenge the bigs at the rim.

4AAAA: 3 Woodbury vs 2 East Ridge
This was the best game of the day with no team up by more than 6 during the game.  No DJ Fleming for Woodbury or Kendall Brown for East Ridge.  Michael Jones sets the tone with the 1st 12 for Woodbury.  Courtney Brown counters that with 8 early points of his own.  But its the role guys who score the points in a 10-0 run for a 18-12 Woodbury lead inside the 8 minute mark.  Woodbury not guarding the 2 starting defenders for East Ridge making offense really hard to come by.  So Patrick Lynott comes off the Raptors bench and hits a 3.  That helps rally East Ridge but they still trail 23-21 at the half.

TJ Kelly with 3 early buckets.  Ben Carlson with a triple, a FT and putback for a 35-31 East Ridge lead at 10:34.  Momentum shift immediately killed by a Jones 3 point play before you can blink.  Carlson and Brown buckets for a 39-34 East Ridge lead with under 9 left.  Timeout Woodbury to regroup.  Jones to the rack for 2 and then an NBA 3.  East Ridge misses after a timeout and Jones isn't giving it up.  He feels it and buries a cold blooded 3.  44-39 Woodbury with 5:10 left and their crowd erupts after the 10-0 run.  East Ridge counters with their own 9-0 run with a scoop for 2 and 2 FTs from Brown. 48-44 East Ridge with 1:44 left and that 2nd possession hurdle looks huge.  Jones scores and then East Ridge turns it over 3 straight times.  Jones makes a free throw on 1 and Woodbury converts another one.  Woodbury has it down 1 with 24.1 left and Jones can't get his attempt to go.  Carlson makes 1 of 2 FTs with 15.3 left and Woodbury has 1 last chance.  Its Jones attacking and he's fouled with 1.1 left down 2.  He steps up and makes the 1st.  But the 2nd is no good.  East Ridge wins 49-48.  Michael Jones fantastic with 31 points for Woodbury.  Knowing his clutch play, its hard to fathom that he would miss 2 late free throws and a shot to tie in the last 1:06.  But he left it all out there and that's something you have to respect.  Ben Carlson with 18 and Courtney Brown 17 for East Ridge.

4AAAA: 4 North St. Paul  vs 1 Cretin-Derham Hall
CDH jumps out to a 14-2 lead with Daniel Oturu dominating inside.  But its not blowout city.  North St. Paul comes back with an 11-1 run.  Goodnews Kpegeol a 3 and a 2 in that run.  Dajuan Carter off the NSP bench with a steal for 2 and another bucket . Kpegeol scores on a lob to tie the game at 23.  CDH goes to the break with a 29-25 lead.  Oturu continues his great play in the 2nd half.  He puts in an inbound lob.  Blocks a shot on 1 end, grabs it and then scores in the post on the other end.  Ryan Larson for 2, Jaeden King for 3 and Oturu with a steal that he converts.  53-38 CDH pulling away inside 10:30 to play.  Oturu dunks a miss and converts a high low feed for 2 more.  61-44 inside 7.  No danger the rest of the way.  CDH wins 77-63.  Daniel Oturu with a monster performance and the numbers show it.  He ends up on my sheet with 30 points, 19 rebounds and gets the 10th block late for a triple double.  Ryan Larson with a solid night of 18 points.  Jacob Prince with his usual lunch pail performance and he ends up with 14.  Goodnews Kpegeol with 17 points to lead North St. Paul.  Dajuan Carter with 15 points off the Polars bench.  He'll be a major key for the Polars next season.

2018 6AAAA Semis

To Osseo for the 6AAAA Semifinal matchups.  Light student crowd for the early game.  Excellent jerseys for the Wayzata student section.  One of their members got a scolding for shooting a game ball that came into the stands.  Quality pep band music from the Lake Conference reps.  Wayzata band digs out the classic "Rhythm is gonna get you" by Miami Sound Machine (Gloria Estefan's band).  Jet's Pizza with Pepsi always an outstanding menu pair. 

Game 1: 1 Hopkins vs 4 Robbinsdale Armstrong
Zeke Nnaji a handful inside with 10 points for Hopkins in the 1st 6+ minutes.  Soph Jake Breitbach with a triple and then 2 steals from the top of the 1-2-2 zone that lead to buckets.  17-14 Armstrong at the 10:50 mark.  The Falcons keeping the game at their pace by spacing the floor and looking for cuts.  Hopkins counters with an 11-2 run thanks to a couple of Kerwin Walton bombs.  One of those on a post kickout from Joe Hedstrom who also added 3 FTs during the run.  Breitbach backdoor and reverses it home plus 2 FTs to start a 6-0 run.  25 all inside 4 minutes to play in the half.  Hopkins gets the last 2 hoops for a 29-25 halftime lead.

Armstrong comes out of the locker room with a 9-0 run.  Isaiah Miller with the rainbow, an assist for a layup, then a ridiculously good left handed backdoor pass from halfcourt.  That pass results in an even more ridiculous reverse layup finish high off the glass by Breitbach.  34-29 Armstrong inside of 14 minutes to play.  Nnaji scores to break the run but leaves with some kind of apparent leg injury.  Hopkins always seems to have a big run in them.  Tonight was no exception and they go off on a 29-6 run after being down 5.  Blaise Beauchamp 2 triples and another bucket in the run.  Dane Zimmer with 2 inside hoops.  Armstrong 1 FG in a 6:40 stretch after their last lead.  58-40 Hopkins with 5:16 left.

Armstrong isn't done as Hopkins turns it over on 4 straight possessions.  That results in a 9-0 run with 2 layups and a dunk.  58-49 Hopkins with 3:35 left and they miss a front end.  But Hedstrom puts it back and Armstrong only scores 1 more bucket.  Hopkins advances with a 66-51 win.  Joe Hedstrom with 16 points.  Blaise Beauchamp 3 triples and all 13 of his points in the 2nd half.  Zeke Nnaji 12 points in limited minutes.  Dane Zimmer with 10 off the bench.  Soph Jake Breitbach with 15 points to lead Armstrong.  Ben Inniger and Nashiem Lozier with 10 each.  This was coach Greg Miller's final game for the Falcons.  A terrific run for one of the more highly respected coaches around.  Congratulations and best wishes on the next journey.

Game 2:  2 Wayzata vs 3 St. Louis Park
Hot shooting early for St. Louis Park.  Cire Mayfield for 3, then he'll find Luke Peterson for the 1st of 2 triples for him.  9-2 Orioles jump out to the lead.  Mayfield then picks up his 2nd foul at the 14:22 mark.  Coach Breitenbucher has to go offense for defense with him for most of the rest of the half.   Keaton Heide helping Wayzata hang around with a 3 and another bucket.  Wayzata within 2 at the 6:11 mark.  Frosh Kody Williams off the bench with a couple of hoops.  Then after the teams exchange the lead each way, Williams with 2 more hoops.  Heide makes bonus free throws for a 27-25 Wayzata halftime lead.

Heide keeps it going early in the 2nd half.  He drives for 2, hits a 3 and drives again for 2 more.  On the other side center Anthony Rayson with 2 hoops and 2 free throws.  Then Jacob Beeninga comes on after a quiet 1st half.  He buries a handoff 3 on an inbounds and drives for 2 more to stretch the Trojans lead to 41-31 with 11:30 left.  Mayfield converts a turnover for a layup as the Orioles look to shift the momentum but on the next possession he gets caught with a hand in the cookie jar holding a cutter off the ball.  Its his 4th foul with 10:44 left and he has to sit.  Wayzata turns that into a triple to keep the lead at 9.  Williams with 2 more drives very unchallenged to the basket and the margin stays at 9.  Mayfield returns at 7:22 and immediately scores.  Williams to the rack again for another easy bucket.  54-45 Wayzata with 6:20 left.

St. Louis Park rallies with Jacob Houts for 3 after a Rayson hoop.  St. Louis Park pulls within 54-50 with 5:15 left.  Then the main scoreboard goes out and we have to light up the old fashioned boards.  Wayzata scores and St. Louis Park gets 3 chances on the offensive glass but cannot convert.  The long stretch of trading continues.  Mayfield to Aidan Doherty for a layup, Drew Galinson makes bonus free throws.  Rayson 2 free throws, Williams another easy drive for 2.  60-54 Wayzata with 1:54 left. Mayfield and Beeninga trade 2 free throws with Mayfield fouling out on the Beeninga freebies with 1:32 left.  Doherty grabs a miss and makes 1 of 2.  Wayzata holds and gets a driving chance for an easy layup but its no good.  Doherty converts that with 47.1 left.  1 possession game.  Then a baseline drive and a drift pass finds Beeninga all alone in the right corner.  NOOOOOOOOO, NOOOOOO, NOOOOOOOO, great shot! is the dagger 3-pointer with 32 seconds left. Williams gets a swat on the defensive end and that's the last gasp.  Wayzata wins 66-59. 

Freshman Kody Williams with 16 points off the Wayzata bench to lead all scorers.  He was as good as anybody on the floor all night in a notable performance.  Jacob Beeninga with 14 of his 15 points in the 2nd half.  Keaton Heide adds 14.  Cire Mayfield and Anthony Rayson 13 each to lead St. Louis Park.  Joey Whitlock adds 12.  Wayzata will take on Hopkins in the section final at Osseo on Wednesday night.  Hopkins won both regular season meetings.

A small school section double dip

Now its the part of the schedule where its 2 per night.  I get to jump ahead a day thanks to Charter Stars moving their home game with Humboldt to Mounds Park Academy in 4AA.  Mounds Park Academy then hosting Community of Peace in the 4A bracket.  The pulled pork outstanding as usual at one of best concession stands in the metro.  The rare find of a 12 ounce bottle of Gatorade goes with the meal deal.

Game 1: 9 Humboldt vs 8 Charter Stars
Humboldt going zone in this one which slows the pace down.  The offense for each team not doing much.  9 all midway through the 1st half.  Davionte Davis 3 and a putback.  Darnell King with a couple of layups.  That's part of a 14-3 Hawks run over 5 and a half minutes.  Only 1 Charter Stars FG in the last 7 minutes of the half.  Humboldt 23-15 at the break.

Taye Carter with a putback and a post bucket to keep Charter Stars within 29-22 with 12:24 to play.  Desmond Lugo off the Humboldt bench with a couple big triples in transition.  Humboldt adds a turnover off a layup and the lead doubles to 37-23 with 9:10 left.  That run happens with Carter on the bench.  He comes back in at the 7:59 mark.  He scores a couple post buckets where Humboldt had no answer for him.  Brett McNeal adds 3 free throws.  His miss of a 4th isn't converted into points though.  That could have cut the lead to 7 or 6 with just over 4 minutes  left.  A couple of late hoops make the margin bigger than the game appeared.  Humboldt wins 57-41.  Davionte Davis with 16 points.  Taye Carter with 16 to lead Charter Stars.  Humboldt advances to play top seed Minnehaha on Saturday.  That game will be played at Trinity at 5 PM.

Game 2: 14 Community of Peace at 6 Mounds Park Academy
The Tigers beat 11 seed Nova by 1 last night to make this game and its their 3rd in 3 days thanks to Monday's snow day.  Who knows if that had anything to do with their offense as they couldn't buy a bucket in the 1st half.  Thankfully Mounds Park Academy couldn't score either.  The Tigers with only 1 field goal in the 1st 9+ minutes but still only trailed Mounds Park 8-4.  Yahya Madar knocks down back to back 3s starting at the 8:35 mark to break the ice off of 1 basket.  That snapped a 6 minute stretch where neither team made a field goal.  Community of Peace finally gets their 2nd field goal at the 5:15 mark on a putback.  Freshman Jack Paulson adds 3 hoops and 2 free throws and the Panthers lead grows to 31-9 at the 2:20 mark.  The lid has finally come off the basket but the Tigers still trail 34-18 at the half.  Freshman guard Tyrell Green has a big 2nd half for Community of Peace.  He makes 5 of his 6 3s in the 2nd half.  But the outcome is never in doubt.  Mounds Park Academy wins 80-49.  Yahya Madar with 18 points for Mounds Park Academy.  Tyrell Green with 6 3s and 21 points, most of that in the 2nd half, to lead Community of Peace.  Reports are that this is the 1st ever playoff win for Mounds Park Academy (I can't confirm or deny that).  They advance to play at 3 Christian Life on Saturday night.

District Duel Doesn't Disappoint

To North St. Paul where the Polars host the 4 vs 5 matchup in section 4AAAA.  This one with lots of extra spice as its against district rival Tartan.  These teams come in ranked 10 and 11 in the final state poll and both 22-4.  Late arriving full house on hand.  The outstanding NSP pep band also in the house with one of the largest cheerleading squads you'll see.  Add in the element that its North St. Paul as the high seed against the tradition power Tartan for even more spice.

Game Time:
Offense was really hard to come by in this one.  9-5 North just over 4 minutes in and that doesn't move when Tartan takes a timeout at the 12:50 mark.  3 straight Tartan turnovers allow the Polars to extend the lead to 14-7 at the 9:11 mark and Tartan needs another timeout.  Just sloppy play driving into multiple guys.  Tartan getting long possessions but not making any shots.  The lead grows to 21-11 at the 3:20 mark.  Tartan rallies with a putback, then a blocked shot leads to a Brady Hartman triple and the Titans add 2 FTs to finish a 7-0 run.  Tytist Dean with a late triple.  North St. Paul takes a 26-20 lead to halftime.  Nobody with more than 5 points in the half.  Antwan Kimmons lit up the Polars in the regular season game here but had only 1 field goal which was an offensive rebound.

Tartan offense continuing to struggle as they don't get their 1st FG of the second half until 12:35 left.  NSP opens the half on a 7-0 run with turnovers being a factor again.  Cahlil Golden's main job was defense in this one (more on that below) but his putback for a 3 point play and layup off a turnover were 2 of the plays in that run.  33-20 NSP with 14:27 to play.  Finally some shots start falling for Tartan.  They knock down 3 bombs.  Then Goodnews Kpegeol commits his 4th foul with 10:04 left.  Kimmons makes 1 of the 2 free throws.  Good timeout at that point from North St. Paul as they lead 38-34.

Brenden Lankford getting to the rim uncontested as the ballhandler in the pick and roll for 2 easy layups.  He's been a center for as long as I can remember. But tonight he handled the ball quite a bit and adeptly at that.  M'akil Weems with a couple of buckets to counter that for Tartan as the Titans stay within 6.  Then a big momentum 3 from Dean at the 5:50 mark to put the Polars up 9 and the crowd loves it.

Tartan isn't done.  Kimmons puts back a miss off a turnover.  Weeks drives for 2 tough hoops.  Kimmons converts another turnover into a free throw.  47-45 NSP hanging on with 2:05 left.  They will hold it.  Tartan lets it go before giving their 1 final foul with 52.8 left.  They'll go for a steal on the inbound but foul which pays off because the front end is missed.  Andre Jenkins-Whitmore attacks and scores with 31 seconds left and we're all tied.  North St. Paul gets it to the front court and takes time with 13.7 left.  Kpegeol gets the inbounds and attacks.  He misses but gets it back and is fouled with 3 seconds left.  He makes both.  Tartan gets 1 last chance but a desperation attempt from 3 is no good.  North St. Paul wins a thriller 49-47.

Post Game:
Tartan finishes 22-5 overall, 12-4 in the Metro East (3rd).  That's a impressive season for a group that only had Kimmons coming back from a very experienced and talented group last year.  They'll have a ton returning next year including Kimmons.  Antwan Kimmons finishes with 12 points to lead the Titans.  M'Alik Weems with good minutes off the bench and 10 points.

North St. Paul improves to 23-5 and they won the Metro West at 15-1.  They will play Cretin-Derham Hall Saturday at 7 PM in Hastings.  Nobody reached double figures in scoring for the Polars.  Brenden Lankford with 9 points to lead the way.  Goodnews Kpegeol with 8.  Dajuan Carter with 8 off the bench.  Carter and Lankford will be the backbone of the roster next year as the Polars lose 7 seniors who played tonight.

Strategy Session:
Now lets get to the fun stuff.  Let's start with the final play call.  Nothing fancy.  Just get the ball inbounds to Kpegeol via a box set and zipper screen for him.  Then straight 1-4 low.  I thought Weems did a very nice job on him all night but the offensive rebound was a killer and he made the clutch free throws.  Coach Johnson also made a point of trying to immediately snuff out any Tartan run as he took a quick timeout in each half to stop runs and keep the lead.  None of this MoKiller wait until we score nonsense.

The defensive scheme that NSP had was really interesting to watch too.  It was executed well and a very sound plan.  For the 1st significant stretch of the half, they went 1-3-1 zone.  With their length and athletes, a very reasonable defensive choice.  Tartan definitely not a shooting team and it showed up tonight.  Despite that success, for the last 10-12 minutes of each half, the Polars switched to man defense.  OK that also makes sense since that is their standard.  But I loved the idea that they not only faceguarded Kimmons out of it, they decided to take the nearest 2nd defender and double him on any catch.  Side note: I once did something similar to McKinley Wright in fall league with great impact and he was not at all pleased.  This man to man idea totally took Kimmons out of the game and those doubles forced him to turn it over initially.  Kimmons had 3 field goals and 2 of them were putbacks.  He did wonders for himself by attacking the glass for rebounds on both ends.  North didn't even save the double team portion as a 2nd half wrinkle which would have been a very reasonable tactic as well.  Tartan had more success against the man as they were able to attack off the bounce.  But the zone kept Tartan very off balance as well.  They did have some short corner success in the 1st half and NSP quickly adjusted and got out of it.  Overall, hat tip to Damien Johnson and his staff

A battle of American Legends

Its the start of the local 3 week state tournament season.   The season breaks into 4 short parts.  We begin part 1 with opening round play.  Big and small schools in action tonight.  I decide to take in a regular season rematch in section 4AA.  That's St. Paul Washington at Minneapolis Edison. Edison won only 2 games after Christmas but one of them was at home vs Washington by 6 on the final Saturday of January.  Washington with only 1 played win after the holiday.  Its 12 vs 13 and while it may not be pretty, it should be entertaining.  If nothing else, the legendary American figures these names represent makes for a good title.  Late arrival so I leave the concessions alone.

Number of Teams I've Seen: 146 (165 games, 96 days, 51 buildings, 26 online)

Beverage Ticker: 1128.1 ounces (12410 Calories)
  • Pepsi: 304.5 ounces (3800 calories)
  • Coke: 229.8 ounces (2740 calories) 
  • Dr. Pepper: 72 ounces (900 calories)
  • Sprite Zero: 20 ounces (0 calories) 
  • Sprite: 208.9 ounces (2480 calories) 
  • 7 Up: 36 ounces (420 calories)
  • Red Gatorade: 140 ounces (980 calories)  
  • Red Powerade: 40 ounces (260 calories) 
  • A&W Root Beer: 36 ounces (510 calories) 
  • Mug Root Beer: 12 ounces (160 calories) 
  • Barq's Root Beer: 12 ounces (160 calories)
Food Ticker:
  • Hot Dogs: 28
  • Walking Tacos:8
  • Pizza: 22
  • Pulled Pork Sandwich: 1
  • Chipotle: 1 (thanks to Bethel staff and Chipotle Gal)
Game Time:
Story of the early1st half is Abdi Wasa Farah.  He scores the 1st 8 Edison points with a pair of triples.  Then he'll add a couple free throws, another triple and another bucket.  He has 15 of the 1st 21 Tommies points.  That helps Edison to a 21-8 lead at the 10:15 mark.  Edison also hammering Washington on the offensive board.  Edison's offense would leave them though as they go the next 7:35 with only 1 field goal.  Washington goes on a 11-2 run during that time.  Spoh Drew White with a free throw, triple and floater for 6 points in that run.  23-19 Edison at 2:50.  Edison finishes the half strong with 7 of the last 8 points.  Farah with his last points of the night on his 4th triple.  That gives him 18 at the break.  Edison 30-20 lead at the half.

Ahmed Mohamed 3 early hoops and 2 free throws for Edison.  White with a couple of left wing 3s.  Soph Zaveon Smith with a free throw and drive for 2 and the Edison lead is down to 40-36.  Then its another Mohamed bucket, this one via inbounds and Jackson Rusnacko with a 3 point play.  45-36 Edison with 12:09 left.  Then an Edison technical after a foul with 9:47 left.  Washington misses the front end of the bonus and then misses both technicals.  After the early rally, this is a deflating stretch.

Kshui Harris-McCalister with a 3 on the possession.  Then an Edison turnover and White turns that into a 3 point play.  Then Jackson Carver puts back his own miss and its an 8-0 Eagles run.  The lead is down to 1 with 8:35 left and its game on.  White adds 2 free throw to tie it at 46 with 7:53 left.  The offenses struggle but Smith converts a turnover and its Jamen Hines with the floater and Washington has the lead with 4:25 left.  Mokiller Timeout Eagles with 4:02 left and a 50-48 lead.  14-3 run for Washington as once again the Edison offense disappears.  1 FT this 8 minute stretch for the Tommies.

But Washington won't score another bucket.  Jermain Cornell with the drive for 2 and adds 2 free throws.  That keeps Edison within 53-52 with 2:25 left.  Washington turns it over and its Montrea Talabi scoring on a BLOB with 2 minutes left.  Tommies back on top 54-53.  Harris-McCallister with 2 freebies around an Edison timeout.  Then Edison misses and Washington promptly turns it over.  Edison can't get a look vs the zone and they'll turn it over with 48 seconds left.  Edison finally sends Harris-McCallister back to the charity stripe with 28 seconds left.  After a timeout to ice him, he calmly drains both.  57-54 Washington in the lead.

Then a wild ending.  Edison again not finding any offense and Jackson Rusnacko is fouled with 13 seconds left.  He misses both bonus free throws but Talabi gets not 1, not 2 but 3 chances at the miss and puts it back with about 5 seconds left.  Edison didn't take a timeout, TICK TICK TICK, but Washington lobs it in anyways when they could have just held it.  Its tipped right in front of the Edison rim and White may have gotten a way with a tick tack foul but barely comes up with it as time expires.  Washington wins 57-56.

Post Game
Edison finishes their season 6-21, 1-11 in the Minneapolis City.  Abdi Wasa Farah with all 18 of his points in the 1st half to lead the Tommies.  He knocked down 4 3s vs the Washington zone.  Nice job of screening the baseline guys in the zone to get open looks by the Tommies.  But they mysteriously got away from it in the 2nd half.  Most of the roster returns next season.

13 seed Washington advances to play at 5 seed St. Croix Prep on Thursday night in the 2nd round.  The winner of that gets an early Saturday afternoon trip to 4 seed Trinity.  Soph Drew White with 21 points and 4 3s to lead the Eagles.  I hadn't seen that level of shooting from him previously.  The game changed when he was the guy moved to the middle of the zone offense with about 10 minutes left in the game.  With the struggles the Eagles against that defense until then, its very surprising the move wasn't made much sooner.  Soph Zaveon Smith with 10 of his 16 in the 2nd half as the other Eagle in double figures.  Kshui Harris-McCalister came up big with all 8 of his points in the 2nd half.  He hit the clutch 3 after the technical to get the momentum started.  Then cool under pressure with all 4 free throws in the last 1:51.  Jackson Carver gave them a calming presence handling the ball amongst the Edison chaos.  He was the guy I was begging to see in the middle of the zone to see what he could create from there.

2018 Mr Basketball Final 5 Commentary

The Mr Basketball Committee has announced their 5 finalist for the 2018 Mr Basketball award.  Here they are alphabetically.

Tre Jones - Apple Valley
Gabe Kalscheur - De La Salle
Owen King - Caledonia
Daniel Oturu - Cretin-Derham Hall
Calvin Wishart - Delano

Jones, Kalscheur and Oturu are absolutely no surprise and obviously deserving.  You know the Gopher commits would be highly represented on this list and we get 2 of them.  Caledonia's Owen King had a big year and the Warriors lost to the top 2 teams in AA by a total of 6 points.  Not to mention high level wins against St. Cloud Cathedral, Lake City and Byron.  King was terrific in the Minnehaha game.  He's very worthy as well.   All 4 were dominant factors for their teams.

Now for the 5th spot.  Calvin Wishart had a monster year for Delano and is definitely their difference maker.  Fantastic individual numbers there.  The knock is the team record.  The season has not matched high expectations with only a 15-11 record and 5-5 in their tough league.  Plus some of those big games were blowout losses, see Edina and Eden Prairie just to name a couple.  This is for a team that came into the season as a team mentioned in the same league with De La Salle, Orono and Austin for best in AAA. 

I think the same argument of team success applies to Michael Jones at Woodbury despite not having the level of expectations.  His season was fantastic carrying the offense.  Ugly blowouts to start the year vs Lakeville N and Wayzata started a pattern of not winning big games.  But they did get a big one over North St. Paul and with the gang up vote of the Suburban East coaches got the 3 seed.

Sy Chatman and Matt Todd are victims of better options in front of them.  CDH already had Oturu in the final 3 so I wouldn't put another player from there.  Matt Todd a big season but I'd take Jones against a big school schedule.  Odell Wilson part of a loaded roster and also had a terrific season but he's not at the level of my 5th pick.

That leaves Jarvis Omersa would have gotten my 5th vote.  Orono making the late season run with 15 straight wins.  That includes a sweep of the very tough Wright County East schedule that includes Delano.  Plus they beat Monticello and Matt Todd.  They have no bad losses on the schedule and they had plenty of chances to win the CDH and Minnehaha games.  Obviously the Gopher resume helps but he has the double double numbers with team success to back this up.

2018 Section Predictions

Its time for my annual Better Than Chalk section predictions.  The idea here (and I've actually been successful) is to pick the bracket better than if you picked just high seeds.  Because anybody can pick the high seeds and have a great percentage.  Better Than Chalk means picking the upset seeds and having it be right.  Of course we all know its better to be lucky than good.  But having almost everybody that I previewed, hopefully there's enough there to be Better Than Chalk again.   So we'll work backwards from big to small.

Section 8AAAA
Maple Grove no problems in round 1 with Brainerd.  4 STMA won at 5 Elk River in their season opener.  Plus the Elks have lost 8 of their 10.  STMA moves on. 3 Rogers has to work but holds off 6 Buffalo for the 3rd time with the 2 having just played.  2 St. Cloud Tech struggled with 7 Moorhead during the regular season but Tech is better now.  Tech moves on and its not as close as the 3 point regular season meeting.

Maple Grove takes out STMA in the semis.  The other semi should be a dandy.  Tech beat Rogers by 2 in the regular season   Rogers has won 12 of their last 14 after a 2-5 start.  Jordan Belka is a handful but I like how Tech matches up here. Tech wins another close one.

Maple Grove has been better than expected to earn the 1 seed and with solid guard play plus Alex Battist inside they've earned the top seed.  But this is the year Tech was looking at, they're still the deeper team.  I I'll take Tech here but Maple Grove's shooting will have to be dealt with.

1 seed Forest Lake no problems with St. Francis in the 1st round.  Andover and Coon Rapids split the regular sesaon with Andover's home win a couple weeks ago getting them the home game here.  Coin flip this 4 vs 5 game and give me Andover at home since they've seen Coon Rapids twice.  That should allow Andover to play their disciplined pace.  The 2 vs 7 Father vs Son rematch just got an extra dose of juice added to it when Duluth East beat the Bluejackets by 15 on Friday.  Cambridge-Isanti wins the rematch on their court.  Anoka lost 10 of 13 coming home but stayed within striking distance of Blaine twice.  3 seed Blaine wins again as Anoka tries to keep the game slow.

No miracle run for Andover this year as Forest Lake gets them in the semis. Andover doesn't have enough firepower.  Blaine has lost 5 out of 6 down the stretch and lost to Cambridge-Isanti at home in their season opener.  That was the 2nd game for the Bluejackets which is a big advantage.  Plus C-I has played a game at Chisago Lakes so they have familiarity with the gym.  In the words of Lee Corso, not so fast my friends.  Give me that Bengal head gear.  Too much Ray Mitchell and I think Blaine gets on the glass and gets to shooters.

In the final, the Mitchell vs Manny Jingco matchup is very appealing.  Forest Lake won the regular season matchup by 16.  The Rangers have also struggled down the stretch losing 6 of their last 9 and the wins were a stolen OT game at Stillwater, at Park and at Mounds View.  Not impressive wins.  Expect a grind it out affair here too.  I think Forest Lake is more consistent so I'll take them to move on

Top seed Hopkins gets the opening bye thanks to only 7 teams in the section.  Joe Hyser's South team sneaks up on people but they go to Armstrong who's beaten Osseo and Totino-Grace in February and just won at Blaine on Friday.  Armstrong moves on in the 4 vs 5 game.  Wayzata no problems with Southwest in the 2 vs 7 game.  St. Louis Park and Washburn is the 3 vs 6 game with the Orioles having the 17 point regular season home win in early December.  But this is an upset pick.  Cire Mayfield out for St. Louis Park if I understand correctly.  St. Louis Park totally different without him as shown in a Friday loss to Chanhassen.  Washburn has only 1 decent win since Christmas but I'm still going to take Washburn here.

If Armstrong still had Race Thompson this semi would be much more interesting.  But have to take Hopkins here.  Wayzata takes out Washburn in the other semifinal  Both winners way too much firepower.

Wayzata was absolutely clinical last year in the section final vs Hopkins.  Hopkins won't forget that and their size was destructive in a Hopkins blowout win a couple weeks ago.  Give me Hopkins here.

1st round is very straight forward.  Top seed Park Center no problems with Mounds View.  Ditto that for 2 seed Champlin Park over Centennial.  Spring Lake Park is tough at home including a 10 pt regular season loss to Roseville.  This time they meet at Roseville. Roseville moves on.  Osseo likely without Zach Theisen but they still have enough to take out Irondale.

As to the semis, Champlin Park is rolling with 14 straight wins.  Osseo got them in the regular season but even if Osseo was 100% healthy I still like the Rebels here.  Park Center moves on in the other semifinal.

Champlin Park won at Park Center a month ago in a game I saw.  Bennett Otto came up big in that game.  I think Park Center has enough to slow Josiah Strong down plus enough offense of their own to win the grudge match.  Defensively Park Center's athletes can hold the Rebels in check so I like that matchup.  Dain Dainja is also an important difference but he missed a big chunk of February.

What a section we have here.  Top seed Cretin-Derham Hall no problems with Stillwater.  The 4 vs 5 game is a real doozy and the best one on the 4 vs 5 list we'll cover here.  Its a big rivalry game with 5 seed Tartan going to 4 seed and Metro East champ North St. Paul.  These teams split 2 tight games on home court.  PG Antawn Kimmons has been electric for Tartan but North St. Paul's size is a problem.  They'll need a big game from Goodnews Kpegeol to move on.  With home court, I think they barely survive and advance.

Woodbury despite a 15-11 record got the 3 seed over NSP thanks to a head to head win.  What do they get, a 3rd meeting with White Bear Lake.  The teams split 2 close games on home court during the regular season.  WBL winning by 4 at home a couple weeks ago.  Their size represents a real problem for Woodbury.  But Michael Jones is a problem for everybody.  Woodbury also moves on in a tight one because of home court.  And don't overlook the 2 vs 7 game here.  2 seed East Ridge won by 6 at 7 seed St Paul Central in the regular season.  The Minutemen have the athleticism to bother East Ridge.  The Daveonte Davis vs Courtney Brown matchup is a very good one to watch as both can play inside and out.  East Ridge wins at home but it won't be your typical 2 vs 7 walk in the park.

The semifinals here are absolutely stacked as all 4 teams have been ranked during the season.  Ryan Larson's health still a question for CDH and NSP might be as well equipped as anybody to deal with the size of Oturu and Chatman.  That's a relative statement of course as nobody else besides Hopkins has a pair like that.  Jacob Prince will slow down Goodnews Kpegeol enough for CDH to move on.  Then the district rivalry between Woodbury and East Ridge.   These teams split the regular season with each winning on the road.  The East Ridge youth can only get better with more games.  I think they slow down Michael Jones just enough to advance.

Cretin-Derham Hall takes out East Ridge in the final.  East Ridge will have their day but its CDH's year.  The Raptors have had no answer for the Raiders this season.  Daniel Oturu has been absolutely dominant in those games.

Speaking of YUCK, Apple Valley is the only team over .500 in this section.  Eastview is the 2 seed at 10-16.  Enough said.  Apple Valley rolls over Rosemount in round 1.  Hastings takes out Burnsville.  Park has fallen apart without Charlie Gorres and fell all the way to 7 despite wins over Sibley and Hastings.  Eastview is a bad draw for them and the Lightning move on.  I think Eagan was a bad draw for Sibley.  Eagan playing better with wins over Eastview and Burnsville in the last couple of weeks.  Sibley going thru a very rough 2nd half of the season.  I'll take Eagan here.

Apple Valley steamrolls thru their semifinal.  Eastview won a close meeting with Hastings in the regular season.  Both teams run a lot of sets and execute very well.  Hastings matches up with their size vs Machacek and Crowl for Eastview.  Eastview pulls it out late.

Its hard to beat a team 3 times.  Yes it is.  It doesn't matter here.  Apple Valley moves on with too much Tre Jones.

Another section of death.  Top seed Eden Prairie could have the benefit of playing all home games to make state which I have a huge problem with.  No way a team should be playing a home semifinal and especially not a home championship game.  Chaska takes out Minnetonka in the 4 vs 5 game that should be very competitive.  3 seed Edina gets no picnic with Shakopee but they have enough firepower to move on.  Prior Lake got the 2 seed thanks to their head to head win over Edina.  But no other good local AAAA wins.  Prior Lake's size will bother Jefferson as they want to get basket cutting stuff.  Jefferson is a nightmare matchup with their execution and they'll drive the Lakers nuts.  But Prior Lake will hang on and advance.

Eden Prairie at home took out Chaska by 12 over the holidays.  They'll grind out another win here.  Then Prior Lake and Edina in the rematch of a thriller that I saw.  Edina had no answer for Prior Lake's size.  Robert Jones was a defensive monster and if it wasn't for a big game from Luke Glenna, Edina would have been blown out. But Prior Lake outside of the Edina win lost all their other big local AAAA games (2 to Apple Valley, 2 to Lakeville N and 1 to Minnetonka).  Edina has had success pulling teams bigs away from the rim with pick and roll (see CDH).  They do it here and win the rematch.

Then a fun rubber match in the section final.  Edina won by 17 at home while EP won by 9 at home.  Guard play all over the place with stoppers in force.  DJ Johnson for Anders Nelson and Luke Glenna for Drake Dobbs.  Both teams have a ton of shooters.  Eden Prairie with home court moves on plus Austin Andrews gives the Eagles a better inside presence.

Don't sleep on this section.  No 1st round upsets.  Lakeville N, Rochester JM, Owatonna and Lakeville South all move on.  But Farmington is just coming off a win vs Lakeville North.  South has been up and down but they'll sneak out another home win over the Tigers.

Then a pair of league matchups in the semis.  JM has handled Owatonna twice.  JM wins again but Owatonna keeps it close.  Then let's play the Lakeville rivalry in Rochester, travel sigh.  Rivalry games are wicked.  Too much firepower from North and then move on.

Then another dose of kryptonite.  North and JM meet for the 6th straight year in the section final.  Get there super early for the Saturday afternoon affair because its in the small gym (thank you Three Dog Night?) and should be absolutely jam packed.  Matt Hurt has another monster game but not enough help.  Lakeville North beats JM for the 6th straight year in the final.

Another brutal year in 6AAA with every team at or above 500.  1 De La Salle takes out 8 Henry (how did they not get 7th seed?) in round 1.  2 Orono takes out 7 Mound-Westonka.  Then a couple of compelling matchups in the middle.  4 Waconia won by 12 at 5 Benilde-St. Margaret's in the regular season.  I like Waconia at home but BSM has a workable matchup here to keep it tight.  Expect a slow methodical game there.  6 Roosevelt won by 3 at 3 seed Cooper in early December.  Leo Buchwald didn't play against Washburn this week and that would be a big loss.  Deszi Sims more than capable of carrying the Teddies to the upset win.  but I also like this matchup for Cooper.  Cooper wins a tight one at home in a game that will be helter skelter and entertaining.

De La Salle and Orono get the semifinal home games.  De La Salle takes out Waconia on the island.  Cooper with no good matchup for Jarvis Omersa but they should be able to pressure the Orono guards.  Orono in a fun one.

Then the matchup that everybody wants.  Orono vs De La Salle.  Again no matchup for Omersa but Jamison Battle is a matchup problem on the other side.  This is a state tourney championship level game at Chanhassen in a great atmosphere.  Expect a classic with De La Salle coming out on top.

Columbia Heights no problem with Hill-Murray in round 1.  In many other matchups, Johnson would be an easy pick as the 5 seed.  But they're the 5 seed because they've lost to Fridley twice.  Its a bad matchup for the Govs and Fridley gets them for a 3rd time.  2 seed Mahtomedi no problem with Como Park  3 seed Totino-Grace advances vs St. Anthony.

Columbia Heights matches up well with Fridley and handled them twice in the regular season.  I see that again.  Totino-Grace vs Mahtomedi is very interesting.  Mahtomedi relies on balance.  When Will Schmidt gets it going as a shooting 4 man, the Eagles are tough to deal with.  I think Mahtomedi's execution carries the day to get enough offense.  I think they find a way to slow down Schmidt or Charlie Jacob to limit the Totino-Grace offense.

In the final, Mahtomedi's execution will drive Columbia Heights nuts.  But Heights can speed the game up and get them out of their stuff.  That's the difference and Heights moves on.

Top seed St. Thomas Academy no problem with Richfield.  Markel Aune will put some numbers against 2 seed St. Croix Lutheran but the Crusaders still take out 7 seed Kennedy.  3 seed Harding and 6 Highland Park split in the regular season. This will be a very tight game.  I take Jovan Christian at the buzzer for Harding to advance.  South St. Paul beat Holy Angels in the regular season so I'm a bit surprised that SSP has the go on the road for this one.  Just think about that statement for a minute considering the last decade of SSP basketball.  Expect a nail biter here with Holy Angels winning at home.

St. Thomas Academy and St. Croix Lutheran both roll in the semifinals.

Then a fun matchup in the final between those 2.  Garrett Maag and Sam Vascellaro going at it would be a fun matchup to see.  Both teams are battle tested in tough games all season.  Shooting will be a big key here.  St Croix Lutheran can shoot it well enough to win on any night.  But they've also had plenty of nights where they've gone cold.  I like St. Thomas Academy here as I think they have more margin for error.
Not a full prediction here but I include Simley games from here since they are no longer in 3AAA.  They'll take out Red Wing in the 1st round at home as the 3 seed.  But I have them losing to Northfield in round 2 down in Rochester.

Only 14 teams here so that means only 6 1st round home games with the top 2 receiving byes to the quarters at STMA.  Holy Family over ISM, Breck over HLWW and Maranatha over PACT should be blowouts.  The other 3 games are interesting.  9 seed Providence lost by 2 at Litchfield early in the year.  Providence wins if they get to 50 but I don't see that happening.  Lots of guard play in the 7 SW Christian vs 10 Blake game.  Blake won by 8 at home in February.  Give me the 10 seed here in a tight one.  6 seed Rockford has won a pair of close ones vs Watertown-Mayer, they'll do it again.

In the quarters, North no problem with Litchfield.  Breck knocks off Maranatha again in a good 4 vs 5 game.  Too much David Roddy.  Holy Family gets another win over Rockford in the 3 vs 6 game.  Brooklyn Center wins a high scoring affair vs Blake.

North vs Breck is an interesting David Roddy vs Odell Wilson matchup.  The rest is all North and the Polars advance.  Brooklyn Center vs Holy Family is a rematch of Brooklyn Center winning by 6 at Holy Family in early December.  Holy Family knocked out the Centaurs in the 1 vs 8 game in St. Michael last year.  Holy Family is battle tested, very experienced and can shoot it.  Brooklyn Center is still relatively young and I haven't liked their defense all year.  Outscoring people will get you to a certain point, but that road ends here.  Holy Family wins the rematch.

If there's a team in the section that can knock North out, its Holy Family.  North should get a serious wake up call in this one but at the end of the day, its too much Polars.  Of course its also wonderful that this game is being played at St. Cloud State.  The 5AA/6AA championship doubleheader at Halenbeck Hall is great tradition.  But with so many metro teams now in the bracket that idea needs to be re-evaluated.  Wayzata, Osseo, Chanhassen, Hopkins, Maple Grove are just a few sites that would make a lot of sense.

Now we get to the goofy stuff.  4A and 4AA have decided to switch their format.  The top 4 seeds automatically receive double byes to Saturday's quarterfinals.  So they now only have to play 3 games to make state instead of 4 in the past.  The 5-8 seeds still open on Thursday.  But the 9-12 seeds now have to open on Tuesday in pigtail games vs the bottom seeds.  Then they get to play the 5 vs 12, 8 vs 9 etc games.  This is where my picks will be made or be broken.

Path 1: 9 Humboldt def 8 Charter Stars
Path 2: 13 Washington over 12 Edison, then lose to 5 seed St Croix Prep.  St. Croix Prep then beats 4 seed Trinity.
Path 3: 11 St. Agnes over 14 St. Paul Prep/HSRA then lose to 6 seed Concordia.  Concordia then falls to 3 New Life
Path 4: 10 Nova over 15 AFSA, then Nova def 7 St. Paul Academy.  Nova then falls to 2 seed Cristo Rey.

Humboldt has struggled down the stretch but they did beat the Charter Stars by 10 in the regular season.  Seems like I've picked against the Stars all year (to my sorrow) so for fun lets continue the theme.

Washington lost at Edison in the regular season but I think Washington has more talent than that record indicates with a young roster.  St. Croix Prep beat Trinity in regular season MCAA play before losing the 3rd place game of the MCAA tourney by 2 to the Tri-Hawks.  I think Prep gets it done here.

St. Agnes disciplined enough to move on vs HSRA but they'll lose a 3rd time to Concordia.  Then a tough 3 vs 6 rematch still goes to New Life.  New Life won the regular season game with Concordia by 8 in a low scoring affair.  New Life's size too much and Concordia won't turn the Eagles over (foreshadowing)

Nova should blow out AFSA.  Then a rematch of a regular season 4 point loss at SPA.  I like an upset here.  Then too much Cristo Rey in the quarters.

That leaves us with 1 Minnehaha vs 5 St. Croix Prep and 2 Cristo Rey vs 3 New Life Academy in the semis.  Minnehaha rolls as they are too big and athletic.  New Life's size is a problem for Cristo Rey but Cristo Rey will be able to force some turnovers but I don't see enough of that and New Life survives.

New Life's size and style gives them a chance to keep the game manageable.  But Minnehaha is just a higher level Maranatha team that was able to force New Life turnovers almost at will.  That's the issue the Eagles face in trying to pull the upset.  Too much Minnehaha here and they'll go back to state to continue their title defense run.

Now we get really messy.  We have Monday night games that could be snowed out and the winners have to play Tuesday with another round on Thursday followed by the entry of the top 4 seeds on Saturday.  As I've long said with section 4A, rule of the pigtail games is always pick chalk. So that means 14 Community of Peace over 19 Metro Schools College Prep, 15 Legacy over 18 Lincoln International and 16 MN Transitions over 17 Hmong Academy (a repeat of early in the season).  Those are the 3 Monday games.

On Tuesday, the 9 thru 13 seeds enter.  9 seed Groves gets 16 MTS and I'll take MTS here.  MTS has 2 wins over Liberty Classical who beat Groves twice in TCAC D2 play.  13 seed Chesterton some how just knocked off TCAC D3 regular season winner Calvin Christian in the TCAC tourney.  They split with 12 North Lakes in the regular season and won on the road.  I'll pick it again.  11 Hope Academy took 2 out of 3 from Community of Peace this year. That includes an 11 point road win last week in the TCAC tourney.  I'll take Hope again with the idea of another big game from Caleb Hoilien.  The 15 Legacy at 10 Calvin Christian game is sneaky close despite the mismatch of records.  Both lost big to PACT and Legacy has played bigger schools while Calvin played D3 TCAC.  Calvin hangs on at home thanks to Jaeden Schaap but expect it to be single digits.

On Thursday, here come the 5 thru 8 seeds.  The Cinderella run of MTS comes to an end here vs 8 West Lutheran.  The Warriors beat MTS in the Calvin Christian holiday tourney and get another W here.  5 seed Heritage no problem with 13 seed Chesterton.  6 Mounds Park Academy takes out 11 Hope Academy.   7 Liberty Classical Academy won by 8 at Calvin Christian in early December.  They'll win another close one here.

Then the top 4 come in on Saturday.  1 CHOF no problems in their rematch with 8 West Lutheran.  5 Heritage knocks out 4 Learning for Leadership.   6 Mounds Park Academy vs 3 Christian Life is a toss up.  I like Mounds Park Academy's big school schedule to help them here.  2 Prairie Seeds no problem with 7 Liberty Classical in the final quarterfinal.

In the semis, CHOF wins a end of season rematch with Heritage.  Prairie Seeds takes out Mounds Park Academy.  I see double digits in both of those.

Then the rematch of CHOF and Prairie Seeds from late in the regular season.  Prairie Seeds kept the game close despite not playing with 3 important guys.  That includes Peter Anderson and Emmanuel Jones who are back in the lineup now.  Prairie Seeds will be motivated after being section runner up to North the last 2 years.  Give me Prairie Seeds.

Now for those of you who read on twitter (and if you don't, start now! @tchoopsczar), you'll know that I'm already 1-0 for my predictions.  I took the free center square by taking 7 seed Lester Prairie/Holy Trinity over winless 10 seed Sleepy Eye St. Mary's on Thursday  But the Bulldogs run ends with a loss at 2 seed BOLD on Monday.

2018 Twin Cities Series

Its the annual Twin Cities Series on the final Saturday afternoon of the regular season.  As is recent tradition it hosted by a varsity league champion.  This year that means we're in St. Paul at Johnson for all 3 games.  Vocal Highland Park crowd for the freshman game and a quality turnout for the always late starting varsity game.  The Johnson walking taco without sour cream today but that's only a minor problem. 

Number of Teams I've Seen: 146 (145 games, 94 days, 51 buildings, 26 online)

Beverage Ticker: 1128.1 ounces (12410 Calories)
  • Pepsi: 304.5 ounces (3800 calories)
  • Coke: 229.8 ounces (2740 calories) 
  • Dr. Pepper: 72 ounces (900 calories)
  • Sprite Zero: 20 ounces (0 calories) 
  • Sprite: 208.9 ounces (2480 calories) 
  • 7 Up: 36 ounces (420 calories)
  • Red Gatorade: 140 ounces (980 calories)  
  • Red Powerade: 40 ounces (260 calories) 
  • A&W Root Beer: 36 ounces (510 calories) 
  • Mug Root Beer: 12 ounces (160 calories) 
  • Barq's Root Beer: 12 ounces (160 calories)
Food Ticker:
  • Hot Dogs: 28
  • Walking Tacos:8
  • Pizza: 22
  • Pulled Pork Sandwich: 1
  • Chipotle: 1 (thanks to Bethel staff and Chipotle Gal)
Game Time:
North forcing turnovers early for points. Some of that coming from their 1-2-2 3/4 court pressure.  Tre Holloman with a dunk and layup off of turnovers.  Plus a steal and sweet spin with the lefty finish for 2 more.  Tayler Johnson runs for a dunk and Omar Brown converts a turnover.  18-8 North at the 11:45 mark.  7th grader DeWayne Givens with good minutes off the Johnson bench.  He scores twice as Johnson cuts the lead to 26-21 at the 6:51 mark.  Odell Wilson with the patented spin move to the left hand and a dunk gets the lead to 9.  Govs counter with 7 in a row.  But North scores the last 8 of the half. Wilson with 1 free throw and a feed out of the post to Nasir El-Amin on the baseline cut for 2 more.  Holloman ends the scoring with a nice scoop for 2 and the foul.  40-30 North at the half.

First 5 of the half go to Johnson.  But North puts it away from there.  Wilson with a tip in, spin and layup off a turnover and a free throw as he scores 7 straight.  That's part of a 13-2 run to put the Polars up 53-37 with 13 minutes left.  Givens with a hoop and a nice 3 point play around a Tayler Johnson 3.  Givens keeps scoring but Johnson with the dunk off the lob and runs out for a lefty layup to keep the lead at 17.  Then the exclamation points.  Holloman BLOB 3 from the weakside corner.  DHO to Johnson and he throws it up for a Wilson finish.  Then a Govs turnover.  Johnson throws it ahead for Holloman who goes behind the back for the return feed and Tayler hammers it home on one of the prettier plays you'll see.  74-53 North with 6:20 left  North goes on to win 84-58 with lots of bench time the rest of the way.

North scoring came from the big 3.  Tayler Johnson 25, Odell Wilson 24, Tre Holloman 20.  Will somebody in sections pull out the triangle and 2 against them like Kaukauna did with great impact in the Border Battle?  DeWayne Givens not phased at all for being a 7th grader in this game.  He leads Johnson with 15 points.  Best game I saw from the youngster this season.  Shemar Tucker-Adams with 10 points.  This game was a really bad matchup for the Govs.  North with bigger and quicker guards to contain the Govs offense.  Plus Keylon Jackson going up Odell Wilson who's a bigger and better clone inside.

Lower Levels
In the freshman game, Washburn got off to a good start with an early 12 point lead.  Highland Park would claw their way back within 2 at the half.  Then late both teams have chances they can't convert and we get overtime.  Isaac Foster with the drive and 2 clutch free throws with 2.2 to play in the OT to give Highland Park the 52-51 victory.  Lots of versatile parts for Highland Park and look for a group of these guys to see plenty of varsity time next year.  Washburn with some nice quickness at the guard spots.  You have to wonder what this group would be like down the road with frosh Cade Haskins.  Haskins played varsity for the Millers this year before transferring to De La Salle after the 1st semester.

In the JV game, Henry jumped out to a 19-2 lead on Central in the 1st 7 minutes.  Central would come all the way back to within 26-25 just before the half.  Henry would score the last 4 of the half to start a 21-6 run across halftime.  That run is the difference in the game.  The lead would grow to 22 late before Central would make a run at the end to keep the final margin 63-54.  Henry's group of sophomores plus a couple of other junior returnees should keep them fighting in the upper echelon of the Minneapolis City.  Central plays basically all juniors on a loaded varsity squad already so not much time for these JV kids next year.  But Central has 3 freshman (2 of whom played well in this game and another who is now up on Varsity) that will form a very nice varsity core to keep things going in 2 years after the current group graduates.

Play of the Day
Larry McKenzie running this nice sideline out of bounds idea.  Box set with Odell Wilson setting the zipper screen for Tre Holloman to get the ball inbounds.  Holloman then takes a couple of dribbles to the weak side before reversing field.  That lead dribble gives Wilson time to come back high for the pick and roll with Holloman.  Simple and quick way to get 2 of your best guys into a 2 man game (something coach McKenzie loves).  You can't really switch the zipper screen because that would allow a straight post feed to Wilson with a likely mismatch.  Best bet might be to have the inbounder deny the zipper cut and front the post with backside help and make anybody else catch it.

17-18 CzarPI, March 2nd, 2018

This is the 11th CzarPI of the 2017-18 season (see CzarPI Explained Here).  It includes games through Friday, March 2nd, 2018.  The value in () after the CzarPI value is the team's strength of schedule ranking within their class.

Class AAAA
  1. Hopkins - 64.9 (1) 0-0 vs better, 23-1 vs worse
  2. Cretin-Derham Hall - 61.26 (8) 1-0 vs better, 22-2 vs worse
  3. Rochester John Marshall - 59 (34) 1-1 vs better, 23-1 vs worse
  4. Eden Prairie - 58.71 (4) 3-2 vs better, 16-5 vs worse
  5. Apple Valley - 58.07 (17) 0-2 vs better, 22-2 vs worse
  6. Park Center - 57.64 (24) 0-2 vs better, 22-2 vs worse
  7. Edina - 57.42 (3) 3-4 vs better, 14-5 vs worse
  8. Lakeville North - 57.01 (39) 2-2 vs better, 20-2 vs worse
  9. Champlin Park - 56.74 (21) 2-2 vs better, 18-3 vs worse
  10. East Ridge - 56.27 (23) 1-4 vs better, 20-1 vs worse
  11. North St. Paul - 55.88 (58) 0-1 vs better, 22-2 vs worse
  12. Osseo - 55.2 (43) 2-2 vs better, 18-4 vs worse
  13. Wayzata - 54.64 (2) 2-10 vs better, 13-1 vs worse
  14. Owatonna - 54.19 (37) 3-4 vs better, 17-2 vs worse
  15. Prior Lake - 54 (44) 1-4 vs better, 17-1 vs worse
  16. St. Cloud Tech - 53.96 (12) 1-6 vs better, 17-2 vs worse
  17. Maple Grove - 53.81 (33) 1-5 vs better, 17-3 vs worse
  18. Chaska - 53.05 (42) 2-5 vs better, 17-2 vs worse
  19. Minnetonka - 53.02 (5) 5-9 vs better, 8-2 vs worse
  20. Tartan - 52.29 (63) 1-1 vs better, 20-3 vs worse
  21. Rogers - 51.62 (61) 0-3 vs better, 18-5 vs worse
  22. Woodbury - 51.22 (10) 2-9 vs better, 13-1 vs worse
  23. Cambridge-Isanti - 50.23 (62) 1-5 vs better, 16-4 vs worse
  24. Blaine - 49.6 (55) 1-6 vs better, 14-4 vs worse
  25. Bloomington Jefferson - 49.42 (51) 3-6 vs better, 12-4 vs worse
  26. St. Paul Central - 48.96 (54) 2-8 vs better, 14-1 vs worse
  27. Buffalo - 48.72 (47) 5-7 vs better, 8-6 vs worse
  28. New Prague - 48.06 (15) 4-10 vs better, 8-4 vs worse
  29. St. Michael-Albertville - 47.88 (46) 4-10 vs better, 10-2 vs worse
  30. Roseville - 47.83 (56) 2-8 vs better, 14-2 vs worse
  31. Forest Lake - 47.71 (40) 3-9 vs better, 12-1 vs worse
  32. Shakopee - 47.68 (26) 3-10 vs better, 11-2 vs worse
  33. Robbinsdale Armstrong - 47.3 (6) 4-12 vs better, 7-3 vs worse
  34. Minneapolis South - 47.26 (57) 4-7 vs better, 8-7 vs worse
  35. Chanhassen - 47.25 (22) 5-14 vs better, 7-0 vs worse
  36. Lakeville South - 47.22 (18) 3-12 vs better, 11-0 vs worse
  37. Andover - 47.15 (48) 3-11 vs better, 10-2 vs worse
  38. White Bear Lake - 47.14 (49) 4-10 vs better, 11-1 vs worse
  39. Farmington - 47.04 (50) 4-9 vs better, 9-3 vs worse
  40. St. Louis Park - 47.02 (32) 6-13 vs better, 7-0 vs worse
  41. Elk River - 46.13 (36) 4-12 vs better, 6-4 vs worse
  42. Anoka - 45.83 (52) 4-12 vs better, 8-2 vs worse
  43. Hastings - 45.76 (60) 2-8 vs better, 10-4 vs worse
  44. Moorhead - 45.12 (19) 4-12 vs better, 4-0 vs worse
  45. Coon Rapids - 45 (41) 6-14 vs better, 5-1 vs worse
  46. Brainerd - 44.59 (16) 5-17 vs better, 4-0 vs worse
  47. Rochester Mayo - 43.87 (25) 2-13 vs better, 11-0 vs worse
  48. Spring Lake Park - 43.64 (31) 5-15 vs better, 6-0 vs worse
  49. Minneapolis Washburn - 42.5 (53) 3-13 vs better, 7-1 vs worse
  50. Eastview - 41.49 (35) 4-14 vs better, 6-2 vs worse
  51. Park of Cottage Grove - 40.67 (29) 4-15 vs better, 2-5 vs worse
  52. Henry Sibley - 39.61 (45) 3-17 vs better, 6-0 vs worse
  53. Duluth East - 39.23 (9) 4-18 vs better, 1-1 vs worse
  54. Centennial - 38.93 (20) 4-20 vs better, 1-1 vs worse
  55. Minneapolis Southwest - 38.65 (28) 4-19 vs better, 2-1 vs worse
  56. Burnsville - 34.24 (14) 2-19 vs better, 3-2 vs worse
  57. Rochester Century - 33.88 (7) 2-18 vs better, 5-1 vs worse
  58. Irondale - 33.52 (38) 4-20 vs better, 0-2 vs worse
  59. Eagan - 33.33 (13) 3-21 vs better, 2-0 vs worse
  60. St. Francis - 32.95 (59) 5-20 vs better, 0-1 vs worse
  61. Mounds View - 30.66 (30) 4-20 vs better, 1-1 vs worse
  62. Stillwater Area - 30.11 (11) 4-22 vs better, 0-0 vs worse
  63. Rosemount - 28.3 (27) 2-24 vs better, 0-0 vs worse
Class AAA
  1. Marshall - 60.87 (5) 0-0 vs better, 21-2 vs worse
  2. Austin - 59.36 (23) 1-0 vs better, 23-2 vs worse
  3. DeLaSalle - 59.13 (1) 0-2 vs better, 15-1 vs worse
  4. Waseca - 57.9 (31) 1-1 vs better, 23-2 vs worse
  5. Orono - 57.34 (3) 1-4 vs better, 19-1 vs worse
  6. Willmar - 57.07 (52) 0-1 vs better, 24-1 vs worse
  7. Columbia Heights - 55.93 (12) 2-4 vs better, 15-2 vs worse
  8. Hibbing - 55.88 (38) 1-0 vs better, 18-7 vs worse
  9. Mankato East - 55.85 (21) 4-3 vs better, 17-2 vs worse
  10. St. Paul Johnson - 54.86 (57) 1-1 vs better, 19-3 vs worse
  11. Fergus Falls - 54.49 (45) 1-1 vs better, 19-5 vs worse
  12. Duluth Denfeld - 53.89 (28) 0-4 vs better, 16-3 vs worse
  13. Sauk Rapids-Rice - 53.54 (25) 2-5 vs better, 16-3 vs worse
  14. Robbinsdale Cooper - 53.28 (51) 0-2 vs better, 18-4 vs worse
  15. St. Croix Lutheran - 53.23 (16) 2-5 vs better, 14-4 vs worse
  16. Bemidji - 52.98 (58) 1-2 vs better, 16-5 vs worse
  17. Minneapolis Roosevelt - 52.63 (30) 4-5 vs better, 13-4 vs worse
  18. Delano - 52.18 (11) 3-8 vs better, 12-3 vs worse
  19. Dassel-Cokato - 51.51 (44) 2-5 vs better, 13-4 vs worse
  20. Worthington - 51.5 (18) 1-6 vs better, 14-3 vs worse
  21. Princeton - 51.46 (62) 2-3 vs better, 17-4 vs worse
  22. Fridley - 51.39 (29) 3-7 vs better, 12-1 vs worse
  23. Mahtomedi - 51.38 (56) 1-4 vs better, 18-3 vs worse
  24. St. Thomas Academy - 51.26 (19) 3-9 vs better, 14-0 vs worse
  25. Cloquet - 50.96 (37) 2-6 vs better, 12-4 vs worse
  26. Monticello - 50.51 (49) 4-6 vs better, 13-3 vs worse
  27. Waconia - 50.43 (8) 5-9 vs better, 9-3 vs worse
  28. Totino-Grace - 50.14 (4) 2-9 vs better, 12-3 vs worse
  29. Northfield - 49.81 (35) 1-8 vs better, 17-0 vs worse
  30. Alexandria - 49.62 (26) 3-7 vs better, 11-5 vs worse
  31. Minneapolis Henry - 49.28 (42) 2-7 vs better, 11-4 vs worse
  32. Detroit Lakes - 48.83 (54) 3-9 vs better, 12-2 vs worse
  33. Grand Rapids - 47.43 (53) 4-8 vs better, 9-4 vs worse
  34. Benilde-St. Margaret's - 47.33 (41) 3-11 vs better, 11-1 vs worse
  35. Kasson-Mantorville - 46.12 (24) 4-11 vs better, 8-2 vs worse
  36. Becker - 45.65 (46) 2-10 vs better, 9-4 vs worse
  37. St. Cloud Apollo - 44.96 (17) 4-13 vs better, 7-2 vs worse
  38. Mankato West - 44.62 (20) 2-11 vs better, 12-1 vs worse
  39. St. Anthony Village - 44.52 (59) 3-11 vs better, 10-2 vs worse
  40. Hermantown - 44.2 (33) 4-13 vs better, 5-2 vs worse
  41. New Ulm - 44.12 (55) 2-9 vs better, 10-4 vs worse
  42. Simley - 43.92 (40) 3-13 vs better, 7-3 vs worse
  43. St. Paul Harding - 42.73 (63) 1-9 vs better, 12-2 vs worse
  44. Mound Westonka - 42.62 (61) 3-11 vs better, 10-2 vs worse
  45. Big Lake - 42.54 (22) 4-17 vs better, 5-0 vs worse
  46. Zimmerman - 42.28 (47) 5-12 vs better, 3-6 vs worse
  47. Holy Angels - 41.35 (27) 3-17 vs better, 5-1 vs worse
  48. St. Paul Highland Park - 40.16 (60) 3-14 vs better, 6-1 vs worse
  49. Little Falls - 40.06 (50) 5-16 vs better, 4-1 vs worse
  50. Rocori - 39.85 (10) 5-19 vs better, 1-1 vs worse
  51. North Branch - 39.26 (32) 4-18 vs better, 2-2 vs worse
  52. St. Paul Como Park - 38.17 (43) 4-18 vs better, 2-1 vs worse
  53. Sartell-St. Stephen - 38.12 (2) 4-22 vs better, 0-0 vs worse
  54. South St. Paul - 37.37 (48) 5-18 vs better, 2-1 vs worse
  55. Winona - 37.22 (9) 2-15 vs better, 5-3 vs worse
  56. Bloomington Kennedy - 34.25 (34) 3-20 vs better, 1-2 vs worse
  57. Chisago Lakes Area - 33.9 (39) 2-21 vs better, 2-1 vs worse
  58. Hill-Murray - 32.8 (36) 3-23 vs better, 0-0 vs worse
  59. Faribault - 32.19 (13) 2-19 vs better, 4-1 vs worse
  60. Red Wing - 30.69 (14) 3-20 vs better, 2-0 vs worse
  61. Hutchinson - 27.12 (6) 2-24 vs better, 0-0 vs worse
  62. Richfield - 19.31 (15) 1-25 vs better, 0-0 vs worse
  63. Albert Lea - 0 (7) 0-25 vs better, 0-0 vs worse
Class AA
  1. Minnehaha Academy - 60.71 (1) 0-1 vs better, 20-3 vs worse
  2. Perham - 59.64 (65) 0-0 vs better, 25-0 vs worse
  3. Melrose - 58.97 (63) 0-0 vs better, 24-1 vs worse
  4. Esko - 57.46 (15) 0-1 vs better, 21-3 vs worse
  5. Annandale - 57.4 (2) 1-2 vs better, 19-4 vs worse
  6. Lake City - 57.26 (38) 0-0 vs better, 21-3 vs worse
  7. Caledonia - 56.98 (24) 1-1 vs better, 20-3 vs worse
  8. Minneapolis North - 56.89 (20) 2-3 vs better, 15-0 vs worse
  9. St. Charles - 56.48 (53) 1-1 vs better, 21-3 vs worse
  10. Virginia - 56.43 (26) 1-2 vs better, 20-3 vs worse
  11. Byron - 56.12 (14) 1-4 vs better, 20-2 vs worse
  12. Eden Valley-Watkins - 55.78 (104) 1-0 vs better, 22-2 vs worse
  13. Maple Lake - 55.03 (71) 2-1 vs better, 19-4 vs worse
  14. Brooklyn Center - 55.02 (11) 1-5 vs better, 17-3 vs worse
  15. Jordan - 54.78 (70) 1-2 vs better, 20-3 vs worse
  16. New Richland-H-E-G - 54.53 (112) 0-1 vs better, 23-2 vs worse
  17. Pipestone Area - 53.96 (8) 1-4 vs better, 15-5 vs worse
  18. Plainview-Elgin-Millville - 53.91 (22) 0-5 vs better, 18-2 vs worse
  19. Osakis - 53.85 (52) 0-3 vs better, 20-3 vs worse
  20. Maranatha Christian - 53.51 (51) 0-3 vs better, 19-4 vs worse
  21. Holy Family Catholic - 53.5 (19) 4-5 vs better, 13-4 vs worse
  22. Greenway - 53.23 (116) 0-3 vs better, 23-0 vs worse
  23. St. Cloud Cathedral - 53.04 (94) 0-4 vs better, 20-0 vs worse
  24. Breckenridge - 52.73 (90) 1-2 vs better, 18-3 vs worse
  25. Fairmont - 52.62 (59) 0-5 vs better, 18-1 vs worse
  26. Kimball Area - 52.61 (92) 1-4 vs better, 20-1 vs worse
  27. Minnewaska Area - 52.31 (32) 2-5 vs better, 15-2 vs worse
  28. Barnum - 52.29 (58) 2-5 vs better, 16-2 vs worse
  29. Cristo Rey Jesuit - 51.98 (119) 1-0 vs better, 18-5 vs worse
  30. New London-Spicer - 51.84 (37) 1-4 vs better, 16-4 vs worse
  31. New Life Academy - 51.56 (95) 0-4 vs better, 18-4 vs worse
  32. Zumbrota-Mazeppa - 51.4 (107) 0-4 vs better, 19-2 vs worse
  33. Albany - 51.34 (66) 2-4 vs better, 14-6 vs worse
  34. Pequot Lakes - 51.32 (16) 1-7 vs better, 15-3 vs worse
  35. Breck - 50.91 (12) 2-8 vs better, 12-1 vs worse
  36. Trinity School - 50.58 (99) 0-4 vs better, 17-5 vs worse
  37. Pillager - 50.38 (113) 0-2 vs better, 17-7 vs worse
  38. Windom Area - 50.29 (9) 4-6 vs better, 8-6 vs worse
  39. Proctor - 50.26 (69) 3-8 vs better, 13-0 vs worse
  40. La Crescent - 50.22 (21) 2-7 vs better, 12-2 vs worse
  41. Rockford - 50.15 (64) 2-8 vs better, 15-1 vs worse
  42. Pine City - 50.13 (124) 1-3 vs better, 20-2 vs worse
  43. Sibley East - 50.06 (89) 1-6 vs better, 17-2 vs worse
  44. St. Croix Prep - 49.33 (114) 1-5 vs better, 16-4 vs worse
  45. Morris Area/Chokio-Alberta - 49.33 (3) 3-9 vs better, 9-2 vs worse
  46. Stewartville - 49.2 (102) 2-5 vs better, 15-3 vs worse
  47. Moose Lake-Willow River - 49.06 (55) 2-9 vs better, 14-1 vs worse
  48. Park Rapids Area - 49.05 (84) 2-3 vs better, 10-9 vs worse
  49. Southwest Christian - 49 (75) 1-8 vs better, 14-2 vs worse
  50. Nova Classical Academy - 48.86 (121) 1-2 vs better, 15-6 vs worse
  51. Charter Stars - 48.83 (122) 2-2 vs better, 17-5 vs worse
  52. Maple River - 48.71 (88) 1-7 vs better, 16-2 vs worse
  53. Roseau - 48.7 (118) 1-1 vs better, 16-8 vs worse
  54. Jackson County Central - 48.38 (39) 3-9 vs better, 11-1 vs worse
  55. Redwood Valley - 48.09 (10) 5-13 vs better, 7-0 vs worse
  56. Bagley - 48.07 (34) 3-10 vs better, 10-2 vs worse
  57. Sauk Centre - 47.97 (54) 3-9 vs better, 11-2 vs worse
  58. East Grand Forks - 47.79 (72) 3-8 vs better, 10-3 vs worse
  59. Dover-Eyota - 47.72 (67) 2-10 vs better, 13-1 vs worse
  60. Hawley - 47.38 (31) 2-9 vs better, 11-1 vs worse
  61. Rochester Lourdes - 47.28 (48) 4-8 vs better, 9-3 vs worse
  62. St. Paul Academy - 47.13 (98) 4-7 vs better, 10-5 vs worse
  63. Holdingford - 46.72 (60) 1-9 vs better, 14-2 vs worse
  64. Crookston - 46.64 (68) 5-9 vs better, 8-3 vs worse
  65. Litchfield - 46.59 (23) 3-11 vs better, 8-3 vs worse
  66. Mesabi East - 46.52 (82) 3-7 vs better, 11-5 vs worse
  67. Royalton - 46.51 (117) 1-7 vs better, 15-2 vs worse
  68. Concordia Academy - 46.29 (97) 3-9 vs better, 12-2 vs worse
  69. Wadena-Deer Creek - 46.26 (100) 3-10 vs better, 10-3 vs worse
  70. Providence Academy - 46.23 (57) 4-11 vs better, 7-3 vs worse
  71. Belle Plaine - 45.71 (74) 1-9 vs better, 12-2 vs worse
  72. Warroad - 44.53 (120) 4-9 vs better, 8-4 vs worse
  73. Spectrum - 44.52 (106) 3-9 vs better, 10-3 vs worse
  74. Blake - 43.11 (115) 2-11 vs better, 9-3 vs worse
  75. Crosby-Ironton - 43.08 (35) 4-14 vs better, 5-3 vs worse
  76. Barnesville - 42.75 (17) 3-13 vs better, 6-2 vs worse
  77. Mora - 42.4 (80) 2-11 vs better, 8-5 vs worse
  78. Watertown-Mayer - 42.32 (7) 6-16 vs better, 1-3 vs worse
  79. Staples-Motley - 42.15 (91) 4-13 vs better, 5-2 vs worse
  80. Glencoe-Silver Lake - 42.1 (47) 6-14 vs better, 4-2 vs worse
  81. International Falls - 41.97 (28) 4-14 vs better, 5-2 vs worse
  82. St. James Area - 41.74 (78) 2-11 vs better, 8-4 vs worse
  83. Foley - 41.59 (29) 4-16 vs better, 5-1 vs worse
  84. Martin County West - 41.47 (86) 4-13 vs better, 6-3 vs worse
  85. Luverne - 41.43 (25) 4-14 vs better, 4-2 vs worse
  86. St. Paul Humboldt - 40.86 (103) 2-11 vs better, 6-5 vs worse
  87. Aitkin - 40.62 (83) 6-16 vs better, 1-3 vs worse
  88. Pine Island - 40.5 (30) 1-15 vs better, 8-0 vs worse
  89. Lewiston-Altura - 40.14 (36) 3-14 vs better, 6-1 vs worse
  90. Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City - 39.8 (62) 2-13 vs better, 9-1 vs worse
  91. Cannon Falls - 39.59 (87) 2-15 vs better, 9-0 vs worse
  92. St. Paul Prep/HSRA - 39.58 (123) 2-7 vs better, 6-4 vs worse
  93. PACT Charter - 39.41 (76) 4-17 vs better, 4-1 vs worse
  94. Long Prairie-Grey Eagle - 39.4 (44) 3-15 vs better, 4-2 vs worse
  95. Norwood-Young America - 39.11 (45) 2-15 vs better, 5-3 vs worse
  96. Eveleth-Gilbert - 38.83 (41) 4-17 vs better, 4-1 vs worse
  97. Blue Earth Area - 38.55 (61) 3-13 vs better, 3-4 vs worse
  98. Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton - 38.28 (46) 4-17 vs better, 4-0 vs worse
  99. Milaca - 37.35 (85) 4-18 vs better, 4-0 vs worse
  100. Triton - 36.42 (108) 3-16 vs better, 7-0 vs worse
  101. St. Agnes - 36.4 (56) 4-20 vs better, 2-0 vs worse
  102. Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted - 36.23 (40) 3-18 vs better, 4-1 vs worse
  103. LeSueur-Henderson - 36.22 (73) 2-17 vs better, 6-0 vs worse
  104. St. Peter - 36.06 (42) 4-19 vs better, 2-1 vs worse
  105. Duluth Marshall - 35.01 (43) 4-17 vs better, 1-2 vs worse
  106. Minneapolis Edison - 34.77 (77) 3-20 vs better, 3-0 vs worse
  107. Pierz - 34.35 (50) 3-21 vs better, 1-1 vs worse
  108. Winona Cotter/Hope Lutheran - 33.84 (81) 2-17 vs better, 4-1 vs worse
  109. Tracy-Milroy-Balaton - 33.11 (49) 1-18 vs better, 4-2 vs worse
  110. St. Paul Washington - 32.92 (96) 4-21 vs better, 1-0 vs worse
  111. International School of MN - 32.63 (105) 3-14 vs better, 1-1 vs worse
  112. Tri-City United - 32.05 (18) 3-20 vs better, 1-1 vs worse
  113. Paynesville Area - 31.92 (33) 4-19 vs better, 1-0 vs worse
  114. Rush City - 31.91 (111) 3-17 vs better, 2-0 vs worse
  115. Gibbon-Fairfax-Winthrop - 31.85 (101) 3-18 vs better, 3-1 vs worse
  116. Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial - 30.97 (109) 1-21 vs better, 4-0 vs worse
  117. Thief River Falls - 30.85 (6) 2-23 vs better, 0-0 vs worse
  118. Two Harbors - 29.2 (13) 3-23 vs better, 0-0 vs worse
  119. Chatfield - 27.33 (27) 2-21 vs better, 1-0 vs worse
  120. Academy for Sciences & Ag - 25.88 (125) 2-15 vs better, 3-1 vs worse
  121. Montevideo - 22.83 (5) 1-20 vs better, 2-0 vs worse
  122. Math and Science Academy - 21.09 (110) 1-22 vs better, 0-0 vs worse
  123. Medford - 20.57 (79) 1-22 vs better, 2-0 vs worse
  124. Kenyon-Wanamingo - 19 (93) 1-25 vs better, 0-0 vs worse
  125. Benson - 0 (4) 0-25 vs better, 0-0 vs worse
Class A
  1. Springfield - 58.47 (51) 0-0 vs better, 25-1 vs worse
  2. Cass Lake-Bena - 58.24 (46) 0-0 vs better, 25-1 vs worse
  3. Russell-Tyler-Ruthton - 57.57 (76) 0-0 vs better, 26-1 vs worse
  4. Hancock - 57.32 (48) 0-0 vs better, 22-2 vs worse
  5. Mayer Lutheran - 57.1 (26) 1-1 vs better, 22-2 vs worse
  6. NCE/U-H - 56.83 (49) 0-0 vs better, 23-3 vs worse
  7. North Woods - 56.82 (101) 0-0 vs better, 25-1 vs worse
  8. Parkers Prairie - 56.56 (59) 0-1 vs better, 22-1 vs worse
  9. Ada-Borup - 55.85 (45) 0-2 vs better, 19-1 vs worse
  10. Minneota - 55.61 (77) 1-1 vs better, 20-2 vs worse
  11. Fosston - 54.46 (30) 1-3 vs better, 19-3 vs worse
  12. Dawson-Boyd - 54.45 (28) 2-2 vs better, 17-3 vs worse
  13. Westbrook-Walnut Grove - 54.21 (119) 0-1 vs better, 23-2 vs worse
  14. Spring Grove - 54 (118) 0-1 vs better, 18-1 vs worse
  15. Hinckley-Finlayson - 53.53 (117) 0-2 vs better, 22-1 vs worse
  16. Sacred Heart - 53.34 (146) 0-0 vs better, 20-2 vs worse
  17. BOLD - 53.17 (22) 0-4 vs better, 20-2 vs worse
  18. Cromwell-Wright - 53.14 (57) 0-1 vs better, 20-5 vs worse
  19. Nevis - 53.05 (71) 1-4 vs better, 20-1 vs worse
  20. New Ulm Cathedral - 52.74 (104) 0-3 vs better, 21-2 vs worse
  21. Ortonville - 52.56 (60) 0-4 vs better, 17-0 vs worse
  22. Rushford-Peterson - 52.36 (56) 3-2 vs better, 13-4 vs worse
  23. Wrenshall - 52.35 (153) 1-1 vs better, 22-1 vs worse
  24. Fertile-Beltrami - 52.15 (41) 0-5 vs better, 18-2 vs worse
  25. Battle Lake - 51.54 (39) 1-4 vs better, 16-3 vs worse
  26. Southwest MN Christian - 50.41 (63) 1-5 vs better, 16-2 vs worse
  27. Henning - 50.29 (88) 2-3 vs better, 16-5 vs worse
  28. Ely - 50.18 (148) 0-3 vs better, 22-1 vs worse
  29. Cedar Mountain/Comfrey - 50 (62) 1-6 vs better, 17-2 vs worse
  30. Mountain Lake Area - 49.98 (109) 2-4 vs better, 17-3 vs worse
  31. Pelican Rapids - 49.95 (11) 1-6 vs better, 15-4 vs worse
  32. CHOF - 49.8 (130) 1-4 vs better, 16-3 vs worse
  33. Lakeview - 49.79 (24) 1-7 vs better, 15-2 vs worse
  34. Browerville/Eagle Valley - 49.31 (61) 1-4 vs better, 13-7 vs worse
  35. Cleveland - 49.3 (127) 0-4 vs better, 19-2 vs worse
  36. St. Clair - 49.14 (44) 2-5 vs better, 14-5 vs worse
  37. Walker-Hackensack-Akeley - 48.96 (107) 3-3 vs better, 13-7 vs worse
  38. Murray County Central - 48.92 (67) 2-6 vs better, 13-1 vs worse
  39. Janesville-Waldorf-Pemberton - 48.9 (131) 1-4 vs better, 16-5 vs worse
  40. Brandon/Evansville - 48.69 (12) 2-9 vs better, 14-1 vs worse
  41. Kittson County Central - 48.63 (108) 2-3 vs better, 11-5 vs worse
  42. Hillcrest Lutheran Academy - 48.51 (8) 3-7 vs better, 8-4 vs worse
  43. Mahnomen/Waubun - 48.48 (6) 2-9 vs better, 12-2 vs worse
  44. West Central Area - 48.44 (19) 3-9 vs better, 12-0 vs worse
  45. Wabasha-Kellogg - 48.38 (55) 2-5 vs better, 12-6 vs worse
  46. Win-E-Mac - 48.08 (25) 1-8 vs better, 14-3 vs worse
  47. Bethlehem Academy - 48.04 (54) 2-6 vs better, 12-5 vs worse
  48. Randolph - 47.99 (144) 0-5 vs better, 19-2 vs worse
  49. Prairie Seeds Academy - 47.99 (126) 3-6 vs better, 12-1 vs worse
  50. Sebeka - 47.5 (74) 3-7 vs better, 10-5 vs worse
  51. Lakeview Christian - 47.33 (111) 0-4 vs better, 15-5 vs worse
  52. Red Rock Central - 47.18 (72) 3-7 vs better, 12-3 vs worse
  53. Schaeffer Academy - 47.02 (133) 2-5 vs better, 15-3 vs worse
  54. Renville County West - 46.96 (15) 1-8 vs better, 12-3 vs worse
  55. Christian Life Academy - 46.9 (141) 0-5 vs better, 15-4 vs worse
  56. LeRoy-Ostrander - 46.71 (154) 1-4 vs better, 16-3 vs worse
  57. Minnesota Valley Lutheran - 46.56 (114) 2-8 vs better, 15-1 vs worse
  58. Stephen-Argyle - 46.01 (52) 2-9 vs better, 12-2 vs worse
  59. Silver Bay - 45.79 (132) 1-7 vs better, 16-2 vs worse
  60. Pine River-Backus - 45.74 (84) 2-9 vs better, 12-3 vs worse
  61. Swanville - 45.42 (95) 3-8 vs better, 8-3 vs worse
  62. Park Christian - 45.24 (27) 3-11 vs better, 8-2 vs worse
  63. Northern Freeze - 45.23 (83) 4-10 vs better, 9-3 vs worse
  64. Deer River - 45.18 (29) 1-10 vs better, 12-3 vs worse
  65. Carlton - 45.17 (86) 2-9 vs better, 12-3 vs worse
  66. Learning for Leadership - 45.16 (159) 1-4 vs better, 13-6 vs worse
  67. Lyle/Austin Pacelli - 44.94 (150) 4-5 vs better, 10-4 vs worse
  68. Kingsland - 44.91 (68) 2-11 vs better, 12-0 vs worse
  69. Chisholm - 44.63 (85) 2-9 vs better, 11-4 vs worse
  70. Lac qui Parle Valley - 44.14 (21) 1-12 vs better, 12-0 vs worse
  71. Verndale - 44.07 (58) 4-11 vs better, 6-3 vs worse
  72. Bertha-Hewitt - 44.01 (36) 4-14 vs better, 6-0 vs worse
  73. Nicollet - 43.95 (96) 2-8 vs better, 9-4 vs worse
  74. Minnesota Transitions Charter - 43.89 (163) 0-0 vs better, 8-5 vs worse
  75. Lester Prairie/Holy Trinity - 43.79 (73) 3-11 vs better, 8-4 vs worse
  76. Waterville-Elysian-Morristown - 43.75 (66) 3-11 vs better, 9-3 vs worse
  77. Red Lake - 43.67 (82) 2-10 vs better, 10-3 vs worse
  78. Bigfork - 43.52 (136) 2-7 vs better, 13-4 vs worse
  79. Blooming Prairie - 43.04 (120) 2-10 vs better, 10-1 vs worse
  80. Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa - 43.02 (2) 3-14 vs better, 7-2 vs worse
  81. Nashwauk-Keewatin - 42.89 (97) 1-11 vs better, 13-1 vs worse
  82. Liberty Classical Academy - 42.85 (152) 1-9 vs better, 12-2 vs worse
  83. Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg - 42.84 (105) 2-10 vs better, 12-2 vs worse
  84. Calvin Christian - 42.83 (162) 1-5 vs better, 12-4 vs worse
  85. Fond du Lac Ojibwe - 42.61 (81) 3-12 vs better, 5-2 vs worse
  86. Badger/Greenbush-Middle River - 42.15 (100) 3-14 vs better, 8-1 vs worse
  87. Grand Meadow - 41.88 (137) 3-9 vs better, 9-4 vs worse
  88. Mankato Loyola - 41.1 (75) 2-14 vs better, 9-1 vs worse
  89. Adrian - 41.03 (80) 2-10 vs better, 9-2 vs worse
  90. Southland - 40.63 (16) 3-13 vs better, 3-3 vs worse
  91. Lake Park-Audubon - 40.62 (14) 2-14 vs better, 5-3 vs worse
  92. Goodhue - 40.41 (102) 3-13 vs better, 7-3 vs worse
  93. Menahga - 40.38 (79) 3-15 vs better, 5-1 vs worse
  94. Braham - 40.21 (90) 0-13 vs better, 12-1 vs worse
  95. Blackduck - 40.18 (64) 3-14 vs better, 7-2 vs worse
  96. West Lutheran - 40.14 (145) 2-10 vs better, 10-3 vs worse
  97. Red Lake County - 39.8 (91) 3-13 vs better, 6-4 vs worse
  98. MN Academy for the Deaf - 39.66 (140) 2-7 vs better, 3-1 vs worse
  99. Underwood - 39.47 (10) 3-15 vs better, 4-3 vs worse
  100. Hmong Academy - 39.36 (164) 0-4 vs better, 9-2 vs worse
  101. Mountain Iron-Buhl - 39.29 (50) 3-16 vs better, 7-0 vs worse
  102. Floodwood - 39.14 (70) 1-13 vs better, 8-2 vs worse
  103. Central MN Christian - 38.96 (4) 2-15 vs better, 4-3 vs worse
  104. Groves Academy - 38.67 (160) 3-11 vs better, 7-3 vs worse
  105. McGregor - 38.54 (47) 2-15 vs better, 7-2 vs worse
  106. Sleepy Eye - 38.54 (87) 2-13 vs better, 9-2 vs worse
  107. T/ML/GHEC - 38.27 (142) 4-12 vs better, 6-4 vs worse
  108. East Central - 38.2 (99) 2-15 vs better, 8-0 vs worse
  109. Hills-Beaver Creek - 38.09 (89) 1-10 vs better, 7-1 vs worse
  110. Goodridge/Grygla - 38.09 (124) 3-16 vs better, 5-2 vs worse
  111. Fulda - 37.89 (40) 3-16 vs better, 7-0 vs worse
  112. Mounds Park Academy - 37.87 (113) 4-15 vs better, 2-4 vs worse
  113. Fillmore Central - 37.79 (35) 3-17 vs better, 4-2 vs worse
  114. United South Central - 37.77 (112) 4-16 vs better, 5-0 vs worse
  115. Rothsay - 37.66 (33) 4-14 vs better, 3-3 vs worse
  116. St. John's Prep - 37.62 (92) 3-11 vs better, 3-4 vs worse
  117. Heritage Christian - 36.86 (78) 3-16 vs better, 6-0 vs worse
  118. Chesterton Academy - 36.57 (156) 1-10 vs better, 5-2 vs worse
  119. New York Mills - 36.38 (65) 4-18 vs better, 2-2 vs worse
  120. Hope Academy - 36.28 (123) 3-13 vs better, 4-4 vs worse
  121. North Lakes Academy - 36.16 (161) 3-11 vs better, 6-2 vs worse
  122. Clearbrook-Gonvick - 36.01 (135) 4-15 vs better, 4-3 vs worse
  123. Lincoln International - 35.75 (157) 2-9 vs better, 1-3 vs worse
  124. MACCRAY - 35.69 (5) 2-16 vs better, 3-1 vs worse
  125. Canby - 35.58 (7) 2-14 vs better, 4-1 vs worse
  126. South Ridge - 35.29 (98) 2-15 vs better, 6-1 vs worse
  127. Buffalo Lake-Hector-Stewart - 34.88 (69) 2-16 vs better, 5-2 vs worse
  128. Ashby - 34.23 (18) 3-16 vs better, 3-1 vs worse
  129. Norman County West - 33.86 (37) 3-15 vs better, 3-0 vs worse
  130. Isle - 33.76 (121) 1-16 vs better, 6-3 vs worse
  131. Mabel-Canton - 33.6 (138) 2-13 vs better, 4-4 vs worse
  132. Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley - 33.57 (1) 2-12 vs better, 0-2 vs worse
  133. Onamia - 33.56 (139) 1-14 vs better, 6-1 vs worse
  134. Northome/Kelliher - 33.07 (103) 2-17 vs better, 7-0 vs worse
  135. Houston - 32.92 (93) 3-15 vs better, 4-0 vs worse
  136. Heron Lake-Okabena - 32.83 (116) 2-17 vs better, 5-1 vs worse
  137. Yellow Medicine East - 32.81 (13) 3-17 vs better, 3-0 vs worse
  138. Hill City - 32.67 (129) 1-16 vs better, 7-0 vs worse
  139. Upsala - 31.76 (31) 3-22 vs better, 0-1 vs worse
  140. Hayfield - 31.62 (32) 3-21 vs better, 1-1 vs worse
  141. Cook County - 31.32 (34) 3-14 vs better, 2-1 vs worse
  142. Alden-Conger - 30.26 (147) 2-17 vs better, 3-2 vs worse
  143. Climax/Fisher - 28.09 (9) 2-21 vs better, 0-1 vs worse
  144. Laporte - 27.12 (134) 1-22 vs better, 4-0 vs worse
  145. Wabasso - 26.77 (23) 2-21 vs better, 2-0 vs worse
  146. Community of Peace Academy - 26.67 (125) 2-21 vs better, 1-0 vs worse
  147. Madelia - 26.3 (151) 2-21 vs better, 1-1 vs worse
  148. Ogilvie - 25.42 (115) 1-23 vs better, 1-0 vs worse
  149. Frazee - 25.36 (17) 1-22 vs better, 1-0 vs worse
  150. Warren-Alvarado-Oslo - 24.97 (42) 2-20 vs better, 0-0 vs worse
  151. Legacy Christian - 24.82 (110) 2-24 vs better, 0-0 vs worse
  152. Wheaton/Herman-Norcross - 24.21 (3) 2-18 vs better, 0-0 vs worse
  153. Lanesboro - 21.5 (128) 1-21 vs better, 1-1 vs worse
  154. Lake of the Woods - 21.45 (158) 0-15 vs better, 2-1 vs worse
  155. Northland - 20.56 (143) 0-21 vs better, 3-1 vs worse
  156. Littlefork-Big Falls - 20.11 (149) 1-20 vs better, 1-1 vs worse
  157. Northeast Range - 18.52 (94) 1-17 vs better, 0-1 vs worse
  158. Cherry - 18.41 (106) 2-23 vs better, 0-0 vs worse
  159. Glenville-Emmons - 16.6 (122) 1-22 vs better, 0-0 vs worse
  160. Ellsworth - 0 (38) 0-19 vs better, 0-0 vs worse
  161. Edgerton - 0 (20) 0-20 vs better, 0-0 vs worse
  162. Metro Schools College Prep - 0 (43) 0-1 vs better, 0-0 vs worse
  163. Sleepy Eye Saint Mary's - 0 (53) 0-24 vs better, 0-0 vs worse
  164. Hiawatha Collegiate - 0 (155) 0-15 vs better, 0-0 vs worse