#6 Caledonia made sure it wasn't easy, but it didn't have enough firepower to keep up with #3 Rochester Lourdes as the higher seed emerged with a 60-48 victory. The Warriors got off to a great start, but a tweaked…
#6 Caledonia made sure it wasn't easy, but it didn't have enough firepower to keep up with #3 Rochester Lourdes as the higher seed emerged with a 60-48 victory.
The Warriors got off to a great start, but a tweaked ankle for Mariah Schroeder and foul trouble for Katie Tornstrom opened the door for the Eagles, who took full advantage.
Megan Hobday turned in a great game while Caledonia focused on stopping freshman Alyssa Ustby and Wynter Bergner. The senior post finished with 19 points and 13 boards, including a critical basket to end the first half on a high note.
Lourdes had three starters taller than Caledonia's tallest player and dominated the paint. The Eagles also lived at the charity stripe, outscoring the Warriors 16-3 on freebies. I didn't think the reffing was particularly lopsided either.
Player of the Game — Megan Hobday, Lourdes
She isn't planning to play college hoops and that's a shame. She's a talented 6-footer who moves well. She usually relies on a steady diet of 10-15 footers or lefty drives, but she actually flashed great post footwork in this one, too. I almost jumped out of my chair after she drove left and stepped back through to her right. She's clearly put in the time and is peaking at the right time.
Play of the Game
She's not a starter and only made two baskets, but Eleanor Plager's timely work sealed the win for the Eagles. After Caledonia had trimmed a 14-point Lourdes lead to just 43-38, Plager drilled a triple and then turned a steal into an easy layup a few seconds later to effectively put the game on ice. Hats off to this 5-9 junior for that clutch sequence.
Caledonia's gimmicky defense
The Warriors employed a triangle-and-two defense in hopes of slowing Ustby and Bergner. It didn't really work. Bergner was more active than I've seen before, cutting hard off the ball and beating defenders off the dribble. The 5-11 junior looked great while pumping in 16 points.
Ustby kind of had a tough game. She finished with 8 points, but spent a good portion of the game on the bench with foul trouble. Caledonia actually took two charges against her. Still, she's an elite prospect who is a menace on defense and gets to the rim at will. She clearly plays at a different gear than her teammates and I'd love to see her get more offensive touches. She was 5-9 last summer and is listed at 5-11 now…and I thought she was clearly taller than Bergner.
Best go-to move
Mariah Schroeder put on a mid-range shooting clinic in this one en route to 25 points. The 5-8 senior has elite elevation and extreme confidence from 15 feet and in. She struggled outside the arc Monday night, but part of that may have been caused by a tweaked ankle that sent her to the bench late in the first half. She returned to action and was still effective, despite being a little gimpy. She's headed to Metro State next year.
Future Star — Katie Tornstrom, Caledonia
She looked great over the summer when Caledonia pushed Sauk Centre right to the end, but her peaks and valleys were evident Monday night. She's a multi-talented 5-10 sophomore who prefers to play on the perimeter. She got in foul trouble trying to switch/hedge screens and I'm not sure she has the foot speed to stick outside, but her offensive skills with the ball are evident. She's got a nice stroke, great confidence and put up nice numbers this year. With Schroeder graduating, this is her show now. The next step for her is becoming more consistent on both ends of the floor.
Lourdes advances to face #2 Hayfield on Saturday. The Vikings claimed a 69-65 victory in late January, so it should be a doozy.
On an unrelated note, the MSHSL has started informing schools of their class designation for the 2017-18 school year. Hayfield's basketball programs will drop to Class A next season, which is big news. They're a Top 10 Class AA program this season and their top four players are all juniors. They could start next year at #1 and present a major hurdle for Goodhue in Section 1.