Updated Rankings: Class A and AA
After a long delay, our small school rankings have finally been updated! Here's a recap that looks back and looks ahead at some of the top programs in Class A and AA. Perhaps the most anticipated small-school game of the…
After a long delay, our small school rankings have finally been updated! Here's a recap that looks back and looks ahead at some of the top programs in Class A and AA.
Perhaps the most anticipated small-school game of the year took place Friday night with #1AA Roseau knocking off #1A Mountain Iron-Buhl. Kiley Borowicz was the best player in the gym, nearly finishing with a triple double. I've heard conflicting reports on her stats, but one had her with 30-18-8. We weren’t able to make the trek north for this epic clash, but I’m hoping there were a lot of college coaches who did. Borowicz is our top-rated unsigned senior.
Personally, I think this team was great for both teams. Roseau has rarely been challenged and has a QRF of just #9, despite being #1 in our polls all season. This was a good measuring stick for the Rams.
MIB has played an insane schedule, taking long bus rides to take on all comers. Jeff Buffetta knows he’s got a stacked squad and has really tested his girls this season. That said, a loss to Roseau might be just what the doctor ordered. I’m not sure they can crank it up even more, but it should prevent complacency from setting in during the long winter season.
Is Sauk Centre or NYA a bigger threat to Roseau? The Mainstreeters have won 16 straight since a close setback to 4A Anoka, while NYA remains undefeated with the top spot in the QRF. The Raiders, in particular, intrigue me thanks to their marquee wins — New Ulm, PEM, CDH and EVW, to name a few.
Tip of the cap to New London-Spicer. The Wildcats regrouped after losing a 2OT slugfest to Watertown-Mayer last week to record quality wins against Glencoe-Silver Lake and Annandale. Despite graduating last year’s leading scorer in a surprising run to the state title game, NLS is 15-3 and sitting #4 in the QRF. This is a team you don’t want to see in March.
St. Peter is a big riser. The Saints got swept by 3A New Ulm, but are undefeated against everyone else. That includes recent wins over Mankato Loyola and Mayer Lutheran, two quality Class A programs. The next week is brutal though with road games against NYA, Waseca and NRHEG, who just missed our Top 20 this week.
Pequot Lakes has lost 4 of 7 to fall to 14-5 on the year. QRF still loves them, but they aren’t a Top 10 team anymore in our polls.
Annandale has hit the skids since Christmas, dropping 6 of 11. Now check out its three games this week — Eden Valley-Watkins, Hopkins and Watertown-Mayer. Goodnight, Irene.
Speaking of EVW, the Eagles are up to #7 in our polls and we're told long-time coach Tom Jansen is one win away from 400 in his career. He could hit that milestone Monday against Annandale.
Goodhue suffered a disappointing loss to a Kristin Scott-less Kasson-Mantorville squad, but bounced back to sink Hayfield with a trey at the buzzer to avenge an earlier loss. The Wildcats may get another crack at K-M in the HVL title game and are surely hoping to see MIB again at the Barn after getting shellacked at Breakdown.
Wheaton is undefeated, but I’ve still got 2-loss Cromwell ahead of them in the polls. We know more about Cromwell after close losses to MIB and Roseau than we do about Wheaton, who has had just one game within single digits all season. Those up north will be lucky to see #1 MIB at #3 Cromwell next week.
I’ve probably been too low on Mankato Loyola this season, but they’re up to #5 now after knocking off CMC in convincing fashion. They’re 17-2 on the year and undefeated against Class A opponents. Plus, they probably have the best player in the class in Lindsey Theuninck, who recently hit 3,000 points.
Bigfork is undefeated at 21-0 with a strong QRF, but the Huskies remain relatively untested. I’ve got them #10 for now, but keep an eye on the final two games of the season — at MIB and home versus Cromwell.
Heritage Christian has been a Top 10 program lost of the year and its QRF remains strong at #5. However, they’ve fallen after a midseason swoon saw them lose 6 of 9. That said, Section 4A is crazy again this year so keep an eye on HCA and Minneapolis North, unranked but #4 QRF with an 11-8 record.
Last but not least, I’ve got Duluth Marshall at #20 in our polls. Now, I’m not completely sold on this team being ranked, but I wanted to acknowledge this great story. After going 0-88 in conference play over the past 11 years, DM is now 4-0 on the season. Pretty remarkable turnaround.
GAMES TO WATCH
St. Peter (18-2) at NYA (21-0), Monday
Eden Valley-Watkins (16-3) at Annandale (11-7), Monday
Parkers Prairie (15-2) at Brandon/Evansville (14-4), Monday
DGF (12-7) at Barnesville (16-3), Tuesday
St. Peter (18-2) at Waseca (16-5), Thursday
Pipestone (19-0) at T-M-B (18-1), Saturday
Southwest Christian (14-3) at Mayer Lutheran (14-6), Saturday
MIB (19-1) at Cromwell (17-2), next Monday
Lyle (16-4) at GHECTML (18-2), next Tuesday