Mountain Iron-Buhl has built a dynasty up north, routinely bludgeoning opponents with a lineup that's surprisingly deep for a Class A program. Mya Buffetta, the senior signal caller, has been the catalyst for a number of years now. Buffetta recently joined teammate…
Mountain Iron-Buhl has built a dynasty up north, routinely bludgeoning opponents with a lineup that's surprisingly deep for a Class A program. Mya Buffetta, the senior signal caller, has been the catalyst for a number of years now.
Buffetta recently joined teammate Chelsea Mason as a 2,000-point scorer and is averaging 13-3-4 with nearly 3 steals per game for one of the most potent offenses in the state. Her decision making is a thing of beauty — she's averaging less than a turnover per game in the fast-paced attack.
She's not often mentioned among the state's elite shooters, but that's a mistake. The 5-3 guard connects on nearly 42% of her triples while sitting 5th in the state with 62 makes. She actually made 13-25 two weeks ago to earn Player of the Week honors.
Those gaudy numbers from a Class A star are sometimes viewed with an asterisks based on the competition level. That'd also be a mistake since MIB has taken on all comers this season — including Goodhue, Cromwell x2, Maranatha, Esko, Roseau, Kenyon-Wanamingo, Minneapolis North and GFW, among others.
These talented Rangers haven't earned a state title during Buffetta's six-year varsity career, but they've been the undisputed #1 since knocking off Goodhue, the defending champ, by a billion (give or take) at Breakdown in early December. This is the last hurrah for Buffetta, Mason and others so they're hoping to end it on a high note.
We recently caught up with the Jamestown recruit for her thoughts on the season and her future.
Q & A
NORTHSTAR: You recently crossed 2,000 points. As your senior season enters the home stretch, what's your favorite basketball memory so far?
MYA: My favorite memory is during my 7th grade season, hitting free throws at the end of the game to win the section championship and the celebration on the UMD floor afterwards. That was back when we celebrated section wins. Now, as seniors, our goal is a State Championship.
NORTHSTAR: You converted 13-25 from distance to highlight your big week. You're 5th in the state with 57 treys at 41%, but teammate Chelsea Mason is first with 75 at 38%. Who won the last time you played H-O-R-S-E?
MYA: Chelsea and I don’t compete when it comes to scoring, that might be why we are successful. We challenge each other defensively.
NORTHSTAR: MIB is currently 20-1 and winning by nearly 40 points per game. You and Chelsea have both scored more than 2,000 points, while junior Mary Burke recently hit 1,000. How would you defend your top-ranked Rangers? It sounds like a nightmare.
MYA: Our entire team is an offensive threat, you can’t just focus on one or two of us. I’d like to think that we create issues for other teams, I’m glad to be a part of it.
NORTHSTAR: In one of the most anticipated games of the year, #1AA Roseau handed #1A MIB its first loss last week. What was that atmosphere like? What did you learn from that result?
MYA: The atmosphere was amazing and loud. I wish all games were like that. We welcome good competition. It’s okay to lose in February, if it helps you win in March. This game showed us what we need to work on to attain our goal.
NORTHSTAR: Your Rangers finished third at state last year, but suffered a disappointing overtime loss at the buzzer in the semis. How much have you thought about that play over the last 12 months and what's it going to take for a different result next month?
MYA: I think about that entire game often. We didn’t lose because of that one play. It was a combination of many errors. I think we have grown as a team since that loss. We have concentrated more on the details this year. We are also all a year older and more mentally mature.
NORTHSTAR: You committed to Jamestown in North Dakota more than a year ago. What did you like most about that program? What are your expectations heading west for the 2017-18 school year?
MYA: Coach Ulland and the Jamestown program reminds me of our MIB program. It is tough and intense with high expectations and a winning tradition. I felt like I would continue to be part of a strong basketball family with teammates and coaches that would push me to be my best while still caring about me as a person. My expectation is to work my butt off to be an asset to UJ. I want to contribute to the team’s success any way I can.