Best of AA
Well, in all honesty, I have to say that the 2 late games felt like semi-finals. The 4 late teams should have been #2, #3, #4 and #5. Roseau made it look easy, Sauk ground it out against a talented…
Well, in all honesty, I have to say that the 2 late games felt like semi-finals. The 4 late teams should have been #2, #3, #4 and #5. Roseau made it look easy, Sauk ground it out against a talented opponent, and Watertown-Mayer did the same though WM certainly has more offensive firepower. And, Lourdes and Watertown-Mayer aren’t grinders, though they ground sometimes, in the good sense of the word. But, Sauk is the grinder. And that is exactly what makes Sauk the favorite to play Roseau Saturday. But, we’ll see. Here’s how it all started out in Class AA.
MVP—There were a bunch of great performances today but how can you not like Kiley Borowicz and her quadruple double? 28 points on 11-of-25 shots, 13 boards, 10 assists, 10 steals. And her team wins. They’re still unbeaten. I don’t know what more she’s supposed to do.
Best Play—OK, plays. Minnehaha led Sauk 52-50 at 8 minutes. ‘Haha turned it over on 5 of 6 possessions, mostly in the backcourt with steals to Jill Klaphake, Maesyn Thiesen, Tori Peschel, Thiesen and T. Peschel, leading to a layup by Klaphake, a jumper by Thiesen, another layup by Klaphake, a layup by T. Peschel and a layup byAlyssa Kohorst. 60-52 Sauk at 5:27. ‘Haha got back within 3 but no closer.
Best 3-Point Offensive Performance—Maesyn Thiesen, Sauk, 4-of-7.
Best 2-Point Offensive Performance—Alyssa Kohorst, Sauk, 6-of-6.
Best 1-Point Offensive Performance—Kacie (not Kiley) Borowicz, Roseau, 6-of-7.
Best Defensive Performance—Maesyn Thiesen led the Sauk full-court defense that took Minnehaha out of their rhythm even before that burst of turnovers that really turned things around. Minnehaha had 21 turnovers, and Sauk outscored them 19-7 off turnovers in the 2nd half. Thiesen had 6 steals on the day, plus 2 blocked shots.
Best Player Off the Bench—Betsy Schoenrock, NRHEG’s big junior center, comes off the bench for some reason, then plays, well, 33 minutes yesterday. Still, she came off the bench and scored 20 points with 16 boards, 5 blocks and 3 steals. She isn’t the most mobile, but obviously she is mobile enough. Can be a superstar in D3.
Best Intangibles—Maesyn Thiesen. Athlete. Period.
Best Under-the-Radar Performance—Most people know who Jill Klaphake is by now but she surely is overshadowed by running mate Maesyn Thiesen. She scored 20 points yesterday on 8-of-16 shooting with 5 assists and 2 steals. Does a little bit of everything. For the record, she’s a 5-7 senior.
Best Underclassmen—Cop out alert. Kacie Borowicz, Roseau, is of course a 5-8 sophomore guard, a classic combo who can score or dish. Long and lean, plays in a very upright fashion. Scored 22 yesterday with 6 boards, 5 steals, 3 assists, 3 blocked shots. How could anybody match that? Well.
Taytum Rhoades of Minnehaha is listed at 5-9 but is very slight of build. But she is very athletic, especially the mental aspects, she just gets the game of basketball. She scored 25 points on 10-of-16 shooting including some breakaways, 4-of-6 3s, you name it. She added 5 assists though she’s not the 1 or even a 1. She is a sophomore.
Finally, you’ve got Alyssa Ustby of Lourdes, a 5-9 soph wing who does it all. Very athletic, can defend the post and bring the ball up like a 1. 15 points, 8 boards, 7 assists, 2 steals.
Best Rebounder—Monika Czinano, WM, 6-2 Iowa recruit, is mobile enough and determined enough and strong enough and does it one both ends, 8 offense, 8 defense, 16 total. I will say that on the defensive end where you rely a little less on anticipation and quickness than on the O-board, that Betsy Schoenrock of NRHEG and Victoria Johnson of Roseau were both dominant on their own end with 11 and 10 defensive boards, respectively.
Best Quote—Sauk Centre coach Scott Bergman when I approached him for an interview and introduced myself. “Hi, I’m Marc with Northstar Hoops.” Scott Bergman: “That’s a great Web site.”
Best Coaching Decision—Bergman and Sauk Centre kept the pressure on Minnehaha’s young kids. Minnehaha was leading but Sauk kept after it and eventually the turnovers came.
Best Passer—Shea Oman, New London Spicer. Only 5 assists but this was a slow paced game. So 5 here is worth Kiley Borowicz’s 10.
Best Catch and Shoot Shooter—Usually for WM Claire Killian. Today it was Kirstin Klitzke who made 5-of-9. Killian made 3-of-9.
Best Fan Support—NRHEG. I mean, they’ve got 4 towns, they should draw crowd, right? Well, they do that.