Finally, a 5-person all-state 1st team
Well, you've now seen our all-state selections for every class (A, AA, AAA, AAAA) in every age group (2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021-2022). But, seriously, who were the 5 top performers of the year? And how do they compare…
Well, you've now seen our all-state selections for every class (A, AA, AAA, AAAA) in every age group (2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021-2022). But, seriously, who were the 5 top performers of the year? And how do they compare to the best of the past 4 years? Here you go.
Guard–Gabi Haack, Elk River, senior, 5-9, 26 ppg. Totally underrated all these years, except here at Northstar Girls Hoops. Sorry about the gloating. OK, not sorry. We had her in our top 10 2 years ago and people wondered if we were crazy. We moved her into our top 5 last year and people said, She's not that good. We moved her up to #3 this year and people said, If she's so good, how come she was never on North Tartan's 1st team? Don't ask me. Ask North Tartan.
But, now, she's done the unthinkable–led not-perennially-powerful Elk River to an unbeaten season and a win over perenially-powerful Hopkins 64-60 in the state final, scoring 25 points. The Elks are the 1st unbeaten AAAA state champs since Lakeville North in 2010. I think they (Lakeville North) had a guard that year who went on to make some noise after high school. Like 60 points in a Big 10 game. I'm not saying Gabi Haack will do that. I would never say that anybody is going to do that. But Gabi has done everything a high school player can possibly do. End of discussion.
Guard–Paige Bueckers, Hopkins, freshman, 5-9, 21 ppg. Meanwhile, Paige Bueckers has not done everything that a high school player can do. Not yet. But, she has already done more than any freshman has ever done. And, she will do everything that it is possible for a high school player to do before she's done.
Wing–Kiley Borowicz, Roseau, senior, 5-9, 27 ppg. Finished #4 on the state tournament career scoring list, and her senior team went 32-0. I don't know what more she could do. Very gratifying to see the Ms. Basketball committee agreeing with me on this one. It's another for which we caught a lot of grief over the years–having Kiley in our top 10, that is. But, forget the hair-splitting. When the chips were down, more often than not, she scored 35 and her team won. End of discussion.
But, by the way, we made a mistake. I mean, we've made lots of mistakes. This one we're going to admit to. We overlooked Borowicz on our 1st all-state team of 2017s. She shoulda been there. We're going to leave that team the way it is, however, and include Kiley here, where she belongs.
Wing–Rachel Ranke, Eastview, senior, 6-2, 15.6 ppg. Some of the national recruiting sites have Ranke rated as Minnesota's best senior. Others look at her scoring average and say, for a player who is known as a scorer, 15.6 just isn't enough! Well, yes, she is known mostly for her 3-point shot, which she makes with a fair degree of frequency and with probably the quickest release you've seen in these parts lately. But, she's become a more complete player over the past year. And, if she had not, Eastview would not have finished #3 in the state tournament. Will be a major contributor at Kansas State. She's a year older than Chrissy Carr, and I don't want to stoke up a rivalry between Ranke and Carr, but the national folks are all over Carr, and (it says here that) Ranke will be just as good.
Center–okay, we had a debate on this one. This was the hardest pick. But we like Yokie Lee, Byron, 6-51/2 junior, 34 ppg. Yet another recruit of the Kansas State Gophers. So, there's lots of time for all of us to find out whether she's really for real, or not. But girls this big are almost always late bloomers and while we picked our guards based on production, not potential, I'm willing to pick upside here and so that's what we've done.
Just for fun: We've been doing this for 4 years now. Hard to believe, Here are our previous 1st team all-state teams.
Center–at the center we chose Chase Coley in 2014, Abi Schied in 2015 and 2016. Kristin Scott now has been 2nd team 3 times. Lee jumped from 3rd team last year to 1st this year.
Power Forward–we had Cayla McMorris, Taylor Reiss and Jamie Ruden. Rachel Ranke moved from 2nd last year to 1st this year.
Point Guard–Kenisha Bell, Madi Guebert and Kiara Russell. Rae Johnson was #2 last year and #1 this year.
Wing/Shooting Guard–sometimes we've picked 3 guards (2 shooting guards), other times 1. We've had Carlie Wagner, Madi Guebert (once at the 2, once at the 1), Taylor Koenen twice, T.T. Starks and Nia Hollie once each, and now Gabi Haack.
Over 4 years now, our big 5 are Schied at the post (she's at Northwestern), Jamie Ruden at the 4-spot (Arizona State), Madi Guebert at a guard (South Dakota State), Taylor Koenen (North Carolina) and then we'd want both T.T. (Iowa State) and Nia (Michigan State) on our team. We'd leave it to our top coach over the 4 years–Brian Cosgriff–to work out the minutes.