It’s that time of year again. We’ve got an exciting summer of basketball under our belts now and, as we’ve written, a lot of girls enhanced their stature over the past few months of action.But,what does that mean? Well, our…
It’s that time of year again. We’ve got an exciting summer of basketball under our belts now and, as we’ve written, a lot of girls enhanced their stature over the past few months of action.But,what does that mean? Well, our player ranking updates will be coming out over the next four weeks. 2018s today. 2019s next week. 2020s the following week. And, finally, our first-ever ranking of the 2021s on or about September 13.
If you’ve been reading our reporting over the summer, it’s no surprise to you that girls like Heaven Hamling (Grand Rapids, Stars and Stephen F. Austin), Nicole Herbranson (Barnesville, Cyclones and MSU-Moorheaad) and Noelle Josephson (Anoka and Stars) are moving up. It should also be no surprise that Sam Haiby (Moorhead, North Tartan and Nebraska), already ranked #1 in her class and now our summer Player of the Year in the class of 2018, is still ranked #1.
In the end, it seems that the class of 2018 will go down in history as a good/not great class. But, it’s true that there are about 20 D1 commits right now with more on the way which is more than 2015, 2016 or 2017.
Why Our Top 10 Players Are Our Top 10 Players
1. Sam Haiby, 5-9, CG, Moorhead, North Tartan and Nebraska (remains at #1)
Unstoppable as a scorer with 24 ppg last year at Moorhead. Hits the 3, gets to the rim at will though she says she wants to finish stronger. She also handles the ball for the Spuds and can do so at the next level as needed. Great athlete.
2. Carmen Backes, 6-2, W, Chisago Lakes, Tartan and Wisconsin (remains at #2)
Coming off 2 major injuries (a back and a knee) the past 2 years. If she gets the spring back in her step, she basically combines power forward size and strength with point guard skills. She has played all 5 positions. Great vertical, great defender, scores from anywhere on the floor.
3. Yokie Lee, 6-5½, C, Byron, Nice and Kansas State (remains at #3)
Great hands and feet, nice touch on her shot, and has a quick recovery so she can go back up and get her misses.
4. Megan Walstad, 6-2, PF, Eastview, Tartan and Milwaukee (remains at #4)
Strong with a nice vertical. Great defender and rebounder, adding range on her shot.
5. Krystal Carlson, 5-11, SF, Hastings and Stars (moves up from #7)
Does it all—scores from anywhere on the court, strong on the boards, blocks shots. Plays inside a lot for Hastings at 5-11. I don’t know if that scares people, but she has perimeter skills, too. Like I said, does it all.
6. Megan Walker, 5-10, CG, Minnetonka, Tartan and Lehigh (moves up from #10)
Has worked hard to become the top PG in her class. Not the quickest but has nice length and is very strong for her position. Controls the ball in traffic and with contact. Distributes it and hits her shots.
7. Morgan Hill, 5-10, SG, Mpls. South and Tayler Hill Elite (moves up from #8 to #7)
Gets to the rim at will and is finishing much stronger than in previous years.
8. Maesyn Theisen, 5-7, PG, Sauk Centre, Tartan and UMD (drops from #5 to #8)
Not the biggest, not the quickest, but everything that she can control—her skills, her court awareness—she has worked hard to become the best. Very high basketball IQ and one of the toughest girls you’ll see.
9. Emma Grothaus, 6-3, W, Mahtomedi, Tartan and Lehigh (moves up from #14)
Highly skilled stretch 4, scores from everywhere (19 ppg), good defender, smart player. Too many of her points come putting back here own misses, however.
10. Kayla Mershon, 6-3, PF, Minnetonka, Tartan and Nebraska (moves from #9)
Big and strong, her skills and her effort are now such that she’s paying off more of her tremendous upside, but there is still lots of room to grow.
Dropped Out of Top 10
14. Raena Suggs, 5-7, CG, Hopkins and Tartan (was #6)
Sat out a good chunk of the summer, going to summer school to get her grades in shape to be eligible for the high school season. That is now a done deal and she’s back.
1. Heaven Hamling, 5-8, PG, Grand Rapids, Stars and Stephen F. Austin (moved from #21 to #11)
Had a great summer, was our #1 2018 point guard for the summer season and moves from #5 to #3 among 2018 point guards overall. Great floor leader, shares the ball, makes great decision, can score (20 ppg last high school season) from long range and on a floater in the lane. Got herself a D1 opportunity as a result.
2. Amanda Pollard, 5-9, CG, Champlin Park, Metro Stars (moved from #114 to #53)
We missed on Pollard, period. She, too, is a leader who takes responsibility for her whole team, she plays hard, she plays fast and pushes the pace. Great defender.
3. Nicole Herbranson, 5-8, CG, Barnesville, Cyclones and MSU Moorhead (moved from #85 to #46)
Had not seen her until this summer, though we knew she had an MSU-Moorhead scholarship. Now we know why. She creates her own shot smoothly and easily. Her handles are almost as good as her shot.
4. Katherina Theis, 5-11, PF, Maple Grove and Crossfire (moved from $129 to #83)
Has blossomed over the past year. A graceful, athletic 5-11 who does a little bit of everything except, well, 18 ppg is not a little bit. Active, productive player.
5. Noelle Josephson, 5-10, SF, Anoka and Stars (from #49 to #40)
Had a terrific summer. Can score off the bounce, both at the rim and with a pull-up out to 15 feet. Does it all.
6. Annika Sougstad, 5-10, SF, Mahtomedi and Comets (from #83 to #47)
Great defender, great rebounder, the ultimate “little things” player who also manages to score 10 ppg (in high school).
7. Andrea Abrams, 6-0, F, Eastview and Metro Stars (from #128 to #82)
Big, strong, gets and holds her position. Excellent all-around in the lane but also runs the floor.
8. Jadyn Hanson, 5-6, PG, St. Michael-Albertville and Tartan (from #138 to #106)
Quick, aggressive 1.
9. Riley Carlson, 5-10, PF, St. Michael-Albertville and Tartan (from #157 to #107)
Not flashy, you could overlook her, as we have done, but there are no obvious weaknesses to her game.
10. Carley Mekash, 5-8, SF, Badger-Greenbush-Middle River (from #143 to #108)
Great scorer and all-around player at Class A level. Haven’t seen her against better competition.
1. Justyna Butler, 5-8, SG, Cretin and Fury (#94)
Missed the better part of 2 years with injuries, but she and her jump shot are back.
2. Addie Thomsen, 5-9, F, Lakeville South and So Minn Fury (#127)
Long, strong for her size, plays hard and effectively in the lane.
3. Maggie Miska, 5-9, SF, Grand Rapids and Comets (#128)
Overlooked her with Grand Rapids last year, but she showed that she can score from almost anywhere this summer.
4. Destiny Cummings, 5-8, W, Andover (#129)
Excellent all-around. Handles it, runs the floor, good basketball IQ.
5. Megan Mettler, 6-0, P, St. Clair (#131)
Strong post, formerly at Mankato Loyola.
6. Ariyon Kelly, 6-2, P, Mpls. South and Tayler Hill Elite (#132)
Very strong post, maybe the most physical player in the state.
7. Erin Tupy, 5-7, CG, Lakeville South and So Minn Fury (#152)
Smallish combo guard with good handles, good passer.
8. Regan McElfresh, Brainerd, 5-8, SG, Brainerd and Central Lakes Thunder (#153)
Showed that she can score in bunches this summer.
9. Selena Lor, 5-5, PG, Winona and So Minn Fury (#154)
Quick, active 1.
10. Maggie Winkels, 5-10, F, St. Francis and Heat (#202)