St. Paul’s Makayla Van Nett just might be the best three-point shooter in Minnesota
So who is the best three-point shooter in Minnesota girls basketball? Chelsea Mason of Mountain Iron-Buhl led the state high school league last winter with 91 threes, but she has moved on to college ball. McKenna Hofschild of Prior Lake…
So who is the best three-point shooter in Minnesota girls basketball? Chelsea Mason of Mountain Iron-Buhl led the state high school league last winter with 91 threes, but she has moved on to college ball. McKenna Hofschild of Prior Lake has certainly put up some impressive numbers. Sophomore Paige Bueckers of Hopkins can definitely knock it down. Sophomore Mia Curtis of Minnehaha Academy is terrific from the outside. But among players returning to high school competition this year, Makayla Van Nett of St. Paul Como Park led the way with 83 triples last winter, an average of more than three per game. Saturday night at the Nickle Dickle 3-point contest in Waconia, Van Nett offered a pretty strong indication of why she may be the best in the state from beyond the arc.
Makayla garnered 42 of a possible 60 points – eight more than any other player – to defeat an impressive field that included Bueckers, the defending champion Hofschild, and seven other high school sharpshooters. Van Nett scored 22 of a possible 30 points in the championship round to win by three over senior Kali Grimm of Norwood-Young America. Bueckers, Curtis and freshman Kaylee Van Eps of Chaska (the #2 rated player in 2021) tied for third. Hannah Purcell of Annandale was 6th. Montana State commit Sydney Zieske of Waconia , Kenzie Rensch of Hutchison (Augustana), and Nevaeh Galloway of Minnehaha rounded out the field.
The Nickle Dickle contest, held in conjunction with Waconia's town festival of the same name, is a fun event that raises money for St. Joseph's Catholic School. It includes a boy's three-point contest (Van Nett put up better numbers than anyone in that field) and a slam dunk contest. In the three-point competition, the balls were fed to the shooter by a passer. Contestants took five shots from five spots (corner, wing, top of key, wing, corner) for a total of 25 shots in 75 seconds. There were five pink bonus balls worth two points each for a maximum of 30 points. The top five players and ties advanced to the finals where the shooters started with a clean slate.
Ironically, Van Nett was a late addition to the event. The nine other players had a 20-minute warmup period and were ready to go when Van Nett (Warriors Elite AAU) rolled into the gym just a few minutes before the scheduled starting time. She shot last in the first round and started slowly, missing her first few shots. Then she found some rhythm, knocking down about a dozen in a row and a total of 17 for 20 points.
In the finals, Bueckers, Van Eps and Curtis each posted 17-point totals, while Grimm finished with 19. Van Nett put an exclamation point on her preliminary-round performance with 22 points. Currently ranked #44 in the class of 2018, our scouting report on Van Nett says, “One of the state's top 3-point shooters, she can catch and shoot or create her own shot off the bounce. Decent handles, excellent passer, great 2-on-2 player). Note to Como Park opponents this season: You might want to get out to the perimeter and put a hand in this girl's face or it could be a long night.
|Player||AAU Team||Round 1||Round 2||Total|
|Makayla Van Nett, Como Park||Warriors Elite||20||22||42|
|Kali Grimm, Norwood-YA||Fury 2018 Elite||15||19||34|
|Paige Bueckers, Hopkins||North Tartan 2020||17||14||31|
|Mia Curtis, Minnehaha||North Tartan 2020||17||14||31|
|Kaylee Van Eps, Chaska||Fury 2021 Blue||16||14||30|
|Hanna Purcell, Annandale||Crossfire Theisen||15||11||26|
|Sydney Zieske, Waconia||Fury 2018 Elite||13|
|Kenzie Rensch, Hutchinson||Fury 2018 Gold||11|
|McKenna Hofschild, Prior Lake||Fury 2019 Blue||11|
|Neveah Galloway, Minnehaha||Minn. Suns 2019||10|