It’s point guard by committee over at Eastview
Things might be a little bit different this year for the Eastview Lightning, a perennial girl's basketball powerhouse from Apple Valley. Perhaps a departure from Dr. Naismith's rules of the game is appropriate, to be replaced by Robert's Rules of…
Things might be a little bit different this year for the Eastview Lightning, a perennial girl's basketball powerhouse from Apple Valley. Perhaps a departure from Dr. Naismith's rules of the game is appropriate, to be replaced by Robert's Rules of Order. Why? Because the Lightning's most important position on the floor – point guard – is going to be run by committee, and Mr. Robert established some pretty sound protocol on how to manage that way. After riding the considerable talents of Madison Guebert – currently playing a leading role at D1 South Dakota State – and Ali Pickrain, who is off to a terrific start with D2 Winona, Eastview finds itself without a true point guard. Enter the committee.
Saturday evening at the annual Pat Patterson Thanksgiving tournament, Eastview's collective did the job rather well, even if things didn't unfold quite as planned. It looks like junior Emma Carpenter is going to start at the 1 with Macy Guebert alternating between PG and SG. Of course, there needs to be others in the mix if this approach is going to work. Enter freshman Cassidy Carson. Both Carpenter and Guebert found themselves in early foul trouble against Orono, the 2017 AAA state champions. Carson came into the game in the fifth minute and didn't leave the floor until halftime. She ran the show with impressive maturity and had only one minor hiccup. Although her long and lanky 6-foot frame is not what we usually see at the position, Carson handled the ball just as well as a more conventional floor general. Along the way, Cassidy dropped a couple of bombs, moved the ball effectively, and was pretty efficient during her stint at the head of the table as she helped stake Eastview to a 37-14 halftime lead.
In the second half, Carpenter and Guebert returned to their usual roles as Carson watched a good portion of the proceedings from the sideline. Both are quite accomplished players, of course, with Guebert having committed recently to the University of South Dakota and Carpenter drawing plenty of collegiate interest. But Carson's play this weekend must give head coach Molly Kasper some sense of assurance that her rookie can do the job. We have written extensively about Carson during her exceptional summer with the Minnesota Stars, a body of work that earned her a top-20 spot in our first rankings of the Class of 2021. In AAU, however, she plays the 2 or 3 or even the stretch 4.
The Lighting, who recorded a 17-point win over White Bear Lake on Friday, used 13 players on Saturday as they rolled over Orono by a score of 66-27. Forward Megan Walstad, as will often be the case this year, led Eastview with 22 points. She is the 4th-ranked player in the Class of 2018 and has committed to Milwaukee. Orono was paced by Madi Loder, who will play college basketball at George Washington. In the meantime, she will try to carry the now-depleted Spartans. Orono's current game plan is pretty simple: get the ball to Madi, who had 18 of Orono's 27, after scoring 23 on Friday. Orono could use a committee of its own right about now, but on Saturday night they were scrambling just to find a quorum.
Zaraya March(es) Bloomington Kennedy to victory
No matter how many times we say that basketball is a team game, it still comes down to individual performances – usually by the very best players – to determine the outcome. On Saturday night, Stillwater's Sara Scalia was her usual stellar self, and the rather polished point guard had 29 points after a 24-point performance on Friday. Freshman Alexis Pratt kicked in with 8 for Stillwater after having 23 the night before. Unfortunately for Willie Taylor's Ponies, only two other players found the net. The sum total was two points short as Stillwater fell 54-52 to a surprisingly good Bloomington Kennedy squad. Quentin Johnson's Eagles, who defeated St. Paul Central on Friday, rode the considerable talents of junior Zaraya March down the stretch as the uber-athletic wing recorded 19 second-half points, mostly in the final five minutes, and 26 in all. Can Kennedy (2-0) continue its early-season success? Will Stillwater (1-1) find any offense beyond its two main attractions? Stay tuned because the season has only just begun.