Section 7AAAA Preview
Andover? Anoka? Anoka? Andover? Nope. This year, we think that for the 2nd time in 8 years it will be something different. 1. Forest Lake 15-13 last year, lost to Anoka 55-53 in section 7AAAA SF The Rangers took a…
Andover? Anoka? Anoka? Andover? Nope. This year, we think that for the 2nd time in 8 years it will be something different.
1. Forest Lake 15-13 last year, lost to Anoka 55-53 in section 7AAAA SF
The Rangers took a blow when forward Mackenzie Stumne injured her knee this past summer, but they’ve still got lots and lots of talent, led by 5-11 center/power forward Abigail Groeneweg, a truly underrated talent. And, there’s still a ton of depth even with Stumne out of commission. But, the key will be point guard Lexi Hultman, who is super-quick and highly-skilled but often out of control, going just a little too fast. Get that under control and the sky’s the limit.
2. Andover 21-11, lost to Lakeville North 49-32 in state tournament QF
Andover loses all-everything guard, DePaul recruit Joli Daninger and that probably ought to spell dsiastr. But, we can’t spell dsiastr. And Andover has just enough talent coming back—and it’s opponents just too little—for things to get too bad. Lizzie Karp is a late bloomer in the post, now in just her 2nd year playing hoops, and she’s already a D2 commit. Wings Destiny Cummings and point guard Emily Diemer and known quantities, while wing Mackenzie Mackey may or may not be gearing up for an explosion. So there is hope in Andover.
3. Anoka 16-13, lost to Andover 46-45 in section 7AAAA final
One point separated Anoka and Andover last year. One point might cover ‘em again this year. Anoka has the top individual among the 2 in senior wing and offensive whiz Noelle Josephson. It might come down to the play of sophomore point guards Diemer of Andover and Jersi McAlpine of Anoka. McAlpine perhaps has higher expectations right now, but Diemer pushes the pace a little quicker. And, Andover has a little more balance between the front court and the back.
4. St. Francis 18-9, lost to Andover 60-38 in section 7AAAA SF
The Fighting Saints have power forward Sidney Zgutowicz (pronounced Skitovich, I’m told), and 5 interchangeable guards, as many of 4 of whom may find themselves on the court together. 5-3 junior Danah Ocsan is the heir-apparent at the point while sophomore Amme Sheforgen is the youngest with the highest upside. Anna Schultz, Gracie Eastman, Maggie Winkels and Mae Grahek will all get their minutes.
5. Blaine 8-19, lost to St. Francisc 49-46 in section 7AAAA QF
6-1 power forward Therese Grace Mbanefo is a beast on defense and on the boards, strong and athletic, and a work in progress on offense. She can really elevate. Tiffany Johnson is a 5-9 senior and outside shooter. The two of them are a great nucleus but there are few proven options elsewhere.
6. Coon Rapids 9-18, lost to Anoka 53-32 in section 7AAAA QF
Center Elle Carver and guards Caitlyn Ackerman, Laynie Hanneman and Kennedy Kehr will be the nucleus as the Cards try to rise out of a long period in the doldrums.
7. Cambridge-Isanti 5-22, lost to Forest Lake 57-40 in section 7AAAA QF
Cambridge has fallen on hard times. Sophomores Jana Swanson, Myranda Brogger and Jackie Olander are not going to get things turned around in 2018 but maybe by 2020.
8. Duluth East 2-25, lost to Andover 72-41 in section 7AAAA QF
There are plenty of parents in Duluth who will tell you that the school district up there has abandoned girls basketball. Here’s Exhibit A. Here’s a shout-out to Macy Hermanson, Marlena Boedignheimer and Sam Velander for continuing to climb that mountain.
Center—Therese Grace Mbanefo, Blaine, 6-1, senior, 16 ppg
Power Forward—Abigail Groeneweg, Forest Lake, 5-11, junior, 12 ppg
Forward—Sidney Zgutowicz, St. Francis, 5-10, senior, 15 ppg
Point Guard—Lexi Hultman, Forest Lake, 5-8, junior, 9 ppg
Shooting Guard—Noelle Josephson, Anoka, 5-10, senior, 10 ppg
Center—Lizzie Karp, Andover, 6-0, senior, 6 ppg
Power Forward—Maddy Rice, Forest Lake, 5-10, junior, 5 ppg
Forward—Destiny Cummings, Andover, 5-8, senior, 5 ppg
Point Guard—Jersi McAlpine, Anoka, 5-5, sophomore, 5 ppg
Shooting Guard—Tiffany Johnson, Blaine, 5-9, senior, 10 ppg
Center—Jana Swanson, Cambridge, 6-0, sophomore, 6 ppg
Forward—Laynie Hannemann, Coon Rapids, junior, 6 ppg
Small Forward—Mackenzie Mackey, Andover, 5-7, junior, 4 ppg
Point Guard—Haley Diemer, Andover, 5-5, sophomore, 5 ppg
Shooting Guard—Amme Sheforgen, St. Francis, sophomore, 7 pp