Breakdown Tip Off: Morning on the Main Court
PARK CENTER 78 PRIOR LAKE 56 Speed kills, and the roads in and out of Brooklyn Park are particularly fast. Just ask the Prior Lake Lakers who got run over time and again by Park Center's superior wheels Saturday as…
PARK CENTER 78 PRIOR LAKE 56
Speed kills, and the roads in and out of Brooklyn Park are particularly fast. Just ask the Prior Lake Lakers who got run over time and again by Park Center's superior wheels Saturday as the Pirates rolled to a 78-56 victory at the Breakdown Tip Off Classic. Park Center was paced by Sommer Blakemore's 20-point performance and a slew of transition baskets by freshman Adalia McKenzie and senior Meghan DuBois.
Prior Lake started out fast, launched as they often are by a McKenna Hofschild 3-pointer, and quickly built a 13-4 lead in the first 5 minutes. A Lauren Frost jumper got Park Center going and the Pirates drew even for the first time at 22-22. Transition buckets by DuBois and Kayla Cox got the racecars revved up for real, stretching the lead to 35-28 at the half despite 15 points from Hofschild, who finished the game with 31.
In the second, Park Center's superior athleticism was the difference, and the Lakers simply could not keep up as Park Center earned a 22-point win.
Players of the Game
Sommer Blakemore – Let the Pirates with a solid 20-point performance, demonstrating the offensive skills that have long been her calling card, but also showing the poise and maturity she has earned as a senior in a high-caliber program.
McKenna Hofschild – A 31-point performance is always worthy of applause, but it's the way Hofschild does it that is impressive. If there were style points awarded in basketball, McKenna would win the gold medal every time out.
New Names to Know
Park Center – Charo Nickens, Adalia McKenzie and T'Naye Griffin will all play important roles for the Pirates this season. Nickens is a senior who has lurked in the shadows the past couple of years but will now be counted on to be the primary defender in the post. McKenzie is the 18th-ranked player in the Class of 2021. Her speed and athleticism have proven too much for most high school defenders so far and it usually results in a basket or free throws. Griffin is an athletic 5'11″ post who is a bit raw but improving rapidly. When she keeps it simple and brings maximum energy, Griffin is a force.
Prior Lake – Emily Kulstad, Tatum Brostrum and Kate Trachsel are three talented members of this year's freshmen class. Kulstad, a big power forward, made our first class rankings (she's at #27) on the strength of her play this summer with the Minnesota Fury. Trachsel, a quick guard with great skills, was in the conversation and will sure make the next cut. Brostrum tends to be overshadowed in summer ball because she plays PG behind #7 Katie Borowicz on Minnesota Stars Hersch. Saturday she showed her exceptional quickness and defensive ferocity.
Park Center – Sommer Blakemore 20, Adalia McKenzie 13, Meghan Dubois 12, Lauren Frost 10, T'Naye Griffin 8, Kayla Cox 4, Azsha Michael 4, Charo Nickens 3, Chyanne Nickens 2, Aaliyah Ragulen 2
Prior Lake – McKenna Hofschild 31, Lexi Hanson 6, Tatum Brostrum 3, Madi Garcia 3, Alexandra Wiskow 3, Kate Trachsel 3, Haidyn Pitsch 3, Emily Kulstad 2, Ella Schnackenberg 1, Abby Kuboushek 1
EASTVIEW 60 ST. MICHAEL-ALBERTVILLE 43
When the curtain went up on St. Michael-Albertville's season Saturday morning at the Breakdown Tip Off Classic, it became obvious that the Knights weren't quite ready for primetime. That was the cue for the Eastview Lightning, who had already staged two command performances last weekend, to steal the show. That's exactly what they did, scoring a 60-43 victory. St. Michael, on the other hand, is probably wishing they had done a few more rehearsals off Broadway.
Eastview's attack was orchestrated as usual by talented guards Emma Carpenter and Maci Guebert. Their usual accomplice is forward Megan Walstad, but on this day the spotlight belonged to senior Mariah Alipate who led all scorers with 17 while Walstad chipped in with 9. Meanwhile, STMA guards Kenzie Kramer and Jadyn Hanson led a disjointed cast that never seemed to get over its opening night jitters, as passes went awry and shots were stymied from beginning to end. Hanson scored 13 and Kramer had 12.
Player of the Game
Mariah Alipate, Eastview – It has been easy to overlook this multi-dimensional player over the past couple of years thanks to some injury absences and a star-studded cast overshadowing her. On this day Alipate was a force at both ends of the floor and led all scorers with 17.
New Names to Know
Emma Miller, STMA – 8th grader is a small and speedy guard who will see significant minutes for the Knights this season. Miller may be the fastest player in the class, and she led Minnesota Stars 2022 Kolden to a state championship.
Cassidy Carson, Eastview – We wrote extensively last weekend about this freshman guard who is rated 19th in the class. Long and lanky, Carson has point guard skills, an incredibly long step and tremendous range. She looks to be an impact player for the Lightning.
STMA – Jadyn Hanson 13, Kenzie Kramer 12, Kendel Cox 5, Whitney Dold 4, Lily Tennyson 3, Kaelyn Christian 2, Riley Carlson 2, Hailey Coulson 2
Eastview – Mariah Alipate 17, Maci Guebert 10, Megan Walstad 9, Courtney Carson 6, Andrea Abrams 6, Cassidy Carson 5, Emma Carpenter 4, Jordan Morris 3