Northstar Top Performer And now for something completely different. Our top performer this week will be from a losing team. The candidates are…. Masengo Mutanda, Armstrong, 5-8, junior, wing Mutanda continued her remarkable comeback from a knee injury. She scored…
Northstar Top Performer
And now for something completely different. Our top performer this week will be from a losing team. The candidates are….
Masengo Mutanda, Armstrong, 5-8, junior, wing
Mutanda continued her remarkable comeback from a knee injury. She scored 32 points 2 weeks ago in her 1st game back. Last Tuesday she scored 35 in a 68-63 loss to Park Center, then added 17 in a 60-38 win over Osseo. She is now scoring 23 ppg in 4 games back.
Emma Schmidt, Wheaton, 5-9, senior, point guard
Schmidt and Wheaton had not lost a regular season game in almost 2 years when they traveled to Lac Qui Parle Valley in a matchup of #8A (Wheaton) vs. #9A. Well, #9A prevailed at home 66-60, but not through any fault of Schmidt’s. She led all scorers with 29 points though her team fell short.
Betsy Schoenrock, New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva, 6-4, senior, post
Schoenrock has always used her size well to be a consistent scorer. Tuesday night was no exception as she drained 27 in a losing cause, as a very good Blooming Prairie team edged Schoenrock’s Panthers.
Natalia Vander Zanden, St. Charles, 5-10, senior, forward
Vander Zanden is pretty well known down in her backyard and is going to be playing college ball at Wheaton College. She is averaging 14 ppg and 14 rebounds. Monday night, as her team was edged by Zumbrota-Mazeppa 65-63, Vander Zanden recorded 22 points, 11 boards, 3 assists and 3 steals.
Monique Wooten, Mpls. North, 5-8, senior, shooting guard
Wooten scored 23 points as the Polars defeated Washburn 46-34 on Tuesday. 4 days later, North took it on the chin 73-71 to visiting Red Lake, but not through any fault of Wooten’s. She scored 31 in the losing effort for a total of 54 for the week.
Top Breakout Performer
The candidates are….
Lizzy Dodge, Woodbury, 5-11, junior, forward. Dodge is averaging 5 ppg and has emerged just about at the time when Woodbury has started playing its best ball, sweeping East Ridge, White Bear and Hastings last week. Dodge scored a career high 18 against East Ridge, then added 7 more before the week was out.
Bailey Kennedy, forward, and Alex Larson, guard, sophomores, Pine Island. OK, Kennedy and Larson are scoring 24 ppg between them but up here in the metro, when we think of Pine Island, we think of guards Autumn Pin and Brooke Sinning. Well, Kennedy and Larson have arrived. They scored 42 points between them (Kennedy 22 and Larson 20) in a Thursday night loss to then-#10AA-rated Stewartville 66-62.
McKenna Miller, Eagan, 5-7, senior, shooting guard. We don’t pick too many seniors as breakout performers, and it’s not like Miller hasn’t been around. She scored 5 ppg last year and is averaging 9 this year. Still, we don’t give a lot of props to anybody from Eagan. I mean, to offense intended but the Wildcats are 1-13. Still, we saw them at St. Olaf and they’re improving, if slowly. In any event, Miller broke loose for a career high of 21 points against Prior Lake last week, then added 16 against Lakeville South. Eagan lost both games, but by a total of just 3 points. I said they were improving, and Miller has something to do with that.
Dani Rief, Chaska, junior, guard. Rief only scored her 1st points of the season in her 2nd appearance of the year on Tuesday against Kennedy, and in fact she scored 16 that night. She followed that with 8 more against Cooper on Friday in just her 3rd time on the floor.
Sydney Runsewe, Simley, 5-5, 8th grade. Runsewe came off the bench to lead Simley with 14 points in a 59-57 win over their rivals from just across Highway 52, Henry Sibley.
It was a big week, and there were any number of teams that played and won 3 games, and so that’s what it took to make this list. Win 3 games. The candidates are…
Mountain Iron-Buhl won 3 games despite a shoulder injury to point guard Macy Savela. One of them was at #3A Hayfield 64-56. Mary Burke has been unstoppable all year long.
Parkers Prairie also won 3 games and also beat a rated team in Wheaton. They move into our Class A top 25 at #18.
And, Sleepy Eye won 3 games, 2 of them against (then) rated teams, Sleepy Eye St. Mary’s and Gibbon-Fairfax-Winthrop. The game against their crosstown rivals must have been a doozy. Sleepy Eye public won that one 62-60.
Tracy-Milroy-Balaton won 3 games, beating a pair of rated teams, Lac Qui Parle Valley and Goodhue (the latter at Hayfield). They move up from #18AA to #11.
In keeping with several of our themes, Woodbury won 3 games, one against rated White Bear and one against crosstown rival East Ridge. They move into the Class AAAA top 25, also at #18.
Top Breakout Team
Annandale defeated 2 rated teams—New London-Spicer and Watertown-Mayer—and jumped all the way from outside our top 25 in Class AA to #9AA. They lost their 3rd game of the week, however, to Class AAA Hutchinson.
Like Annandale, Parkers Prairie and Woodbury also moved into their respective top 25s and (spoiler alert) they’re not going to be the Top Team of the week, so I’m going to throw them in the hopper for the Breakout Team.
As always, our top coaches represent Top Team and/or Top Breakout Team candidates. They are….
Derek Ashbaugh, Tracy-Milroy-Balaton
Jeff Buffetta, Mountain Iron-Buhl
Matt Dreier, Annandale
Ryan Hulke, Sleepy Eye
Megan Kirchenwitz, Woodbury
John Noga, Parkers Prairie
The Envelopes, Please….
Northstar Top Performer—Masengo Mutanda, Armstrong
Top Breakout Performer—Sydney Runsewe, Simley
Top Breakout Team—Woodbury
Top Coach—Derek Ashbaugh, Tracy-Milroy-Balaton