I saw 2 AA section quarter-finals Friday night, 4 AA section quarter-finals on Saturday, and 2 AA section semi-finals on Tuesday. Here are the top individual performances in those 8 AA games. Center—Monika Czinano, Watertown-Mayer, 6-2, senior Czinano dominated inside…
I saw 2 AA section quarter-finals Friday night, 4 AA section quarter-finals on Saturday, and 2 AA section semi-finals on Tuesday. Here are the top individual performances in those 8 AA games.
Center—Monika Czinano, Watertown-Mayer, 6-2, senior
Czinano dominated inside as the Royals defeated Maple Lake 49-44 in Section 5AA. She is a throwback, a highly skilled low post player who presents her teammates with a great target, catches the ball and does not miss her scoring opportunities. She scored 28 points with 13 boards in that game.
Forward—Jaclyn Jarnot, Maranatha, 6-1, senior
Jarnot has an intimidating combination of size and mobility. She can score from wherever, inside and out. She scored 15 1st points as Maranatha demolished Blake 74-44.
Point Guard—Ivane Tensaie, Concordia, 5-7, freshman
Shooting Guard—Mia Curtis, Minnehaha, 5-9, sophomore
Shooting Guard—McKenna Monahan, Glencoe-Silver Lake, 5-7, senior
We’ll give the ball to Tensaie, who is the most pure 1 of the 3 guards. But all 3 can score (62 points among them on 25-of-63 shooting, or 40 percent) with 10 assists and no turnovers. That’s right, zero turnovers among them.
• Tensaie started slowly, shooting 2-of-8 in the 1st half, but she controlled the ball and the game in the 2nd.
• Curtis shot out the lights with 25 points on 10-of-20 shooting including 5-of-8 3s out to a good 25-26 feet.
• Monahan shot just 10-of-28 but she is the most fiendishly clever and creative of the 3. She has a Whalenesque way of meandering around the court, stretching and breaking down the defense. She is especially adept at driving the baseline and making plays from the inside out.
Center—Hailey Paup, Concordia, 6-2, senior
Paup is a mobile 6-2 post with great footwork which enables her to attack the rim with her shoulders squared up and a very good chance of putting the ball in the basket. She did that against St. Croix Prep to the tune of 18 points on 9-of-15 FGs. She added 15 rebounds.
Forward—Alani Pettis, Mpls. North, 6-0, sophomore
Pettis is another with a very nice combination of size and leaping ability, plus speed and quickness. She scored 8 1st half points on 4-of-6 shooting as North pulled out to an early lead over Annandale, and she finished with 16 points.
Forward–Lydia Lecher, Concordia, 5-10, junior
Long, lean, athletic with good skills. The Beacons will need to look a lot more aggressively for her shot next year.
Point Guard—Leigh Steiner, Holy Family, 5-10, junior
Shooting Guard—Adiya Sandifer, St. Agnes, 5-6, senior
Here are 2 more point guards. Again we’ll give the ball to the one with the best assist to turnover ratio. Steiner had 8 assists and no turnovers. Hard to do any better than that. She looked to score in the 1st half and scored 12 points in 4-of-8 shooting. In the 2nd half she was content to protect and to dish and to milking the clock, and she did that just as well.
As Minnehaha coach Josh Thurow said of Sandifer, she is usually a drive and dish player but Tuesday night she wasn’t going to go down without putting the ball in the hole. She scored just 4 in the 1st half, then came out firing in the 2nd. She scored 22 2nd half points on 9-of-19 shooting. She scored mostly by breaking down the defense off the dribble, getting into the lane, then pulled up and hitting the 10-footer.
Center—Bren Fox, Norwood Young America, 6-3, senior
An outstanding defender, she keeps her hands high and her feet on the ground. Better offensively going to her right than to her left.
Forward—Avery New, Minnehaha, 6-0, junior
Forward—Kae Seana Barth-Lofton, Maranatha, 5-10, junior
Two big tough defenders and rebounders. Barth-Lorton was New's teammate at Minnehaha a year ago, when they were known as the Bruise Sisters, or should have been.
Point Guard—Linsey Rachel, Maple Lake, 5-8, senior
Rachel is one of the best guards you've never seen.
Shooting Guard—K’Lynn Lewis, St. Agnes, 5-7, senior
Lewis had a tough time in her final game but she is a quicker, skilled offensive player.
Center—Alainah Erickson, Maranatha, 6-0, sophomore
I don’t remember her playing in the 1st half, but she started the 2nd. She did not score but was very active in the lane, recording a rebound, 2 blocked shots and a steal in limited minutes.
Forward—Arika Robinson, Concordia, 5-10, senior
I had never seen Robinson before, and it turns out that she is a D2 athlete who will high jump for the Sioux Falls track team. She is a dead ringer for teammate Lydia Lecher, except that Lecher is a year younger. But, both a long, lean and very mobile, very athletic. If Robinson had focused on basketball, there’s no telling what she might have done. Not that there’s anything wrong with being a track star.
Point Guard—Maggie Czinano, Watertown-Mayer, 5-10, freshman
Czinano did little all game long but then, at the end, when the Royals finally pulled away from Maple Lake, the younger Czinano contributed quite a bit. In fact, she scored Watertown’s final 4 points on a dribble drive that made it a 2-possession game with about a minute to go. She had also assisted on their previous bucket, and she added 2 throws down the stretch.
Shooting Guard—Cate Moe, Blake, 5-8, freshman
Moe had a great 1st half with 16 points on 2-of-8 FG but 12-of-12 FT, all while playing and handling the ball at a very high rate of speed. The legs gave out in the 2nd half against Maranatha’s relentless pace and deep, deep rotation
Shooting Guard—Desiree Ware, Maranatha, 5-6, 8th grade
Ware is a remarkably skilled and athletic 8th grader. Maranatha has a stable full of talent to replace seniors Jarnot and Post, but Ware seems to have the most upside of them all, considering her youth and her skills. She scored 12 points on 4-of-7 shooting with 5 rebounds, but also 3 turnovers.
OK, there aren’t 5 more youngsters of the type that usually man our Breakout teams. But there are some older players who have evaded the spotlight until now that some of them have actually concluded their careers. Let’s recognize some of those along with some more conventional Breakouts.
Center—Olivia Witt, St. Croix Prep, 5-10, senior
More of a power forward, really, but her team’s tallest and also its best player. Very mobile, very active, a solid scorer around the rim based on quickness and finesse. Some D3 program ought to take a look.
Forward—Brigid Boyle, St. Agnes, 5-10, freshman
Came off the St. Agnes bench and played with poise, intelligence and skill. Like Erickson, she’s a little raw but there’s some upside there.
Point Guard—Sydney Manthana, Rockford, 5-6, freshman
The ringleader of a #9 seed that stayed with Holy Family much longer than anticipated. Great basketball IQ, good perimeter scorer, good passer.
Shooting Guard—Bailey Larkin, St. Agnes, 4-11, senior
I have a new “best player under 5-0 tall” in Bailey Larkin, but that’s a bit unfair. She’s not just a solid small player, she’s just a solid basketball player. She played with poise and skill, scoring 10 points on 4-of-8 shooting with a remarkable 7 rebounds.