I mentioned last week that our Class of 2018 player rankings had undergone a pretty thorough face-lift at the very last minute, just as they were riding off into the sunset. Only 2 of our top 10 players today were…
I mentioned last week that our Class of 2018 player rankings had undergone a pretty thorough face-lift at the very last minute, just as they were riding off into the sunset. Only 2 of our top 10 players today were in the top 10 the 1st time we ranked them back in 2013.
OK, so I’m here today to say that our 2019 rankings are holding up a lot better over the years. Not only are 9 of our top 10 from a quarter ago still there, but 7 of our top 11 from 4 years ago are still rated in our top 11. Kallie Theisen has moved from #3 4 years ago to #1 today. Destinee Oberg has moved from #1 to #2. McKenna Hofschild has moved from #4 to #6, Sara Stapleton from #6 to #8, Kacie Borowicz from #9 to #7, Mimi Schrader from #11 to, uh, #11.
Hannah Purcell dropped from #2 to #9. Taylor McAulay has dropped out of the top 10, all the way from #10 to #12. Tori Nelson went the other way, from #16 to #10. Dlayla Chakolis moved from #17 to #14. Of course, here I’m cherry-picking our successes. Sara Scalia, now #3, was #20. Frannie Hottinger, now #4, and Masengo Mutanda, now #5, were not among the 61 girls we included in that 1st ranking of the 2019s. Hottinger was on the Fury Gold, their 2nd 10, so she at least is someone who pretty clearly blossomed sometime after that 8th grade summer.
Anyway, here’s our top 11 that went up on our complete 2019 ranking list today.
Kallie Theisen, Wayzata, 6-2, power forward, was #1 last quarter, was #3 4 years ago
Destinee Oberg, Holy Angels, 6-3, post, was #2 last quarter, was #1 4 years ago
Sara Scalia, Stillwater, 5-9, combo guard, was #3 last quarter, was #20 4 years ago
Frannie Hottinger, Cretin-Derham Hall, 6-0, forward, was #4 last quarter, was unrated 4 years ago
Masengo Mutanda, Armstrong, 5-9, shooting guard, was #5, and was unrated
McKenna Hofschild, Prior Lake, 5-3, point guard, was #6, and was #4
Kacie Borowicz, Roseau, 5-9, point guard, was #10, and was #9
Sara Stapleton, Centennial, 6-3, post, was #8, and was #6
Hannah Purcell, Annandale, 6-0, wing, was #12 last quarter, and #2 4 years ago
Tori Nelson, Henry Sibley, 6-1, forward, was #7, and #16
Mimi Schrader, Wayzata, 5-9, point guard, was #11 and #11
The Big Gainers
There has been some movement in our ratings, however, though not so much as compared to the 2018s.
19. Elaina Jones, DeLaSalle, 5-11, power forward, was #26
Always a strong defender, Jones had begun to progress on the offensive end last year. With her transfer from Como to DeLaSalle—a team with innumerable offensive weapons—this year, her offense seemed at first to stagnate. But, then came the injury to Nora Francois, and Jones really stepped up to fill the offensive gap, becoming a slasher, getting to the rim quick and strong for easy layups. Could rank higher with just a little better consistency. Think Cayla McMorris but a little rougher around the edges.
22. Shyanne Loiland, Crosby-Ironton, 6-0, wing, was #76
Loiland has probably raised her profile more than anyone since January 1ish, though that’s more a matter of exposure than of production. The athletic 6-footer scored 13 ppg as a sophomore a year ago and was already known as someone who could play all 5 positions and do it all—score, pass, handle it, defend it, you know. The only difference is that the word is now out, and the college interest is rolling in.
- Leigh Steiner, Holy Family, 5-10, point guard, was #57
OK, we missed on Steiner, but on the other hand she has also improved her game a bunch. She’s become a much more assertive point guard, directing traffic, providing encouragement, keeping everybody involved in the offense. She is too big and too strong for most point guards, and just needs to get a little better on her own shot and, then, well, next stop: D2.
- Annaliese Tschida, Lakeville North, 5-10, shooting guard, was #58
Overshadowed by the deep talent of Lakeville North, but this year she proved herself to be a very polished offensive player who knows how to get off her shots and can make them from way deep. Needs to step it up on the defensive end a little bit, but anybody looking for a deep offensive threat who knows where to be, she’s your girl.
- Jordan Zrust, Buffalo, 5-9, combo guard, was #69
Just 5-11, but Zrust was huge for Buffalo this year, emerging as a do-everything combo guard who involves her teammates but, when the chips are down, can also put the ball in the hole, both inside and out. Other than Loiland, she probably raised her stock more than anybody during the high school season just past.
- Courtney Freeburg, Waconia, 6-2, post, was #75
- Julia Geurs, Holy Family, 6-2, post, was #106
The bigger girls generally blossom later than the smaller girls, and Freeburg and Geurs are 2 cases in point. They are now among the top half dozen classic low posts in the state, and continue to get better. Both have become dynamic and aggressive playmakers in the lane and on both ends of the court.
- Kae Seana Barth Lofton, Maranatha, 5-10, power forward, was #115
Had a great state tournament. She is a monster on defense and on the boards. This is probably too low but suffice it to say she has our attention and she is moving up.
- Logan Mahoney, Jefferson, 6-0, post-power forward
Just now emerging as a player, though that is probably in part because Jefferson isn’t particularly on our radar right now. She is more of a high post, better facing the basket, so it’s not hard to think of her as a 4. Strong, mobile, plays hard.
- Anna Sanders, White Bear Lake, 5-9, shooting guard
Began to really find herself the 2nd half of this past season. Her team obviously needed somebody to score some points and she eventually asserted herself toward that end, and scored pretty consistently both inside and out once she put her mind to it.
- Adrianna Torres, Pelican Rapids, 5-10, forward, was #198
The Pelicans (oh, OK, they’re the Vikings, but why not the Pelicans?) are essentially point guard Kaylie Isaman’s team, but everybody needs a supporting cast and Torres more than fits the bill. The 5-9 forward scored 17 ppg and plays strong and aggressively inside and out. Both are juniors, so watch out for the Pel…Vikings next year!
We also had a pretty good number of newcomers to our rankings among the 2019s. Here are the top 11.
- Emma Carlson, Northfield, 6-1, forward
Overshadowed by Annika Hoff all these years. She’s not quite as big, not quite as strong, not quite as dynamic, but coach Tony Mathison will ask her to do more next year, and I think she can deliver. Nice all-around player with no obvious weaknesses, with possibly more of a nose for the basket on the offensive end than Hoff.
- Ali McGlynn, Stephen-Argyle, 5-8, wing
Really opened some eyes with her play in the state tournament. She is right there with better-known teammate Autumn Thompson as someone who just gets how to play the game. Can score, good handles, mobile, the whole package.
- Lizzie Gillingham, Minneota, 5-9, wing
Her grandpa played for the U of M and the Green Bay Packers, and you can see Lizzie just oozing athleticism. The skills are pretty good, too. She could assert herself a little more, which is hard to do on such a loaded team. (Minneota is our early #1A team for next year.)
- Olivia Lemke, Glencoe-Silver Lake, 5-8, wing
A third wheel supporting the dynamic duo of McKenna and Miah Monahan this past year. Next year she and Miah will be in the catalyst role. Lemke has the chops for the job. A nice offensive player.
- Maddy Foster, Hermantown, 5-9, point guard
Strong, skilled combo guard who could be more consistent in her decision-making.
- Anna Vakulskas, Holy Family, 5-11, power forward
Anna is growing into a strong, aggressive playmaker around the rim.
- Abby Lewis, Austin, 5-11, combo guard
Lewis is a long, tall drink of water with point guard skills who keeps everybody involved but also scores, rebounds and plays tough defense.
- Taneesa Rhodes, Charter Stars, 5-9, forward
Just 5-9 but Rhodes is a strong, active, dynamic presence inside, a good shooter and solid rebounder.
- Liberty Blaine, Grand Rapids
Blaine won the 5th starting spot on an elite team and more than pulled her weight, scoring 5 ppg but more than that making hustle plays, defending hard and playing smart team basketball.