When you watch as much basketball as we do you see all kinds of games – the good, the bad, and the ugly. Every so often, however, we’ll luck upon a good old fashioned nail-biter, the kind of memorable fight…
When you watch as much basketball as we do you see all kinds of games – the good, the bad, and the ugly. Every so often, however, we’ll luck upon a good old fashioned nail-biter, the kind of memorable fight to the finish that goes right down to the wire and ends in equal parts joy and sorrow. Last weekend, in a span of less than 24 hours, we watched live as not one, not two, not three but four epic battles unfolded before us with each being decided by a single possession. It was a ton of fun. Here, in chronological order, are the highlights.
LAKEVILLE SOUTH 51 vs LAKEVILLE NORTH 49
The Battle of Lakeville on Friday night did not disappoint. After going back and forth for most of the first half, South went on an 9-2 run to take a 27-20 lead into the break. In the second period, the Cougars stayed out in front until the clock struck 1:47 and sophomore guard Gracie Winge Gracie Winge 5'10" | CG Lakeville North | 2025 State MN of North made it a two-point game at 49-47. It was South’s composure down the stretch that was so impressive, though, as they slowed things down, ran some time off the clock, and prevented North from mounting any kind of a dramatic charge. So much of the credit should go to 5’5 junior Anna Goodman Anna Goodman 5'5" | PG Lakeville South | 2024 State MN , the feisty point guard who ran the show with aplomb, demonstrating just how far her game has come. Goodman went to the line with 25 seconds left on the clock, calmly made a pair of free throws, and stretched the lead to four points which was enough to hold on and get the job done. Winge was impressive, as well. This is the best game we have seen her play as the big guard knocked down shots from distance and gave South fits throughout. Sophomore wing Danielle Coleman Danielle Coleman 6'0" | SG Lakeville South | 2025 State MN had a great game for South. And big post Trinity Wilson Trinity Wilson 6'3" | PF Lakeville North | 2024 State MN of North, who figured to be the difference-maker in this contest, left an impression but her team still came up short.
- MVP – Anna Goodman Anna Goodman 5'5" | PG Lakeville South | 2024 State MN , Lakeville South
- Key Match-up – Haley Bryant Haley Bryant 5'7" | CG Lakeville North | 2023 State MN v Goodman
- X-Factor – Winge, Lakeville North
- Pivotal moment – Goodman’s pair of free throws with 25 seconds left put South up by 4 at 51-47.
- Leading scorers – South: Finley Ohnstad Finley Ohnstad 6'0" | SF Lakeville South | 2024 State MN 15, Whitley Ronn Whitley Ronn 5'11" | SF Lakeville South | 2023 State MN 13. North: Winge 19, Wilson 14
JORDAN 75 vs MAHTOMEDI 74
This one was billed as a battle of the bigs – senior post Jenna Kluxdal Jenna Kluxdal 6'1" | PF Jordan | 2023 State MN of Jordan vs sophomore forward Anna Greene Anna Greene 6'0" | SF Mahtomedi | 2025 State MN of Mahtomedi. It certainly lived up to the hype at the Breakdown Southern Minnesota Hoops Fest in Byron. Kluxdal absolutely dominated the inside in the first half to stake the Jaguars to a nine-point lead at the break. In the second, Greene cranked up the volume and owned the period, sparking a Zephyrs comeback that saw Mahtomedi take the lead with just 24.6 seconds remaining. That’s when Greene slipped past Kluxdal and scored on a stylish reverse layup. Moments later, with only 6 ticks of the clock left to be played, the game was decided – unfortunately – by a questionable foul call on Mahtomedi’s Emily Muetzel at mid-court. The whistle put Jordan’s Top 10 sophomore Morgan Staloch Morgan Staloch 6'0" | PF Jordan | 2026 State MN at the line. She made no mistake burying both shots for a 75-74 Jordan lead. Mahtomedi’s 8th grade wunderkind Mya Wilson Mya Wilson 5'11" | CG Mahtomedi | 2027 MN then sprinted up the floor, split two defenders, got hit on her way up and put up a soft little floater that bounced off the rim. No call. The win belonged to the Jags. Like we said, equal parts joy and sorrow.
- MVP – Jenna Kluxdal Jenna Kluxdal 6'1" | PF Jordan | 2023 State MN , Jordan
- Key Match-ups – Kluxdal vs Greene, Savannah Borowicz Savannah Borowicz 5'8" | SG Jordan | 2025 State MN vs Ella Kletti Ella Kletti 5'5" | CG Mahtomedi | 2024 State MN
- X-Factor – Maddie Olinger Maddie Olinger 5'10" | CG Jordan | 2024 State MN , who made a ton of big plays and scored 19 points.
- Pivotal moment – Foul on Mahtomedi with 6 seconds remaining
- Leading scorers – Jordan: Kluxdal 22, Olinger 19, Staloch 18. Mahtomedi: Greene 24, Sonya Potthoff Sonya Potthoff 5'9" | CG Mahtomedi | 2023 State MN 15, Mya Wilson Mya Wilson 5'11" | CG Mahtomedi | 2027 MN 15, Kletti 14
GOODHUE 61 vs MINNEHAHA ACADEMY 58
When two of the state’s premier point guards get together to duke it out you have to figure that fireworks will ensue. That was the thinking as sophomore Addison Mack Addison Mack 5'8" | PG Minnehaha Academy | 2025 State MN led Minnehaha Academy into battle with junior Elisabeth Gadient Elisabeth Gadient 5'10" | CG Goodhue | 2024 State MN of Goodhue at Kasson-Mantorville. That encounter was a ton of fun but it was the play of Goodhue senior forward Tori Miller Tori Miller 5'10" | SF Goodhue | 2023 State MN that eventually determined the outcome. She was on the attack early and often and the Redhawks struggled to contain Miller’s speed, size and relentless intensity. Miller scored 8 of Goodhue’s first 16 points as the Wildcats built a 5-point margin. Still Mack’s speed and skill pushed the tempo and by half time it was Minnehaha that led 26-22.
In the second period, Goodhue sprinted out of the gate with a 16-6 run in what had become an ultra-physical battle. Minnehaha kept grinding and by the time Mack made a pair of free throws at the 1:08 mark, the Redhawks were within two. It was Miller who decided the game in the final minute with free throws at 50.7 seconds and 34.9 before an improbable long-bomb three by Mack pulled MA within one again. Miller closed the sale with under 20 seconds left when she scored a high-speed transition bucket to give Goodhue a 61-58 win. Tori finished the game with 21 points, 10 rebounds and a ton of respect for her leadership, tenacity and willingness to take the game by the throat and get it done. Despite Mack’s 24 points, including an impressive 10-for-10 at the line, the Redhawks came up just short.
- MVP – Tori Miller Tori Miller 5'10" | SF Goodhue | 2023 State MN of Goodhue
- Key Match-up – Addison Mack Addison Mack 5'8" | PG Minnehaha Academy | 2025 State MN vs Elisabeth Gadient Elisabeth Gadient 5'10" | CG Goodhue | 2024 State MN
- X-Factor – Sophomore forward Kendyl Lodermeier Kendyl Lodermeier 5'11" | CG Goodhue | 2025 State MN of Goodhue had the best game we’ve seen her play. We’ll have more on her to come.
- Pivotal moment – Miller’s final 50 seconds.
- Leading scorers – Goodhue: Miller 21, Gadient 18, Lodermeier 13. Minnehaha: Mack 24, Amina Allen Amina Allen 5'8" | SG Minnehaha Academy | 2025 State MN 10, Sinae Hill Sinae Hill 5'10" | SG Mpls Southwest | 2026 State MN 9
KASSON-MANTORVILLE 69 vs ST. PETER 66
In all honesty, our expectations for this contest were not particularly high. With Top 10 senior Aby Shubert Aby Shubert 5'8" | CG Kasson-Mant. | 2023 State MN (Xavier commit) lost for the season to a torn ACL, Kasson-Mantorville has been searching for direction over the past few weeks. A St. Peter team with one big star (MSU-Mankato commit Rhyan Holmgren Rhyan Holmgren 5'9" | SG St. Peter | 2024 State MN ) and a really good supporting cast looked to be a solid favorite. Turned out we couldn’t have been more wrong. This one was epic, thanks largely to the play of the unheralded but equally promising backbone of the Komets – senior captain Kaylee Narveson along with sophomores Keigan Cummings, Taylor Hemann Taylor Hemann 5'7" | SG New Prague | 2025 State MN and Ella Stoskopf. Those four were so good. We’ll bring you more details in our look at last week’s top newcomers but let’s just say they exceeded all expectations, managed to prevent Holmgren from going off, and forced the Saints into a lot of mistakes. After trailing by 4 points at the half, and as much as 7 midway through the second period, the Komets just kept chipping away and never gave up. With the game on the line in the final minute it was Cummings who nailed a pair of free throws at the 33-second mark to give K-M a one-point lead. With just four seconds to go, sophomore Delaney Awe made a pair of free throws (her first points of the game) to close the deal.
- MVP – Kaylee Narveson, Kasson-Mantorville
- Key Match-up – Kaylee Narveson vs Rhyan Holmgren Rhyan Holmgren 5'9" | SG St. Peter | 2024 State MN
- X-Factor: Keigan Cummings
- Pivotal moment – Cummings two free throws with 33 seconds remaining put K-M up one.
- Leading scorers – K-M: Narveson 18, Cummings 16, Carrier 15. St. Peter: Maddie Kamm Maddie Kamm 5'5" | CG St Peter | 2024 State MN 17, Holmgren 15, Anika Southworth 14