|State Girls' Basketball Tournament
Two champions return to defend titles; five teams make first appearances
Two teams return to defend their 2014 titles: Park Center of Brooklyn Park in Class AAA and Eastview of Apple Valley in Class AAAA.
Coaches of all four teams voted and seeded the top five teams of each class: Maranatha Christian Academy of Brooklyn Park in Class A; Sauk Centre in Class AA; Orono in Class AAA; and Hopkins in Class AAAA. Both Park Center and Eastview were seeded No. 2 in their respective classes.
Four teams are making their first appearances: Stephen-Argyle Central in Class A; Dover-Eyota in Class AA; and Thief River Falls and Princeton in Class AAA. Lyle is also making its first appearance as a co-op with Austin Pacelli.
The 2015 State Girls' Basketball Tournament starts Tuesday, March 17, with six quarterfinal games being played at Target Center. The remaining quarterfinals continue on Wednesday, March 18, and Thursday, March 19, at Mariucci Arena on the University of Minnesota Minneapolis campus. Semifinals start at Williams Arena on the University of Minnesota Minneapolis campus on Thursday, March 19, and conclude on Friday, March 20. The championship games of all four classes will be played at Williams Arena on Saturday March 21. Third-place games will be played on Saturday at Concordia University in St. Paul.
This year and next year the boys' basketball tournament will precede the girls' basketball tournament because Target Center is hosting the National Collegiate Hockey Conference Frozen Faceoff tournament.
This is the 19th year of the four-class format and the 12th year with all games being played in Minneapolis. This is the ninth year that the Class AAA and Class AAAA tournaments were seeded by the participating coaches, and the second that Class A and Class AA were seeded.
The seeding process had all 32 coaches of the section champions log onto a special page of the League Web site. Each coach then ranked the other teams in their class one through seven. The highest and lowest rankings for each team were discarded, leaving five rankings for each team. From those rankings, the top five teams were seeded. In conference calls with all eight head coaches of each class, League Associate Director Lisa Lissimore announced the top five seeds. A representative of the girls' basketball coaches association, then blindly drew the three remaining teams to establish the opponent for each seeded team. Numbers four and five automatically play each other.
Detailed statistics provided by qualified teams are available
Class A Quarterfinal Schedule — Thursday, March 19
11:00 a.m. — Stephen-Argyle Central vs. Maranatha Christian Academy at Mariucci Arena
1:00 p.m. — Minneota vs. Browerville at Mariucci Arena
3:00 p.m. — Springfield vs. Ada-Borup at Mariucci Arena
5:00 p.m. — Lyle/Austin Pacelli vs. Mountain Iron-Buhl at Mariucci Arena
Class AA Quarterfinals Schedule — Wednesday, March 18
2:00 p.m. — Norwood-Young America vs. Sauk Centre at Mariucci Arena
4:00 p.m. — Annandale vs. Minnehaha Academy at Mariucci Arena
6:00 p.m. — Fairmont vs. Dover-Eyota at Mariucci Arena
8:00 p.m. — Roseau vs. Esko at Mariucci Arena
The Class AAA Quarterfinal Schedule — Tuesday, March 17
6:00 p.m. — Thief River Falls vs. Orono at Target Center
8:00 p.m. — Princeton vs. Marshall at Target Center
The Class AAA Quarterfinal Schedule — Wednesday, March 18
10:00 a.m. — Richfield vs. Park Center at Mariucci Arena
Noon — Kasson-Mantorville vs. New Prague at Mariucci Arena
The Class AAAA Quarterfinal Schedule — Tuesday, March 17
10:00 a.m. — Rochester Mayo vs. Hopkins at Target Center
Noon — Shakopee vs. White Bear Lake Area at Target Center
2:00 p.m. — Andover vs. Eastview at Target Center
4:00 p.m. — Centennial vs. St. Michael-Albertville at Target Center
Television and Webcast Coverage
All semifinal and championship games will be televised live by KSTC-TV, Channel 45, and also streamed live at Prep45.com for a fee of $4.97 per day. Live statistics of all games will also be displayed on the League website (www.MSHSL.org).
Tickets will be available at Target Center, Mariucci Arena, and Williams Arena. Quarterfinal tickets cost $14.00 for adults and $9.00 for students. Daily quarterfinal wristbands, which are good at each venue, are $19.00 for adults and $12.00 for students. Semifinal and championship tickets will be available at Williams Arena and cost $14.00 for adults and $9.00 for students per session. Third-place tickets will be available at Concordia University and cost $10.00 for adults and $7.00 for students.
A visit to any participating Wells Fargo metro location can yield you a $2 discount coupon for students 13 and younger.
|2015 ExCel Awards
Minnesota State High School League Honors Students for Leadership, Community Service
Celebrating its 19th year of recognizing high school juniors, the Minnesota State High School League will honor the 2015 ExCEL Award recipients during ceremonies at the State Girls' State Basketball Tournament on Saturday, March 21.
ExCEL—Excellence in Community, Education and Leadership—is a unique recognition award that is given annually to high school juniors who are leaders in their schools and who demonstrate a strong commitment to community service.
The 2015 ExCEL award recipients are engaged in life-changing projects that build stronger, healthier, and safer communities. They work voluntarily to end hunger, house the homeless, help the environment, and raise funds for medical research. Many of these student leaders are involved in 4-H and FFA outreach activities while others coach youth sports, teach Sunday school, assist seniors, visit shelters, and tutor at-risk kids.
"There are so many reasons to be proud of these young men and women," said Lisa Lissimore, the associate director who oversees the ExCEL program. "They live their life serving and lifting up others without expecting recognition or reward. They're service–centered and deserving of this award," Lissimore explained.
The ExCEL award program began in 1996. Award recipients are selected through a multi-level process that involves League member schools and an independent panel of judges from schools throughout Minnesota. More than 4,000 students have been recognized with this award program. Two-hundred and forty-nine students were nominated by their schools this year.
KSTC- TV, Channel 45, the League's broadcast partner, will recognize the 2015 ExCEL award recipients during its broadcast of the semi-finals of the State Girls' Basketball Tournament. Each student will also participate in an on-court award ceremony during the halftime of the Class AA girls' basketball championship game on Saturday, March 21.
Following is the list of the 2015 ExCEL Award winners:
|Kennadie Anderson, Mora||Alexis King, Nevis|
|Lucas Arndt, Owatonna||Zachary Lutz, Crookston|
|Zachary Behnke, St. Paul Humboldt|| Kiefer Miller, Nevis|
|Laura Bestul, Eastview, Apple Valley ||Katie Moynihan, Apple Valley|
|Matthew Biegler, Underwood ||Bjorn Pearson, Cannon Falls|
|Ben Borash, Royalton ||Juliana Pederson, Westbrook-Walnut Grove|
|Rose Bruns, Edina ||Ella Perrault, Marshall School, Duluth|
|Erin Budin, Tri-City United, Montgomery ||Josie Schieffert, Sleepy eye|
|Emmy Buntrock, Dover-Eyota ||Emma Smith, Owatonna|
|Alyssa Dalen, Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa S||ara Stoneberg, Tracy Area|
|Anna Fasen, Monticello ||Keith Sullivan, Elk River|
|Adam Fenlason, Brandon-Evansville ||Kunal Thakur, East Ridge, Woodbury|
|Mariel Ferragamo, St. Peter ||Patrick Thofson, Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial|
|Thomas Fischer, Marshall ||Natalie Timm, Springfield|
|Rishabh Gupta, Eastview, Apple Valley|| Payton Vold, Red Rock Central, Lamberton|
|Dan James, Edina ||Klarissa Walvatne, Battle Lake|
Additional information about the 2015 ExCEL Award recipients may be obtained on the ExCEL page.
|Spirit of Sport Award
Rachel Woell and Totino-Grace Football Team Selected as Section 5 Recipients of NFHS National High School Spirit of Sport Award
Rachel Woell, a former student at Fridley (Minnesota) Totino-Grace High School, and the Totino-Grace football team have been selected as the 2015 Section 5 recipients of the "National High School Spirit of Sport Award" by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS).
The National High School Spirit of Sport Award was created by the NFHS to recognize those individuals who exemplify the ideals of the spirit of sport that represent the core mission of education-based athletics.
Diagnosed with brain cancer at age eight, Woell defeated the disease and went on to become a student at Totino-Grace, where she participated in speech and the science club, and as an active manager of the Totino-Grace football team. The players embraced Rachel as one of their own, and she referred to the team members as "her boys."
In fall 2013, Woell was diagnosed with a new brain tumor. Despite grueling treatment, she refused to put her duties as Totino-Grace football manager on hold as many would do. That season, the team made it to the state semifinals. Being part of the team made Woell incredibly happy, and the team members in kind supported her in her time of need.
Although the treatments began to affect Woell’s health and energy levels, she continued to be active in school. However, by the time the 2014 football season began, Woell needed assistance in all normal life activities, and had significant hearing loss, slurred speech and swallowing challenges. When it was learned that Woell’s tumor was indeed growing and that nothing more could be done to slow its progression, the team rallied around her with love and support.
On Friday, September 26, Woell became feverish and ill at halftime of Totino-Grace’s football game. Within a few minutes after arriving home, she passed away in her parents’ arms. The Totino-Grace football team – "Rachel’s boys" – continues to honor the memory of its cherished team manager.
About the Award
The NFHS divides the nation into eight geographical sections. The states in Section 5 are Minnesota, South Dakota, North Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas and Missouri.
Nominations for this award were generated through NFHS member state associations and reviewed by the NFHS Spirit of Sport Award Selection Committee composed of state association staff members.
While the national winner will be recognized June 29 at the NFHS Summer Meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana, the section winners will be recognized within their respective states and will receive awards before the end of the current school year.
|2015-2016, 2016-2017 Competitive Section Assignments
|Every two years the MSHSL reclassifies teams into new competitive sections. Every school in the MSHSL reports new enrollments to the Minnesota Department of Education on October 1st. The MDE releases these enrollments in early February and we take our current registrations and rank the teams by enrollment to put them into classes. Changes in enrollment, new programs, and the formation or dissolution of cooperative agreements in the last two years lead to changes in the section assignments. Normally, we try to make as few changes as possible, but every 6 years we are asked to start from scratch. This was a "start from scratch" year.|
|Class assignments are determined by enrollment.|
|Schools with at least 50% Free and Reduced Lunch can appeal to the Athletic Director Advisory Committee to drop down 1 class in team sports (400 Series Bylaws -Class Competition D.5.h)|
|Prior to the release of the enrollment cut-offs, schools who feel they belong in a higher class can "Opt-Up". |
|Here is a list of the 2015 Opt-ups|
|Section placement is determined by geography. Our schools have asked us to reduce travel as much as possible.|
|Geographic Sections should not overlap (as the crow flies). |
|Sections should be numerically balanced within a class. Within 2 in AA classes, within 4 in Class A.|
|Competitive Success is NOT a factor.|
|In Activities like Skiing, Cross Country, Golf, and Track, both genders are placed in the same section (many share a coach).|
|When assignments were made, the maps of Administrative Regions were used as templates. Regions run the sections so it was important to make sure schools had a voice about tournament formats, dates, locations, etc.|
|Every assignment was made by one person, Chris Franson at the MSHSL. Chris is the League's IT person and used the same process for all 7800+ assignments and all 74 maps.|
|Once the assignments were complete, many eyes reviewed the assignments to make sure the process was followed according to our Class Competition Policy.|
|It was reviewed by the League Staff Member responsible for each activity.|
|The Athletic Director Advisory Committee spent a day at the League Office reviewing every placement.|
|Our Board of Directors had a workshop where they reviewed the placements and verified that the policy was followed.|
|There are no appeals to the placements. There are three ways these could change:|
|A school drops an activity.|
|A new school adds an activity.|
|A cooperative agreement is formed or dissolved.|
|If your school or team is not doing one of the above, you will play in the assigned section for the next two years. There are no appeals.|
Section assignments are for the post-season only. Schools can schedule regular season contests as they always have. Section Assignments at times are a big deal to many schools, coaches, and programs and we understand that. Remember 50% of teams lose their first sub-section/section game, only 7% of teams get to go to State and only 1% are State Champions. Winning is fun and creates lasting memories, but so does teamwork, facing adversity, overcoming challenges, being accountable to others, losing with dignity and many other life-long skills that education-based activities give to kids to make them better people and more prepared for their future. Not everyone can win, so hopefully that isn't the only reason Why We Play.
|The Memories, The Photos, The Greatness Of State
|Posted by John Millea(firstname.lastname@example.org)- Updated 3/21/2015 8:28:39 PM
|It’s pretty amazing what happens away from the action at a state tournament. Once the games are played and the reaction begins, some pretty neat things develop.
Case in point was a tremendous photographed issued via Twitter on Saturday afternoon by Reid Olson, the athletic director at Lyle High School. Lyle and Austin Pacelli have a cooperative girls basketball team, and the Athletics made history by getting to state for the very first time. They played three games in three days, finished fourth in Class 1A and were a worn-out bunch by the time it was all over.
The photo Tweeted by Olson showed the interior of a school bus with very few heads visible. You see one girl holding the fourth-place trophy on her lap and most everybody else is down for the count, sleeping on the ride home where the team would be welcomed by both school communities.
Another photo was issued from the Twitter account of the Norman County Fair. Ada-Borup is in Norman County, and those who have been there (as I have) know that the county fairgrounds are right across the road from the school.
Ada-Borup won the Class 1A state title with an 82-65 win over Maranatha Christian at Williams Arena, giving the Cougars a 32-0 record and the honor of being the only undefeated girls or boys basketball team in Minnesota this season.
The photo was of the sign outside the fairgrounds, reading “Congratulations Lady Cougars/ State Champs 32-0/The Fun Never Ends.”
A welcome home celebration was also held in Ada on Saturday night, and you can be sure there will be some basketball players having their picture taken with that sign.
And the cutest photo in the Twitter/state tournament category was of a one-day-old little girl. I wrote yesterday about Ada-Borup coach David Smart becoming a grandfather a few hours before the state semifinals, and how he had jokingly wanted the baby to be named “Swish.”
I don’t know who took the photo, but it was Tweeted by Ada-Borup athletic director Kelly Anderson, showing the baby wearing a knit cap that looked like a basketball and this caption: “Baby Swish is peacefully sleeping after Grandpa Smart's Cougars captured the trophy!”
CLASS 1A: ADA-BORUP 82, MARANATHA CHRISTIAN 65
The Cougars won their third girls basketball championship behind a balanced offensive attack and a strong defense. Miki Lee scored 22 points, Elizabeth Birkemeyer had 20, Lexi Merkens 17 and Haley Poehler 10. Maranatha’s Lexi Lee scored 32 points, the highest total in the tournament.
CLASS 2A: DOVER-EYOTA 71, SAUK CENTRE 58
The Eagles won their first state title in their first trip to state and broke two tournament rebounding records. They set a new single-game record with 71 rebounds Saturday, breaking the mark of 67 set by Archbishop Brady in a 1979 game against Redwood Falls. Dover-Eyota also set a three-game tournament record with 171 rebounds, breaking the mark of 156 set by St. Paul Central in 2007.
Trailing 55-51 with 5:44 left, the Eagles outscored the Mainstreeters 20-3 down the stretch. Brandi Blattner led Dover-Eyota with 25 points, Megan Hintz had 24 and Madison Nelson 15. Sauk Centre’s Maesyn Thiesen scored 23 and Mauren Thiesen had 14.
CLASS 3A: PARK CENTER 52, MARSHALL 45
The Pirated defeated the Tigers in the championship game for the second year in a row, not needing three overtimes as in last year’s contest.
Mikayla Hayes led the Pirates with 13 points while Hannah Schaub and Feyisayo Ayobamidele each scored 11. Marshall’s Marah Mulso scored 15 points, and Sarah Buysse and Morgan Saugstad scored 10 points each.
CLASS 4A: HOPKINS 68, EASTVIEW 60
The Royals closed a 30-1 season by beating the defending state champion Lightning. Nia Hollie led the way with 26 points for Hopkins, TT Starks had 16 and Ashley Bates 15. Eastview was led by Madison Guebert with 19 points, Samantha Trammel with 12 and Erika Schlosser with 11.
Class 1A/ Brooke Walter, Sarah Holtz, Lyle/Austin Pacelli; Emily Stienessen, Taylor Reiss, Minneota; Alaina Jarnot, Lexi Lee, Jaclyn Jarnot, Maranatha Christian; Haley Poehler, Miki Lee, Lexi Merkens, Ada-Borup.
Class 2A/ Kiley Borowicz, Kacie Borowicz, Roseau; Sarah Kaminski, Gracia Gilreath, Minnehaha Academy; Madison Nelson, Brandi Blattner, Megan Hintz, Dover-Eyota; Madison Moritz, Mauren Thiesen, Maesyn Thiesen, Sauk Centre.
Class 3A/ Kristin Scott, Kasson-Mantorville; Rachel Heussner, Meghan Mandel, Orono; Sarah Buysse, Morgan Saugstad, Marah Mulso, Marshall; Mikayla Hayes, Hannah Schaub, Ann Simonet, Feyisayo Ayobamidele, Park Center.
Class 4A/ Taylor Koenen, Shakopee; Bobbi Brendefur, St. Michael-Albertville; TT Starks, Nia Hollie, Ashley Bates, Viria Livingston, Hopkins; Madison Guebert, Samantha Trammel, Rachel Ranke, Hana Metoxen, Eastview.
BY THE NUMBERS
*Schools/teams John has seen/visited: 458
*Miles John has driven in the Toyota Camry in 2014-15: 8,309
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