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On The Farm, Inside The Barn, Gymnastics Rules
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 12/20/2017 7:44:01 PM

HENDRICKS – In this small town near the South Dakota border, gymnastics is a family affair. Before the Hendricks/Russell-Tyler-Ruthton Grizzlies and their state-line neighbors from Brookings (S.D.) High School competed in a dual meet one evening this week, the Johnson cousins -- Greta, Sophie and Kaylee -- sang the national anthem beautifully. Grizzlies coach Sherri Johnson – mom to Greta and Sophie and aunt to Kaylee – then took the microphone to introduce the athletes and coaches.

Gymnastics is close to the hearts of Sherri and her husband Gary, along with Greta, 18, Sophie, 16, Sadie, 11, and their extended family and friends. It’s so close, in fact, that the Johnsons can exit their house in the country and take a short walk across the farm yard to the home of the Grizzlies. It’s called The Barn and it might be the most unique sporting venue in Minnesota and beyond.

To unknowing motorists driving past the Johnson place, the building looks like any other large, modern farm shed. It has several giant garage doors, large enough for tractors and combines to be stored inside. The inside, however, is a gymnast’s dream: top-notch vault, uneven bars, beam and floor exercise equipment, bleachers and chairs for spectators, a fully stocked concession stand, killer sound system, bright lighting, restrooms, drinking fountain, heated concrete flooring, wifi and more … all surrounded by sheet-metal walls and plenty of windows. It is an absolute showplace.

This week’s meet was the Brookings team’s third annual trip to The Barn, and Bobcats coach Rachelle Engbrecht said her gymnasts adore the place.

“They absolutely love it,” she said. “It’s their favorite meet of the whole year.”

As gymnasts, judges and fans entered The Barn, some of them had to shoo away farm cats that wanted to join the crowd. The Johnsons raise horses and cattle as well as gymnasts, and on occasion a newborn calf has been brought into The Barn to be petted by the athletes.

“It’s awesome,” said Greta Johnson, a senior who is hoping to finish her career with her fifth trip to the state gymnastics meet in Minneapolis in February. “Our town supports us, and so do so many people from other towns. And to have it here, where we have our animals, it’s so awesome, it’s so much fun.”

As the building was being planned, the Johnsons expected it would be a typical farm structure.

“Cattle and horses were in the initial plans,” Sherri said. “And we have the big doors for the combine, too, but they don’t get in here much.”

Gary laughed as he said, “I thought I’d be washing my cattle in here. And I always wanted to be a cowboy and ride horses. I’ve given up on all that.”

Hendricks High School (enrollment 17) doesn’t have gymnastics facilities. Sherri owned some pieces of gymnastics equipment … The Barn was in the works … and Gary’s dream of washing cattle and saddling horses inside gave way to what is now a hotbed for gymnastics teams from all over. The Grizzlies have their largest roster in history with 21 athletes; six from Hendricks (all six also play basketball), 13 from Russell-Tyler-Ruthton and two who are home-schooled.

Greta was in seventh grade when The Barn was built; before that the Johnson girls had to be driven 40 minutes to a gymnastics center in Brookings for training. Now their team is No. 18 in the Class 1A state rankings and everything they need is on the family farm. Fans filled the place for the meet with Brookings; grandparents using walkers, parents filming routines, young siblings romping across the floor-exercise mat and trying to reach the bars after the competition ended.

“The community spirit that this has brought and the entertainment value for the town is terrific,” Sherri said. “Some of these kids would never, ever experience gymnastics (without The Barn). So to give them that opportunity, whether we’re great gymnasts or not, is such a good thing for kids. Gymnastics itself is great for confidence and poise and this and that. Just being able to do that for our community and school, there are really no words.”

Sherri choked up a bit when she talked about Gary’s dad, Glen Johnson, who died shortly before The Barn was built. Like his son, Glen was a proud Hendricks booster who was always involved in community betterment projects.

“Gary’s dad was such a community guy,” Sherri said. “When we first had this, that was the first thing that came to mind; Grandpa would have absolutely been so proud of this place.”

Gary has continued his father’s devotion to the community. The day after the meet with Brookings, he was in town making popcorn for elementary students who were watching the film “Wonder” at a movie theater that townspeople had brought back to life after being closed 42 years ago. Sherri stays busy with numerous activities, as well, including writing sports stories about all the local teams for the weekly Hendricks Pioneer newspaper.

The Barn’s two sets of five-row metal bleachers are brought from the ballfield in town for the gymnastics season. There is a basketball hoop and volleyball net inside, too, and the building is a favorite spot for sleepovers for the Johnson girls and their friends.

Hendricks principal Paul Chick called The Barn, “One of the favorite venues in the area, if you ask the teams.”

There can be no doubt about that.

“There’s no other place where you have to watch to make sure the cat doesn’t follow you into the gym,” said Engbrecht. “It’s just a great venue. And at least this time there was no mud. Last time it had thawed after a snowstorm and it was a muddy mess. Everybody had to take their shoes off at the door.”

Greta said, “I’ve heard things like, ‘Oh man, this is our favorite meet all year.’ That’s cool when people from schools that are a lot bigger than us say things like that.”

After the Grizzlies-Bobcats meet had ended and scoring was being finalized, both teams gathered around Brookings freshman Lily Siemonsma and sang “Happy Birthday” to her. As the scores were announced, little Sadie Johnson reached up to hang hardware around the necks of the top finishers … in this case the hardware was wooden cutouts in the shape of The Barn, with the event and finish posted on the back. Everyone was smiling.

When the Brookings Bobcats came to The Barn last season, the team bus was driven by someone who had never been there. As they pulled in, the confused driver asked Engbrecht, “Is this the place?”

It sure is. A very special place.

--To see a photo gallery, go to the MSHSL Facebook page.

Follow John on Twitter: @MSHSLjohn



Class 1A Gymnastics Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 12/20/2017 6:10:33 PM

CLASS 1A
1 Detroit Lakes 8A 144.400
2 Sartell-Saint Stephen 7A 142.667
3 Willmar 6A 142.633
4 Worthington 3A 142.267
5 Pine Island/Zumbrota-Mazeppa 1A 141.792
6 Mahtomedi 4A 141.787
7 Watertown-Mayer/Mound-Westonka 5A 141.000
8 Monticello 7A 140.625
9 Big Lake 7A 139.417
10 Perham 8A 139.050
11 Waconia 2A 138.500
12 Melrose Area 6A 137.533
13 North Branch 7A 137.492
14 Becker 7A 137.117
15 Jackson County Central 3A 136.508
16 New London-Spicer 6A 136.200
17 Austin 1A 134.887
18 Hendricks/RTR 3A 134.817
19 Mankato West 2A 132.217
20 Benson-KMS-Montivideo 6A 132.100
21 Byron 1A 131.717
22 Fergus Falls 8A 130.358
23 New Ulm/NUACS/MVL 2A 129.758
24 Martin County Area 3A 127.600
25 Maple Lake 6A 127.583



Class 2A Gymnastics Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 12/20/2017 6:10:05 PM

CLASS 2A
1 Stillwater 4AA 146.400
2 Lakeville South 2AA 146.100
3 St. Cloud Tech 8AA 145.150
4 Lakeville North 2AA 144.717
5 Owatonna 1AA 144.663
6 East Ridge 3AA 144.462
7 Cambridge-Isanti 7AA 143.600
8 Maple Grove 5AA 143.417
9 Eden Prairie 6AA 140.967
10 Rosemount 1AA 140.900
11 Anoka 7AA 140.467
12 Farmington 1AA 139.300
13 Wayzata 5AA 139.183
14 Eagan 3AA 138.425
15 Eastview 3AA 138.187
16 Northfield 1AA 137.958
17 Prior Lake 2AA 137.725
18 Buffalo 8AA 137.687
19 Forest Lake 7AA 136.925
20 Brainerd 8AA 136.862
21 Bemidji 8AA 135.400
22 Elk River/Zimmerman 8AA 131.950
23 Saint Michael-Albertville 8AA 131.633
24 Sauk Rapids-Rice 8AA 128.750
25 Bloomington Jefferson 2AA 128.350



Class 1A Girls Basketball Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 12/20/2017 3:01:34 PM

From Minnesota Basketball News.

CLASS 1A
1. Lyle-Pacelli 7-1
2. Goodhue 7-1
3. Mountain Iron-Buhl 8-0
4. Bigfork 7-0
5. Hayfield 6-1
6. Ada-Borup/Norman County West 6-0
7. Wheaton-Herman-Norcross 5-0
8. Southwest MN Christian 6-1
9. Lac qui Parle Valley 8-1
10. Cromwell-Wright 6-2
11. Stephen-Argyle 8-1
12. Menahga 5-0
13. Mayer Lutheran 4-3
14. Minneota 5-2
15. Grand Meadow 6-2
16. Red Lake 8-1
17. Sleepy Eye 7-2
18. Badger-Greenbush-Middle River 5-1
19. Sacred Heart 6-3
20. Sleepy Eye St. Mary’s 8-1



Class 2A Girls Basketball Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 12/20/2017 3:00:57 PM

From Minnesota Basketball News.

CLASS 2A
1. Sauk Centre 8-0
2. Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton 5-0
3. Maranatha Christian 3-1
4. Norwood Young America 7-1
5. Rush City 7-0
6. Watertown-Mayer 5-1
7. New London-Spicer 5-2
8. Minnehaha Academy 5-2
9. Barnesville 5-1
10. Eden Valley-Watkins 6-1
11. Stewartville 7-1
12. Pine City 6-0
13. Annandale 4-1
14. Glencoe-Silver Lake 4-1
15. Roseau 4-3
16. Caledonia 6-1
17. Rochester Lourdes 4-5
18. Winona Cotter 8-2
19. Holy Family 7-2
20. Tracy-Milroy-Balaton 5-1



Class 3A Girls Basketball Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 12/20/2017 3:00:32 PM

From Minnesota Basketball News.

CLASS 3A
1. Robbinsdale Cooper 5-1
2. Holy Angels 7-1
3. Northfield 6-0
4. Red Wing 7-1
5. Grand Rapids 5-2
6. Mahtomedi 6-1
7. DeLaSalle 2-4
8. Hutchinson 6-2
9. Willmar 6-0
10. Fergus Falls 6-2
11. Chisago Lakes 4-2
12. Alexandria 5-1
13. Waseca 8-1
14. Benilde-St. Margaret’s 8-1
15. Hermantown 7-1
16. Waconia 7-2
17. Simley 4-3
18. Hill-Murray 2-3
19. Marshall 6-1
20. Hibbing 7-2



Class 4A Girls Basketball Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 12/20/2017 2:59:58 PM

From Minnesota Basketball News.

CLASS 4A
1. Hopkins 8-0
2. Eastview 6-0
3. Wayzata 8-0
4. Centennial 5-1
5. Cretin-Derham Hall 6-1
6. Lakeville North 5-3
7. St. Michael-Albertville 4-2
8. Moorhead 7-1
9. Farmington 6-0
10. Park Center 5-1
11. Maple Grove 5-2
12. White Bear Lake 5-2
13. Hastings 6-0
14. Minneapolis South 7-1
15. Park-Cottage Grove 7-1
16. Roseville 5-1
17. St. Francis 4-1
18. Minnetonka 4-4
19. Edina 6-3
20. Anoka 6-2



Class 1A Boys Basketball Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 12/20/2017 2:58:53 PM

From Minnesota Basketball News.

CLASS 1A
1. North Woods 6-0
2. Springfield 7-0
3. Nevis 6-0
4. Cleveland 3-0
5. Mayer Lutheran 4-0
6. Cedar Mountain-Comfrey 3-1
7. Cass Lake-Bena 7-0
8. Russell-Tyler-Ruthton 5-0
9. Hinckley-Finlayson 4-0
10. Mountain Lake 5-1
11. Norman County East/Ulen-Hitterdal 6-0
12. Mountain Iron-Buhl 5-1
13. Chisholm 4-2
14. Red Rock Central 4-1
15. Spring Grove 3-2
16. Sacred Heart 5-1
17. Minnesota Valley Lutheran 4-1
18. La Crescent 4-2
19. Rushford-Peterson 3-2
20. Ada-Borup 5-1




Class 2A Boys Basketball Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 12/20/2017 2:58:24 PM

From Minnesota Basketball News.

CLASS 2A
1. Minnehaha Academy 4-1
2. Minneapolis North 0-1
3. Caledonia 5-0
4. Annandale 4-0
5. St. Cloud Cathedral 4-1
6. Brooklyn Center 5-1
7. Esko 5-1
8. Lake City 6-1
9. Perham 6-0
10. Virginia 7-0
11. Jordan 5-1
12. St. Charles 7-0
13. Eden Valley-Watkins 6-0
14. Breckenridge 4-2
15. Rochester Lourdes 5-1
16. Melrose 5-0
17. Sauk Centre 5-1
18. Minnewaska Area 5-1
19. Byron 3-2
20. Holy Family Catholic 6-2




Class 3A Boys Basketball Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 12/20/2017 2:57:55 PM

From Minnesota Basketball News.

CLASS 3A
1. DeLaSalle 3-2
2. St. Thomas Academy 4-2
3. Columbia Heights 4-0
4. Marshall 6-0
5. Orono 3-2
6. Delano 5-1
7. Mankato East 5-0
8. Austin 5-0
9. Willmar 6-0
10. Northfield 5-0
11. Waconia 5-1
12. Waseca 5-2
13. Minneapolis Roosevelt 3-3
14. Robbinsdale Cooper 2-2
15. Mahtomedi 5-1
16. Benilde-St. Margaret’s 4-3
17. Fridley 4-0
18. St. Paul Johnson 4-1
19. Princeton 3-1
20. St. Croix Lutheran 4-1



Class 4A Boys Basketball Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 12/20/2017 2:57:34 PM

From Minnesota Basketball News.

CLASS 4A
1. Eden Prairie 6-0
2. Cretin-Derham Hall 5-1
3. Hopkins 5-1
4. Apple Valley 4-2
5. Park Center 4-1
6. Edina 4-2
7. North St. Paul 5-1
8. Chaska 6-1
9. Lakeville North 5-1
10. Rochester John Marshall 6-0
11. East Ridge 3-2
12. Osseo 2-1
13. Wayzata 2-2
14. Woodbury 4-2
15. Forest Lake 5-1
16. Tartan 5-0
17. Cambridge-Isanti 6-1
18. St. Cloud Tech 5-2
19. Andover 3-1
20. Minneapolis Washburn 4-2



Class 1A Boys Hockey Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 12/20/2017 2:56:25 PM

From Let's Play Hockey.

CLASS 1A
1. Mahtomedi 2-0-1 3
2. Orono 5-1-1 1
3. Hermantown 1-3-2 2
4. Greenway 6-1-0 4
5. East Grand Forks 4-4-0 5
6. St. Cloud Cathedral 5-2-0 6
7. Breck 2-3-0 7
8. Sartell-St. Stephen 4-1-0 10
9. Delano 2-3-0 9
10. Alexandria 2-1-1 8
11. Virginia/Mountain Iron-Bruhl 6-1-0 11
12. Luverne 4-0-0 12
13. Monticello 4-1-0 13
14. Northfield 4-1-0 17
15. St. Paul Johnson 4-1-0 14
16. Mound Westonka 4-1-0 19
17. St. Paul Academy 1-2-0 15
18. Rochester Lourdes 3-3-0 18
19. Crookston 2-3-0
20. North Branch 4-1-0



Class 2A Boys Hockey Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 12/20/2017 2:56:03 PM

From Let's Play Hockey.

CLASS 2A
1. Edina 5-0-0 1
2. Minnetonka 5-0-1 3
3. Duluth East 2-0-2 2
4. St. Thomas Academy 5-1-0 4
5. Centennial 4-0-0 6
6. Moorhead 6-2-0 5
7. White Bear Lake 5-0-2 7
8. Holy Family 5-2-1 10
9. Wayzata 3-2-1 12
10. Cretin-Derham Hall 3-1-1 8
11. Elk River 4-1-0 11
12. Eden Prairie 3-3-0 9
13. Duluth Marshall 6-1-1 13
14. Cloquet-Esko-Carlton 3-2-1 14
15. Stillwater 3-0-0 17
16. Blaine 1-1-1
17. Maple Grove 2-1-3 15
18. St. Michael-Albertville 4-1-0 18
19. Hill-Murray 3-1-2 20
20. Eastview 2-3-1



Class 1A Girls Hockey Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 12/20/2017 2:55:34 PM

From Let's Play Hockey.

CLASS 1A
1. Warroad 5-1-2 1
2. Thief River Falls 9-0-1 2
3. Alexandria 6-3-0 3
4. Red Wing 10-2-0 5
5. East Grand Forks 7-2-1 4
6. Breck 3-6-1 6
7. South St. Paul 8-3-0 8
8. St. Paul United 7-5-0 7
9. Duluth Marshall 5-5-0 16
10. Proctor/Hermantown 5-4-0 9
11. Delano/Rockford 6-3-0 12
12. Cloquet-Esko-Carlton 4-4-1 10
13. New Ulm 9-2-0 13
14. Hibbing/Chisholm 5-8-1 11
15. Orono 5-8-0 14
16. Totino-Grace 6-4-0 15
17. Rochester Lourdes 6-6-0 18
18. Fergus Falls 6-5-0 17
19. Hutchinson 4-3-1 19
20. River Lakes 4-6-0



Class 2A Girls Hockey Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 12/20/2017 2:55:03 PM

From Let's Play Hockey.

CLASS 2A
1. Edina 7-0-0 1
2. Blake 11-0-1 2
3. Centennial 9-0-0 4
4. Hill-Murray 9-2-0 3
5. Blaine 7-1-1 5
6. Minnetonka 5-2-3 10
7. White Bear Lake 9-1-1 11
8. Andover 6-3-0 15
9. Forest Lake 5-2-2 6
10. Maple Grove 6-4-0 8
11. Brainerd/Little Falls 8-1-0 7
12. Eden Prairie 6-4-1 9
13. Elk River 5-3-2 12
14. Eagan 10-1-0 13
15. Wayzata 6-4-1 14
16. Farmington 8-1-0 16
17. Roseau 7-3-0 17
18. Grand Rapids/Greenway 8-4-0 19
19. Cretin-Derham Hall 5-4-0 18
20. Lakeville South 5-5-0 20



A Great Day In Rochester For Wrestling And Basketball
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 12/17/2017 2:01:09 PM

ROCHESTER – I posted a message on Twitter Friday stating that this city would be the center of the sports universe on Saturday. And indeed it was, at least if you consider Minnesota high school athletics to be the sports universe. Which, of course, you and I do.

There were two big events: The 31st annual Minnesota Christmas Wrestling Tournament at Rochester Community and Technical College’s Regional Sports Center, and the second annual HVL-TRC Showdown, a 14-game basketball festival pitting boys and girls teams from the Hiawatha Valley League and Three Rivers Conference against each other on two courts at Mayo Civic Center.

The venues are separated by only two and a half miles. The competition was separated in form only; five kids working together on the basketball court and individuals wrestling individuals. The crowds were knowledgeable and loud.

The wrestling tournament is the best competition in that sport outside the state tournament at Xcel Energy Center in February. Thirty-nine teams from five states took part Friday and Saturday, with most eyes paying attention to one individual.

Apple Valley senior 285-pounder Gable Steveson is a three-time state champion, top-ranked in the nation and was a sure bet to win at the Christmas tournament. He did so in dominating fashion, winning his first match with a 9-0 decision and pinning the rest of his opponents, including a fall with seven seconds remaining in the first period of the title match. That was his longest match of the weekend, with other pins coming in 50 seconds, 37 seconds, 1:05 and 38 seconds.

It was no surprise to see Steveson win and he took it all in stride. The Christmas tournament also crowns a team champion based on how individuals fare, and if you heard some whooping and hollering from Anoka late Saturday night it was because the Tornadoes won the Christmas tournament for the first time in history.
The Tornadoes had 175.5 points, which was enough to squeak past second-place Simley by half a point.

The HVL-TRC Showdown is in its infancy and someday may have the pedigree and luster of the Christmas wrestling tournament. The Showdown got off to a slow start a year ago when a snowstorm botched things on the original date, which was pushed back until closer to the holidays. Even then, the weather was far from perfect, meaning all the teams and all the fans were unable to make it.

But the 2017 version of the Showdown, held in perfect weather and travel conditions, was a marvel. The games went off on time, the competition was solid and it was a great day all around. The final count was nine victories for teams from the Hiawatha Valley League to five for the Three Rivers Conference; The HVL girls won all seven games and the TRC boys went 5-2.

Teams at the Showdown come from Class 1A and Class 2A, and southeastern Minnesota (known as Section 1 in MSHSL parlance) is a proud hotbed of high school activities. In the marquee girls game, two-time defending 1A state champ Goodhue defeated Caledonia (a previously unbeaten 2A team) 50-41.

The boys game that drew the largest crowd was a 79-71 victory by Caledonia over Lake City. A year ago, Lake City beat the Warriors for the Section 1 title and trip to state, and those teams could meet again at the Civic Center in this season’s section championship game.

Playing Showdown games at the Civic Center can be a valuable preview for the postseason, said Goodhue boys coach Matt Halverson, one of several coaches who masterminded the event.

“We knew we wanted to have this venue because this is where we play our sections, and they’re a great host,” he said. “Our initial costs are covered by schools as part of the tournament; we’re hoping it gains in popularity, people see how good of an event it is and we can give money back to schools and their programs.”

After spending 10 hours in Rochester on Saturday, let’s take a spin through my notebook…

--Every Showdown basketball game had three officials. That isn’t always the case for small-school hoops, and seeing three officials lends an air of “big game” to the contests.

--Champions of the Christmas wrestling tournament received some unique swag. After each title match, a member of the U.S. Marines placed a Santa hat on the winner’s head and handed him a commemorative snow globe as they posed for photos.

--Speaking of Christmas, music played during timeouts, halftime and between basketball games included holiday tunes in the mix. One example came during one of the early games when “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” was followed by Miley Cyrus singing “Party In The U.S.A.”

--Wrestling fans are familiar with the job of tappers. As the clock nears zero in each period, someone carrying a rolled-up towel or pool noodle swats the referee on the backside as time runs out. One of the tappers Saturday was a man wearing a Santa hat and … I kid you not … carrying a baby.

--Everybody pitches in to help make tournaments go. Among those at the Civic Center was Craig Anderson, former baseball coach and current activities director at Pine Island. Craig, a member of the MSHSL board of directors, worked three games as the public-address announcer.

--My favorite wrestler didn’t officially compete because he looked to be no more than, oh, three years old. But the little guy, wearing a singlet and wrestling shoes, worked over imaginary opponents and received high fives from every “real” wrestler he saw.

--I did a lot of Tweeting during the day, but the post that got the most traction had more to do with hair than basketball or wrestling. Pine Island basketball player Logan Andrist has the kind of flow that prompted this message: “Nominated for Best Hockey Hair in a Basketball Game: Pine Island's Logan Andrist.” Responses to that Tweet included attaboy-type messages from Logan’s mom and uncle.

--Best comment of the day, heard from a grandpa watching wrestling: “I wrestled in Iowa and for the state tournament they had to come and get me from milking cows. I took a shower at the state tournament and they could smell me while I wrestled.”

Follow John on Twitter: @MSHSLjohn




The Team Is In Minnesota, The Coach Lives In Nebraska
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 12/13/2017 8:32:27 PM

The Lyle-Pacelli girls basketball team is interesting in lots of ways. The Athletics are ranked No. 1 in Class 1A, for example, and ran their season record to 6-0 Tuesday night with a 71-43 victory at Randolph. The team is a cooperative effort with players from Lyle (a public school in a community of 500 within a mile of the Iowa border) and Pacelli, a small Catholic school in nearby Austin.

It’s rare to have a top-ranked team and it’s rare when public and private schools work together to form teams, as Lyle and Pacelli do in lots of sports.

But here’s the most interesting thing about the Lyle-Pacelli girls basketball team: The head coach lives in Omaha. Which is in Nebraska. Which is not in Minnesota.

Austin native Justin Morris has been the Athletics head coach for several years now, and the highlight of his tenure was the team’s first trip to the state tournament in 2015. The three seniors on this year’s roster – Kristi Fett, Brooke Walter and Kendal Truckenmiller – are hoping for a return visit to state. To get there, the team will need to keep working and improving … even when their head coach isn’t around.

Morris was absent for Tuesday’s game, the first one he has missed this season. He will be back for games Friday at home vs. Glenville-Emmons and Saturday in Decorah, Iowa, vs. Crestwood High School from Cresco, Iowa. Omaha is 300 miles from Austin, a drive of four hours-plus.

“It’s a unique situation. It’s crazy, it really is,” Morris said during a phone interview from Omaha on Wednesday. “I get a little uncomfortable about it, because it’s not about me and what I do. This group of kids is where the story is.”

That’s a fair point. Morris’ coaching and working lives are 300 miles apart because he feels so strongly about his players. He has been coaching since the current seniors were in seventh grade, and he didn’t want to end his tenure until the Class of 2018 played its final season. Thus the occasional absences and the many drives back and forth from Omaha. And when this season ends, so will his coaching career at Lyle-Pacelli.

But why? And how? Those are the obvious questions. The answers start back in 2015 when the Athletics went to state. The team beat Mountain Iron-Buhl in the quarterfinals before losing to Ada-Borup in the semifinals and Minneota in the third-place game. At a welcome home rally for the team, Morris was interviewed by a reporter from KAAL TV in Rochester. Her name is Megan Stewart and they ended up dating.

Fast forward a bit. Morris and Stewart are now engaged. When she took a job at KMTV in Omaha earlier this year, Justin also made the move and found employment in his chosen field as a senior vice president of a banking company. They will be married next Labor Day weekend in Megan’s hometown of Lakeville.

Brad Walter (Brooke’s dad and Morris’ uncle) is a former head coach of the basketball team and the current top assistant, taking over when Justin isn’t on hand. Walter directed things Tuesday at Randolph, and Morris is very grateful to have such a seasoned pro on the coaching staff.

“Brad’s really the story,” Morris said, handing off another assist. “He started the youth program. … We’re approaching this collaboratively, Brad and I, we’re really co-coaching. I’ll be back as much as I can, but Brad’s got the reins when I’m not there.

“Brad has got all the ability in the world to run things. We run the same plays, the same defenses and have the same philosophy since I took over in 2012. We have a known commodity in terms of what our philosophy is, our offense, our defense, what our culture is.”

The Athletics are highly entertaining to watch. Fett is a 6-foot-5 center who averages 27 points and has signed with Minnesota State Mankato. The remaining starters -- Walter, Truckenmiller, Olivia Christianson and Abby Bollingberg, as well as the players off the bench – are quick with the ball and always hustling. Fett scored 25 points at Randolph, Bollinger had 19, Walter 13 and Christianson nine.

The players sometimes start practice without any coaches in the gym, but having grown up playing with each other they have built a strong bond.

“We talked about it at the beginning of the season,” Brooke Walter said. “We have to trust each other and everybody has to lead. We have to step up and we know no matter what happens, if (Morris is) there or not, we have each other and we know what to do.”

Fett said, “There are times at practice when we have to get things rolling and keep our standards up. We know we have to be responsible. It’s unique but it makes us really close, too.”

Lyle athletic director Jamie Goebel said Morris came to him earlier this year and explained that he was moving to Omaha but still wanted to coach one more season.

“As an educator you always think about ethical things, the community effect,” Goebel said. “Ultimately it came down to what’s in the best interests of the students. I was confident in what he and Brad and (volunteer coach) Terry Nelsen will be able to do this year, and it seemed like the right decision for Lyle and Pacelli. He’s been very forthcoming, very transparent with me and the girls and we worked through some of the details.”

Lyle-Pacelli lost to Goodhue in the Section 1 playoffs the last two years (with Goodhue going on to win the state title each time). In the latest Class 1A rankings by Minnesota Basketball News, Lyle-Pacelli is No. 1, Goodhue is No. 2 and Hayfield (another Section 1 team) is No. 5.

Lyle-Pacelli, which hasn’t lost a Southeast Conference game since 2012, has built its reputation by giving young players opportunities to play and grow. Of the team’s current veterans, Morris said, “We started moving them up when they were in seventh, eighth, ninth grade. They started having success and it built on itself.”

Morris travels in several states for his job, so driving between Omaha and southeast Minnesota on Interstates 80, 35 and 90 is no big deal. The basketball team’s schedule has been set up to make it easier for him to be in the gym, especially for the biggest games.

“We’re a family,” he said. “From day one when I took over we talked about creating a family culture. It’s about all of us together. We’re in this thing together and we’re going to make it work together. We talk every day about how life is about choices. I made a choice that I was going to get engaged and get married to the love of my life, and she decided she’s going to move to Omaha.

“I’m thankful they still want me involved, I’m thankful Brad is as good a coach as there is anywhere. Because it’s all about the kids.”

All those miles, all those practices, all those games. All that work will, hopefully, take the Athletics back to the state tournament.

“I met the love of my life the last time we went to state,” the coach said, his smile obvious through the phone line all the way from Omaha. “If we get back, maybe I can win the lottery or something.”

Follow John on Twitter: @MSHSLjohn



Class 1A Boys Basketball Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 12/13/2017 6:32:14 PM

From Minnesota Basketball News.

CLASS 1A
1. North Woods 4-0
2. Springfield 5-0
3. Nevis 4-0
4. Cleveland 2-0
5. Mayer Lutheran 3-0
6. Cedar Mountain-Comfrey 1-1
7. Rushford-Peterson 2-1
9. Cass Lake-Bena 5-0
9. Russell-Tyler-Ruthton 3-0
10. Hinckley-Finlayson 3-0
11. Chisholm 3-0
12. Red Rock Central 3-0
13. Braham 3-1
14. Norman County East/Ulen-Hitterdal 4-0
15. Ada-Borup 3-1
16. Mountain Iron-Buhl 5-0
17. Spring Grove 1-1
18. Sacred Heart 4-0
19. MN Valley Lutheran 3-1
20. Westbrook-Walnut Grove 1-2



Class 2A Boys Basketball Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 12/13/2017 6:31:47 PM

From Minnesota Basketball News.

CLASS 2A
1. Minnehaha Academy 3-1
2. Minneapolis North 0-1
3. Caledonia 3-0
4. Annandale 2-0
5. St. Cloud Cathedral 3-1
6. Brooklyn Center 4-0
7. Esko 4-1
8. Lake City 4-0
9. Perham 4-0
10. Virginia 4-0
11. Jordan 3-0
12. St. Charles 4-0
13. Eden Valley-Watkins 3-0
14. Hawley 1-1
15. Breckenridge 2-2
16. Minnewaska Area 3-0
17. Rochester Lourdes 4-0
18. Holy Family Catholic 3-2
19. Melrose 2-0
20. Byron 1-2



Class 3A Boys Basketball Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 12/13/2017 6:31:02 PM

From Minnesota Basketball News.

CLASS 3A
1. DeLaSalle 1-2
2. Orono 3-1
3. St. Thomas Academy 3-1
4. Columbia Heights 2-0
5. Delano 4-0
6. Mankato East 2-0
7. Austin 3-0
8. Waconia 4-0
9. Northfield 3-0
10. Waseca 3-2
11. Marshall 4-0
12. Grand Rapids 3-0
13. Minneapolis Roosevelt 2-1
14. Robbinsdale Cooper 0-1
15. Willmar 4-0
16. Benilde-St. Margaret’s 3-2
17. Mahtomedi 4-0
18. Fridley 4-0
19. Fergus Falls 2-2
20. St. Paul Johnson 3-1



Class 4A Boys Basketball Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 12/13/2017 6:30:33 PM

From Minnesota Basketball News.

CLASS 4A
1. Edina 3-0
2. Eden Prairie 4-0
3. Cretin-Derham Hall 3-1
4. Apple Valley 2-2
5. Park Center 2-1
6. Hopkins 3-1
7. Lakeville North 4-0
8. East Ridge 2-1
9. Wayzata 2-1
10. Osseo 1-0
11. North St. Paul 3-1
12. St. Cloud Tech 3-1
13. Rochester John Marshall 3-0
14. Woodbury 1-2
15. Forest Lake 4-0
16. Tartan 3-0
17. Prior Lake 0-0
18, Rochester Mayo 1-1
19. Farmington 3-1
20. Andover 1-0



Class 1A Girls Basketball Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 12/13/2017 6:29:16 PM

From Minnesota Basketball News.

CLASS 1A
1. Lyle-Pacelli 6-0
2. Goodhue 4-1
3. Mountain Iron-Buhl 5-0
4. Bigfork 5-0
5. Hayfield 4-1
6. Ada-Borup/Norman County West 4-0
7. Wheaton-Herman-Norcross 3-0
8. Southwest MN Christian 4-1
9. Lac qui Parle Valley 5-1
10. Cromwell-Wright 4-2
11. Badger-Greenbush-Middle River 4-0
12. Red Lake 6-0
13. Sacred Heart 6-0
14. Wabasso 4-0
15. Menahga 4-0
16. Minneota 4-1
17. Sleepy Eye 5-2
18. Grand Meadow 4-1
19. Cedar Mountain-Comfrey 3-1
20. Stephen-Argyle 4-1



Class 2A Girls Basketball Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 12/13/2017 6:28:50 PM

From Minnesota Basketball News.

CLASS 2A
1. Sauk Centre 5-0
2. Norwood-Young America 5-0
3. Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton 4-0
4. Maranatha Christian 2-0
5. Rush City 5-0
6. Watertown-Mayer 4-1
7. New London-Spicer 3-1
8. Minnehaha 4-2
9. Barnesville 4-1
10. Byron 2-1
11. Eden Valley-Watkins 5-1
12. Caledonia 5-0
13. Winona Cotter 6-1
14. Rochester Lourdes 2-4
15. Glencoe-Silver Lake 3-1
16. Annandale 3-1
17. Pine City 4-0
18. Stewartville 4-1
19. Roseau 3-3
20. Park Rapids 3-0



Class 3A Girls Basketball Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 12/13/2017 6:28:21 PM

From Minnesota Basketball News.

CLASS 3A
1. Robbinsdale Cooper 3-1
2. Holy Angels 5-1
3. Mahtomedi 4-0
4. Hutchinson 4-1
5. Grand Rapids 5-1
6. DeLaSalle 1-4
7. Northfield 4-0
8. Red Wing 5-1
9. Willmar 4-0
10. Fergus Falls 5-1
11. Alexandria 3-1
12. Simley 3-2
13. Waseca 6-1
14. Chisago Lakes 3-2
15. Hermantown 5-1
16. Waconia 5-2
17. Faribault 4-1
18. Hill-Murray 2-3
19. Hibbing 6-1
20. Marshall 5-0



Class 4A Girls Basketball Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 12/13/2017 6:27:54 PM

From Minnesota Basketball News.

CLASS 4A
1. Hopkins 6-0
2. Eastview 5-0
3. Wayzata 6-0
4. Centennial 3-1
5. Cretin-Derham Hall 5-1
6. Lakeville North 3-3
7. Maple Grove 4-1
8. St. Michael-Albertville 2-1
9. Moorhead 5-1
10. Farmington 4-0
11. Park Center 3-1
12. White Bear Lake 4-2
13. Anoka 5-0
14. Hastings 4-0
15. Champlin Park 2-1
16. Roseville 3-1
17. St. Francis 3-1
18. Minnetonka 3-4
19. Edina 4-2
20. Forest Lake 3-3



Class 1A Wrestling Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 12/13/2017 6:26:46 PM

From The Guillotine.

CLASS 1A
1. Zumbrota-Mazeppa (1)
2. Frazee (8)
3. West Central Area/Ashby/Brandon-Evansville (6)
4. Kenyon-Wanamingo (2)
5. Goodhue (1)
6. Sibley East (4)
7. Minneota (3)
8. Westfield (2)
9. Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg (5)
10. Blackduck/Cass Lake-Bena (7)
11. LPGE-Browerville (5)
12. Ottertail Central (6)
Lean and Mean
Blue Earth Area (2), Canby (3), Tracy-Milroy-Balaton/Westbrook-Walnut Grove (3), Fosston/Bagley (8), Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa (5), Badger/Greenbush-Middle River (8), Bertha-Hewitt/Verndale/Parkers Prairie (6), Maple River (2), Royalton/Upsala (7)




Class 2A Wrestling Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 12/13/2017 6:26:18 PM

From The Guillotine.

CLASS 2A
1. Kasson-Mantorville (1)
2. Simley (1)
3. Scott West (2)
4. Foley (6)
5. Perham (8)
6. Grand Rapids (7)
7. Hutchinson (2)
8. Waconia (2)
9. Litchfield (6)
10. Totino-Grace (5)
11. Fairmont/Martin County West (3)
12. Worthington (3)
Lean and Mean
Annandale/Maple Lake (6), Delano (2), Detroit Lakes (8), Pierz (8), Princeton (7), South St. Paul (4)



Class 3A Wrestling Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 12/13/2017 6:25:49 PM

From The Guillotine.

CLASS 3A
1. Apple Valley (2)
2. Anoka (7)
3. St. Michael-Albertville (5)
4. Albert Lea Area (1)
5. Willmar (8)
6. Shakopee (2)
7. Prior Lake (2)
8. Owatonna (1)
9. Forest Lake (7)
10. Stillwater Area (4)
11. Cambridge-Isanti (7)
12. St. Francis (7)
Lean and Mean
Maple Grove (5), Mounds View (4), Faribault (1), Hastings (3), St. Cloud Tech (8), Sartell-St. Stephen (8), Coon Rapids (7), New Prague (2)



Hectic Days, Lots Of Planning For The Dasovich Family
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 12/7/2017 2:39:59 AM

For any television producers interested in creating a reality show centered on family, school and sports, take a look at Tom and Leah Dasovich and their daughters, Emma and Evelyn.

Their life is a wild ride of girls basketball practices and games at Minnetonka High School, where Leah is the head coach and teaches English … all manner of events at Lakeville South, where Tom is the activities director … and plenty of things that keep Emma, 11, and Evelyn, 5, busy. Thanks to a nanny, help from grandparents and friends, and a family schedule that is often frantic, everything clicks.

The Dasoviches live in Minnetonka, a short drive to school for Leah, Emma and Evelyn; Tom’s commute is about 35 minutes to Lakeville South. In a rare scheduling blessing for which all are grateful, Leah’s team played at Tom’s school on Tuesday evening. The girls rode the team bus to the game and hung out with their dad while mom coached. Minnetonka won the game 63-38, after which the girls helped Tom stack chairs from the team benches on a cart and put them in a back room before heading to the bus with their mom and her players.

Life used to be a little simpler. “Oh gosh, we talk about that a lot,” Leah said with a smile. She looked at her husband and said, “Remember when we used to go to movies? When we used to sleep in?”

For six years Tom was the boys basketball coach at Minnetonka while Leah was on the girls coaching staff. Other than deciding when each team would have the gym for practice, that was a pretty easy scenario. And now?

“We’re making it work,” Leah said after Tuesday’s game. “When we were doing it together (coaching at Minnetonka) I would do the whole winter calendar. That just doesn’t work; things change so frequently.”

Almost every day is different. Orchestrating things means mapping out schedules in advance but each evening Leah and Tom try to plan for the next day. Their alarms go off one minute apart in the morning – hers at 5:15 and his at 5:16, to make sure neither oversleeps – and Tom is usually the first to leave for school before 6 a.m.

A nanny helps with the girls, and Minnetonka assistant coach Stacie Olson teaches at Emma’s middle school so she can sometimes give Emma a ride after school to meet up with mom. “We’re really blessed to have good child care,” Leah said.

Tom was a head boys basketball coach for 13 years at Columbia Heights, Henry Sibley and Minnetonka. He led Henry Sibley to a Class 4A state runner-up finish in 2008 and also took the Warriors to state in 2009 and 2010. Leah’s Minnetonka team was the Class 4A state champion in 2016 and returned to the state tournament last year.

Tom is in his first year as activities director at Lakeville South after holding a similar position at Watertown-Mayer for two years. Leah is in her seventh season as head girls basketball coach at Minnetonka (she previously was an assistant coach there for seven years).

Family dinners at home are rare on weekdays, and Leah’s team has games every Saturday in December. Tom has more evening activities to manage at Lakeville South than he did at Watertown-Mayer, meaning some days he is gone from 6 a.m. until 10 p.m. He said it’s almost like being a traveling salesman who is gone for days at a time.

“Sometimes I’m leaving before the kids wake up and getting home when they’re asleep. I’m sleeping in my own bed but not getting that family time. I can go a couple of days like that, and it’s almost as if I was in Chicago or someplace else.”

Sundays are a day for the family to sit back, take a breath and relax together. But not always. “Yes, usually,” said Leah, “depending on if Emma has a tournament.”

On Saturday Minnetonka will play a home game with Apple Valley as part of the Breakdown Tip-Off Classic, while Tom will be working as an analyst on a webcast from boys Breakdown games at Hopkins. Emma, meanwhile, will join her travel basketball team for a tournament in Burnsville, hitching a ride with another family while Leah’s mom watches Evelyn.

Logistical complications like that made Tuesday’s game special.

“Being able to see them and have them all in one place, that was fun,” Tom said. “That was a cool thing. And I was able to introduce them to people I know at Lakeville South. That was maybe the first time all three of them had all been down here at the same time.”

After the game Tom asked Evelyn if she wanted to ride the bus with her mom and the Skippers or go home with dad. He explained that he wouldn’t be able to leave as soon as the team did, and Evelyn went with mom and Emma.

Tom (a Hopkins High School grad) and Leah (St. Cloud Apollo) met when they were students at St. Cloud State; she played basketball and he played football. Both had knee injuries and did rehab at the same time in the training room, where they talked for the first time.

Here they are years later, 30-something parents who love what they do. Before Tuesday’s game, Tom heard a common question: Do you cheer for your wife’s team or your school’s team?

“It was fun for me,” he said. “My line to everybody was it’s either a win-win or a lose-lose. I feel happy for my wife and her success and I’m also cheering for Lakeville South and hoping our teams do well.”

Young coaches, especially women, are often torn between their team and their family, with some stepping away from coaching to focus on their children. Tom said Leah is a role model for women who coach.

“Nothing against people who make choices to spend more time with their family, but the fact that she’s been able to do both and do it well makes her a good role model,” Tom said. “Even as an AD, finding quality female coaches – I have one here (at South) with Angie Iverson-Ohnstad, she’s got two daughters, as well – she’s doing the same thing Leah is. That’s becoming a rarity, sadly.”

Leah said she has questioned the family’s hectic life but knows they are fortunate.

“There are days when I’m tired, the teaching load is hard, I sometimes feel like we aren’t giving our kids the right attention that I’d love to be able to give them,” she said. “But then I step back and I think, ‘Where else would they be but this gym?’ All these people love them. We are really lucky to have the life that we have. What else would we want to be doing?”

Follow John on Twitter: @MSHSLjohn



Class 1A Girls Basketball Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 12/7/2017 2:37:55 AM

Provided by Minnesota Basketball News

CLASS 1A
1. Lyle-Pacelli 3-0
2. Goodhue 2-1
3. Mountain Iron-Buhl 3-0
4. Bigfork 2-0
5. Hayfield 2-1
6. Ada-Borup 2-0
7. Lac qui Parle Valley 3-0
8. Wheaton-Herman-Norcross 3-0
9. St. Clair 3-0
10.Southwest MN Christian 2-1



Class 2A Girls Basketball Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 12/7/2017 2:37:23 AM

Provided by Minnesota Basketball News

CLASS 2A
1. Sauk Centre 4-0
2. Norwood-Young America 4-0
3. Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton 2-0
4. Byron 1-0
5. Rush City 2-0
6. Maranatha Christian 2-0
7. New London-Spicer 2-0
8. Minnehaha Academy 4-2
9. Roseau 1-2
10.Duluth Marshall 4-0



Class 3A Girls Basketball Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 12/7/2017 2:36:50 AM

Provided by Minnesota Basketball News

CLASS 3A
1. Hutchinson 2-0
2. Robbinsdale Cooper 2-0
3. Holy Angels 4-1
4. Mahtomedi 3-0
5. Grand Rapids 2-1
6. DeLaSalle 2-1
7. Northfield 2-0
8. Red Wing 3-1
9. Willmar 3-0
10.Alexandria 2-0



Class 4A Girls Basketball Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 12/7/2017 2:36:25 AM

Provided by Minnesota Basketball News

CLASS 4A
1. Hopkins 3-0
2. Eastview 4-0
3. Wayzata 5-0
4. Lakeville North 3-1
5. Centennial 0-1
6. Cretin-Derham Hall 3-1
7. Park Center 2-0
8. Maple Grove 2-1
9. St. Michael-Albertville 0-0
10.White Bear Lake 2-1



Class 1A Boys Basketball Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 12/7/2017 2:35:53 AM

Provided by Minnesota Basketball News

CLASS 1A
1. North Woods (2-0)
2. Springfield (2-0)
3. Nevis (1-0)
4. Cleveland (0-0)
5. Mayer Lutheran (2-0)
6. Westbrook-Walnut Grove (0-1)
7. Ada-Borup (2-0)
8. Cedar Mountain-Comfrey (1-1)
9. Rushford-Peterson (1-1)
10.Cass Lake-Bena (2-0)



Class 2A Boys Basketball Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 12/7/2017 2:35:24 AM

Provided by Minnesota Basketball News

CLASS 2A
1. Minnehaha Academy (1-0)
2. Minneapolis North (0-0)
3. Caledonia (1-0)
4. Annandale (0-0)
5. St. Cloud Cathedral (2-0)
6. Brooklyn Center (2-0)
7. Esko (3-0)
8. Lake City (2-0)
9. Perham (2-0)
10.Virginia (2-0)



Class 3A Boys Basketball Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 12/7/2017 2:34:50 AM

Provided by Minnesota Basketball News

CLASS 3A
1. DeLaSalle (1-1)
2. Orono (2-0)
3. St. Thomas Academy (1-0)
4. Columbia Heights (2-0)
5. Delano (2-0)
6. Mankato East (1-0)
7. Austin (1-0)
8. Totino-Grace (0-0)
9. Waconia (2-0)
10.Northfield (1-0)



Class 4A Boys Basketball Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 12/7/2017 2:34:25 AM

Provided by Minnesota Basketball News

CLASS 4A
1. Apple Valley (1-0)
2. Cretin-Derham Hall (2-0)
3. Park Center (1-0)
4. Hopkins (0-1)
5. Wayzata (1-0)
6. East Ridge (0-1)
7. Osseo (0-0)
8. Eden Prairie (1-0)
9. Woodbury (0-0)
10.Lakeville North (0-0)



Class 1A Boys Hockey Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 12/5/2017 10:12:33 PM

From Let's Play Hockey

CLASS 1A
1. Hermantown 1-1-0 1
2. Orono 2-0-1 3
3. Mahtomedi 0-0-0 4
4. Greenway 3-0-0 9
5. East Grand Forks 2-2-0 8
6. St. Cloud Cathedral 2-1-0 2
7. Breck 2-1-0 6
8. Alexandria 0-0-1 5
9. Delano 1-1-0 7
10. Sartell-St. Stephen 2-0-0 11
11. Monticello 3-0-0 10
12. Luverne 2-0-0 13
13. Virginia/Mountain Iron-Bruhl 2-1-0 16
14. Warroad 0-3-0 12
15. St. Paul Academy 1-1-0 15
16. Northfield 1-1-0 14
17. Rochester Lourdes 3-1-0 19
18. Hibbing/Chisholm 2-0-0 17
19. St. Paul Johnson 1-1-0 18
20. Thief River Falls 1-2-0



Class 2A Boys Hockey Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 12/5/2017 10:12:05 PM

From Let's Play Hockey

CLASS 2A
1. Edina 4-0-0 1
2. Duluth East 1-0-1 2
3. Minnetonka 2-0-1 3
4. St. Thomas Academy 3-1-0 4
5. Moorhead 3-1-0 5
6. Centennial 2-0-0 6
7. White Bear Lake 2-0-1 10
8. Holy Family 2-1-1 7
9. Elk River 2-0-0 12
10. Wayzata 1-2-1 11
11. Cretin-Derham Hall 1-0-0 16
12. Eden Prairie 0-1-0 8
13. Cloquet-Esko-Carlton 2-1-0 13
14. Maple Grove 1-1-2 14
15. Lakeville North 0-1-1 15
16. Duluth Marshall 4-0-0 19
17. Hill-Murray 1-1-0 9
18. St. Michael-Albertville 2-0-0 17
19. Eastview 2-1-0
20. Andover 2-0-0 20



Class 2A Girls Hockey Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 12/5/2017 10:11:25 PM

From Let's Play Hockey

CLASS 2A
1. Edina 5-0-0 1
2. Blake 8-0-1 2
3. Hill-Murray 4-2-0 3
4. Centennial 6-0-0 6
5. Blaine 6-0-1 4
6. Forest Lake 4-0-2 5
7. Maple Grove 4-2-0 7
8. Elk River 4-1-2 8
9. Brainerd/Little Falls 5-0-0 9
10. Minnetonka 5-2-2 10
11. Eden Prairie 4-3-1 11
12. White Bear Lake 5-1-1 12
13. Eagan 7-1-0 13
14. Wayzata 5-1-1
15. Andover 3-2-0 16
16. Cretin-Derham Hall 3-3-0 14
17. Roseau 3-3-0 15
18. Lakeville South 3-4-0 17
19. Lakeville North 4-2-0 18
20. Farmington 5-1-0 19



Class 1A Girls Hockey Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 12/5/2017 10:10:50 PM

From Let's Play Hockey

CLASS 1A
1. Warroad 5-1-2 1
2. East Grand Forks 5-0-1 5
3. Red Wing 6-1-0 3
4. Breck 2-5-1 4
5. Delano/Rockford 4-1-0 2
6. Thief River Falls 6-0-1 7
7. Alexandria 5-1-0 8
8. South St. Paul 6-1-0 9
9. St. Paul United 6-3-0 6
10. Proctor/Hermantown 3-3-0 10
11. New Ulm 5-2-0 13
12. Hibbing/Chisholm 5-5-0 14
13. Cloquet-Esko-Carlton 2-3-1 11
14. Orono 4-5-0 15
15. Fergus Falls 5-3-0 17
16. Rochester Lourdes 4-5-0 16
17. Hutchinson 2-1-1 12
18. Duluth Marshall 3-3-0 18
19. Willmar 1-2-0 19
20. Mahtomedi 2-5-0 20



New Coach, Same Intensity At DeLaSalle
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 12/4/2017 12:51:06 PM

During the first half of the DeLaSalle boys basketball team’s season opener on Saturday, the coach of the top-ranked team in Class 3A crouched low on the sideline and hollered at his players: “Get on the floor! Get on the floor!”

For the past 23 years, the booming voice on the bench belonged to Dave Thorson, who led the Islanders to nine state championships, including the last six in a row. Thorson departed after last season to become an assistant coach at Drake University, and the new man in charge is Travis Bledsoe, 30, who played for Thorson at DeLaSalle.

“Trav’s an Islander and I love him and he’s my guy. He’s awesome,” Thorson said in a phone interview the day after DeLaSalle lost to Iowa City West 65-62 in the Breakdown Tip-Off Classic at Hopkins High School. Thorson and the Drake Bulldogs had just returned home to Des Moines, Iowa, after a double-overtime loss at Wyoming on Saturday, but Thorson remains plugged into his former team.

“There’s no better guy to lead that program than Travis,” Thorson said. “I’m excited for him.”

Bledsoe, a 2005 DeLaSalle graduate, was a first-team all-state player and Mr. Basketball finalist before playing at the University of North Dakota, where he was a team captain. He was the head coach at Centennial for the last three years; his teams had a record of 39-43.

Like everyone else, Bledsoe was stunned when his former coach left DeLaSalle.

“I didn’t believe it. I never thought he was going to leave,” Bledsoe said. “I got a phone call from Dave and he told me the situation. He kind of tapped me on the shoulder and told me I would be great and he would love for me to take over the program.”

DeLaSalle activities director Adam Pribyl said Bledsoe stood out in a group of outstanding candidates.

“Everyone we talked to spoke highly of Travis. He’s a strong teacher, an advocate for the individual skill development of his athletes as well as the personal and spiritual development of young men. He has himself been a stellar high school and collegiate athlete and in that context, fully understands the commitment necessary to achieve excellence.”

Taking over for a longtime successful coach can bring pressure, but Bledsoe said if there is any pressure it’s self-imposed.

“When I started coaching I set high goals. It isn’t so much pressure for me because my whole goal is to try to lead a team to a state championship. I don’t look at it the same way as everybody else. I’m kind of starting new; I’ve got a team and I’ve got an opportunity to do something special. That’s kind of what I focus on more than pressure.”

When Bledsoe talks about what he stresses with his players, it sounds exactly like the kind of teams Thorson put on the court: “It starts with being physical on defense, switching a lot, talking on D and then being patient on offense, moving the ball, screening bodies.

“I think the good thing about it is I played for coach Thorson for four years, my older brother played for him for four years, so I’ve been around the school and the tradition for about 15 strong years. That made it an easier transition to step in and understand what we need to do.”

After losing to Iowa City West, a perennial power in Iowa, the schedule doesn’t get easier for the Islanders. They will play at Hopkins, which is ranked No. 4 in Class 4A, on Saturday at 6 p.m. It will be the second game in Bledsoe’s career as DeLaSalle’s coach, and Thorson’s influence remains strong for him.

“He’s the greatest, he really is,” Bledsoe said. “He really cared about his kids. He was a mentor, a father to a lot of us, we could count on him on and off the court. He still mentors to this day. He raised me into the man I am today.”

Follow John on Twitter: @MSHSLjohn



Class 1A Girls Basketball Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 12/4/2017 12:46:54 PM

Provided by Minnesota Basketball News

CLASS 1A
1. Lyle-Pacelli 3-0
2. Goodhue 1-1
3. Hayfield 0-0
4. Mountain Iron-Buhl 0-0
5. Bigfork 1-0
6. Ada-Borup 0-0
7. Lac qui Parle Valley 1-0
8. Cromwell-Wright 0-0
9. Southwest MN Christian 0-0
10. Sleepy Eye 2-0
11. Wheaton-Herman-Norcross 1-0
12. Badger-Greenbush-Middle River 0-0
13. Red Lake 0-0
14. Cedar Mountain-Comfrey 1-0
15. Wabasso 0-0
16. Stephen-Argyle 1-0
17. Walker-Hackensack-Akeley 0-0
18. Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa 1-0
19. EGF Sacred Heart 1-0
20. Grand Meadow 1-0



Class 2A Girls Basketball Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 12/4/2017 12:46:15 PM

Provided by Minnesota Basketball News

CLASS 2A
1. Sauk Centre 1-0
2. Norwood-Young America 1-0
3. Roseau 1-0
4. Eden Valley-Watkins 1-0
5. Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton 0-0
6. Byron 0-0
7. Rush City 0-0
8. Maranatha Christian 0-0
9. New London-Spicer 1-0
10. Minnehaha Academy 2-1
11. Rochester Lourdes 1-2
12. Annandale 0-0
13. Thief River Falls 1-0
14. Tracy-Milroy-Balaton 0-0
15. St. Cloud Cathedral 0-0
16. Pequot Lakes 0-0
17. Duluth Marshall 1-0
18. Barnesville 1-0
19. Jordan 0-0
20. Glencoe-Silver Lake 1-0



Class 3A Girls Basketball Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 12/4/2017 12:45:22 PM

Provided by Minnesota Basketball News

CLASS 3A
1. DeLaSalle 2-0
2. Hutchinson 1-0
3. Cooper 1-0
4. Holy Angels 2-1
5. Grand Rapids 2-0
6. Mahtomedi 1-0
7. Northfield 0-0
8. Red Wing 3-0
9. Chisago Lakes
10. Willmar 0-0
11. Simley 0-1
12. Zimmerman 0-0
13. Hill-Murray 1-1
14. Hermantown 1-0
15. Alexandria 1-0
16. Waconia 2-1
17. Mankato West 1-0
18. Fergus Falls 1-0
19. Waseca 1-1
20. Faribault 1-0



Class 4A Girls Basketball Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 12/4/2017 12:44:49 PM

Provided by Minnesota Basketball News

CLASS 4A
1. Hopkins 1-0
2. Eastview 2-0
3. Lakeville North 1-0
4. Centennial 0-0
5. Wayzata 2-0
6. Cretin-Derham Hall 1-1
7. Forest Lake 1-0
8. St. Michael-Albertville 0-0
9. Park Center 0-0
10. Maple Grove 1-0
11. White Bear Lake 1-1
12. Moorhead 2-1
13. Minnetonka 0-1
14. Edina 1-0
15. Champlin Park 0-0
16. Roseville 1-0
17. St. Francis 1-0
18. Anoka 0-0
19. Farmington 1-0
20. Bloomington Kennedy 2-0



Class 1A Boys Basketball Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 12/4/2017 12:43:23 PM

Provided by Minnesota Basketball News

CLASS 1A
1. North Woods
2. Springfield
3. Cedar Mountain-Comfrey
4. Rushford-Peterson
5. Nevis
6. Cleveland
7. Mayer Lutheran
8. Goodhue
9. Westbrook-Walnut Grove
10. Ada-Borup
11. Cass Lake-Bena
12. Russell-Tyler-Ruthton
13. Red Lake
14. Chisholm
15. Norman County East/Ulen-Hitterdal
16. Spring Grove
17. Stephen-Argyle
18. MN Valley Lutheran
19. Central MN Christian
20. Brandon-Evansville




Class 2A Boys Basketball Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 12/4/2017 12:42:14 PM

Provided by Minnesota Basketball News

CLASS 2A
1. Minnehaha Academy
2. Minneapolis North
3. Caledonia
4. Annandale
5. St. Cloud Cathedral
6. Brooklyn Center
7. Esko
8. Lake City
9. Perham
10. Breckenridge
11. Breck
12. Virginia
13. Jordan
14. St. Charles
15. Minneapolis Roosevelt
16. Kimball
17. Eden Valley-Watkins
18. Braham
19. Redwood Valley
20. Pine Island




Class 3A Boys Basketball Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 12/4/2017 12:41:33 PM

Provided by Minnesota Basketball News

CLASS 3A
1. DeLaSalle
2. Orono
3. St. Thomas Academy
4. Columbia Heights
5. Mankato East
6. Robbinsdale Cooper
7. Delano
8. Austin
9. Totino-Grace
10. Fergus Falls
11. Waconia
12. Northfield
13. Waseca
14. Alexandria
15. Grand Rapids
16. Sauk Rapids-Rice
17. St. Cloud Apollo
18. Zimmerman
19. St. Anthony Village
20. St. Paul Central




Class 4A Boys Basketball Rankings
Posted by John Millea (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 12/4/2017 12:40:50 PM

Provided by Minnesota Basketball News

CLASS 4A
1. Apple Valley
2. Cretin-Derham Hall
3. Park Center
4. Hopkins
5. Wayzata
6. East Ridge
7. Osseo
8. Eden Prairie
9. Woodbury
10. Lakeville North
11. Edina
12. St. Cloud Tech
13. Chaska
14, Rochester John Marshall
15. Forest Lake
16. Champlin Park
17. Prior Lake
18. Rogers
19. Tartan
20. Minnetonka



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