Minnesota Girls Basketball Class AA State is Loaded
The 2023 State Class AA Girls Basketball Tournament is loaded with great teams this year.
Two games will be played in Williams Arena and two games in Maturi Pavilion on the University of Minnesota campus Wednesday night to open the tournament.
At 6:00 p.m. in the Pavilion the #2 seed, #3 ranked Goodhue Wildcats will play #10 rated Crosby-Ironton. The Rangers (23-7) have defeated some teams that are in the tournament and ranked teams that did not make the trip.
For example, they lost to Pequot Lakes 63-38 on January 19, 2023, then avenged the loss with a 73-72 win on February 10, 2023.
The final Minnesota Basketball News poll had Pequot Lakes ranked #8 in Class AA.
The Rangers defeated Pequot Lakes in the Section 7AA Final 66-58 to punch their ticket to state.
Crosby-Ironton also downed #5 seed in the tournament Minnehaha Academy 73-68 in their final regular season game. They opened the season with a 3-3 record after losses to Proctor 61-40 and Albany (#3 seed in state AA) 63-35.
The Rangers defeated Proctor in the Section 7AA Semifinals 55-53. They lost to #10 Class AAA Detroit Lakes 77-53 then beat them 64-55.
C-I defeated #4 AA state seed New London-Spicer 59-58. They also notched victories over #1 Class A Mountain Iron-Buhl 76-69, #14 AA ranked Holdingford 81-55.
Pretty good case in my opinion to be among top 5 seeds and not a random draw.
Rangers' freshman, Tori Oehrlein, 5'11 averages over 31 points and 14 rebounds a game while dishing out 6.4 assists and getting 4 steals a game. She shoots 36 percent from three-point range with over 65 three-point baskets going into state competition.
Hannah Compton, senior, 5'8 shoots 40 percent from beyond the 3-point line and averages 14 points a contest.
Crosby-Ironton averages 69.6 points a game and allows 55.6.
Defense is where Goodhue excels allowing 43.8 points a game while scoring an average of 67.9 points. They are great at applying tough full court pressure.
The Wildcats have a mix of blue-collar physical players and very good shooters.
Tori Miller, 5'11 senior and Elisabeth Gadient, 5'11 junior are the leading scorers on the team with Kendyl Lodermeier, sophomore, 5'11 now averaging double digits per game also.
Miller and Gadient are both good passers in addition to being able to score. They are both capable shooters from 3-point range.
Jada Scheele, senior, 5'10 is fun to watch around the basket because if she doesn't get the rebound, she can box out people allowing teammates to get the basketball.
Head Coach Josh Wieme has been to state 8 times in his 15 years with Goodhue. This is the first time the Wildcats have advanced to state in Class AA. They were bumped up 3 seasons ago and are the smallest school in terms of enrollment in the field.
Crosby-Ironton enrollment is 258, Goodhue 187. The Minnesota State High School League website lists enrollment for Class AA schools from 211-571, Class A 210 and below, Class AAA 572-1181 and AAAA 1182 and above.
POWER 96 Radio, 95.9 FM is broadcasting the first game due to church service obligations but if you download the POWER 96 app on your favorite mobile device, you'll hear the sneakers squeaking when I'm courtside at Maturi Pavilion Wednesday night.
If Goodhue wins, they play 8:00 p.m. Friday in Williams Arena. If they lose, they play 8:00 p.m. Thursday night in St. Paul.
The 8:00 p.m. game Wednesday in Maturi features #3 seed, #2 ranked Albany (28-1) playing #11 rated Perham (26-3).
In Williams Arena top seed and top-rated Providence Academy in Plymouth (27-2) opens with #9 rated Lake Crystal Wellcome Memorial at 6:00 p.m.
The 8:00 p.m. Williams Arena game features #4 seed New London-Spicer (28-1) and #5 seed Minnehaha Academy (22-7). The Wildcats were ranked #4 in the final MBBN Girls basketball poll while the Redhawks were ranked #7.
Here are the team offensive and defensive scoring averages.
- Providence Academy 83.0 54.2 26 straight wins
- Lake Crystal Wellcome Memorial 64.0 33.9 22 straight wins
- New London-Spicer 65.3 36.2 4 straight wins
- Minnehaha Academy 73.9 56.3 4 straight wins
- Goodhue 67.9 43.8 9 straight wins
- Crosby-Ironton 69.6 55.6 12 straight wins
- Albany 61.0 37.0 22 straight wins
- Perham 64.3 49.3 4 straight wins
Goodhue losses came against Class 3A State entrant Stewartville twice and top-rated Providence Academy. They defeated state ranked Rochester Lourdes twice, Minnehaha Academy and at the time state ranked Cotter and Kasson-Mantorville a Class AAA school. Two wins over state rated Caledonia are also on their record.
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