Last week we saw that there were just a few games matching rated small school teams (Class A and Class AA) in this short week of play just completed. As a result, there weren’t too many surprises and not too much movement on the Class A and Class AA top 25 charts. But there were some.
The big game was then-#12AA Roseau’s 90-86 win at #3A Mountain Iron-Buhl, with Kacie Borowicz scoring 35 for the winners and Mary Burke 35 for the losers. Katie Borowicz added 19 for Roseau, while Allie Negen scored 19 and Madisen Overbye 18 for MIB but, surprisingly, Roseau’s role players outscored MIB’s by a wide margin.
So Roseau is back, after losing 3 of 5 to open the year. They've now won 3 straight and, equally importantly, they now have 6-2 post Victoria Johnson back. She scored just 4 points, but the Rams will need her back at full strength and she s making progress. The Rangers, meanwhile, fall to 8-1, but the loss didn’t kill them, it will make them stronger.
In Class AA, the big news was then #3 Norwood Young America’s back-to-back losses to unrated St. Peter and then #8 Watertown-Mayer, 45-41, as the Royal’s Monika Czinano continued to have her way with many of Minnesota’s top bigs. As a result, WM moves up to #6 while NYA drops to #10.
These 2 losses bring to mind the heavily favored Raiders’ loss to NRHEG in a shocker in the Section 2AA final last March, and sows some doubt about their status as favorites in 2AA this year. Glencoe-Silver Lake and McKenna Monahan is lurking at 5-1 and #16, Gibbon-Fairfax-Winthrop at 7-1, and Maple River and Madi Schimer at 7-2.
But, NYA is a team with a starting lineup of Bren Fox, Kali Grimm, Abby and Anna Mackenthun, and Sam Miller, and there’s a bit of bench, too. I mean, seriously? This shouldn’t be happening. Maybe the Raiders will be able to look back next March and say, “Wow! That as a bad week in December! But after that we never came out flat again!” Time will tell.
A couple other noteworthy games:
• Duluth Marshall knocked off then #13A Cherry 49-37 and moves back into the top 25 at #24.
• Tracy-Milroy-Balaton defeated then #12A Wabasso 74-52 and move into the top Top at #25.
• Maple River is unrated but they improved to 7-2 with a win over Blue Earth. I wonder if this is the first time this year that 2 teams have already played twice and have split their season series? They won’t play again unless it’s in the section. Right now they’re #1 and #2 in the south sub-section according to QRF.
The big noise in A this week was made by Sleepy Eye St. Mary’s. The Knights beat then #12 Wabasso and then #25 St. Clair. Wabasso previously had beaten the highly regarded girls from Sleepy Eye public. So—who’d a thought? But—Sleepy Eye St. Mary’s enters our top 25 at #15 ahead of Sleepy Eye public which remains at #17. The crosstown rivals play on January 8 and again on February 9.
• Elsewhere in Class A, Pelican Rapids knocked off previously undefeated Park Rapids and move into the top 25 at #21. Meanwhile, Walker-Hackensack-Akeley lost to Park Rapids and dropped from #20 on out of the top 25.
There may very well be additional matchups of rated Class A and AA teams as the holiday tournament schedule progresses. But here are such matchups as we can be sure of at the moment.
• #5AA Holy Family and #15AA Stewartville will meet on 2:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Howard Lake-Winsted-Waverly tournament, of all places.
• #10A Cromwell meets #2A Bigfork at Mountain Iron-Buhl at 5:45 on Wednesday.
• #7AA New London-Spicer and #4AA Minnehaha meet at Willmar at 6 p.m. also on Wednesday.
• From the frying pan into the fire. Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa joins our top 25 at #24A, then draws #1A Goodhue at Goodhue at 7 p.m. on Wednesday.
• Moving to Thursday and, well, this isn’t quite a top 25 matchup, but it’s so close, we’re going to mention it. That is, #8A, red hot Menagha vs. Walker-Hack, who just dropped out of the top 25 today. This is at Walker at 2:30 p.m.
• Also not a top 25 matchup but I have to mention this one for obvious reasons. It’s bounceback time for Norwood Young America against 7-1 Gibbon-Fairfax-Winthrop at NYA at 7:30, also on Thursday.
• #3AA Maranatha plays Thief River Falls, which just dropped out of the Class AA top 25 today, at Fergus Falls at 4:15 p.m. on Friday. Surely there will be more top 25 matchups on Friday and maybe on Saturday, but we won’t know who, when and where until the earlier rounds of some of these tournaments are completed.