Posted On: 10/9/18 5:49 PM
The southern part of the Twin Cities metro area sent 3 teams to the Class 4A state tournament a year ago. This year, the south metro will boast a number of solid backcourts leading some of the state’s top programs. We focused the selection of these Top-5 backcourt duos on their two best guards/wings, but we’ve also listed teams’ additional key perimeter players. The teams who made the cut are arranged alphabetically.
This year’s Lightning team will look a bit different than last year’s state championship squad. With the graduation 2018 Miss Basketball winner, forward Megan Walstad (UW-Milwaukee), Eastview will be looking to its experienced backcourt to lead the way in 2018-2019.
Senior standouts Macy Guebert (9.4 PPG) and Emma Carpenter (7.9 PPG) are one of best guard tandems in the South Suburban Conference.
Guebert is a long guard who also happens to have one of the quickest releases in the state. She will be continuing her basketball career at the University of South Dakota next year.
Carpenter is a Swiss Army knife who does just about everything well. She’s at her best,though, when facilitating for her teammates. Carpenter recently committed to play at UM-Crookston in college.
Sophomore guard Cassidy Carson (5.7 PPG) will be logging major minutes for the Lightning this winter, and is another name to keep an eye on.
The Panthers are another state tournament team from a year ago. While they graduated much of their frontcourt production from that team, they return the backcourt duo of Analiese Tschida (15.4 PPG) and Lauren Jensen (17.1 PPG).
Tschida, a University of Minnesota Duluth commit, has a great outside shot and nearly unlimited range. She stepped up in a big way for North as a junior and will be asked to take things to the next level during her senior campaign.
A very strong case could be made that Tschida’s backcourt mate, Lauren Jensen, is the best guard in the South Suburban Conference. The 2020 star has mastered the lost art of the mid-range jumper, and can beat defenders from just about anywhere on the floor. She has great length, and can play multiple guard positions. This year, the Panthers will go as Jensen goes.
Jensen’s fellow juniors Sarah Kuma (3.8 PPG) and Morgan Robison (2.2 PPG) will be taking on expanded roles this season as well.
The Cougars’ duo of senior Lehigh commit Anna Harvey (13.3 PPG) and 2020 wing Annie Guentzel (5.8 PPG) is the second Lakeville backcourt in our top 5.
Harvey is South’s floor general at the point guard position. She is an excellent facilitator for her teammates, racking up assists for the Cougars a year ago. She is dynamic in the pick & roll, and has a nice stroke from the outside.
Guentzel does lots of little things well for the Cougars. She is a lock-down defender, and has a nose for the ball. Annie uses her length well. She pairs that with superior athleticism to rake in rebounds at a high rate for a guard. Annie will be looked to for more offensive production during her junior campaign.
If South has plans to make a run at a South Suburban Conference championship, it will be behind the talent of these two workhorses.
The Lakers bring most everyone back from their state tournament team a year ago, including star point guard McKenna Hofschild (27.4 PPG). Hofschild became a household name after the 5’3″ point guard had two 40-point games in last year’s section tournament. McKenna is an explosive scorer and recently committed to play her college basketball at Seton Hall.
Hofschild will be joined in the backcourt by sophomore Kate Trachsel (8.1 PPG). I’ve written before about how eerie it was to watch Trachsel play this summer, as her game has evolved to be so similar to Hofschild’s. Kate is a bit taller than McKenna, and has the same mentality that no one is going to stop her when she’s on the top of her game. Trachsel is primed for a breakout year in 2018-2019.
Junior sharp-shooter Haidyn Pitsch (10.1 PPG) will be another key member of the Prior Lake backcourt this winter.
The junior tandem of Ravyn Miles (9.4 PPG) and Sydney Stensgard (11.7 PPG) round out our top 5 backcourts in the south metro.
Miles is a combo guard that runs the point at Simley, while playing off the ball more during her summers with the Fury. She is lightning-quick, and excels in transition. Ravyn has fantastic court vision, leading the Spartans with nearly 5 assists per game a year ago.
Stensgard is known for filling it up from downtown. But she has been working hard to expand her game, and has become a much more well-rounded player over the last year. Sydney is remarkably versatile, and can effectively guard positions 1-4 on the defensive side of the ball.
You could throw the dynamic presence of Zareia Chevre (15.7 PPG for Tartan) into this mix as well, as she will likely shuffle between multiple guard and forward positions for Simley this winter.
Backcourt depth will be a question mark for the Spartans heading into the season, but this trio is as good as any in the Metro East Conference.
It goes without saying that this is not an all-inclusive list of the outstanding backcourts throughout the southern metro area. Feel free to post in the comments about which backcourt duos you’re looking forward to following this winter.
If your’re interested in reading about the top backcourt duos from other areas of the Twin Cities, you can find them here:
Cover photos courtesy of MN Girls Basketball Hub & SWNewsMedia.com
Carpenter photo courtesy of the Pioneer Press
Tschida photo courtesy of MN Girls Basketball Hub
Guentzel photo courtesy of Hudl.com
Hofschild photo courtesy of the Prior Lake American
Miles photo courtesy of Prep Girls Hoops