John's Journal
Class 1A Boys State Basketball Tournament3/19/2019
Quarterfinal pairings

Thursday at Williams Arena
11 a.m./ Spring Grove v #1 Springfield
1 p.m./ #5 Christ's Household of Faith v #4 Henning
3 p.m./ Cromwell-Wright v #2 Ada-Borup
5 p.m./Westbrook-Walnut Grove v #3 North Woods
TV/Webcasts Of Boys State Basketball3/19/2019
How to view MSHSL boys state basketball tournament games...

--All quarterfinals will be webcast for free by prepspotlight.tv/MSHSL

--All semifinals and championship games will be televised by KSTC Channel 45 and webcast for free by prep45.com

--There is no TV or webcasting of consolation games
Behind The Scenes At State: Sportsmanship, Heartbreak And Smiles3/16/2019
The state basketball tournaments are always held under bright lights and in front of a statewide television audience that extends around the world thanks to KSTC Channel 45's streaming service, prep45.com.

Basketball is a sport played with no helmets and no facemasks, and the emotions of the players can be seen pretty clearly on television and in person at the venues. This week's girls state basketball tournament, with televised semifinals and championship games at Williams Arena, has offered high emotions of champions and lows of teams that fell short, and it all was on display under the bright lights of The Barn.

There are, however, scenes that play out in quieter settings with almost no one watching. And they can be just as special as the things that take place in front of the TV cameras.

A couple hours after Friday's Class 1A semifinal game between Goodhue and Menahga, I received an email from Goodhue coach Josh Wieme, whose team had won a very narrow four-point victory. He's as high-quality a person as I know, and the subject of his email didn't surprise me. He wanted to tell me about a great act of sportsmanship. Here's his email…

John-

You probably have no shortage of stories from the tourney, but I wanted to share something about the two Menagha players today as they left the postgame press conference. Cierra Ahlf and Alyssa Peterson had obviously just played their guts out and lost a heartbreaking game. They then had to gather themselves and talk about it to media. Our players were waiting to come in, so we went to the next hallway so to give these two space when they left. When they came out, instead of putting their heads down and hustling out, they stopped for three seconds and sincerely wished our players good luck in the championship. They wished us good luck in the game they were so close to making. What amazing character these two showed, at a time when no extra display of sportsmanship would be expected. I am just so impressed by Cierra and Alyssa, and if nothing else I wanted to share it with at least one person who would appreciate it like I did.

If ever a guy needed a reminder for why he/she coaches in small-school girls basketball, this was it. Thanks for listening!
Jw


Goodhue came up short in Saturday’s championship game, falling to Minneota 40-31. Josh was joined by seniors Kate Opsahl and Lexie Lodermeier in the postgame press conference (held in the same room that the University of Minnesota teams use). He made a great point about athletics and competition when he said, "The farther you go in this tournament, the more this loss hurts."

Josh is a busy person. He’s the father of young kids, he coaches basketball, he’s the activities director at Goodhue and teaches English and social studies. This was his 11th year coaching the Wildcats, so he’s seen a few things, good and bad. And he has a wonderful perspective on what’s important.

--There was another behind-the-scenes moment, also at a postgame press conference, that displayed how much these athletes put into their teams and their dreams.

Roseau senior Kacie Borowicz is one of the top players in the state. She and her sisters Kiley (now a sophomore player at Moorhead State) and Katie (a sophomore for the Rams) have been integral parts of basketball success in Roseau. The Rams have now gone to state for five years in a row, winning the 2A title in 2017 and placing second a year ago.

Kacie became her school’s career scoring leader this season, bypassing the record of 3,300 points set by Megan Taylor in 1997 (when Taylor’s career ended she was Minnesota’s all-time scoring leader). But Kacie is about individual goals; she wanted to help her team win another first-place trophy, a quest that ended Friday with a 65-55 semifinal loss to Caledonia.

In the postgame press conference, Kacie tried to answer a question about what her high school career has meant to her. It wasn’t easy, because tears were flowing. She wiped her eyes and managed to say softly, "The best years of my life." Then more tears and sniffles. "I’m sorry, this is hard. This is not the way I wanted it to end," she said.

Kacie, who will play basketball next season at the University of North Dakota, came back with her teammates on Saturday and finished strong. The Rams placed third with an 81-43 win over Albany at Concordia University in St. Paul, and Kacie scored a game-high 37 points. In three games at state she scored a total of 102 points and was joined by Katie on the Wells Fargo All-Tournament team.

After the final game of her Roseau career, Kacie smiled as she held the third-place trophy. As the All-Tournament players posed for a photo after the championshop game at Williams Arena, she wore a big, beautiful smile. It was a great look.

--Katie Borowicz broke a 40-year-old tournament record with 20 assists in the Rams’ victory over Albany. The previous record was 17, set by Albany’s Kelly Skalicky in 1979.

Tournament Tidbits

--Fans at Williams Arena heard a wonderful national anthem Friday, performed on the violin by Willmar High School’s Ashley Guse. Saturday afternoon’s session was preceded by another special anthem performance, this time on the cello by Makayla Thomas of Northfield High School. And the streak of great performances continued into Saturday’s evening session when Faith Robinson of Minnetonka High School sang a perfect rendition of the anthem.

--Winners of MSHSL ExCEL Awards from around the state were recognized on the court at halftime of the Class 2A championship game. ExCeL is shorthand for Excellence in Community, Education and Leadership.

Adapted Floor Hockey State Tournament

The adapted floor hockey state tournament was held Friday and Saturday at Bloomington Jefferson High School. In the championship contests, Brainerd defeated Robbinsdale/Hopkins/Mound Westonka 13-1 to capture its third consecutive PI Division title, and St. Cloud Area defeated South Washington 16-5 to win the CI Division crown for the second year in a row.



Girls State Basketball Tournament

Class 1A
Fifth-place game: Mountain Iron-Buhl 53, Ada-Borup 45
Third-place game: Heritage Christian 60, Menahga 52
Championship game: Minneota 40, Goodhue 31

Class 2A
Fifth-place game: Holy Family Catholic 47, Proctor 33
Third-place game: Roseau 81, Albany 43
Championship game: Minnehaha Academy 72, Caledonia 63

Class 3A
Fifth-place game: Marshall 75, Hibbing 60
Third-place game: Holy Angels 78, Cooper 69
Championship game: DeLaSalle 56, Becker 40

Class 4A
Fifth-place game: Forest Lake 64, Maple Grove 56
Third-place game: Centennial 68, Eastview 53
Championship game: Hopkins 74, Stillwater 45

--Follow John on Twitter @MSHSLjohn and hear him on Minnesota Public Radio.
Behind The Scenes At State: Sportsmanship, Heartbreak And Smiles3/16/2019
The state basketball tournaments are always held under bright lights and in front of a statewide television audience that extends around the world thanks to KSTC Channel 45's streaming service, prep45.com.

Basketball is a sport played with no helmets and no facemasks, and the emotions of the players can be seen pretty clearly on television and in person at the venues. This week’s girls state basketball tournament, with televised semifinals and championship games at Williams Arena, has offered high emotions of champions and lows of teams that fell short, and it all was on display under the bright lights of The Barn.

There are, however, scenes that play out in quieter settings with almost no one watching. And they can be just as special as the things that take place in front of TV cameras.

A couple hours after Friday’s Class 1A semifinal game between Goodhue and Menahga, I received an email from Goodhue coach Josh Wieme, whose team had won a very narrow four-point victory. He’s as high-quality a person as I know, and the subject of his email didn’t surprise me. He wanted to tell me about a great act of sportsmanship. Here’s his email…

John-
You probably have no shortage of stories from the tourney, but I wanted to share something about the two Menagha players today as they left the postgame press conference. Cierra Ahlf and Alyssa Peterson had obviously just played their guts out and lost a heartbreaking game. They then had to gather themselves and talk about it to media. Our players were waiting to come in, so we went to the next hallway so to give these two space when they left. When they came out, instead of putting their heads down and hustling out, they stopped for three seconds and sincerely wished our players good luck in the championship. They wished us good luck in the game they were so close to making. What amazing character these two showed, at a time when no extra display of sportsmanship would be expected. I am just so impressed by Cierra and Alyssa, and if nothing else I wanted to share it with at least one person who would appreciate it like I did.
If ever a guy needed a reminder for why he/she coaches in small-school girls basketball, this was it. Thanks for listening!
Jw

Goodhue came up short in Saturday’s championship game, falling to Minneota 40-31. Josh was joined by seniors Kate Opsahl and Lexie Lodermeier in the postgame press conference (held in the same room that the University of Minnesota teams use). He made a great point about athletics and competition when he said, "The farther you go in this tournament, the more this loss hurts.”
Josh is a busy person. He’s the father of young kids, he coaches basketball, he’s the activities director at Goodhue and teaches English and social studies. This was his 11th year coaching the Wildcats, so he’s seen a few things, good and bad. And he has a wonderful perspective on what’s important.
--There was another behind-the-scenes moment, also at a postgame press conference, that displayed how much these athletes put into their teams and their dreams.

Roseau senior Kacie Borowicz is one of the top players in the state. She and her sisters Kiley (now a sophomore player at Moorhead State) and Katie (a sophomore for the Rams) have been integral parts of basketball success in Roseau. The Rams have now gone to state for five years in a row, winning the 2A title in 2017 and placing second a year ago.

Kacie became her school’s career scoring leader this season, bypassing the record of 3,300 points set by Megan Taylor in 1997 (when Taylor’s career ended she was Minnesota’s all-time scoring leader). But Kacie is about individual goals; she wanted to help her team win another first-place trophy, a quest that ended Friday with a 65-55 semifinal loss to Caledonia.

In the postgame press conference, Kacie tried to answer a question about what her high school career has meant to her. It wasn’t easy, because tears were flowing. She wiped her eyes and managed to say softly, “The best years of my life.” Then more tears and sniffles. “I’m sorry, this is hard. This is not the way I wanted it to end,” she said.

Kacie, who will play basketball next season at the University of North Dakota, came back with her teammates on Saturday and finished strong. The Rams placed third with an 81-43 win over Albany at Concordia University in St. Paul, and Kacie scored a game-high 37 points. In three games at state she scored a total of 102 points and was joined by Katie on the Wells Fargo All-Tournament team.

After the final game of her Roseau career, Kacie smiled as she held the third-place trophy. As the All-Tournament players posed for a photo after the championshop game at Williams Arena, she wore a big, beautiful smile. It was a great look.
Tournament Tidbits

--Katie Borowicz broke a 40-year-old tournament record with 20 assists in the Rams’ victory over Albany. The previous record was 17, set by Albany’s Kelly Skalicky in 1979.

--Fans at Williams Arena heard a wonderful national anthem Friday, performed on the violin by Willmar High School’s Ashley Guse. Saturday afternoon’s session was preceded by another special anthem performance, this time on the cello by Makayla Thomas of Northfield High School. And the streak of great performances continued into Saturday’s evening session when Faith Robinson of Minnetonka High School sang a perfect rendition of the anthem.

--Winners of MSHSL ExCEL Awards from around the state were recognized on the court at halftime of the Class 2A championship game. ExCeL is shorthand for Excellence in Community, Education and Leadership.

Adapted Floor Hockey State Tournament

The adapted floor hockey state tournament was held Friday and Saturday at Bloomington Jefferson High School. In the championship contests, Brainerd defeated Robbinsdale/Hopkins/Mound Westonka 13-1 to capture its third consecutive PI Division title, and St. Cloud Area defeated South Washington 16-5 to win the CI Division crown for the second year in a row.

Wells Fargo Girls Basketball All-Tournament Teams

Class 1A: Allie Negen, Mountain Iron-Buhl; Cierra Ahlf, Menahga; Taylie Scott, Kirstin Robbins, Heritage Christian; Kate Opsahl, Lexie Lodermeier, Joslyn Carlson, Goodhue; Lizzy Gillingham, Lydia Sussner, Abby Hennen, Minneota.

Class 2A: Leigh Steiner, Holy Family Catholic; Paige Meyer, Albany; Kacie Borowicz, Katie Borowicz, Roseau; Katie Tornstrom, Ashley Schroeder, Heidi Bolduan, Caledonia; Taytum Rhoades, Mia Curtis, Nevaeh Galloway, Minnehaha Academy.

Class 3A: Jordyn Hilgemann, Marshall; Aja Wheeler, Cooper; Francesca Vascellaro, Emma Mastre, Holy Angels; Courtney Nuest, Julia Bengston, Adeline Kent, Becker; Mary Claire Francois, Nurjei Weems, Kiani Lockett, DeLaSalle.

Class 4A:

Girls State Basketball Tournament

Class 1A
Fifth-place game: Mountain Iron-Buhl 53, Ada-Borup 45
Third-place game: Heritage Christian 60, Menahga 52
Championship game: Minneota 40, Goodhue 31

Class 2A
Fifth-place game: Holy Family Catholic 47, Proctor 33
Third-place game: Roseau 81, Albany 43
Championship game: Minnehaha Academy 72, Caledonia 63

Class 3A
Fifth-place game: Marshall 75, Hibbing 60
Third-place game: Holy Angels 78, Cooper 69
Championship game: DeLaSalle 56, Becker 40

Class 4A
Fifth-place game: Forest Lake 64, Maple Grove 56
Third-place game: Centennial 68, Eastview 53
Championship game: Hopkins vs. Stillwater

--Follow John on Twitter @MSHSLjohn and hear him on Minnesota Public Radio.
No Magic Wands In Class 1A Girls Championship Matchup3/15/2019
In the Class 1A semifinals of the 2014 girls state basketball tournament, two southern Minnesota teams battled to decide who would play for a championship. Minneota defeated Goodhue 45-43 in that game before losing to Win-E-Mac in the title contest.

Five years and one round later, two of the top programs in the state will meet again Saturday at noon and the winner will take home a whole bunch of gold medals. Minneota, which has been the top-ranked team in Class 1A since the preseason, defeated Heritage Christian Academy 55-50 in Friday's semifinals and Goodhue edged Menahga 47-43.

During a stretch of five years from 2013 to 2017, Goodhue and Minneota each played in two championship games. The Minneota Vikings were state champs in 2013 before placing second in 2014, and the Goodhue Wildcats won back-to-back titles in 2016 and 2017. The teams have each been to state eight times.

Minneota has all five starters back from last year's third-place team and the Vikings' record is 29-1; the only loss came against Brandon Valley, S.D., which will play for South Dakota's big-school state championship Saturday in Rapid City. Goodhue is 26-6.

"We have a lot of respect for (Minneota), they have a great program," Goodhue coach Josh Wieme (pictured) said. "They're a lot like us; very hard-working, they're going to move the ball around, they're not going to quit. We’re just going to have to play great basketball. It’s going to be very fundamental. I don’t think there’s a lot of magic wand waving here; it’s going to be making fundamental plays and fighting the fatigue. It should be fun."

The records of the two head coaches spell out how good their teams have been. Wieme is 271-67 in 11 seasons and Minneota coach Chad Johnston is 393-110 in 18 years.

Tradition is an important part of each team’s historical success.

"You can look at your seniors and say, ‘This is your game. This is the time for you to step up,’ " Johnston said after Friday’s win. "Everybody stepped up. That’s the experience we have from being here before. When it came to crunch time they were all confident in what they were capable of doing.”

Minneota also has one of the top volleyball programs in the state, winning the Class 1A state championship in November. They also won a state title in 2006 and have been to state in that sport seven times since 2009.

“We’re very fortunate that these girls have not only had great success in basketball but they’ve had success in volleyball and I think those two things feed off each other,” Johnston said. “The thing that I think I’m most proud of is yes, we have a tradition and we work hard, but they’re a hard-working group in multiple sports. They handle the pressure. We put it on them, we say, ‘Hey, this is what we expect.’ This group, being preseason No. 1, they stayed the course all year long.

“We’ve been very, very fortunate. We’ve been up here quite a bit and we’ve had a lot of different players go through our program. One of the things I always say about tradition is with that comes a little bit of pressure. Nobody wants to be that group to drop the ball. It motivates them in the offseason.”

Wieme said, “(Tradition) doesn’t do it all for you, but our younger kids see what the older players have done and they want to experience it themselves. They see that it’s possible, what a little bit of hard work can get them.”

Class 2A Semifinals

--Caledonia 65, Roseau 55: The Warriors advanced to the state championship game with a comeback victory over the Rams, last year’s state runner-up. Roseau led by eight at halftime but made only seven of 28 field-goal attempts in the second half as Caledonia surged. Four players scored in double figures for the Warriors, led by Heidi Bolduan with 24. Kacie Borowicz had 28 for Roseau.

--Minnehaha Academy 70, Albany 67: Unseeded Albany held a four-point lead at halftime but the third-seeded Redhawks came on strong down the stretch to come away with a close win. Minnehaha Academy led by one point with under three minutes to play and the lead changed hands four times in the next minute. Paige Meyer led the Huskies with 29 points and Taytum Rhoades scored 27 for the Redhawks.

Tournament Tidbits

--Among the highlights of Friday’s games at Williams Arena was a dandy national anthem performance by Willmar High School’s Ashley Guse (pictured) on the violin.

-- Caledonia coach Scott Sorenson recorded his 300th career victory (with 113 losses) in 15 years when the Warriors defeated Proctor in Wednesday’s quarterfinals, and the number grew to 301 with the semifinal win over Roseau. Assistant coach Carl Fruechte is the head coach of Caledonia’s football team, which has won nine state titles.

--The adapted floor hockey state tournament began Friday at Bloomington Jefferson and will continue Saturday with consolation play, semifinals and championship rounds. Eight teams qualified for the tournament in each division (CI and PI). Saturday’s championship games will be webcast for free on PrepSpotlight.TV starting at 2:30 p.m. PI teams advancing in Friday’s quarterfinals were Brainerd, Dakota United Hawks, Robbinsdale/Hopkins/Mound Westonka and the Rochester Raiders. In CI, teams reaching Saturday’s semifinals are St. Cloud Area Slapshots, New Prague/TCU/LSH/Belle Plaine/Jordan, South Washington and Burnsville/Farmington/Lakeville.

--Girls basketball championship games are televised by KSTC Channel 45 and webcast for free by prep45.com

Girls State Basketball Tournament

CLASS 1A
Semifinals

Minneota 55, Heritage Christian 50
Goodhue 47, Menahga 43

Saturday’s championship game
Noon: Minneota vs. Goodhue

CLASS 2A
Semifinals

Caledonia 65, Roseau 55
Minnehaha Academy 70, Albany 67

Saturday’s championship game
2 p.m.: Caledonia vs. Minnehaha Academy

CLASS 3A
Semifinals

DeLaSalle 61, Holy Angels 59
Becker 68, Cooper 66

Saturday’s championship game
6 p.m.: DeLaSalle vs. Becker

CLASS 4A
Semifinals

Hopkins 75, Centennial 51
Stillwater 65, Eastview 52

Saturday’s championship game
8 p.m.: Hopkins vs. Stillwater

--Follow John on Twitter @MSHSLjohn and hear him on Minnesota Public Radio.