MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The high school basketball season ended late last month, but the top girls high school senior basketball players in Minnesota get one more chance to lace up their shoes this weekend.
As many as 40 of the top senior players in the state will be at Carleton College in Northfield Friday and Saturday for the 2014 All-Star Series, put on the Minnesota Girls Basketball Coaches Association. The MGBCA chose rosters from all four classes as games will be played at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Saturday at West Gym.
Among the 40 players chosen are five nominees for Miss Basketball, given to the top senior in the state ever year. They include Carlie Wagner (New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva), Cayla McMorris (Park Center), Kenisha Bell (Bloomington Kennedy), Chase Coley (Minneapolis Washburn) and Briana Rasmusson (Fergus Falls).
It’s the last chance for these top players to play in front of an audience before they head off to college, where many of them are continuing their basketball careers. Most notably is the previously mentioned Wagner, who has been one of Minnesota’s best players for a long time. Despite a coaching change at the University of Minnesota, she remains committed and will play for the Gophers next season.
Other notable names in the field Bell and Tonoia Wade of Kennedy, Jillian Conrad of Centennial, Sydney Lamberty of Park Cottage Grove and Madison Dean of Jordan. Among the 40 players, 16 played in this year’s state tournament. This year’s state champions were Win-E-Mac (Class A), New Richland H-E-G (AA), Park Center (AAA) and Eastview (AAAA).
Defense tends to be optional in these games as some players are still trying to get seen by some coaches in hopes of playing basketball in college. But the Minnesota all-star series, for both boys and girls, seems to always find the right mix of having competitive games that showcase the skill of all the players while entertaining the crowd and keeping it about the players.
And when you put the best players in the state on the court at the same time, you’ll see good basketball regardless of the result.
Tickets for the games are $10 for adults and free for children and students under age 18.
2014 Minnesota Girls Basketball All-Star Series
Sydney Lamberty (Park Cottage Grove)
Claire Lundberg (Anoka)
Jillian Conrad (Centennial)
Ta’Kendra Elbert (Tartan)
Alexis Alexander (Champlin Park)
Ellie Thompson (Chaska)
Kenisha Bell (Bloomington Kennedy)
Tonoia Wade (Bloomington Kennedy)
Hannah Grim (Rosemount)
Anna Pfefferle (Northfield)
MaKena Panning (Chaska)
Chase Coley (Washburn)
Bailey Strand (Fergus Falls)
Anna Monke (Fergus Falls)
Amanda Christianson (Alexandria)
Grace Sawatzke (Monticello)
Bryanna Fernstrom (Chisago Lakes)
Cayla McMorris (Park Center)
Briana Rasmusson (Fergus Falls)
Michaela Rasmussen (Holy Family Catholic)
Amazih Eickhoff (Albany)
Siri Sviggum (Kenyon-Wanamingo)
Madison Dean (Jordan)
Carly Wagner (NRHEG)
Mackenzie Uter (Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted)
Taylor Thunstedt (New London-Spicer)
Abigail Miller (Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted)
Annalise Savageau (Osakis)
Carly Sigurdson (BOLD)
Vanessa Lane (Pequot Lakes)
Kayla Nickels (Braham)
Melissa Gehl (Fulda)
Micaela Noga (Parkers Prairie)
Aunikah Bastian (Mankato Loyola)
Darby Youngstrom (North Woods)
Allie Knuti (Mountain Iron-Buhl)
Madison Lee (Maranatha Christian Academy)
Shelby Kaster (Win-E-Mac)
Monica Vega (Ada-Borup)