1FROM ONE COURT TO THE NEXT
Defending state champion Minneota has once again transferred its success on the volleyball court over to the hardwood. After a third-place finish in the volleyball state tournament, the Vikings (30-1) earned the No. 1 seed with pretty much the same cast of characters. All of the starters from the volleyball team are members of the basketball squad. One constant between the two programs is the leadership of junior Taylor Reiss. The 5-foot-10 forward is averaging 24 points, 10. 2 rebounds and 2.5 steals per game. She is the school’s all-time leading scorer with more than 2,000 points. Minneota defeated Ada-Borup, a possible second-round opponent, in the championship a year ago.
2DARE TO MAKE A GUARANTEE
Coach David Smart’s Ada-Borup squad is making its seventh state tournament appearance in the past nine years. The fifth-seeded Cougars (28-1) haven’t been beaten in the quarterfinals during that time. They won back-to-back state championships in 2008 and 2009. This year’s group has allowed an average of just 31 points per game. Its only loss was to state tournament entrant Win-E-Mac 50-45 a month ago. The Cougars draw an intriguing quarterfinal matchup in fourth-seeded Goodhue (25-5).
3FIELD LOADED WITH TOP TEAMS
Seven of the eight teams in the quarterfinals were ranked in the top 10 in the final regular-season poll by Minnesota Basketball News. They are No. 1 Goodhue, No. 2 Minneota, No. 3 Mountain Iron-Buhl (28-2), No. 4 Ada-Borup, No. 5 Maranatha (23-5), No. 7 Mankato Loyola (27-2) and No. 9 Win-E-Mac (28-2). Only Browerville (23-5) is missing. The eight teams have a combined record of 212-23.