1. Decorated trio Heaven Hamling of Grand Rapids and Cayle Hovland of Willmar were among the 34 seniors recognized on the first cut list for the Miss Minnesota Basketball Award. Hamling’s 22.9 points per game leads all players in the Class 3A state tournament field. Hovland (11.2) has qualified for state tournament in basketball, tennis and track and field. Destinee Oberg (14.5) of Holy Angels has committed to Arkansas. All three were first-team all-state selections.
2. Depth matters Seven different players have led No. 5 seed Willmar in scoring in games this season. The Cardinals’ quarterfinal opponent, No. 4 seed DeLaSalle, counters with nine different players who have reached double figures in scoring this season. No. 3 seed Holy Angels boasts a 10-player rotation. Four Cooper players average double-figures in scoring: sisters Aja Wheeler (14) and Kierra Wheeler (13.7), and Andrea Tribble (10.3) and Ty’neecia Longs (10.1). “No two game films of our team are alike,” Hawks’ coach Kiara Buford said. Grand Rapids (Meara Beighley, Hannah DeMars) and Northfield (Annika Hoff, Grace Touchette) each had two players earn all-state honorable mention.
3. <CHARENTITY>7</CHARENTITY>The bold task for Kohler If there’s a way to derail No. 1 seed and state tournament newcomer Cooper, veteran Alexandria coach Wendy Kohler will find it. Coaching in her ninth state tournament, Kohler is the winningest female coach in state history (578-230).Her Cardinals won the 1997 Class 3A title. History isn’t on her side, however. Just once since seeding began in 2007 has the No. 1 team fallen in the quarterfinals (Hutchinson, 2016).
David La Vaque