Perhaps the most uncomfortable time for Allina Starr during the entire Class 3A tournament came in the postgame interviews.
"Oh my gosh, look at this," Starr said in astonishment as she was approached by a half-dozen media members following the Islanders' quarterfinals romp over Monticello. "Do I have to talk to all of these people?"
After a three-game set in which the stellar point guard was the standout player for DeLaSalle's repeat state champion, the Georgetown-bound junior was in high demand.
A look at Starr's tournament stats tells why. She scored 53 points, shot 50 percent from the field (21-for-42), shot 7-for-13 on three-pointers and had 20 rebounds, 21 assists and 10 steals.
When Fergus Falls hit DeLaSalle hard in the opening minutes of their semifinals matchup, Starr's sure ball- handling and unwavering focus was the foundation of the Islanders' first-half comeback.
And when the rest of her team couldn't hit a field goal early in their 65-45 victory over Richfield in the championship game, it was Starr who drained back-to-back three pointers to set the Islanders on their way.
"I just try to go out and play my game as hard as I can," she said, graciously answering questions despite her bewilderment by such attention. "Whatever my team needs, that's what I try to do."
The senior guard was a two-way force for the Mustangs in their 49-37 victory over Mountain Iron-Buhl in Saturday's Class 1A championship game. She scored a team-leading 15 points and committed only one turnover, all while harassing opposing point guard Dakotah Winans into 10 turnovers.
The Coon Rapids senior scored 18 goals in three games -- one goal shy of his tournament record set last year -- and added 14 assists as the Mustangs completed an undefeated (16-0) season with their third consecutive CI Division state championship.
Star players step to the forefront on the biggest stages, so it's no surprise the senior guard stood out in an 82-62 victory over St. Thomas Academy in the Class 3A, Section 4 final. The Missouri State signee scored a season-high 36 points, leading the Governors to their fourth consecutive state tournament berth.