It’s been 35 years since Janet Karvonen’s glory days as a prep star in New York Mills. To this day the Finnish community is fondly talked about because of Karvonen’s high school achievements. She expects the same scenario for Carlie Wagner.
The New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva standout broke Karvonen’s career state tournament scoring mark Friday night at Williams Arena. She scored 41 points in an 87-58 victory over Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted, surpassing Karvonen’s record of 329 points accumulated during four state tournament appearances from 1977-80.
“Here I am 35 years out, and people still talk about [it],” Karvonen said. “That’s a long time ago. It becomes not only a special time for the player but the community.”
Karvonen was in flight home from a family vacation in the Cayman Islands when the record fell. She had a few text messages awaiting her when she landed.
“Hats off to her,” Karvonen said. “She’s a gifted athlete. Her numbers are incredible.”
Wagner added 36 points to her total on Saturday in the Class 2A championship. She finished her career with 371 points — 41.2 point per game — in state tournament play. The Gophers recruit scored 53 points in the quarterfinals to break her own single-game state tournament record.
“I think it’s great that she’s staying home and playing for the Gophers,” said Karvonen, who played at Old Dominion and Louisiana Tech. “It’s wonderful that the state of Minnesota will be able to continue to watch her play.”
Familiar 1A foes
While they had never faced each other on the basketball court, the players from Class 1A finalists Win-E-Mac and Minneota were familiar with each other. Seventeen players on the rosters of the two teams played on their respective state tournament volleyball teams. Minneota defeated Win-E-Mac in each of the past two Class 1A third-place games.
“They killed us,” Win-E-Mac senior Korbyn Ross said with a laugh. “It’s nice to get them back a little.”
Class 1A: Mikayla Miller (30 points) and Shelby Hinsch (24) combined for 54 points, leading Goodhue past Mankato Loyola 74-62.
Class 2A: Bailey Mudek had 16 points, pacing three Esko players in double figures in its 53-44 triumph over Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted.
Class 3A: Fergus Falls outlasted Minneapolis Washburn 72-62 behind Bailey Strand’s 45-point performance. She went 7-for-13 from three-point range and 16-for-21 from the free throw line.
Class 4A: Martha Kuderer scored 16 points as Eden Prairie defeated Lakeville North 48-44.
Saturday’s attendance for the finals at Williams Arena was 7,954, bringing total attendance for the tournament to 31,676. It is the third-lowest in tournament history..