Class AA State Tournament: What You Need to Know

High School

Posted On: 03/20/18 8:01 PM

At 6pm tomorrow night both the Target Center and Williams Arena will be host to the Class AA State Tournament.  Top match-ups, top prospects, key things to know, NHR breaks it down for you now.

NHR State Rankings: 1) Minnehaha Academy, 2) Caledonia, 3) Brooklyn Center, 5) Esko, 6) Breckenridge, 8) St. Cloud Catheral, 10) Jordan, NR) Minnewaska Area

Seedings: 1) Minnehaha Academy, 2) Brooklyn Center, 3) Caledonia, 4) Esko, 5) St. Cloud Catheral, NR) Jordan, Minnewaska Area, Breckenridge,



Minnehaha Academy (25-4) vs Jordan (25-5).   Minnehaha Academy losses this year?  To teams that have been ranked number 1 at some point (Hopkins, Eden Prairie) or number 2 at the time (Austin, Minneapolis North).  Of the 26 games the Redhawks played in the regular season, only 10 were against small school teams.  Jordan lost two games in the middle of January but has since won 14 of 15.

Esko (24-4) vs St. Cloud Cathedral (25-5).  Esko ranks with the hottest teams coming into this game.  They have won 16 games and have beaten some quality opponents.  Why were people down for so long this year on Cathedral?  Most didn’t feel they could win their big games.  In fact their first big win didn’t happen this year until they beat Melrose in the playoffs.  And they beat Eden Valley-Watkins in the playoffs.  The big wins are now there and they hope to get a bit of revenge on Esko who beat them 59-56 about a month ago.

Caledonia (26-4) vs Minnewaska Area (21-7). Caledonia had a point to prove in the sections.  St. Charles? 21 point win and 99 points on the board.  Red hot Byron?  87 points on the board and a 34 point win.  Meanwhile Minnewaska Area played section nail-biters: an overtime win vs Morris Area, a two point win over New London-Spicer, a two point win over Pipestone Area.

Breckenridge (25-5) vs Brooklyn Center (21-8).  The Cowboys seem to take care of business routinely, but occasionally they take off without the saddle.  Lost to Perham and Hawley back to back, then they reeled off 15 wins in a row.  Riding high, they then lost back to back games to Pelican Rapids and Perham to start February.  Since that point they’ve won nine in a row.  Next up is the Centaurs, who don’t have a saddle as it’s only half a horse.  And this is a young horse.  BC was expected to be a year away from the big run because they have so many juniors and sophomores playing.  But Lu’Cye Patterson has more experience than most despite being a sophomore.


Top Player Match-Ups:

Jalen Suggs (6-4, Soph, Guard) of Minnehaha Academy vs Eric Tiedman (6-6 Sr, SF) of Jordan.  Eric is considered one of the best defenders in the state, but now he has a big test, Jalen Suggs.  Jalen is a five star guard averaging 14.8 points, 6.6 rebounds, 4.5 assists, and 3.4 steals a game.  Jalen is shooting 41 percent from the floor, 25 percent at the arc, and 70 percent at the foul line.  Tiedman, headed to Augustana, is averaging 19 points and 6 boards a game shooting 59 percent from the floor and 45 percent from the arc.

Adam Trapp (7-3 Sr, Center) of Esko vs Michael Schaefer (6-6 Sr, SF) of St. Cloud Cathedral.  Adam’s season numbers are as follows  – shot 68 percent from the field for his 16.6 points per game plus six boards and 2.5 blocks a game. Cathedral has both Schaefer and Mitchell Plombon to go at Trapp.  Michael is scoring 22 points with 12 rebounds a game shooting 53 percent from the floor and 32 percent at the arc.  Plombon gives another 16.7 points and 7.8 rebounds shooting 57 percent from the floor.

Owen King (6-3 Sr. Guard) of Caledonia vs Jackson Johnsrud (6-2 Sr, Guard) of Minnewaska Area.  If you are going to compete with Owen King, a do everything guard with a great feel you have to be able to compete with him in several areas.  Jackson scores his 15 points game, leads the team in steals, grabs five boards, dishes out 3-4 assists a night, and a strong 41 percent at the arc.  Doesn’t mean he will stop a Mr. Basketball finalist but it means Jackson will give it a good run.

Noah Christensen (6-8, Jr, Forward) of Breckenridge vs Lu’Cye Patterson (6-2 Soph, Guard) of Brooklyn Center. These are two players that people need to get to know.  Noah was just offered by NDSU and Lu’Cye recently visited Creighton.  Patterson totals 22.7 points, 4.6 assists, and 6.3 rebounds a game shooting 46 percent from the floor and 30 percent at the arc.  Noah is putting up 20.3 points, 8.9 rebounds, and a couple blocks a game shooting 57 percent from the floor and 34 percent at the arc.


Top Prospects

Top 15 Senior Prospects at Class AA State: 1) Owen King of Caledonia, 2) Michael Schaefer of St. Cloud Cathedral, 3) JaVonni Bickham of Minnehaha Academy, 4) Adam Trapp of Esko, 5) Eric Tiedman of Jordan, 6) Mitchell Plombon of St. Cloud Cathedral, 7) Andrew Niebuhr of Jordan,  8) Jackson Johnsrud of Minnewaska Area,9)  Lorenzo Smith of Minnehaha Academy, 10) Quinn Fischer of Esko, 11) Marten Morem of Caledonia, 12) Maalik Harut of Brooklyn Center, 13) Matt Gruber of Minnewaska Area, 14) Garrett Jensen of Minnewaska Area,15)  Ryan Pantsar of Esko

Top 5 Junior Prospects at Class AA State: 1) Noah Christensen of Breckenridge, 2) Sprinkles of Brooklyn Center, 3) Nick Schaefer of St. Cloud Cathedral, 4) Jackson Jangula of St. Cloud Cathedral, 5) Qentrell Douglas of Brooklyn Center, Camden Burger of Esko, Thomas Gutzmer of Jordan

Top 5 Sophomore Prospects at Class AA State: 1) Jalen Suggs of Minnehaha Academy, 2) Terry Lockett of Minnehaha Academy, 3) Lu’Cye Patterson of Brooklyn Center,  4) Noah King of Caledonia, 5) Kaden Johnson of Minnehaha Academy, Ryan Samuelson of Jordan, Jacob Stolzenberg of St. Cloud Cathedral

Top Freshman Prospect at Class AA State: Chet Holmgren of Minnehaha Academy

Top Grade 8 Prospects at Class AA State: Prince Aligbe of Minnehaha Academy, Eli King of Caledonia