Lady Warriors to face Northland in quarterfinals today; No. 1 Rochester is tournament favorite
State pairings Quarterfinals Today 1. Anoka-Ramsey vs. Itasca, 1 p.m. 2. Cent. Lakes vs. Riverland, 3 p.m. 3. Ridgewater vs. Northland, 6 p.m. 4. Vermilion vs. Rochester, 8 p.m. Consolation Saturday ? 5. L-1 vs. L-2, 1 p.m. ? 6. L-3 vs. L-4, 3 p....
1. Anoka-Ramsey vs. Itasca, 1 p.m.
2. Cent. Lakes vs. Riverland, 3 p.m.
3. Ridgewater vs. Northland, 6 p.m.
4. Vermilion vs. Rochester, 8 p.m.
- 5. L-1 vs. L-2, 1 p.m.
- 6. L-3 vs. L-4, 3 p.m.
- 6. W-1 vs. W-2, 6 p.m.
- 7. W-3 vs. W-4, 8 p.m.
- Consolation championship, noon
- Third place, 2 p.m.
- Championship, 4 p.m.
WILLMAR -- Ridgewater College is hosting the MCCC Women's Basketball Tournament for a second straight year. The event runs today through Sunday.
The final state rankings point to Southern Division champion Rochester, which got the most votes in the final coach's poll. The Yellowjackets were followed by Riverland, Anoka-Ramsey and Ridgewater -- all from the Southern Division -- and Northern Division champion Itasca College.
Last year at the college gym, Anoka-Ramsey topped Rochester 51-42 for the state crown. Minnesota West, not in the field this year, beat Ridgewater 63-54 for third place and Itasca shaded Mesabi Range 57-54 for the consolation title.
Here's a look at today's quarterfinal-round pairings:
ANOKA-RAMSEY (20-6) vs. ITASCA (19-7): The curtainraiser features the state's two best defenses, each giving up just 49 points-per-game. Itasca didn't lose a game in division play, ending up 12-0. Megan Zubke, a sophomore post, led the division at 17.2 ppg, plus 11.3 rpg. The Vikings' inside game is further aided by Amber Schaaf, also a sophomore post, who reaped a state-leading 13.3 rebounds per game while averaging 15 ppg. The Vikings' 70 percent free-throw accuracy is best in the state. The defending champions are led by forward Sonja Ellingson (16.6 ppg, 47 three-pointers) and Amanda Reh (14.4 ppg, 3.4 apg).
CENTRAL LAKES (8-18) vs. RIVERLAND (17-8): Riverland features a brisk scoring attack (72 ppg), led by Brooke Monson (20.2 ppg) and Anna Hebrink (16.0 ppg), both Austin High School graduates, plus Iowan Becca Swalla (11.6 ppg).
Hebrink, the daughter of head coach Suzy Hebrink, has made 66 three-pointers this season. Central Lakes, Brainerd, averages 55 ppg. Becky Skiba (13.3 ppg, 9.0 rpg) is the player to watch.
RIDGEWATER (17-8) vs. NORTHLAND (18-8): The Pioneers ended up 10-2 in the North with both losses to Itasca. Their 73.8 scoring average is the second highest in state behind only Rochester (76.7) Forward Look for Casey Englestad (14.3 ppg) inside while point guard Shawna Rogalla (8.4 apg), Tresta Ralston and Alexandria Engelman have combined for 108 three-pointers. While Hilary Groothuis (18.3 ppg, 10.3 rpg) is the go-to for Ridgewater, double-figure scoring has also come from Emily Mathiowetz (25 3-pointers, 46 percent), Tara Thielke (47 3-pointers, 3.8 spg, 4.9 apg), Lisa Nielsen (7.1 rpg), Danielle Goeman, Patina Queenan and most recently Britany Glisczinski.
VERMILION (9-16) vs. ROCHESTER (23-3): Anne Breland averages 17.3 ppg and has made 60 three-pointers this season for the No. 1-ranked Yellowjackets. She is closely followed by Kasie Heimer at 15.8 ppg and Amanda Degnan at 13.3 ppg). For Vermilion, forward/post Kylea Seboe has averaged 16.3 ppg and 9.1 rpg.