The All-Area teams were selected by the Tribune’s sports department and were based on nominations from area coaches.
Here is the 2020 West Central Tribune All-Area Girls Basketball team (in alphabetical order).
Coco Duininck, So. G, Central Minnesota Christian
An All-Area second-teamer in 2018-19, Coco Duininck continues to elevate her game.
The 5-foot-7 sophomore guard from Central Minnesota Christian was named the Camden Conference North division’s co-MVP. Duininck led the Camden with 18.9 points and 5.2 steals per game. She also dished out 3.9 assists per game, improving over last year’s 2.1 mark.
Duininck passed the 1,000-point career scoring mark and set the school’s single-season scoring record with 511 points, breaking her record from a year ago. The Bluejays also saw a seven-win improvement from 2018-19 en route to winning the Camden North.
“Coco plays at a high energy level in games and in practice. She is fast and explosive, continually active on both ends of the court,” said CMCS head coach Mike Mulder. “She is a heads-up defender, anticipating passes, leading our team with over five steals a game. Coco has a scorer’s mentality but also is good at setting up her teammates. Only a sophomore, Coco is level-headed and not easily flustered even when defenses are aimed at stopping her.”
Emma Hanson, Jr. F, New London-Spicer
Also a second team selection last year, Emma Hanson was a driving force behind New London-Spicer’s return to the state tournament.
While her points per game (11.9) weren’t much different than a year ago (11.6), the 5-8 junior forward Hanson made leaps in rebounds per game (8.0 from 6.0), assists (2.3 from 1.5) and steals (2.0 from 1.8). An All-Wright County Conference pick, Hanson averaged 12.5 points per game in six postseason games, including a team-best 19 points in the Section 3AA-North championship against Eden Valley-Watkins. With Hanson leading the way, NLS went 29-2 — the school’s eighth straight 20-win season — and made the Class AA state tournament, going 1-1 in the Twin Cities.
“(Emma’s an) excellent all-around player,” said Wildcats head coach Mike Dreier. “(She’s a) strong defender, very good outside shooter and an improved driver. (She) effectively battles bigger and taller opponents on the boards.”
Mackenzie Jones, Jr. G, Willmar
A key reserve for Willmar as a sophomore, Mackenzie Jones’ jump to the starting lineup made her a name to watch in Class AAA.
The team MVP and an All-Central Lakes Conference selection for the 17-11 Cardinals, the 5-9 Jones was an all-state honorable mention in AAA after averaging 14.5 points, 5.5 rebounds, 2.3 steals and 2.0 assists per game.
“Kenzie is a dynamic scorer while creating scoring opportunities for her teammates with ease,” said Willmar head coach Dustin Carlson. “She stretches the floor so well by shooting the three from deep beyond the arc. Her skills make her one of the top players in the Central Lakes Conference as well as all of (Class) AAA. Kenzie’s length and jumping ability added to our overall defense by blocking shots and forcing the ball to drive outside the lane.”
Allisa Knight, Jr. F, Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa
Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa had a hole to fill in its lineup with the graduation of 2018-19 All-Area first teamer Macie Kirkof.
Not only did 5-11 junior forward Allisa Knight fill that role admirably, she was a big part in the Jaguars reaching uncharted waters.
An All-Central Minnesota Conference pick, Knight averaged 12.9 points on 58 percent shooting while also grabbing 7.3 rebounds per game. Against Ogilvie in the Section 5A championship, Knight scored 22 points in a 67-25 victory to cement BBE’s first trip to the Class A state tournament. Against Cromwell-Wright in the state quarterfinals, Knight had 12 points on 6 of 9 shooting along with five rebounds.
“Allisa is a very athletic, lanky post. She was a shot-blocking presence in the lane for us,” said Jaguars head coach Kristina Anderson. “She also can run the floor and finishes very well, which fit in nicely with our uptempo style of play this year.”
Sara Kottke, Sr. F, Buffalo Lake-Hector-Stewart
The lone returning All-Area first teamer from last season, Buffalo Lake-Hector-Stewart’s Sara Kottke put the finishing touches on a career to remember for Mustang fans.
The 5-9 forward was a Class A All-State honorable mention and an All-Tomahawk Conference pick with averages of 18.4 points, 7.4 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 2.0 steals per game. She hit 47 percent of her shots, including 41 percent of her 3-pointers.
With just 23 wins from eighth grade through her junior year, Kottke was the catalyst for a 21-7 BLHS squad this winter, reaching the Section 2A-North championship in the process.
Slated to play at Bethany Lutheran College in Mankato next year, Kottke wraps up her prep career with 2,005 points, 1,371 rebounds, 339 assists, 237 steals and 103 blocks.
“Sara capped off a spectacular high-school career with her best season yet. While her numbers were down this year due to having a more balanced team around her, she was still able to put up impressive numbers across the board,” said Mustangs head coach Dustin Wright. “She also displayed outstanding leadership qualities throughout the season. Her leadership on and off the court was crucial to the success of our team this year as we had a roster dominated by underclassmen. Sara has been an integral part in changing the basketball culture at BLHS. … The change in work habits, commitment and attitude that Sara has helped to instill in everyone surrounding the program is going to lead to positive results at BLHS for a long time.”
Malory Anderson, Sr. W/P, Morris/Chokio-Alberta
Malory Anderson was an All-West Central Conference selection and was named team MVP after posting averages of 12.3 points, 9.6 rebounds, 5.6 steals, 2.6 assists and 1.1 blocks per game for the 17-10 Tigers. A 5-9 wing/post, Anderson is on the All-Area second team for the second straight year.
“Malory plays on the top middle spot of our 3-2 defense and on the bottom of our 2-3 defense where she can guard the outside shot and can go inside and get rebounds,” said Morris/CA head coach Dale Henrich. “Malory is a very versatile defender, but may be more difficult to guard on offense. ... She is a great team player who others look to and will work hard with. Malory is a great MACA Tiger athlete who will be missed on the hardwood.”
Claire Ricard, Sr. F, Benson
A three-time All-West Central Conference pick, Benson’s Claire Ricard hit 50 percent of her shots while averaging 16.0 points per game. The 6-foot forward also came up with 7.6 rebounds, 2.6 steals and 2.0 assists per contest for 16-12 Benson. Ricard is slated to play college volleyball at St. Thomas.
“She was a force on both ends of the floor. Offensively, she was such a difficult matchup given her length and speed off the dribble. … Defensively, she could do it all,” said Braves head coach Jonas Grossman. “Claire put in countless hours to improve her game. She’s been a huge part of the turnaround the Benson girls basketball team has had over the last few years and she will be sorely missed.”
Mackenzie Rich, Jr. G, New London-Spicer
A two-time All-Wright County Conference pick from state qualifier New London-Spicer, Mackenzie Rich scored a team-high 12.0 points per game, hitting 69 3-pointers along the way. The 5-7 guard also came up with 4.0 assists and 2.7 steals per game
“(Mackenzie’s a) very hard worker. (She) puts a great deal of effort into developing her overall game,” said Wildcats head coach Mike Dreier. “(She’s a) good all-around player, excellent long-range shooter and improved driver and defender.”
Madison Rohner, Sr. C, Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg
A two-way menace in the paint, Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg senior Madison Rohner was named the Camden Conference North division’s co-MVP with CMCS’ Coco Duininck in 2019-20. At 5-9, Rohner stood much taller with 17.3 points per game on 52.6 percent shooting to go along with 12.0 rebounds, 1.9 blocks, 1.4 assists and 1.4 steals per game for the 14-13 Fighting Saints, cementing the school’s first winning record since 2012-13.
“Madison was dominant on both ends of the floor for us,” said KMS head coach Justin Johnson. “She was a relentless worker that controlled the glass for us night in and night out. Her combination of speed, strength, footwork and ability to step outside to hit shots made her a very tough matchup for opponents.”
Makayla Snow, Sr. G, BOLD
A four-year starter and five-year letterwinner for BOLD, senior guard Makayla Snow wrapped up her prep career on the All-Area second team for the second straight year with 15.0 points, 10.0 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 2.5 steals per game. Standing at 5-11, Snow was named All-West Central Conference and was the team co-MVP (along with Brenna Weis) for the 18-10 Warriors.
“She has been our floor general the past two seasons,” said BOLD head coach Brian Kingery. “She is a very well-rounded player who can play at a high level on both sides of the court. Makayla has a very high basketball IQ.”
Carlee Hanson, So. G, Hancock
14.3 points/game, 6.0 rebounds/game, 2.5 assists/game, 3 steals/game; All-Pheasant Conference
From Owls head coach Tony Thielke: “Carlee has been a great asset to the team. She is a 4.0 student. She is a hard worker both on offense and defense. She hustles and contributes to the team both offensively and defensively. She was our leading scorer in numerous games and when she wasn’t (the) leading scorer, she contributed on the defensive end with steals and rebounds.”
Madison Hinz, Sr. G, Yellow Medicine East
16.0 points/game, 2.5 assists/game, 3.8 rebounds/game, 3.2 steals/game; All-Camden Conference
From Sting head coach Ryan Schultz: “Madison Hinz is a very hard-working athlete. She has spent so much time working on her game outside of practice. She is a great teammate who is always looking to make others better. Madison was a great leader for us on and off the court.”
Madi Linbo, Sr. G, Willmar
9.5 points/game, 5.3 rebounds/game, 1.7 assists/game, 1.5 steals/game; All-Central Lakes Conference
From Cardinals head coach Dustin Carlson: “Madi was the heart of our team. She is a fierce competitor (who) refuses to lose. Madi has a natural ability to get to the rim and finish. Madi was also an outstanding shooter with shooting about 30 percent from behind the arc in all four seasons played on the varsity. Her personality kept all of her teammates smiling and feeling good each day. She is one of those players that her impact will be missed so much more than just stats now that she’s graduated.”
Taylor Shelstad, Fr. G/F, Lac qui Parle Valley
11.1 points/game, 5.2 rebounds/game, 2.3 assists/game, 2.4 steals/game; All-Camden Conference, team defensive MVP
From Eagles head coach John Nolte: “Taylor is someone who creates very well for her teammates. She can also shoot the ball, which makes her a difficult player to guard. Her quickness makes her an excellent defender who can disrupt and tip lots of passes.”
Emma Thorfinnson, Sr. G, Minnewaska
11.8 points/game, 5.0 rebounds/game, 1.4 assists/game, 1.4 steals/game; All-West Central Conference
From Lakers head coach Brett Thorfinnson: “Emma has been a key player for us since her ninth-grade season. Her ability to shoot from the perimeter has helped open up opportunities for her teammates on the offensive end of the floor. She’s also versatile enough to defend both guards and posts and this has been a key to our success.”