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Best of the Week (11/25/18-12/1/18)

12/05/2018, 8:30pm CST
By Chuck Thompson

Julia Bengtson, Paige Bueckers, Dlayla Chakolis, Mia Curtis, Lauren Glas, Abigail Groeneweg, Ella Grove, Jenna Johnson, Tessa Johnson, Sara Scalia

Julia Bengtson, Becker (5'9" Sophomore Guard)

-Bengtson ran the point well as the Bulldogs defeated Bloomington Kennedy at the Tip-Off Classic. She also finished in double-figures for Becker, who led nearly the distance. She has good size for a Point Guard, can run the offense effectively to either side and distributes the ball across the board. Becker has a bright future with a core comprised primarily of Sophomores.


Paige Bueckers, Hopkins (6'0" Junior Guard)

-Bueckers' torrid start to the season continued with 25 points against rival Eastview. She attacked offensively early, scoring from all levels with sensational drives, flashing her great touch in mid-range and three point shooting. She also continually finds ways to create for others, ensuring a balanced scoring lineup. In this one she created easy chances for Dlayla Chakolis and KK Adams, assuring Eastview's defense couldn't shift their focus to stop her scoring.


Dlayla Chakolis, Hopkins (5'7" Senior Guard)

-In a rematch of last years AAAA State Championship, Hopkins and Chakolis extracted some revenge, with Chakolis one of three Royals in double-figures with 13. The powerful Guard converted tough shots in traffic, and was a key on the boards, where Hopkins had the edge, particularly early, as they built a lead. Hampton is getting a hard-nosed warrior with Chakolis, she will do whatever it takes for her team to win.


Mia Curtis, Minnehaha Academy (5'9" Junior Guard)

-Curtis, like Minnehaha, caught fire in the 2nd half of their win over Rush City at the Breakdown Tip-Off Classic. She had 18 points, and cashed in 5 times from the arc, to lead her team to victory. As Rush City sat in a zone it was a matter of time until the sharpshooter got going and with 2 quick threes early in the 2nd half, she forced the Rush City defense out and towards a man to man look. Will make a tremendous shooting weapon for a school at the next level.


Lauren Glas, Eastview (5'9" Senior Forward)

-When your best sport is Soccer (playing it collegiately) and you score 18 points against the #1 ranked team, even in defeat, you had a special day. Glas has become the do-everything player for Eastview. When her team needed a rebounder at the Pat Paterson tournament, that's what she gave them, when they needed offense against Hopkins, she gave them that as well. What a bonus to have such a great athlete available who can fill any role her team needs!


Abigail Groeneweg, Forest Lake (5'10" Senior Guard)

-One of the great steals of the 2019 recruiting class for a Division II school is Groeneweg, who will attend St Cloud State. She is fully recovered from an ACL and it looks like her play hasn't skipped a beat. Incredible motor, she competes every possession on both ends of the floor. Had 14 in a big win over Centennial for the Rangers. She is also able to guard nearly any position, giving her incredible value in her game.


Ella Grove, Alexandria (6'0" Junior Guard)

-Grove led Alexandria with 20 in a key win over DeLaSalle which could impact seeding in March if both make the State Tournament. Working primarily off the wing, Grove showed she can drive the ball and finish (and get to the line consistently) and still step back and deliver a pair of 3s. Alexandria switching between man defense and zone, and Grove's length and athleticism from the wing are a big reason both are so successful.


Jenna Johnson, Wayzata (6'2" Sophomore Forward)

-Perhaps the most dominant team win I've seen to date was Wayzata over St Francis at the Elk River Tournament. Johnson went for 25, nearly perfect from the field on the night. This appears to be the year Johnson is going to break out in major fashion. She has the total skill set, is playing on an elite team, and is coming off a tremendous summer, the time is now. With great shooting touch, a knack for hitting the glass and open court flow, Johnson is a potential Miss Basketball down the road.


Tessa Johnson, St Michael-Albertville (5'8" 8th Grade Guard)

-Johnson officially stepped onto the big stage with her 17 point game against Lakeville North. In just her 2nd varsity game she looked poised and confident, shooting a silky smooth jump shot and strong handles working off the wing for a Top 5 STMA team. She is truly one of the top young prospects in the Gopher State and we caught a glimpse of that already at the Breakdown Tip-Off Classic.


Sara Scalia, Stillwater (Senior Guard)

-The good start to the season continued against Lakeville South for Scalia pumping in 24 points in the Ponies win. She again shows that she may have the best pull-up jumper in the state, and her three point range only got further out as the game went on. Few players show the confidence (earned through hard work) in their shooting ability that the Senior Guard does. Stillwater continues to impress as they look to join the elite in Class AAAA.

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