All-Area Girls Basketball: Wingers, Wildcats lead All-Area squad
(By alphabetical order)
(Sr., Red Wing)
After two straight years of one-and-done state tournament appearances, Tesha Buck, the 2012-13 Red Wing Republican Eagle All-Area Player of the Year, brought Red Wing out of the first round all the way to the state championship game.
Averaging 23.4 points, 9.5 rebounds and 4.8 steals per game, Buck was named to the second team of the Associated Press' All-State team. She also garnered All-Missota Conference and was named to the Class 3A All-Tournament team after averaging 21.0 points and 11.0 rebounds per game in the state tournament. Buck's best game at state came against Missota Conference foe New Prague when she had 32 points and 11 rebounds in a 63-45 victory.
Holding the school record for career points (2,402), Buck is headed to Division I Wisconsin-Green Bay next season.
"She's a do-it-all guard at both ends of the floor and she made everyone else better," said Wingers head coach Dave Muelken.
(Sr., Red Wing)
With the ability to power through the paint while having solid perimeter skills, Red Wing senior Macy Kelly provided her team one of the best inside-outside skill sets in the area.
Averaging 14.3 points and 8.0 rebounds per game, Kelly gave the Wingers a potent 1-2 punch alongside Buck. Heading to Division III St. Benedict's, Kelly finished her varsity career with 1,261 points.
Garnering Class 3A All-Tournament honors, Kelly averaged 12.7 points and 7.7 rebounds. She had 13 points and 12 rebounds in the semifinals against Richfield, and she had a team-high 17 points in the state championship game versus DeLaSalle.
"Macy was a cornerstone for Red Wing in all phases," head coach Dave Muelken said. "She led by example while being asked to play all five positions."
(Sr., Lake City)
One of the most intimidating post players in the area, Lake City 6-foot-1 center Taylor Koller helped the Tigers make a 6-game improvement in 2012-13.
Averaging 15.2 points and 11.1 rebounds per game, Koller formed a formidable post duo with freshman Madi Green. Earning All-Hiawatha Valley League honors, Koller finished her career with 941 points and 702 rebounds in three varsity seasons.
Lake City went 16-10, falling to eventual section champion Pine Island in the second round of the Section 1AA tournament.
"Taylor drew a crowd of two to three defenders every night," said Tigers head coach Candace Olstad. "Even while being double-teamed every game, Taylor was able to average over 15 points and 11 rebounds per game. She will be hard to replace next season."
Keeping Goodhue in the top 10 of Class 1A, Wildcats junior guard Mikayla Miller kept the team moving in a frantic pace on the way to sharing the Hiawatha Valley League Blue division title.
A two-time All-Hiawatha Valley League selection and an All-State honorable mention, Miller averaged 21 points and 8.5 rebounds per game, shooting 48 percent from 2-point range. Miller hit major milestones throughout the season, scoring her 1,000th career point in a victory over Byron on Dec. 4. Then on Feb. 12, Miller dropped a career-high 37 points in a win over Kasson-Mantorville, which was a section finalist in 1AAA. Goodhue went 23-6 on the season and reached the Section 1A-West sub-section finals.
With over 1,500 career points and 550 career boards, Miller is Goodhue's all-time leading scorer, according to head coach Josh Wieme.
"Mikayla plays the game in a way that other players and teams just can't keep up with," Wieme said. "She has a motor that just runs harder and faster than everyone else's. The relentlessness comes at you on both the offensive and defensive ends, as well as on the boards. ... It is amazing to see the attention she gets from defenses, but she just keeps delivering for us."
While defenses were too focused on Mikayla Miller, Goodhue's Mikayla Tipcke made opponents pay with her outside shooting.
Hitting 44 percent of her 3-point attempts, Tipcke finished the 2012-13 season with 11 points, five assists and four rebounds per game, adding an all-around dynamic for the Wildcats. Tipcke's biggest offensive output came against Lake City on Jan. 8 where she hit five 3-pointers, leading to 22 points in the first half.
For her efforts, Tipcke was named to the All-HVL team.
"Mikayla has been such a steady contributor for our team, just a totally reliable producer in many areas that do not show up in the stat books," Wieme said. "A big reason for Miller's success is the way she and Tipcke work so well on the floor together, with Tipcke often anticipating her cuts and getting her the ball in the right spot at the right time."
While Zumbrota-Mazeppa struggled with offensive consistency, senior Laura Brunner helped keep the Cougars' attack afloat.
Brunner led the team in scoring and rebounding with 9.5 points and 4.3 boards per game. She also averaged 1.3 steals and 1.0 assists per contest and shot 73 percent from the free-throw line. Z-M finished the season with a 9-15 record.
An All-HVL selection, Brunner finished her high-school career with 642 points.
"Laura was the one player for us that teams defensively had to prepare for," said Z-M head coach Scott Paukert. "She was capable of taking over a game with her scoring."
(So., Lake City)
With opponents putting their focus on the post players, Lake City point guard Breanna Gates made opponents pay if they forgot about her.
Averaging 11.9 points and 5.8 rebounds per game, Gates facilitated the Tigers' offense with a team-high 107 assists.
Gates was named as an All-HVL honorable mention.
(Fr., Lake City)
In her first year of varsity competition, Lake City freshman Madi Green proved to be one of the area's most promising post players.
Named to the All-HVL team, the 6-foot Green averaged 14.9 points and 7.2 rebounds per contest.
(So., Red Wing)
Filling in for Marisa Toivonen, last year's All-Area Player of the Year, was no small feat for Red Wing's McKenzie Muelken. But the Wingers sophomore became a reliable third option for the eventual state runners-up.
Named an All-Missota Conference honorable mention, Muelken scored 10.0 points and 4.5 rebounds per game, providing another scoring option alongside Buck and Kelly.
"She was asked to fill the role of Marisa Toivonen and did so better than expected at both ends of the floor," Dave Muelken said. "Although undersized, McKenzie defended opposing post players and was our third-leading scorer and rebounder."
(Sr., Red Wing)
While she averaged just 5.0 points and 3.5 rebounds per game, when Red Wing needed a perimeter player shut down, McKenna Schaffer stepped up to the challenge.
The lanky senior was the Wingers' defensive stopper, and her presence was felt on the court during Red Wing's run in the state tournament. Against New Prague, Schaffer held the Trojans' leading scorer, Annie Dittberner, to 2 of 10 shooting. And in the semifinals against Richfield, she faced up with Division I recruit Jessica January, forcing her into a 9 of 27 shooting night.
For her efforts on the defensive end, Schaffer was named to the Class 3A All-Tournament team.
"She always drew opponents' best players and did a remarkable job," Dave Muelken said.