Carlie Wagner scored 48 points en route to a state semifinal victory (Bruce Bisping/Star Tribune)
Of course, it’s wrong to label NRHEG a one-player team, but it was difficult to talk about anyone else after guard Carlie Wagner’s performance.
Wagner tied her own state-tournament record with an eye-popping 48-point effort.
She did it the old-fashioned way, hitting just one three-pointer among her 15 field goals. She added 17 free throws and grabbed 13 rebounds for good measure.
“We lost our point guard, Jade Schultz, to an injury early in the game, so we had to put the load on Carlie,” said coach John Schultz.
Wagner, a junior who has verbally committed to Minnesota, wasn’t perfect. With the ball in her hands most of the night, she committed 16 turnovers, giving her a dubious triple-double. But it was her offense that carried the Panthers into the championship game.
“I knew I had to take the lead when Jade went down,” Wagner said. “I didn’t know I had that many points until I saw it on the scoreboard at the end. I was just trying to win this one for Jade.”
1. Carlie Wagner, NRHEG
This wasn't a very difficult choice. Wagner completely imposed her will and regardless of who won, she was going to be the first star of the game. She scored almost 70% of her team's points and tied her own tournament record by scoring 48 points. Lost in all of this is that she also finished with a team-leading 13 rebounds; not a bad game for the junior.
2. Chase Coley, Minneapolis Washburn
It took her awhile to get going, but Coley finished with 16 points, all in the second half. Even when she wasn't shooting well, she was her usual dominant self on the glass and blocking shots, finishing with 19 rebounds and 5 blocks.
3. Megan Lucas, Minneapolis Washburn
Someone had to pick up the scoring slack when Coley couldn't find the range in the first half, and that someone was Megan Lucas. Lucas had 11 points on 4-5 shooting in the first half to keep the Millers in the game early. She finished with 14 points, was 4-4 from the free throw line and chipped in 7 rebounds.
-John Kelsey, MN Girls Basketball Hub