Minnetonka student manager Lucas Hagen got a hug from assistant coach Stacie Olson at the end of the game. ] CARLOS GONZALEZ firstname.lastname@example.org - March 15, 2016, Minneapolis, MN, Target Center, Minnesota State High School / Prep Girls Bask
The Minnetonka girls’ basketball team has a new member this season, a freshman who contributes smiles, hand-slaps and big hugs.
Lucas Hagen, who was born with Down syndrome, became a team manager this season, and his effect has been palpable. He’s often the first to jump off the bench and is never shy with a high-five. His passion for the team is infectious.
“He’s so energetic,” senior guard Courtney Fredrickson said. “I’ll be nervous before a game and I’ll see him there with such positive energy. You forget about being nervous. It makes you realize what this is all about.”
‘Up North’ pride
Thief River Falls had possibly the upset of the week Tuesday when the unseeded Prowlers defeated Class 3A’s top-seeded Hutchinson.
After the northwestern Minnesota school lost in the semifinals against Holy Angels, guard Kylea Praska said her team had lots to prove in the third-place game on Saturday.
“We didn’t come here to just win one game,” Praska said. “Obviously we were hoping we’d get [Thursday’s game], too. We don’t want to end the way people think we will. We want to prove what Up North teams can do here.”
Not short on speed
Goodhue junior forward Maddy Miller credited her team’s fleet of “fast, little guards” for doing much of the damage against East Grand Forks Sacred Heart in Thursday’s 77-46 victory in the Class 1A quarterfinals.
The Wildcats half-dozen guards — only one taller than 5-6 — combined for 29 points, six assists and 11 steals. Their efforts keyed the success of the team’s press defense.
A sign created for junior guard Mckenzie Ryan by her sister could be the group’s slogan: “She may be short but she runs the court.”
Jarnot adds to record
Maranatha Christian Academy senior guard Alaina Jarnot broke the state record for career assists during the Class 1A, Section 4 tournament last week.
In the Mustangs’ 91-79 victory over Southwest Minnesota Christian on Thursday, Jarnot had 14 assists to push her career total to 1,056. Jarnot broke the previous record of 1,034, set in 2006.
David La Vaque, Jim Paulsen, Cody Stavenhagen and Joel Rippel contributed to this notebook.