Waconia narrowly missed earning a spot in the state tournament last season. Playing in the Class 3A, Section 6 championship game, the Wildcats lost a late second-half lead that resulted in a 52-51 loss to Robbinsdale Cooper last March.
Shifting over to Section 2 this season means new tournament foes for the Wildcats, and this week they'll will make the two-hour trip southwest to challenge defending Section 2 champion Marshall in our pick for Top Game of the Week.
Waconia (13-7, 5-1) doesn't have the undefeated record that opposing Marshall, ranked No. 4 in the Class 3A rankings by Minnesota Basketball News from Jan. 29, has amassed this season. However, the Wildcats' schedule has been brutal. They've faced a gauntlet of difficult Class 4A opponents that includes No. 10-4A Rosemount, No. 1-4A Hopkins, No.4-4A St. Michael-Albertville, No. 7-4A Chaska and No.2-4A Wayzata.
Only one Wildcat, Ava Stier, has averaged more than 10 points per game this season. However, seven players have scored at least 100 total points, or a clip of at least five points per game.
While Marshall (19-0, 9-0) has not played a slate of Class 4A powerhouse teams this season, the Tigers have dominated their schedule to remain unblemished. The Tigers' average margin of victory has been 27 points, and among those games is a 56-50 victory at No. 9-3A Hill-Murray on Dec. 14.
Jordyn Hilgemann is one of the weapons the Marshall offense utilizes to average 70 points per game this season. Hilgemann, a junior committed to Northern State University, is capable of putting up 30-plus points per night. She dropped 37 points on Dec. 17 in a 79-37 blowout victory at Redwood Valley.