I've visited the Target Center a couple times this week to clear a few hurdles; the place isn't as intimidating once you get used to the layout. I'm not sure how this year will turn out compared to last year. Heinz is on another shoot, leaving Bob and I left to televise the tournament. Bob wasn't able to secure a DSR 250, so we'll see how the 300 handles the lights of Target Center. I'm bringing a camera from the U of M, which does a pretty solid job on its own.
I do kind of wish Heinz would have gotten to us sooner; I've tried unsuccessfully to contact him for three weeks and his other commitments is one reason why I'm considering to not continue after this. I don't question his work ethic, but a girls basketball schedule is too exhausting with parts of the operation at different places. Several DVDs have yet to be published and it's getting to the point where it may not be worth broadcasting them on SPNN. Combine that with the lack of sponsorship support, and I feel that I could get some practice some place else. At times, I feel like a lone man beating a dead bush. In any case, there's still some post-season action left with class AAA and AAAA.
Minneapolis North, while ranked in AAA themselves, have taken down two teams ranked above them to reach the final with St. Michael-Albertville, the unofficial 7 seed. Analysts suggest North will steamroll STMA, although North's last win was part skill and part sheer luck with a missed New Prague free throw. With several 8th-graders on the team, I'd expect them to be a force again if they can't pull out a win against STMA. North also has the state assists leader: Chelsey McGee, who happens to be an 8th-grader. Faith Johnson-Patterson has also won five state titles in her tenure with the Polars, which means she has another hand to fill.
Everything has gone as expected in class AAAA as many thought South and Centennial would be the potential match-up from the start of the season. Centennial's damaged as Megan Nipe has played with a bad knee all season. South is at full strength and proved they can win even after "goofing off" for a half as they erased a 14-point halftime deficit Thursday to beat Eastview. South was the heavy favorite coming in and some said their section final was essentially for the state tournament. So was the thought last year, except Central pulled off a minor upset. Centennial's team doesn't have the depth like Central did a year ago. However, South has lived and died on Tayler Hill. If Centennial shuts her down like Central did, other players will be forced to step up, which isn't something they're used to. This year will likely be South's last chance to win a state title for some time. Centennial will have some rebuilding to do, but they have some good players coming up.
1. Tayler Hill's scoring total has yet to be finalized, which is essentially a waiting period to find out how many points will someone have to score to break her record. Speaking of records, Hill easily won the scoring title this year, passing the 1,000 point mark in her game against Eastview. If Hill's previous season high? 857 in her sophomore year. She also will lead the state in another category: free throws made and free throws attempted (250/327). Do the math, and that's almost 25% of her scoring total from the charity stripe.
2. Hill posted seven double-doubles this season, also a career high while playing at South.
3. Bridget Schuneman stepped up this season, placing second in the Northwest Suburban Conference in scoring and leading the conference in rebounds.
4. Megan Nipe, while hurt, averages over 16 points per game this season. For many players, that would be a dream statistic (especially at places like Arlington, Harding and Como Park).
5. Centennial lost twice this season, once to Osseo without Megan Nipe and once to Hill-Murray with Nipe. South also lost twice, once to Hopkins when not at full strength and an upset loss to Maple Grove at full strength. In other words, full rosters doesn't necessarily mean an automatic win.
By the way, if Hill scores 17 points or more today, she will break the record for most points in a single season.
If you go today, you'll see Willie Taylor there. Not because his team is in, but because he's on the selection committee for the all-state team in class AAAA.
Time to throw my NCAA bracket out the window. Didn't see the Wisconsin upset coming.
Programs available for DVD purchase
Autism: The Wall That Knows No Limits - Award-winning documentary series providing insights on autism rarely seen in contemporary media. Produced by someone on the spectrum, this series is a wealth of information for anyone seeking to learn about autism.
$15 for one episode, $50 for the complete series (4 episodes)
What Are You? A Dialogue on Mixed Race - Originally a school assignment, this one-hour documentary explores a population that existed for many years but didn't get much focus until recently. This program examines how a small but growing segment of the population could shift racial and cultural identity. Screened at the 2009 Mixed Roots Film and Literary Festival and will be screened at the inaugural Critical Mixed Race Studies conference at DePaul University. $15
From Vices to Verses: Featuring Voices Merging - From Vices to Verses: A New Era of Hip Hop and Action is a biannual conference held at the University of Minnesota. The goal is to promote the culture and history of hip-hop, which is often lost in the corporate mainstream representation. In this program, you'll see how the Voices Merging student group absorbed what they witnessed and how their experience will transform them as a group and as individuals. DVD copies come with 14 minutes of bonus footage not seen online or on TV. $15
Minnesota Machine: 2010 - Geared for Greatness - Join the professional women's football team in their historic 2nd season. Despite several injuries that depleted the roster, the Machine finished 2010 with a 6-3 record and their first division title in franchise history, edging the Iowa Thunder in the Midwest Division of the American Conference. This highlight reel includes clips from the 2010 season and their interview on the cable television show Rollin' and Tumblin' - $15
Silhouettes by RZI Couture - The inaugural breast cancer benefit fashion premiere took place in St. Paul and was met with a fabulous response. All the models were breast cancer survivors or relatives of someone affected by breast cancer and all the clothing was designed by Rosalyn Smaller, owner of RZI Couture and currently fighting breast cancer herself. The TV version features testimonials from the models and co-host Miss Georgia of KMOJ. $10 of every purchase will be donated to RZI Couture to help the breast cancer fight! $15