The way Macy Weller figures it, she has had to deal with someone as tall and talented as Minneapolis Washburn’s Chase Coley.
That would be Wadena-Deer Creek’s Emily Miron, a 6-foot-2 do-it-all center that Sauk Centre faced in a 67-33 win Feb. 21.
That’s her story and she’s sticking to it.
“That’s what I’m telling myself, anyway,” Weller said.
Weller and the Sauk Centre Mainstreeters face Coley and the Millers at 6 tonight at Williams Arena in the state Class 2A quarterfinals.
This one has its own Hoosiers’ like theme, with mostly rural Sauk Centre (27-2) playing Washburn (22-7), whose campus is about 6.5 miles from Williams Arena. Sauk Centre is about 110 miles northwest of The Barn.
Sauk Centre’s enrollment is 334 and Washburn’s is 741, according to the Minnesota State High School League website.
It’s Sauk Centre’s fourth straight trip to state. The Mainstreeters finished second to Providence Academy last year and took third in 2011. Providence is back in the tournament.
“It’s the best,” Sauk Centre senior guard Jordan Gamradt said of getting back to state. “You can’t get sick of the place.”
Weller, Gamradt and the Mainstreeters have a difficult task tonight.
Coley, the Millers’ star, is a 6-3 junior who averages 20.0 points, 17.4 rebounds, 5.6 assists, 5.2 steals and 8.7 blocks per game. Coley’s 17.4 rebounds and 8.7 blocks lead the state, according to Washburn head coach Tylor Coley, Chase’s father.
The 8.7 blocks are fifth-best in the nation, according to the website Max Preps.
“Our biggest challenge is Coley, who is 6-3 and very long,” Sauk Centre head coach Scott Bergman said. “She’ll bring the ball up when they’re under pressure. I’m not sure we’re going to be able to shut her down.
“We’re going to have to make her work for everything she gets.”
There are more players to deal with than just Coley. The Millers have four three-point shooters and feature balanced scoring after Coley.
There is senior guard Audrey DeVaughn (8.9 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 3.1 spg, 2.5 apg), sophomore guard Lucia Renikoff (8.5 ppg, 2.6 apg), junior forward Natalie Holdahl (6.7 ppg, 4.4 rpg) and senior forward Megan Lucas (5.2 ppg, 6.1 rpg). Lucas and Holdahl are 5-10.
Washburn is also deep. Seniors Elizabeth Peterson (4.0 ppg) and Erin Bolden (3.1 ppg) and junior Idallis Riley (4.0 ppg) also play roles.
“They want to play fast, get up and down the court,” Bergman said.
Sauk Centre is led by Weller, a 5-11 senior center who averages 14.5 ppg and 6.5 rpg.
The Mainstreeters’ calling cards are balance and experience. Everyone contributes. The backcourt includes seniors Elizabeth Ellens (10.1 ppg, 2.6 rpg), Jena Klaphake (9.1 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 3.6 apg, 2.8 spg) and Gamradt (5.2 ppg, 2.9 rpg).
Brianna VonWahlde, who is 5-10, and 6-0 Sydney Zenzen are senior front-court players. VonWahlde averages 6.0 ppg and 4.1 rpg. Zenzen comes off the bench to average 2.5 ppg and 4.6 rpg.
Also off the bench is junior Ali Peterson (4.4 ppg) and sophomore Madison Moritz (2.0 ppg, 1.7 rpg).
If Sauk Centre wins, it plays at 8 p.m. Friday at Target Center against either New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva (29-1) or Pelican Rapids (21-7).
If Sauk Centre loses, the season’s over. The final is 2 p.m. Saturday at Target Center and the third-place game is at noon Saturday at Concordia-St. Paul.
Upsala plays Thursday
The Upsala Cardinals (26-4) have qualified for the state Class A tournament for the first time. They face Bethlehem Academy of Fairbault (24-4), which is back in the state tournament for the first time since 1998.
They play at 11 a.m. Thursday at Williams Arena.
Upsala is led by Aimee Pelzer. The senior guard is a Miss Minnesota Basketball candidate who is averaging 22.4 points, 7.0 rebounds, 8.5 assists and 4.3 steals per game.
The Cardinals also get 16.6 points and 10.4 rebounds per game from Tracy Herzog, a 5-10 senior forward.
Bethlehem Academy is led by Jessie Matthews, who averages 18.5 points, 7.1 rebounds and 7.4 steals per game.
Providence Academy (24-4) vs. Pine Island (26-5), 6 p.m. at Target Center
Braham (30-0) vs. BOLD (26-3), 8 p.m. at Target Center
Minneapolis Washburn (22-7) vs. Sauk Centre (27-2), 6 p.m. at Williams Arena
New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva (29-1) vs. Pelican Rapids (21-7), 8 p.m. at Williams Arena
(at Williams Arena)
Hill-Murray (19-10) vs. No. 1 Richfield (26-3), 10 a.m.
No. 5 Red Wing (21-5) vs. No. 4 New Prague (22-6), noon
Chisago Lakes (22-7) vs. No. 2 Minneapolis DeLaSalle (25-4), 2 p.m.
Monticello (24-5) vs. No. 3 Fergus Falls (29-0), 4 p.m.
(at Target Center)
St. Michael-Albertville (24-5) vs. No. 1 Hopkins (28-1), 10 a.m.
No. 5 St. Paul Central (26-4) vs. No. 4 Osseo (21-8), noon
Anoka (20-9) vs. No. 2 Bloomington Kennedy (26-3), 2 p.m.
Rochester Mayo (21-7) vs. No. 3 Eastview (27-2), 4 p.m.
(at Williams Arena)
Upsala (26-4) vs. Bethlehem Academy (24-4), 11 a.m.
Mountain Iron-Buhl (26-2) vs. Minneota (27-2), 1 p.m.
Maranatha Christian Academy (26-4) vs. Ada-Borup (2-3), 3 p.m.
Mankato Loyola (26-3) vs. Win-E-Mac (26-2), 5 p.m.