Minnesota Section Finals Recap! – Ballislife.com

Minnesota Section Finals Recap! – Ballislife.com

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It is officially March. Minnesota high school hoops is winding down and the MSHSL state tournament will conclude this upcoming weekend. With reseeding taking place on Saturday, everything is set for the eight-team brackets in the four respective divisions that the MSHSL has to offer.

The section finals offered no shortage of excitement as well, though. With all three games that we took in throughout the week being sold out, the atmosphere was like no other. Wayzata (Plymouth, Minn.) beat Hopkins (Minnetonka, Minn.) in the section 6AAAA final to take a 2-1 victory in their 2023-24 trilogy to move up to No. 36 in the latest FAB 50 National Rankings, Orono beat Benilde St. Margaret’s in double OT in the section 6AAA final in a game that had three separate buzzer beaters that broke the internet, and private power Breck School cruising to the section 5AA title over Minneapolis North.

Jackson McAndrew, 6’9, PF, Wayzata HS (MN), 2024The state’s top senior certainly lived up to his reputation, pouring in 40 points in a 105-76 win over rival Hopkins to advance to the state tournament. The versatile forward showed his effortless 3-point range, scored out of quick flashes in the post, and blew by defenders trying to run him off the 3-point line. McAndrew is the highest ranked recruit ever to head to Creighton, where he should be able to make an immediate impact with his deep range and offensive versatility as a forward. Jackson was also recently selected to play in the prestigious Iverson Classic in May.

Nolan Groves, 6’5, PG/SG, Orono HS (MN), 2025There hasn’t been a junior in the state of Minnesota who has helped themselves more in the high school season than 6-foot-5 combo guard Nolan Groves of Orono. The J-Sizzle guard continued to add to this sentiment in the section finals. He dropped 43 points, 18 rebounds, and 11 assists in a double OT victory while making a half court shot at the buzzer that was No. 1 on ESPN’s SportsCenter Top 10 to send Orono to States. Groves showed his effortless 3-point range, underrated ability to drop pocket passes, and ability to utilize his size against smaller guards in his legendary performance in what has been one of the better games in recent Minnesota playoff history. Groves has already visited St. Thomas, but has also heard from high major programs such as Clemson, Iowa, and Northwestern.

Daniel Freitag, 6’2, PG, Breck HS (MN), 2024The epitome of a power point guard, Daniel Freitag has been an absolute game changer on both ends during his senior season. Doubling as the top wide receiver in the state of Minnesota, Freitag opted to focus on hoops at the next level and it has shown with his growth as a lead guard. Daniel used his toughness/athleticism to lock down all three perimeter spots, made outstanding passes with both hands, and ripped the rim off at every time he attacked the rack. The Wisconsin signee dropped an easy 27 points en route to a state tournament berth for Breck.

Brady Wooley, 6’9, PF, Orono HS (MN), 2025One of the most intriguing players in Minnesota’s junior class, Brady Wooley is everything that you look for in a new age forward and showed that against BSM with 17 points, 13 rebounds, and seven assists. The agile big man with great hands is versatile enough to contain defensively on the perimeter, can playmake for others from the post position, and is skilled enough to punish you facing the basket. Wooley holds an offer from Ivy League power Yale and has already visited the likes of Iowa State and Minnesota.

Jaleel Donley, 6’2, PG, Benilde St. Margaret’s (MN), 2025While it was a disappointing end to the season, the fastest guard in the state of Minnesota ended his junior campaign in about as impressive of fashion as one could imagine. The lefty junior playmaker has shown consistent improvement on his 3-point shot (including three to send game to first overtime), is outstanding passing the rock with both hands, and is a truly electric finisher once he gets into the paint. Donley is still a bit under the radar nationally, but shouldn’t be for much longer once he hits the EYBL with Howard Pulley.

Marcus Marshall Jr., 5’11, PG, Minneapolis North HS (MN), 2027Many freshmen emerge throughout their freshman campaigns, and Marcus Marshall Jr. was certainly one of those dudes who kept growing, both in terms of stature and in terms of his game. He is a confident 3-point shooter with super deep range, owns super sneaky athleticism, and will make you pay if you try to run him off the three point line. Marcus is coached by former NBA sparkplug scorer Ricky Davis and wrapped up his freshman campaign with 31-point and 17-point games in the playoffs, finishing with a 14.9 PPG average on the year.

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