Mayo has little time to prepare in seedy situation

Rich Decker understands the logic behind seeding the top four teams at the state basketball tournament.

"People do like it, (because) you don't want the clearly best teams meeting up in the (state) quarterfinals," Decker acknowledged. "We do it in sections, so we should probably do it at state."

But with that said, the first-year Rochester Mayo girls basketball coach does see a negative in the seeding process.

Mayo (21-7) meets No. 3 seed Eastview (27-2) in a Class AAAA state quarterfinal game at 4 p.m. Wednesday at Target Center.

With the seedings determined on Sunday for the Class AAAA and Class AAA tournaments -- the two smaller class tournaments are not seeded -- it doesn't leave much time for Decker to study Mayo's first opponent.


"That's the disadvantage of seeding; the teams that thrive on scouting lose that opportunity," Decker said. "It favors the teams with the horses (better athletes). It's a big factor."

State quarterfinal matchups are still predetermined on a rotation basis in Class AA and Class A, which means that coaches know what section their state opponent will come from, and therefore which teams to scout.

Eastview is impressive on paper, ranked No. 2 in Class AAAA and with most of its wins over metro teams which are also highly ranked. The Lightning beat No. 10-ranked Park of Cottage Grove by 15 to repeat as the Section 3AAAA champs and make it to state for the fourth time in six years.

"They are at the level of (Bloomington) Kennedy and Hopkins, and are a little different animal that we're used to playing," Decker said.

The quarterfinal game matches an Eastview offense that averages 69 points per game against a Mayo defense that allows 43 on average, and yielded just 21, 30 and 40 in three section tournament wins.

Decker said Mayo's strong defense and ability to limit Lakeville North's transition baskets was a big factor in the Spartans' 49-40 upset win in the Section 1AAAA final.

Mayo also had a decisive 31-21 rebounding edge over Lakeville North, and the Spartans had their best shooting game of the season at 53 percent (17 of 32), including eight three-pointers.

Eastview has more size than Lakeville North, so Decker expects it will tougher to rebound and find open shots. The Lightning also aren't likely to be out-three-pointed.


The Lightning have three primary scoring options, sophomore guard Madison Guebert (20 ppg, 99 3-pointers), 6-foot-1 senior forward Tyra Johnson (16.7 ppg, 60 3-pointers, 49 blocks), and 5-11 sophomore forward Hana Metoxen (11 ppg, 5.5 rpg). Guebert reached 1,000 career points this season and is the daughter of head coach Melissa Guebert.

Mayo has a more veteran team with four senior starters; 6-1 center Rachael Doll (17.7 ppg, 9.7 rpg, 31 blocks), 5-9 forward Katrina Ruedinger (9.8 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 37 3-pointers), 5-9 forward Samantha Miller (5 ppg, 33 3-pointers), and 5-5 guard Ann Flesher (3 ppg, 2 apg).

"There is no pressure on us, we're the underdog," Decker said. "But if we can take out Lakeville North, maybe we can take Eastview out."

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