High School Girls Basketball Focus: Lourdes' Emily Bowron has flourished in senior season

Lourdes senior point guard Emily Bowron has been given more responsibility than ever this season. She's done great with it.

Zumbrota-Mazeppa, Lourdes girls basketball
Lourdes’ Emily Bowron looks for a shot during a girls basketball game against Zumbrota-Mazeppa on Monday, Jan. 23, 2023, at Zumbrota-Mazeppa Schools in Zumbrota.
Traci Westcott / Post Bulletin

ROCHESTER — There was a conversation well before this high school basketball season began between Lourdes senior guard Emily Bowron and first-year Eagles coach Todd Greguson.

Greguson had spent Bowron’s previous three varsity seasons watching her from a distance, as a fan. Greguson took note of one particular thing when it came to Bowron, a speedy guard with an excellent long-distance shooting stroke.

It was that Bowron took plenty of 3s, but mostly ignored other options to score. He regarded her as way too rich in talent to be settling.

“We had a conversation, and he talked to me about how I didn’t shoot enough 2-pointers,” Bowron said. “That I didn’t get enough layups and stuff. He said that was something that I needed to focus on last summer, to get in the lane more. So I worked on it with my dad (Chris Bowron), finding different ways to (do it).”

The 5-foot-5 senior has followed that up by spending all of this season taking Greguson up on his wish.


“Emily has tripled her number of 2-pointers taken this season,” Greguson said. “That has made her a much more well-rounded player.”

It has also made her one of the top guards, period, in southeastern Minnesota, as well as propelled Lourdes to another outstanding season. The Eagles, led by the senior best-friends trio of Bowron, forward Vivica Bretton and center Ella Hopkins, are 22-4 and one of the favorites to advance to state out of Section 1AA. Bowron has done her part by averaging 12 points on outstanding 50% shooting (an excellent 40% on 3-pointers), as well as 3 assists per game. Besides that, she is the team’s No. 1 ball handler and a strong defender.

Next year, she’ll take all of those skills to Gustavus Adolphus College, where she’ll be a freshman on a team that this year won the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference title.

Greguson has been thrilled with what he’s gotten from this new version of Bowron.

“Emily has just blossomed,” Greguson said. “As a senior, she’s stepped up and run with it. It’s been fun to watch.”

Bowron, also a 3.8 GPA student on a team that is loaded with academic stars, has never enjoyed playing basketball more than she has this season. On a team that featured honorable-mention All-State point guard CJ Adamson in Bowron’s first three years on the varsity, she is now asked to do so much more with Adamson having graduated and now playing college basketball.

She has flourished in her new role and relished it.

“This has been my favorite season,” Bowron said. “I would say that I’m more comfortable now. It’s been fun to go out and play my game and do what I know I can do.”


1,000-points club gets bigger

There have been a pack of southeastern Minnesota girls joining the ranks of 1,000-point career scorers since the beginning of the new year.

The most recent additions have been Lourdes' Ella Hopkins on Saturday, Lanesboro’s Jessie Schreiber on Feb. 17 and Caledonia’s Alexis Schroeder on Feb. 9.

Others to have hit 1,000 points since January have been Byron’s Kendra Harvey, Goodhue’s Elisabeth Gadient and Tori Miller, Rushford-Peterson’s Kaylee Ruberg, Century’s Taylor Clarey, Lanesboro’s Kaci Ruen and Mayo's Hannah Hanson.


Allyssa Williams, Winona Cotter

Williams has been described as the unquestioned driver of this Winona Cotter bus. The senior point guard sure looked the part on Feb. 9 when she delivered 21 points and 11 assists in a 75-59 win over La Crescent-Hokah.

Stewartville, Byron girls basketball
Stewartville’s Haylie Strum (2) controls the ball defended by Byron’s Kendra Harvey (24) during a girls basketball game on Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2022, at Stewartville High School in Stewartville.
Traci Westcott / Post Bulletin file photo

Haylie Strum, Stewartville

It’s tough to beat what Stewartville’s star guard did on Feb. 16 in a 67-51 win over Kasson-Mantorville. The speedy and skilled senior was nearly perfect with her shooting en route to a 23-point night. Strum finished 9-for-10 from the field, including 3-for-3 on 3-point attempts. Also 6-for-7 from the free-throw line, Strum mixed in seven rebounds and four steals. Her team is in the midst of a 20-game win streak.

Hayfield, Grand Meadow Section 1A Championship girls basketball
Hayfield's Kristen Watson (3) goes up for a shot defended by Grand Meadow's Sydney Cotten (4) during the Section 1A championship girls basketball game on Thursday, March 10, 2022,at the Mayo Civic Center in Rochester, Minnesota.
Traci Westcott / Post Bulletin file photo

Kristen Watson, Hayfield

It was a 35-point night on Saturday for Hayfield's star junior point guard as the Vikings beat NRHEG in the Gopher Conference championship game. Watson made 10 of her 20 field-goal tries, including going 3-for-6 on 3-pointers. She also hit 12 of 14 free throws and added 11 rebounds and 4 assists.


St. Charles, Dover-Eyota girls basketball
St. Charles’s Makadyn Gust (24) takes a shot during a girls basketball game against Dover-Eyota on Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2023, in St. Charles.
Traci Westcott / Post Bulletin

Makadyn Gust, St. Charles

It’s suddenly news when the St. Charles star doesn’t score at least 20 points. Gust, a 5-foot-8 junior guard, has scored 20 or more in 10 straight games, a stretch where she has averaged 26.8 points, 10.2 rebounds and 4.9 steals. Her best output in the last two weeks came on Feb. 9 when she delivered 27 points, 13 rebounds and 3 steals against Wabasha-Kellogg. She hit 11 of 17 field-goal tries.

St. Charles, Plainview-Elgin-Millville girls basketball
Plainview-Elgin-Millville’s Presley Newcomb (23) controls the ball while defended by St. Charles’ Makadyn Gust (24) during a girls basketball game on Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2022, at St. Charles High School in St. Charles.
Traci Westcott / Post Bulletin file photo

Presley Newcomb, Plainview-Elgin-Millville

On Feb. 11, the senior guard scored 28 points in a win over Cannon Falls. Newcomb blistered from 3-point range, going 5-for-7 and was 9-for-15 from the field overall. She also had 4 steals, 3 assists and 2 rebounds.

Lake City vs. PEM girls basketball
Plainview-Elgin-Millville's Abigail O'Reilly goes up for a shot over Lake City's Emma Berge as part of the HVL-TRC Showcase on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2023 at the Mayo Civic Center.
Alex VandenHouten / Post Bulletin

Abigail O’Reilly, Plainview-Elgin-Millville

The 6-foot-1 O’Reilly was at her scoring best against Cannon Falls on Feb. 11. The senior center scored 32 points, hitting 14 of 16 field-goal tries and 4 of 5 free throws. Next year, O’Reilly will bring her considerable act to St. Cloud State University.

Zumbrota-Mazeppa, Lourdes girls basketball
Lourdes’ Ella Hopkins (31) takes a shot during a girls basketball game against Zumbrota-Mazeppa on Monday, Jan. 23, 2023, at Zumbrota-Mazeppa Schools in Zumbrota.
Traci Westcott / Post Bulletin

Ella Hopkins, Lourdes

Hopkins, a senior center who will play next year at Division I Gonzaga University, had a huge performance against powerhouse Stewartville on Feb. 7, which has won 20 straight games. Hopkins finished with 25 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists. She was 9-for-17 from the field and 7-for-8 from the free-throw line. Lourdes led the bulk of that game before Stewartville rallied for the win. On Saturday, Hopkins scored her 1,000th career point.



(Editor's note: These rankings are considered "pound-for-pound" rankings, similar to many rankings systems in boxing and mixed martial arts. They represent the best teams in southeastern Minnesota, relative to the class they play in.

1. Stewartville (23-2)

Once again, there is no thinking to do here. Stewartville is the top team in these power rankings and comfortably. The Tigers have won 20 straight games and beaten some stiff competition en route, including No. 4 ranked Goodhue (twice) and No. 7 Lourdes (twice), both of them Class AA teams. Stewartville is No. 4 in Class AAA. This is a young bunch of Tigers, but their top two players, Haylie Strum and Keeley Steele, are both seniors.

2. Goodhue (23-3)

The Wildcats ended their regular season by winning 18 of their last 19 games, the lone loss to Stewartville. There is a lot here to work with, especially Goodhue's starting five. The Wildcats are ranked No. 4 in Class AA.

3. Lourdes (22-4)

Lourdes closed out its season with an impressive 70-49 romp over solid Winona Cotter. It’s been a great end of the season for a number of Eagles, but particularly 6-foot-3 center Ella Hopkins. The senior had 21 points against Cotter, putting her over 1,000 for her career. Lourdes has won eight of its last nine games, its loss to Stewartville, a contest it led most of the way.

4. Hayfield (23-3)

The Vikings won 14 of their last 15 regular-season games. But the hesitation in placing the Vikings too high in this power poll is all of the close wins they’ve had. That included another one to end their regular season, escaping Randolph by a 57-55 score. Hayfield has won six games this season by five or fewer points. But they win and are ranked No. 5 in Class A. They also have two of the top players in southeastern Minnesota, guard Kristen Watson and forward Natalie Beaver.

5. Grand Meadow (24-2)

The Superlarks have finally made it into the top 10 in state Class A, at No. 9 in the latest poll. That seems richly deserved. Grand Meadow has just two losses, one of them by just three points to Hayfield. This is a well-rounded and deep team and one that figures to give Hayfield a serious battle again should they meet in the Section 1A final.

6. Caledonia (22-3)

There aren’t many better shooting teams than the Warriors, who have a pack of 3-point specialists who have helped them average 66 points per game. Caledonia is also on a roll, winner of nine straight to end the regular season

7. Mayo (21-4)

The Spartans are coming off an impressive win, dismantling solid Century 65-49 on Friday. Mayo got a strong game from standout center Ava Miller, who has been bothered recently with sore ankles. Miller had 20 points against the Panthers. Izabel Ruskell was also great with 18 points and four 3-pointers. Season-ending ACL injuries to star guards Taylor Hill and Kaia Kirkeby have hampered Mayo in a big way, Hill’s coming in the second game of the season and Kirkeby’s on Jan. 21.


8. Austin (17-8)

Austin has won 9 of its last 12 games, including impressive ones over Red Wing and Century. The Packers have a couple of gems on their team in Ajiem Agwa and Olivia Walsh. Cassidy Shute can also score in droves.

9. Lanesboro (20-6)

The Burros came up with a signature win on Feb. 14, beating rival Kingsland 57-56, avenging an earlier loss to the Knights. Inside player Kaci Ruen was big in that one, as the 1,000-point scorer has been all season, with 22 points. Jessie Schreiber gives Lanesboro two 1,000-point scorers.

10. Century (16-9)

This has been a tough tail end of the regular season for the Panthers, who have gone just 8-5 in their last 13 games as they've been hit hard by injuries. However, there have still been 16 wins for Century including a shiny one in the last three weeks, beating powerhouse Lakeville South 61-57 on Feb. 4.

Pat has been a Post Bulletin sports reporter since 1994. He covers Rochester John Marshall football, as well as a variety of other southeastern Minnesota football teams. Among my other southeastern Minnesota high school beats are girls basketball, boys and girls tennis, boys and girls track and field, high school and American Legion baseball, volleyball, University of Minnesota sports (on occasion) and the Timberwolves (on occasion). Readers can reach Pat at 507-285-7723 or
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