The third Breakdown Tip Off Classic girls matchup on the Main Court at Hopkins Lindbergh Center features perennial powers Minnetonka and Roseville, as well as two of Minnesota’s top three players.
6-1 junior Courtney Fredrickson, rated #1 among the 2016s by Northstar Girls Hoops, leads the Skippers. The Raiders counter with 6-2 Colorado-bound senior Monica Burich, rated #3 among Minnesota’s 2015s.
Both are big and mobile and can play virtually any position, but Fredrickson’s forte is simply putting the ball in the hole from virtually anywhere on the floor. She scored 18 ppg a year ago. Burich’s forte is crashing the boards on both ends of the floor, but she also managed to score 16 ppg, mostly inside.
Fredrickson unequivocally has more help in returning starters Hannah Hedstrom, the point guard, and Caroline Shelquist, a shooting guard. And, the Skippers also have the luxury of adding Lizzie Odegaard, who sat out last year as a transfer from Cretin-Derham Hall, to their starting lineup at the post position. Dominique Hart has also joined the team from Sacramento Christian Brothers, but the 6-1 junior wing is recovering from a shoulder injury and will not be playing in this game.
Roseville also returns junior center Sara Hain (8 ppg) and senior guards Sydni Dykes and Kaitlin Nelson (5 ppg apiece).
Tonka is rated #3AAAA by Northstar Girls Hoops and #4AAAA by Breakdown Sports, while Roseville is #16AAA at Northstar and is unrated by the Breakdown.
Courtney Fredrickson, Minnetonka vs. Monica Burich, Roseville
Can’t bypass #1 vs. #3, both 6-foot-plus forwards. They’ll guard each other a lot. Burich will try to take Fred inside. Fred can do the same, but can also pop from anywhere out to the three-point line. Fred is a more well-rounded offensive player, but it’s true that Burich is a better defender and, especially, rebounder.
Why Minnetonka Will Win
• Hannah Hedstrom will get into the lane more than Roseville’s 1s, and she’ll also win the turnover battle.
• Lizzie Odegaard’s help defense in the lane will be invaluable against Burich. Watch for Fredrickson and Odegaard to double down when Burich has the ball anywhere inside the FT line.
Why Roseville Will Win
• Burich will find ways to score regardless of the Tonka defense, like three-four hoops off the offensive glass, for instance.
• Kaitlin Nelson will surprise everybody by outshooting Caroline Shelquist from long range.