Jackson Fowlkes Makes History and Other Footnotes to the Boys Tournament

 No, this is not going to be a rant about the all-tournament teams. Actually they did an unusually nice job this year. One, they bucked tradition in limiting AAAA champion Wayzata to just 2 picks, and rightfully so. I thought they missed on C.J. O’Hara but once the gave Wayzata 2 picks it might not have seemed right to give Park Center 3. 

In AAA they very rightfully dipped down to honor Matthew Bothun of St. Francis despite the fact that his team didn’t win a game. Here I thought they missed on Abraham Soumis of Hermantown.

In AA I thought they missed on Aeron Stevens of PEM and Leonard Levy of Minnehaha, but who you gonna bump off? Kole Hanson also had to be in the conversation but you can’t hardly pick 3 guys from the 3rd place team.

In Class A, I could make a case for Noah Sundquist, Carson Brown and Clint Determan but, again, who you gonna bump?

So any way, no, this is not my usual rant about the all-tournament teams.

Jackson Fowlkes Makes History

Jackson Fowlkes joined Casmir Chavis representing AAAA runner-up Park Center on the all-tournament team. This means that the 2 junior leap-frogged the Pirates seniors C.J. O’Hara and JJWare in this regard. And along wit Chiang Ring, they represent as good of a “big 3” as anybody is going to have going into next season. You can chalk Park Center in at the pre-season #1 right now.

But this is not what will make Jackson Fowlkes famous. No, he made history by being just the 3rd player in 110 years to make the all-tournament team coming off the bench. He did not start any of the 3 games, but finished as Park Center’s #3 scorer with 37 points while adding 10 rebounds, 4 assists, a steal and 2 blocks.

The only players to achieve this rarity previously are Loren Stadum of Thief River Falls in 1938 and Mike Weah of St. Bernard’s in 2009. (No, Dave Meisner did not accomplish this. He did not start Cloquet’s 1st round game in 1962, but he did start the consolation semi and final.)

Next Year

One of the nice things about the state tournament, especially in this modern era of repeat success, is that it provides a preview of next year. We’re going to limit our comments to AAAA. And as we’ve said, you can chalk Park Center in at pre-season #1. Here’s the rest of the top…

1. Park Center–Casmir Chavis, Jackson Fowlkes and Chiang Ring return

2. Minnetonka–Andy Stefonowicz, Jordan Cain and Duke Richardson. By the way, the new section assignments come out next week, but it looks like Minntonka and Edina will return to Section 6 for reasons that are discussed below,

3. Shakopee.

4. East Ridge.

5. Hopkins

6. Edina

7. Lakeville North–Robison, Drake and Quam return.

8. Lakeville South

9. Bloomington Jefferson–Daniel Freitag

10. Tartan

Your state tournament semi-finals then are Park Center-East Ridge and Minnetonka-Shakopee, no longer in the same section.

Section Assignments

It looks like Cooper and Mpls. South (both section 6) and Northfield (section 1) will drop down to AAA while Kennedy, New Prague, Two Rivers (formerly Sibley) and Sauk Rapids move up. The following moves will keep everybody at 8 teams per section, except as noted.

1–drop Northfield, add New Prague. Wow, that’s easy.

2–drop Edina and Tonka, add Jefferson and Kennedy.

3–drop Jefferson, add Sibley.

4–add Roseville, maybe drop North St. Paul.*

5–drop Roseville, add Centennial.

6–drop Cooper and South, add Edina and Tonka.

7–drop Centennial, add Rogers.

8–drop Rogers, add Sauk Rapids.

OK, I’m not sure how they handle this. Cretin is not among the top 64 in enrollment but will surely continue to play up in AAAA. North St. Paul (also section 4) is #64. Does North St. Paul drop down to AAA or are there 65 teams in AAAA? This also accounts for the fact that 3 teams appear poised to drop from AAAA to AAA but 4 appear ready to move up from AAA to AAAA. These 7 teams passed North St. Paul (#64 in enrollment) either going up or going down. Cretin is in fact the 4th team that is moving “into” AAAA but of course they were already there. 

Anyway, on April 6, all will be made clear by the MSHSL, along with changes to AAA, AA and A. I will add that at a glance, the following teams may be moving up or down in class. There are a variety of machinations and appeals and whatnot before the final assignments are made. But just based on enrollment, pure and simple, here are some potential changes.

Down from AAA to AA–Hibbing and Jordan

Up from AA to AAA–Rock Ridge, Fergus Falls, St. Paul Washington and Mpls. Edison

In other words, no bombshells.