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Waconia's Audrey Swanson leads Metro Athletes of the Week for March 2-7

By JOEL RIPPEL, Star Tribune, 03/09/20, 3:00PM CDT


Also recognized: Drake Dobbs (Eden Prairie basketball), Remington Keopple (Hill-Murray hockey), Kerwin Walton (Hopkins basketball), Sydney Stensgard (Simley basketball), Colin Hagstrom (Mahtomedi hockey) and Evan Kim (Mounds View basketball).

Waconia's Audrey Swanson drove for a basket earlier this season. Photo: Roxanne Kuerschner

Waconia • basketball

Last season Waconia fell short of its goal of reaching the girls’ basketball state tournament for the first time after a heartbreaking, last-second one-point loss in the section championship game.

“That was a tough one for us,” Waconia sophomore Audrey Swanson said. “But that game helped us this year. In the back of our heads, we knew we didn’t want to feel that way again.”

Last week, Swanson helped the Wildcats attain their goal. Swanson scored 23 points in Waconia’s 61-50 victory over Marshall in the Class 3A, Section 2 championship game on Thursday. The Wildcats had lost to Marshall 79-75 on Feb. 8.

“We’ve got a strong team,” Swanson said. “We’ve got so much depth. We’ve worked on our press and not turning the ball over.”

Swanson, who averaged 11 points per game during the regular season, scored 95 points in the Wildcats’ final five regular season games. In the Wildcats’ semifinal victory over Mankato West on Feb. 29, she scored 21.

“She’s been spectacular,” Waconia coach Dusty Neibauer said.

Eden Prairie • basketball

The senior guard scored 46 points as the Eagles rolled to two Class 4A, Section 2 victories. He scored 19 points in their 94-61 first-round victory over Chanhassen to surpass 2,000 points for his career. Then he scored 27 points in a 99-74 semifinal victory over Prior Lake.

Hill-Murray • hockey

The senior goaltender allowed just four goals in the Pioneers’ three Class 2A state tournament victories. Keopple stopped 65 of 69 shots in helping the Pioneers earn their first state title since 2008.

Hopkins • basketball

The 6-5 senior guard played a big role in the Royals’ two Class 4A, Section 6 victories. He scored 24 points in an 89-49 victory over Minneapolis South and then scored 30 in a 66-56 victory over Wayzata in which the Royals trailed by 11 at halftime

Simley • basketball

The 5-10 senior guard scored 29 points to lead the Spartans to a 69-53 victory over St. Paul Como Park in the Class 3A, Section 3 championship game. Stensgard is averaging 17 points per game for the 27-2 Spartans.

Mahtomedi • hockey

The senior forward had three goals and two assists in the Zephyrs’ three Class 1A state tournament victories. In the championship game against Hermantown, he scored the game-winner in overtime that lifted the Zephyrs to their first state title.

Mounds View • basketball

The 6-2 junior guard scored a season-high 26 points to lead the Mustangs to a 65-56 overtime victory over Irondale in the Class 4A, Section 5 first round. Kim is averaging 16.3 points.

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