2023 All-Area Girls Basketball Team
Two players from Mountain Iron-Buhl and Grand Rapids lead this year's selections.
After more than a decade of frustration, Mountain Iron-Buhl claimed its first state championship, thanks to All-State players Jordan Zubich and Sage Ganyo.
Zubich averaged 26.5 points per game and was named the 2023 News Tribune All-Area Player of the Year. Ganyo led the Rangers in assists and steals.
2022 Player of the Year Taryn Hamling of Grand Rapids makes a final appearance on the All-Area Team before joining sister Heaven at North Dakota State next season. She is joined by junior Jessika Lofstrom, who emerged as a difference-maker for the Thunderhawks in their run to a third straight section championship.
Superior’s season ended in a heartbreaking loss to Wausau West, but that didn’t stop senior Emma Raye from claiming a spot on the first team or her second straight Superior Telegram All-Area Player of the Year.
In addition, Northwestern’s Tieryn Plasch, a Bemidji State recruit, led all of Wisconsin Division 3 in assists and was sixth in steals.
This year's All-Area team was selected by News Tribune staff.
- The News Tribune All-Area Player of the Year recently announced she plans to play college basketball at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
The Rangers’ junior led the team to the Class A championship in March and plans to play college basketball at the University of North Carolina.
The Rangers junior said things “just felt organic” when she visited the North Carolina campus in Chapel Hill.
After jumping out to a 32-15 halftime lead, the Rangers allowed just six points in the second half.
- Raye, the Superior Telegram All-Area Player of the Year , “finishes with both hands, she shoots well from anywhere and gets more steals than any other player I have coached,” according to Kontny.
The Warriors rallied from a 10-point halftime deficit to advance to the sectional semifinals.
The Rails’ Hope Carlson scored 20 points in the team's first loss.
The senior catcher is "like a coach on the field," according to Spartans' coach Mike Sather.
- Ganyo was second on the team with 17.4 points as the Rangers won their first state championship.
The Rangers had fallen to Vikings in each of the last two state tournaments.
The Rangers will face BOLD in the championship game at noon Saturday at Williams Arena.
- The North Dakota State recruit shot 46% from the field and was better than 85% from the free throw line.
After their first loss since Dec. 3, the Spartans “plan” to go on another run, according to coach Dave Kontny.
All-Area Girls Basketball Player of the Year: Grand Rapids' Taryn Hamling grows into more than just a scorer
The Thunderhawks junior led her team to the Class AAA state tournament for the second year in a row and is looking forward to “doing some damage” in a third trip to Minneapolis.
- Also Northwestern’s all-time assist leader and a Bemidji State recruit, Plasch led all of Wisconsin Division 3 in assists and was sixth in steals.
The Tigers’ all-time leading scorer has already started giving back to the program by coaching the seventh-grade travel team.
The Tigers' leading scorer last season committed to play basketball at the Division II school recently.
- The senior “provided exemplary leadership despite being the only senior on our team,” coach Matt Solberg said, and had the second-best scoring season in Proctor girls program history.
The Rails erased a 10-point first half deficit in the final 3 minutes of the half to take a 29-28 lead into the locker room.
- Hagen also averaged 10.4 rebounds per game, more than half of which were on the offensive end.
- Juenemann shot 37% from the perimeter and reached the 1,000 career point plateau earlier this season.
- The 2023 Pine Journal All-Area Player of the Year , Snesrud was the eighth Lumberjack to eclipse 1,000 points in her career, finishing her time in Cloquet with 1,278.
Cloquet's Alexa Snesrud and Proctor's Hope Carlson dueled past the end of regulation.
- Lofstrom led Grand Rapids with eight rebounds and 2.4 assists per game in 2022-23.
The Thunderhawks’ junior scored 22 second-half points in the win.