McGrory sparks Edina girls basketball squad
Senior guard M.C. McGrory recently signed a National Letter of Intent to play NCAA Division I basketball at Creighton University in Omaha.
She celebrated by scoring 25 points in the Hornets’ victory over the Eagan Wildcats Nov. 27 at Eagan High.
“It has been a bit of a struggle with injuries early in the season,” said Edina head coach Matt Nilsen. “Four of our players had tweaked ankles and one had a mild concussion.”
McGrory was an All-Lake Conference player each of the last two seasons, so the scoring outburst was hardly a surprise.
“It’s so much fun to coach her and be around what she is doing,” said Edina Nilsen. “She is a special player.”
McGrory continued her outstanding play at the Stillwater Invitational last week as the Hornets defeated Stillwater 46-25 and Rochester Mayo 45-35. She had 16 points against Stillwater and 17 against Mayo. Sophomore guard Jill Morton added 16, including 10 in the first half, against Mayo.
“Our defense really kicked in the second half against Stillwater when we held them to 11 points and only one field goal,” said Nilsen.
Edina’s system relies on defensive pressure, which creates quick-striking offensive opportunities.
There are other experienced players returning, along with McGrory and Morton. Edina’s 2011-12 team finished third in the state Class 4A tournament. Senior guards Vivian Engen and Madeline Rodriguez are the other captains along with McGrory.
Senior forward Hailey Merrill is another experienced returnee. Senior Christine Marquette, juniors Shannon Good and Jaime Schnell, sophomore Emma Rowland saw some varsity action last season.
One of the Hornets’ concerns is the fact that they are height challenged.
The tallest players on the varsity/JV roster are eighth-graders, 6-4 Bailey Helgren and 6-1 Annika Jank. They are the only players who have hit the 6-foot mark.
Other players on the roster are seniors Abby Ingalls and Maddie Nash, junior Olivia Mathis, sophomores Kayla Blanek and Mara Stephan and ninth-grader Siri Veker.
Looking to this season’s Lake Conference race, defending state Class 4A champion Hopkins is once again the favorite. The Royals return All-State senior guard Nia Coffey.
Minnetonka has a strong group of returnees led by senior guard Joanna Hedstrom, who is in her fifth season of varsity basketball.
Wayzata has three players from its state-championship soccer team – Summer Johnson, Kiana Nickel and Katie Schulz.