Points of interest: star guards set to faceoff

Published 10:35 pm Tuesday, March 13, 2012

New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva’s girls’ basketball team’s Carlie Wagner has put up such staggering numbers this year that some have asked whether the state’s all-time scoring record is within her reach.

The sophomore point guard, who has started on varsity since eighth grade, averages 29 points per game, has 844 points on the season — the sixth-most in state history — and 1,588 on her career, which is the school’s boys’ and girls’ record.

But my answer is no.

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The state’s all-time leading scorer is Tayler Hill, a 2009 graduate of Minneapolis South, who scored 3,888 points over her career. If Wagner were to average 30 points per game over the rest of her career she’d still fall about 500 points short.

But it won’t be Hill, who was a McDonald’s All-American before signing with Ohio State, where she leads the Big Ten Conference in scoring in her junior season, that Wagner will be chasing. It will be the opposing point guard she faces tonight in the Class AA state tournament opener.

Braham’s Rebekah Dahlman has already put together the greatest offensive season in state history after averaging 36 points per game and scoring a record 1,065 heading into the state tournament. Braham opens the tournament, where it looks to defend its state championship, at 6 p.m. tonight at the Target Center against NRHEG. Dahlman is just 23 points shy of breaking Hill’s career scoring record … as a junior.

With an unthinkable 5,000 career points considered a possibility, Dahlman will one day make a strong case as the greatest girls’ basketball player in state history.

Dahlman was named last week the Gatorade Girls’ Basketball Player of the Year in Minnesota. The press release announcing the award touted her 3.9 GPA, but that is Dahlman’s lowest average. She notches 11.3 rebounds, 7 steals and 5.2 assists per game to go along with her prolific scoring.

The St. Paul Pioneer Press reported that Dahlman has 19 Division I scholarship offers, though Braham’s coach, Tim Malone, said it’s closer to 30. That comes as no surprise as she’s ranked by ESPN as the 24th best recruit in the nation in the Class of 2013 and the state’s top player.

With two of the top scorers in state history squaring off, tonight’s matchup between No. 2 NRHEG and No. 3 Braham is march madness at its best. If you can’t go, follow along on Twitter at twitter.com/adyrdal_tribune.

Tribune Sports Editor Andrew Dyrdal’s column appears weekly.