gstacy
Hopkins is currently ranked #1 in Minnesota 4A, the largest division and LAX is ranked #1 in WI Division 4. Does tiny LAX Aquinas stand a chance playing away in this David vs Goliath matchup?
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db11
There's always a chance in girls' basketball, though I'd be inclined to favor the bigger school.
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blade12
It's not a small vs large thing any longer. It's "have" vs "have not" and that designation can change with the hiring of a new coach, the attendance of 1 special player, the recruitment of 1 or more good players, or other unknown and unforeseen factors. 
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bullseye
It is certainly a combination of the two:  size to pull players from certainly is a huge factor in recruitment.  Look at the small rural schools and see if they can get player X to drive 70 miles of country roads in the winter to play basketball for them...not going to happen. The pool of potential athletes to be recruited is certainly larger in Aquinas and then you throw in the fact that they play in a conference full of division 2  teams and you get the recipe for a mini dynasty.   

With all of that said, I hope Hopkins scores 100 on them and runs up the score as Aquinas does to other teams in most of their games.     
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gstacy
100 points on them. lol. Marshall gave them a good game for a while. they seemed to tire in the second half otherwise it could have been much closer. Aquinas is not the juggernaut monster you make them out to be. they can be had.
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blade12
eaglepride1 wrote:
Bullseye is right on, all the way through the comment above. Sure, Aquinas can be had...by Beaver Dam. Probably a few D1's in WI. They have that "mini-dynasty" -- you notice that those CFC girls didn't decide to go to Mel-Min to add to their group (about equidistant from CFC, by the way). 🙂


So what does Aquinas "have" that Mel-Min or other schools don't?  Coach? Another good player? Academics? Safety? Friendships? Exposure in a larger market?
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bullseye
Very well said eaglepride1!  Couldn't agree more.
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yzerman1
bullseye wrote:
It is certainly a combination of the two:  size to pull players from certainly is a huge factor in recruitment.  Look at the small rural schools and see if they can get player X to drive 70 miles of country roads in the winter to play basketball for them...not going to happen. The pool of potential athletes to be recruited is certainly larger in Aquinas and then you throw in the fact that they play in a conference full of division 2  teams and you get the recipe for a mini dynasty.   

With all of that said, I hope Hopkins scores 100 on them and runs up the score as Aquinas does to other teams in most of their games.     


Private schools began playing in the WIAA basketball tournament with the 2000-01 school year.  The last two years, 2017 and 2018, are te only two years that the Aquinas girls have ever made the state tournament.  I would hardly call that a mini dynasty.  At the lower levels one really outstanding player really influences team success.  Aquinas has that outstanding player right now and they are going to be successful.  John Wall used to post on here that it was about coaches and programs that determine success.  I truly believe that.  There is definitely an advantage from being in a large city or close to a large city and that exists for both public and private schools.  Everything in life isn't fair, there is always going to be some school with better resources and facilities than the next school.
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blade12
eaglepride1 wrote:
Just saying that you're not getting two kids like the CFC kids (I hear there's more this year) transferring to Gilmanton, Mel-Min, or AC Lincoln, like they went to Aquinas. You may have a move here or there, but not several. People aren't uprooting and moving to Alma Center, and they sure as heck aren't going to drive their kid there 65-70 miles one way. So, while a player and/or coach can "create" a program or a mini-dynasty anywhere, it's not happening with any kind of sustainability at small schools in small towns. Aquinas kids have all the advantages of a Logan or Central kid, and typically much more of an advantage. I'm well aware that the "student population is small" at Aquinas. That's like saying that when the Bollettieri Academy sprang up and had Courier, Agassi, etc. (but only 150-200 kids), they would play in the same state tennis tournament as a town the size of Bangor, New Lisbon, or AC Lincoln! C'mon, Man. 🙂


Is it sustainable at Aquinas or whatever other small private in an urban area you wish to cite as an example? It's been pointed out that Aquinas has never been to WIAA State until recent times.  Let's see what happens after some graduations in a few years. Dominican used to be the poster child for this, have they sustained it? What about Randolph or was it St. Randolph?  

I say be very careful about any attempt to  "level the playing field." Don't punish success and don't ask anyone to lower their standards so others can catch or keep up.
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yzerman1
The Cuba City girls and Barnevald girls teams have both enjoyed long periods of continued success through different variations of their teams.  It's not easy, but those two teams are proof that it can happen.
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traviswilson
yzerman1 wrote:
The Cuba City girls and Barnevald girls teams have both enjoyed long periods of continued success through different variations of their teams.  It's not easy, but those two teams are proof that it can happen.

You can't cite that the most dominant programs and most extended runs of success are among small, rural schools. It isn't fair to the other side.
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blade12

You can't cite that the most dominant programs and most extended runs of success are among small, rural schools. It isn't fair to the other side.

Sort of related,  what is the full story behind the Black Hawk girls bball team?  I hear rumors but do not know the details.
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blade12
eaglepride1 wrote:
Yzerman & Blade - Barneveld and Cuba City are the same, or very similar, sized towns to other schools in their Division that they've "had their runs" in. That's my point. Wisconsin Rapids and La Crosse are several times larger than the schools/towns mentioned as D3 or D4 participants. Some cases, D5. I don't think anyone's asking for "punishing success", just don't place small communities against La Crosse, Eau Claire, etc -- there are numerous reasons for the playing field being uneven and if you know anything about sports and have some objectivity, you know enough of them. As I said, I don't expect it to change, because it would require some things to be done and said that just won't be on a leadership level. About 1-2 times a year though, it does feel good to vent about it. 🙂


So by placing all small privates into larger divisions are you not punishing some schools regardless of their performance due to the success of others?  

I don't think this is ever going to change either. There is no solution that is going to satisfy everyone anyway. It's probably best to accept how things are or be prepared to take radical measures. 
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blade12
eaglepride1 wrote:
How about just placing Privates into their own division(s)?

The WIAA didn't have the foresight to do that when the merger happened. To go back now is going to be difficult from a legal standpoint with no language in the constitution to deal with this and after accepting them for 18 years.

What ever happened to the Six Rivers outrage?  There were some things looked into like the multiplier and a success plan but those basically amounted to nothing and got dropped. Hate to say it but at this point it is either accept it as is or try to leverage as many schools/teams to your side as you can. Boycott? Walk out? Decline playoffs? Form your own tournament? Other?

I have said I thought the WIAA should have (still should be) negotiated with the privates to voluntarily play up but give them some course of action to not have to play up if said team is like below .500 after 10 conference games or something along those lines. Maybe a silent agreement that privates within 25% enrollment of a cut line agree to play up. So long as both sides dig their heels in nothing changes,  if one of both can give a little then we might get some adjustment.
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smokin
Barneveld is a D5 school that had a great coach and many hard working girls.  They dominated the Six Rivers for many years until their coach moved on too another job.  Black Hawk now dominates that conference with the same formula.    
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