There are plenty of memorable state title-winning performances from across the nation in years past. Still, what New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva (Mn.) High junior Carlie Wagner belongs right up near the top of any lists.
Facing off against Minnesota’s undefeated, top-ranked team, Wagner scored 50 points and grabbed 12 rebounds, leading NRHEG to a 60-59 victory and Class AA state title against Braham (Mn.) High.
Just consider Wagner’s personal statistics and her team’s final total for a brief moment: Wagner scored 50, NRHEG scored 60. Making matters even more incredible was that Wagner’s 50-point explosion followed a state-record-tying 48-point outburst in the semifinal round.
According to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Wagner’s final performance helped her set a whopping five individual records at the state tournament, and tie another. By game’s end Wagner had set an all-time record for field goals made in a state tournament with 48, most points in a tournament (129) and game (50), and most field goals attempted in both a tournament (110) and game (43).
Fittingly, Braham was only able to keep close to NRHEG because of an explosive scorer of its own. Braham star Rebekah Dahlman scored 32 points before fouling out with 37 seconds remaining in the game.
"We were this close,” Dahlman told the Tribune. “If we could just stop Carlie Wagner. She's so good. I didn't want to end my senior year sitting on the bench."
Dahlman’s sentiment was rammed home in the final interchange of the season. First, Wagner hit a free throw to give NRHEG it’s one-point margin of victory. Then, just for good measure, she stole the subsequent pass and ran out the clock.
Now that is a one-woman show.
With a first title in school history under her belt, Wagner can now turn to the future, both with her senior campaign at NRHEG and her expected collegiate run at Minnesota, where she has committed. The junior may eventually be a Golden Gopher, but she still has another dominant year with some special additions ahead of her; next year, her twin sisters will be her freshman teammates.
Hear that? Watch out Minnesota, there’s more Wagners on the way.