Minnetonka High School's Student News

Minnetonka Breezes

Minnetonka High School's Student News

Minnetonka Breezes

Minnetonka High School's Student News

Minnetonka Breezes

2024 Skippers Girls Hoops: The Lakeshow 2.0

It’s been 8 years since the Minnetonka Skippers last won a Section championship in girls basketball. With perennial powerhouses in the metro area like STMA and Hopkins, winning championships will always be a hard task, but 2024 might finally be the year where Minnetonka has the experience and talent to compete with and take down the top teams in this ever-evolving state of basketball.

It’s no secret that the Minnetonka Skippers are near the top of the state in terms of talent going into 2024. This is a team headlined by 2 dynamic superstar wings, 2023 FIBA Americas U16 Gold Medalist Aaliyah Crump and 2024 Minnesota commit Tori McKinney, 2 of the most talented players to ever wear a Skipper jersey. That level of talent makes Minnetonka a team to beat in the Lake Conference, but it also comes with a target placed directly on the back of the Skippers. Senior Center Josie Chose thinks the team is ready for that: “We have a lot of girls who have experience being #1 on the scouting report. It’s a challenge but it’s also pretty flattering and something I know we can deal with.” Even beyond those two, this is a roster which is overflowing with talent, which is something Minnetonka isn’t going to take for granted. Chose said, “I’m pretty sure this is the best team I’ll ever play on, so I’m just trying to figure out where I can fit in with everything.”

The other reason why Minnetonka is one of the teams to beat in the area is that the Skippers return a whopping 10 seniors to the Varsity roster for 2024. There’s nothing more important in high school sports than senior leadership, and Minnetonka is the retirement home of high school girls basketball. Chose said, “We were a young team last year while everyone was old and now we’re gonna be the old team, so I think we’re gonna win some games.”

To Chose, culture building has been really interesting to see over the past off-season, but even more so, it’s about the accumulation of depth that comes with so much experience, “We’re gonna be as deep as anyone we play and if we can use that well, that’s gonna be a humongous advantage.”

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Seniors play a huge role in terms of leadership, but so does coaching, and Minnetonka reeled in a huge catch over the off-season with former Hopkins coach Brian Cosgriff. Cosgriff went 569-67 over 21 seasons with the Royals, and is no stranger to shaping elite talent, most notably with current UConn Superstar Paige Bueckers. Chose said if nothing else, all that success is pretty crazy to think about. She said, “He has so much experience under his belt. I have a lot of trust that he’s gonna know what to do in any situation.” 

Cosgriff will be tasked with settling everyone into a role which is a problem on such a talented team. There’s only one ball and everyone can’t put up Caitlin Clark numbers. Chose alluded to that sentiment, saying “They don’t need me to score 30 every night. They have people for that. I’m focusing on leadership and things I can control, like rebounding, defending, and passing. It’s an interesting transition but I just want to play and give our team the best chance to win.”

In short, as far as the roster and coaching goes, there’s no reason Minnetonka can’t be the best girls basketball team in Minnesota in 2024, so it’s all going to come down to execution. This team is trying to put a focus on being scrappy, and, as Chose said, “The type of team nobody wants to play.” With their size and talent especially at the wing positions, Minnetonka is going to want to play fast, but there has to be a balance between speed and control if the Skippers are going to be as good as they potentially can be. Chose said, “Last year we struggled with playing slowed down because when we play too fast, we just end up jacking up threes which isn’t really what we want to do. We’re trying to put an emphasis on playing solid defense to set up an offense where we can drive and put pressure on the defense.” That’s when Tonka really starts getting dangerous. 

Ultimately, this is a season filled with excitement, anticipation, and pressure for the Minnetonka Skippers. Tonka has the depth, experience, and star power to compete with the Titans of the Section for a championship, and potentially even more down the line. Chose added, “It feels like everything is aligning this year. Now, it’s all about us and we feel like we can do it.” The Skippers are looking to bury everyone on their way to a championship, and they might just have what it takes to get it done.


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