Hulne: Past grads raised the expectations for Grand Meadow girls basketball

Published 10:30 am Monday, March 6, 2023

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Sometimes it’s not about what you finish; it’s about what you start.

When I was early in my journalism career, I found myself covering the Pierre Capitals – a club hockey team in South Dakota that began playing its games in an outdoor rink in the freezing cold. That team defied the odds and advanced to the South Dakota State Tournament with a strong group of seniors who were determined to win the team’s first ever state title. Those Capitals came up short in the state title game and they were devastated. But one thing I remember clearly was the team’s head coach telling his star player, who went on to play Division I hockey, how he had raised the bar of the entire program.

That coach was spot on as the Capitals won the South Dakota hockey tournament the next year with a group of new players. I was starting my time at the Herald that year so I did not witness it, but I couldn’t help but think how that coach was right.

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In Grand Meadow, Jordyn Glynn and Riley Queensland made a big mark on the girls basketball program, despite never playing a section title game. I couldn’t help but think of their impact during GM’s win on Saturday as I have now seen GM advance to the Section 1A title game in consecutive years for the first time ever.

Glynn and Queensland’s influence is all over this year’s Superlarks team. Queensland is the daughter of head coach Ryan Queensland and older sister of players Kendyl and Lauren, and Glynn is one of the best of the best athletes to come out of our area in recent years.

On the same day that GM won its Section 1A semifinal, Glynn was wrapping up her college basketball career at Division I University of Saint Thomas. The co-captain did not disappoint as she had the best game of her career with the Tommies as she scored 18 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, while going seven-for-seven from the floor in an 87-59 loss to South Dakota State in quarterfinal in the summit League women’s basketball tournament.

Queensland also had her season end for Gustavus on Saturday as she played a minute in a 68-63 loss to UW-Whitewater in an NCAA Division III second round game. The Gusties won the MIAC championship this year, despite Blooming Prairie grad Bobbie Bruns putting up 17 points for Concordia College in a 79-57 loss to Gustavus in the title game.

Queensland has one more year of college basketball left of eligibility, and her impact is still going on in GM. If these Superlarks can get to their first state tournament when they play Hayfield at 6 p.m. Thursday in Mayo Civic Center, it will be partially because of the bar that her and Glynn raised during their time in GM.