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Rule Dialed In
“… that’s a girl! She was killing the boys!”

 
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Feb 20 , 2011
My Two Cents
by Gary Knox

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Tori Rule has been dialed in ALL season, averaging 22 ppg. for the 23-1 Minneapolis South Lady Tigers. The 5’8” guard is having a banner senior season, and basketball junkies around the Twin Cities are not surprised. “Her game is special”, says Tim Randle, Rule’s longtime AAU Coach with the Midtown Lady Monarchs. “She is a gym rat, and basketball is her outlet,” Randle added. Years ago before they were high school household names, Coach Randle had Rachel Banham (Lakeville North, Minnesota signee), Bethany Doolittle (Hill-Murray high school, Iowa signee), Marissa Janning (Watertown Mayer, over 2,000 career points and counting) and Tori Rule all on the same U13 AAU squad. And even then, there were some who believed Rule was the best baller in the 2011 class. The U13 Midtown Lady Monarch finished 8th in the country in 2008.

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Rachel Banham (Lakeville North High School) would later leave the Monarchs for North Tartan, and the rest is history for Banham. Bethany Doolittle left for the Minnesota Fury, and Marissa Janning joined North Tartan. But, one Monarch refused to take flight. Rule stayed with the smaller AAU program. When gPrep asked Rule, back in the day, why she remained with the Monarchs, she replied, “I’m loyal.” Coach Randle was immediately drawn to Rule when he first saw her on the court as a youngster. “Look at that boy”, Randle said. “When I saw her eyes, I said that’s a girl! She was killing the boys. I always said, after Tayler Hill, she’s the best player I’ve ever seen.” Rule made a name for herself, playing against boys in the John Sherman League and in the St. Bernard League. The Midtown Lady Monarchs played against boys and would handle their business against the boys.  “Boys didn’t want to play us”, says Randle.

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Midtown Lady Monarchs made it to the Elite-8, National AAU 2008

Rule was so good. As a freshman, she started and led DeLaSalle High School to the state tournament. Rule made the state’s All-Tournament team and led DeLaSalle to the 2008  championship game.  But, that matchup would end in a heartbreaking loss to Totino Grace. After the state high school tournament, the Midtown Lady Monarchs hit the road for the 2008 AAU season. Rule played against the best of the best. Her game was at an all-time high, as she was quickly making a name for herself on a national level. The guard had a ridiculous first step and was very crafty with the ball. Athletic and quick with ankle-breaking handles, Rule was a terror in the open floor and had the ability to create and finish around the basket. She was also a great decision maker and possessed sharp floor vision. Rule wasn’t afraid to share the ball with teammates. But, her job was to score. Rule was putting up big numbers, scoring in the 20’s and 30’s before she tore her ACL during an AAU tournament in Iowa. Her season ended, her dreams deferred.

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Tori Rule #31 (2008) freshman season with DeLaSalle at the State Tournament

Rule would claw her way back her junior year, to rule the hardwood once again. But, she wasn’t the same after the injury. The explosive first step was gone. Rule left DeLaSalle and took her game to Minneapolis South. “No one can touch Rule,” says Randle. And despite #1 ranked Eden Prairie’s 50-43 victory over South, Eagles Head Coach Chris Carr was impressed with Rule. Carr, said “She’s the best player we’ve seen all season.” That’s top billing coming from a former NBA player, who’s seen it all. In South’s loss, Rule scored 28 points, including seven three pointers, and a double team throughout the game. 

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Tori Rule Minneapolis South 2011

Rule’s confidence, “bounce” and explosive first step are ALL back. "I have confidence on the leg now," said Rule. “She’s good”, but she puts in the work,” says Minneapolis South Head Coach Ahmil Jihad. Jihad won the state championship in 2009, when he coached All-American Tayler Hill. “What separates her is her humility. She knows she’s good, but she’s willing to pay the price. She knows what greatness is,” said  Coach Jihad. Rule talks to Tayler Hill, star player at Ohio State, and draws from Hill’s knowledge. Rule also talks to Briana Edwards, former Minneapolis North standout, who now plays at Providence College, where Rule plans to attend next season. I am glad I had that time with her. This girl’s is going to be special,” said Coach Randle.

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Tori Rule to Banham (2008)

 

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