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The first official girls state basketball tournament was held in 1976 and Janet Karvonen of New York Mills High School helped fuel the growth of the popularity of the tournament.

As a freshman, Karvonen led New York Mills to the first of three consecutive state titles. New York Mills fell short of its bid for a fourth consecutive title when it lost to Austin Pacelli in the semifinals of the 1980 tournament. Following the tournament, Karvonen was named Minnesota's "Miss Basketball" and the U.S. girls basketball player of the year. She played in the Parade Prep All-American game in Monticello, New York.

At the conclusion of her high school career, she was the leading scorer — boy or girl — in state history with 3,129 points. That record stood until 1997. In her final high school season, she scored 845 points to set a state single-season scoring — for boys or girls.

She also set the girls state tournament scoring records. As a junior she scored 98 points in three state tournament games to set a girls' state tournament record. As the end of her high school career, she had scored 329 points in 12 state tournament games. That stood as the career scoring record for the girls state tournament until 2014.

Between her freshman and senior seasons, Karvonen helped New York Mills compile a 99-5 record.

She played college basketball at Old Dominion and Louisiana Tech.

After college, she returned to Minnesota and worked as an analyst on the state tournament broadcasts and ran basketball camps.

Karvonen was inducted into the National High School Sports Hall of Fame in 1989, the Minnesota High School Hall of Fame in 1996 and the Minnesota Coaches' Hall of Fame in 2006.


Class: 1989.

Sport: Basketball.

Team: New York Mills H.S.