Reporting Jeff Wald
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – It was the first big weekend in high school sports across the state.
Many ranked teams faced off against each other in hockey, and Minnetonka High School served as the host for the Breakdown Tipoff Classic, featuring many of the state’s top teams and players. It’s just the start of a busy stretch as teams gear up for their conference seasons with holiday tournaments.
It’s also a great time for fans to get out and check out some of the state’s best teams and players. There were several great individual performances over the weekend, and here are just a few of them.
Osseo Football Stars Lead Orioles To Basketball Win
D.J. Herbert and Bridgeport Tusler made a name for themselves on the football field this fall. As it turns out, they have some skill on the hardwood also. Herbert scored 22 points and Tusler added 21 as Osseo, ranked No. 3 in Class 4A, beat Prior Lake 70-67 in overtime on Saturday in the Breakdown Tipoff Classic. Look for the two to make an impact this year as the Orioles continue to push towards the state tournament after losing to Eden Prairie in the state semifinals last year.
Jones Leads Apple Valley Over Tartan
Tyus Jones is only a sophomore, but he’s already one of the most highly-anticipated basketball recruits in the state. He hasn’t disappointed in two games for the Eagles so far. Jones scored 37 points in Apple Valley’s season opener, an 89-85 loss to Eden Prairie. He then scored 28 points with plenty of assists and steals as Apple Valley beat Tartan 79-69 in the Breakdown Tipoff Classic at Minnetonka. Jones will help make Apple Valley a contender in the South Suburban Conference this season.
Perham Beats St. Thomas Academy, Gabbard Returning
The Perham basketball team got a great win and perhaps some even better news over the weekend. The Yellowjackets, the defending 2A state champions and ranked No. 1 this season, put together a solid overall team effort in a 62-54 win over St. Thomas Academy, the No. 5-ranked team in Class 3A. Perham center Mark Schumacher scored 20 points to lead the team in the victory. And the team got even better news over the weekend as senior Zach Gabbard, who collapsed on the court in January and went into cardiac arrest, got medical clearance to resume practicing with the team. It remains unclear if he will play in a game this season.
Guards Lead Hopkins Over Lakeville North
Two of the top three teams in girls basketball faced off Friday night in Lakeville, and the match-up between Hopkins and Lakeville North did not disappoint. The Royals and Panthers went to overtime, with Hopkins winning a 46-41 nail-biter. The Royals were led by Tayler Anderson’s 13 points and Nia Coffey’s 10 points. If the Coffey name sounds familiar, that’s because she’s the daughter of former Gopher basketball player Richard Coffey. Her sister, Sydney Coffey, is also one of the key contributors on the team. The Royals, led by the Coffey sisters, will be tough to beat this season.
Tune into WCCO-TV’s High School Sports Rally at 10:20 p.m. Friday as Mike Max, Frank Vascellaro and John Lauritsen will have all of this week’s action covered.