MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – We’re approaching the middle of February, and that means things are heating up all over the high school sports map.
It’s playoff time in girls hockey, which means you survive and advance or lose and your season is over. The top girls teams in the state are fighting for the right to play in the state tournament at Xcel Energy Center and Ridder Arena.
Conference titles are up for grabs in boys hockey and boys basketball, most teams are starting their second turn around the conference season. Every night, regardless of the support, there seems to be a great match-up between solid teams and exceptional athletes. This weekend is no exception as there are several great games. We stick to the hardwood for our top games of the weekend.
Saturday Boys Basketball: DeLaSalle (14-3) at Cretin-Derham Hall (17-3)
They each have conference games Friday night, but the game of the week in boys basketball is a non-conference match-up between two of the better teams in the Twin Cities Saturday night. Suburban East Conference leader Cretin-Derham Hall hosts Tri-Metro favorite DeLaSalle.
Islanders enter the contest as one of the top teams in Class 3A and on a 10-game win streak since losing to Eden Prairie on New Year’s Eve. They’re led by Stanford signee Reid Travis, the best power forward in the Twin Cities, who is averaging 17 points per game since returning from a foot injury. They feature a slew of Division I recruits, including Jarvis Johnson and Sacar Anim, who combine to average nearly 30 points per game.
The Raiders have won seven straight since losing to Woodbury on Jan. 10. They’re led by sharp shooter Sam Neumann, who is averaging more than 22 points per game. Joe Rosga also scores about 18 per contest. This one should go right down to the wire and it should be a packed house for a great game.
Friday Boys Basketball: Apple Valley (20-1) at Eastview (6-15)
Apple Valley has yet to lose to a Minnesota team this year and it hasn’t been tested much lately in a 20-1 season so far. The Eagles, led by Duke signee Tyus Jones, are the favorite to win the South Suburban Conference and repeat as state champions as they travel to rival Eastview Friday night. Jones, one of the best point guards in the country, comes in averaging nearly 27 points and eight assists per game. Brock Bertram, Dennis Austin and Gary Trent Jr. combine to average more than 33 points per game. The Eagles have won 15 straight.
The Lightning are led by the trio of Obi Ibeneme (11 points per game), Keegan Dickson (10.2 points per game) and Drew Guebert (10.6 points per game). Eastview enters the game having lost six of its last seven. When the two teams met in early January, Apple Valley cruised to a 77-49 victory.
Friday Boys Basketball: Maple Grove (13-7) at Osseo (17-3)
There’s a fantastic match-up between a pair of Northwest Suburban Conference rivals taking place Friday night as Osseo hosts Maple Grove. The Orioles are led by Division I recruits Wheeler Baker (24.6 points per game) and Ian Theisen (16.2 points, 9.8 rebounds per game). Osseo enters the contest having won 11 straight games and beat the Crimson 70-60 the first time the two teams met. The Crimson are led by Brad Davidson’s 13.6 points per game and have won seven of their last nine.
Saturday Girls Basketball: Centennial (14-3) at Edina (11-8)
Centennial, the No. 3-ranked team in Class 4A, will be put to the test Saturday afternoon as it travels to Edina for a non-conference game. The Cougars enter the contest having won eight of their last 10. They’re led by Jillian Conrad’s 15.7 points per game as well as Jasmine Bretoi’s 12.3 points per contest. Daizjah Morris also scores more than 13 points per game for a balanced offense. The Hornets have lost three of their past four and are led by Jill Morton’s 16.8 points per game.
Tune into WCCO-TV’s High School Sports Rally at about 10:20 p.m. Friday as Mike Max and David McCoy will have all the action covered.