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Posted On: 12/5/17 12:09 PM
Games to Watch This Week
Perham at Breckenridge (12/8/17) – This is a marquee, early-season clash between two rivals who are both looking to win the Heart O’Lakes Conference, as well as Section 8AA. Breckenridge senior Derek Dahlgren is coming off of a 31 point-performance in the win over Fergus Falls, and he’ll team up with junior 6’8” big-man, Noah Christensen, as they look for another signature win. Perham seniors Logan Richter and Martin LaFond will lead a very talented group of juniors (more on them later) down to Breckenridge in search of a victory.
Breakdown Tip-Off Classic (12/9/17) – A number of northern MN teams will be making the trip to Hopkins this Saturday, here is a look at the matchups:
St. Cloud Tech vs. Lakeville North – This game will pit two dynamic players against each other in the frontcourt, with senior Brevyn Spann-Ford for Tech and junior Tyler Wahl for Lakeville North.
Fergus Falls vs. Delano – On the other side of the spectrum, these two teams each feature a premier senior in the backcourt, Nathan Rund for Fergus Falls and Calvin Wishart for Delano.
Perham vs. Breck – This game includes a ton of talent from the Class of 2019, as Breck features two juniors in David Roddy and Joey Ganley. Perham counters with juniors Jenson Beachy, Josh Jeziorski, Carter Cresap, and John LaFond.
St. Cloud Cathedral vs. Caledonia – While the game above features a lot of junior talent, this one showcases a group of solid seniors. Owen King leads Caledonia and Michael Schaefer joins Mitch Plombon to provide a one-two punch for Cathedral.
Esko vs. Annandale – Esko is led by the seven-footer, Adam Trapp, and they’ll be going against an Annandale team that has seen impressive team success over the last few years. Seniors Nick Bieniek, AJ Hinz, and Trenton Peterson headline the Annandale attack.
Fosston Holiday Classic (12/7/17-12/8/17) – Opening round matchups for the four-team tournament begin on Thursday with Nevis vs. Blackduck at 5:45, followed by Win-E-Mac vs. Fosston at 7:30. The consolation game will be at 5:45 Friday, followed by the championship game at 7:30.
This tournament includes a trio of juniors to watch out for, including: Karsten Broadley of Fosston, Brekken Lindberg of Win-E-Mac, and Michael Landquist of Nevis.
Players to Watch This Week
Anthony Massman, Sauk Rapids-Rice – The Storm have a trio of seniors this year that they need to produce in order for them to compete for the CLC title. Last Friday against Brainerd, Cody Landwehr scored 25 points, and Deng Deang did not dress. Massman had 14 in the loss, but if Deang continues to be unavailable, look for Massman’s production to increase.
Dylan DeChampeau, Greenway – The sophomore is one of the most explosive scorers in northern MN, having already reached the 1,000-point mark last season. He’ll face a stiff test on Friday as they travel to Virginia, the favorite to win the Iron Range Conference.
Jared Brown, Cass Lake-Bena – UPDATE: Jared was included as a player to watch last week, but he informed NHR that he is sidelined with a broken finger most likely until January. Get well soon, Jared!
Storyline to Watch This Week
Shake-up in AAA – Preseason rankings are not an exact science, and this isn’t to say that these teams don’t belong in them, but there were a number of Top 20 teams in Class AAA that suffered losses during the opening week of the season. Four teams from the Central Lakes Conference were among the casualties, it will be interesting to see how they bounce back this week as their schedules do not soften up at all. Here is a closer look:
Fergus Falls (previously ranked #10) – Last week they were defeated by Breckenridge 79-73. This week doesn’t get any easier for them, as they open up Central Lakes Conference play today at ROCORI and travel to Hopkins on Saturday to square off with Delano in the Breakdown Tip-Off Classic. The trio of Nathan Rund, Harrison Christensen and Matthew Johnson will lead them as they try to deal with a couple of tough tests this week.
Alexandria (previously ranked #14) – They lost their opener to a motivated Moorhead team 65-55 last week, and their consolation prize this week is a Tuesday matchup against the defending conference champion, St. Cloud Tech. Trey Hoepner and Justin Balcome are the only two returning players that played significant minutes last year. Balcome had 12 points and 18 rebounds against the Spuds and Hoepner finished with 8 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 assists. They will be tested again tonight in St. Cloud.
Sauk Rapids-Rice (previously ranked #16) – The Storm dropped their opener to Brainerd by a score of 68-60. This week they travel to the metro to take on Hopkins on Thursday, and turn around to host Bemidji on Friday. As mentioned above, they will rely heavily on Cody Landwehr, but will need increased contributions from the likes of Anthony Massman and Cade Milton-Baumgardner.
St. Cloud Apollo (previously ranked #17) – They lost a 69-68 nail biter to St. Louis Park last week, and they’ll look to get first-year head coach Jason Allen his first win on Saturday as they host Bemidji. They need leadership from a trio of seniors, in Phillip Dromgoole, Renell Edwards, and Marquise Smith.