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Posted On: 01/26/18 1:48 PM
What are the big games? Where are the important games? Who will win the biggest games? NHR breaks it down before tip-off.
Andover at Anoka. This is an important game in Section 7AAAA. The Huskies have won half of their games against section opponents and need a victory against nine win Anoka. Andover was in a 1-4 stretch before beating Spring Lake Park while Anoka has lost two in a row. Anoka knows they need a win but can they stop Jake Phipps up front? Mason Heath will put forth the effort to try. Conner Knoepfle will look guys down on defense and I don’t think Anoka will stop him from getting 20 plus. I think Jeff Wall gets his team to win ten though.
Delano at Orono. Both teams have lost a few more games than they were expected to and both teams have had some injuries (Max Bjorklund of Orono and Calvin Wishart of Delano). The Delano/Orono games have been classics in recent years and as long as Wishart is playing it should be a good game. But Wishart has missed the past couple contests and that’s a big deal as he will either be out, or playing his first game back. So we go with Orono tonight at home. Keegan O’Neil will need to have a big game taking Jarvis Omersa away from the cup with his jumper and fighting on the boards.
DeLaSalle at Eden Prairie. The Islanders lost two early games but have won 11 or 12 straight. At this point they are playing well and have beat some out of state teams, but they haven’t beat any any top big schools squads in Minnesota yet. They need a signature victory against one of the best in Minnesota and Eden Prairie would be that win. Can the Islanders do it? First off, that could depend on if Gabe Kalscheur is playing. Tyrell Terry is coming off the 47 point game but without Gabe he may have to score at least another 30 against the Eagles. Either way, I will go with the hometeam in a great game. If Gabe plays and is healthy, it could go either way. Tyrell Terry against Kyler Kluge will be a great battle, Sage Booker is likely to get after Drake Dobbs, John Henry and Conner Christensen will have a great battle with Jamison Battle, CJ Dickson, and make Gabe is he plays. Kluge could also be on Gabe.
Mahtomedi at North St Paul. The Polars are two games above everyone in the Metro East and there are only a few teams that have the talent to beat them and the Zephyrs are one that could. But they are pretty young and were just upset by Hastings. Mahtomedi is much better than anyone expected but beating NSP in their home with all of their experience, that’s a lot. Polars by 11. The Polars are too balanced right now and have too many guys like Dajuan Carter, LaQwane Cochrane, and Marcus Sims playing their roles around Bryce Phillips and Goodnews Kpegeol.
Mankato East at Mankato West. The town rivalry should be really good. Both teams are full of seniors that have their teams about three wins more than expected. East is considered one of Class AAA’s best and West will want to knock them down a peg. East wins by nine after a long battle that is close most of the game. Michael Sathoff and Uhana Ochan is a battle of different frontcourt bigs that have been very productive. Dondre Spann and Dawson Frericks are seniors that must manage to counter what Damani Hayes and Edmon Oyet do and in the backcourt Jax Madson versus Griffin Corbett is very important.
Minnesota Valley Lutheran at St. Clair. What are the big games? Where are the important games? Who will win the biggest games? NHR breaks it down before tip-off. . This is an interesting game to me because of the players involved. MVL has Jake Kettner and and St. Clair has Mitchell Weber. Two well respected players in their respective classes. MVL is 10-5 and winners of four of their last five while St. Clair is 10-6 but winners of their last five games in a row. The Cyclones are at home, and the team playing better at the moment, we go with them.
Osseo at Park Center. The Orioles won the first match-up 60-59 in overtime. Zach Theisen hit five treys and scored 29 to give Osseo the victory and they’ve been in first place ever since. Tonight is the rematch with Park Center coming off an overtime survival against Blaine. In all the previous games Park Center was blowing out opponents and they will be motivated this evening at home. This time Park Center wins by two scores to even the score. Even though Emmette Page is rolling as one of the state’s biggest surprises. Dain Dain and his big body in the post could give the Pirates an element to use that Osseo can’t counter.
St. Charles at Wabasha-Kellogg. Is W-K catching St. Charles at the right time having lost two in a row? Or are they about to get the full anger of St. Charles playing them at the right time? Zach Kjeseth is doing some of everything and we detailed that today in his feature. But can he fend off the St. Charles squad for a big win? We think St. Charles is going to be angry and win by double digits after a tough start. Kaden Vaughn against Zach Kjeseth will be a great battle.
Southwest MN Christian at Mountain Lake. The Eagles are 13-2 and heading out on the road to play 11-5 Mountain Lake. Pipestone has been the SWMNC Achilles Heel beating them twice. Is Mountain Lake ready to knock off a top team? They did just beat Windom and now they are hosting their opponents. Jacob Van Damn is an interesting young guard for the Eagles while AJ Vanderby is the veteran inside. Marcus Boyd and Weston Osland are a veteran backcourt that will be tough to stop. Upset time we say!
Springfield at New Ulm Cathedral. The Greyhounds have won eight in a row after a tough start that included losses to some bad teams. Wins over Sibley East, CMC, and MVL lets us know that they have taken things to another level. But can they beat Springfield who won the first game 94-80? Springfield showed the state they are human by losing to Redwood Valley but since then Springfield has been hanging big numbers on people. The Greyhounds are balanced with Jon Zinniel, James Gillies, and Alex Hillisheim but enough to deal with Isaac Fink and their athletic and skilled group. They win by 18.
Virginia at Mesabi East. Virginia won the first game by 11 points and is on the edge of being a ranked team. They have lost one score games to North Woods and Proctor and can’t afford a loss to Mesabi East. On the other hand, the Giants are home and 9-5 on the season looking for that big win that could boost them into a run. Mesabi East is home so they have a chance, but the Devils win by seven. Giants 6-foot-6 big Tyler Baribeau has a big assignment in guarding Ethan Youso but the biggest problem could be Virginia trying to slow Carson Becicka. Nathan Fink will have a big responsibility.