Posted On: 09/16/18 1:30 PM
Class AA may look like Minnehaha’s to lose on a big-picture scale. But there are still a lot of really good teams and a lot of individual talent eager to compete. Despite the 2018 class graduating a lot of household names at the AA level, there are good players aplenty in all corners of the state. Here are some of the top duos to watch heading into the 2018-19 season:
Caledonia: The Warriors lose a school all-time great in Owen King but their fans can rest easy knowing there are still two more King boys in the system. Noah’s been a top performer for three years is now just entering his upperclass years while Eli broke into the rotation on a consistent basis last winter as just an eighth-grader. Noah’s one of the toughest covers in the state as he’s got an inside-outside game that few can match while Eli is a sharpshooter with considerable upside.
Lake City: The Tigers are right up there with Caledonia as a top team not only in Section 1AA but in the state. The reason why is the junior duo of Nathan Heise and Reid Gastner. Both were key guys on Lake City’s state tournament team two years ago as just freshmen and now enter their upperclass years with more knowledge, skill and strength. Heise put up just under 17 points per game a year ago and is one of the best shooters in the state. Gastner is built like a college tight end prospect and has the strength and athleticism to cause matchup nightmares inside and out.
Hawley: The Nuggets won 15 games a year ago and were dismantling Breckenridge through one half of play in the Section 8AA tournament. That team brings back its two best players in Noah Glad and Jayden Carlysle — along with a host of role players — to form a potent inside-outside combo. The two combined for nearly 35 points per game a season ago.
Greenway: The Raiders won 24 games last year and could be the favorite in Section 7AA this year because of its talented junior duo. Dylan DeChampeau is one of the best players not only in northern Minnesota, but the entire 2020 class. He averaged better than 22 points per game a year ago. He’s joined by forward Jace Hansen-Cochran, who averaged right around 18 a night.
Perham: The Yellowjackets went undefeated in the regular season before getting upset by Breckenridge in the Section 8AA title game. They should be extremely strong again this year as they get one more year out of the talented duo of Jenson Beachy and Josh Jeziorski. Beachy is already the school’s all-time leading scorer and put up 17 points and five assists as a junior while Jeziorski averaged 15 points and eight boards before a strong summer in the Comets organization.
Breck: The Mustangs have the best senior in Class AA in David Roddy but they are certainly not a one-man club. The senior big man put up 25 points and 12 rebounds per game and can dominate a game like few in the state. He’s joined by forward Joey Ganley, who averaged 12 points, four rebounds and three assists as a junior.