Class AAA: Duos to Watch

High School

Posted On: 09/18/18 4:19 PM

The high school season with regards to Class AAA will start the same way it’s started for a better part of the last decade — with DeLaSalle as a prohibitive favorite and a whole host of teams aiming to knock them down. Last year ended differently with the Islanders losing in the state semifinals. Anything is possible this year. Here are some of the top duos to watch heading into the 2018-19 season.

DeLaSalle: The Islanders return their second and third leading scorers from last season as senior point guard Tyrell Terry and senior forward Jamison Battle are both back. Terry averaged 17 points and six assists a season ago and was terrific over the summer on the AAU circuit. He’s the best point guard in Class AAA. Battle averaged 14 a game as the third-fiddle behind Terry and Gabe Kalscheur but there’s little doubt he’s capable of producing even more.

Hermantown: The Hawks were just 11-15 in the regular season before catching fire and getting to the state tournament. Fortunately for them, two key guys in their attack are back. Connor Bich averaged 14 points and can beat teams inside and out while Peter Soumis is a knock down 3-point shooter with a savvy floor game. I’d expect those two guys to lead Hermantown to a nice chunk of wins this winter.

Marshall: The Tigers should be one of the top teams in Class AAA this winter and a contender in their conference and section. They lost Trey Lance but Matt Onken and Bryce Paulsen will be the best two players on the floor in a lot of games for the Tigers. Onken averaged 13 points and seven boards as a junior and controls the paint on both ends of the floor while Paulsen is one of the top shooters in southern Minnesota.

Hibbing: Here’s another way-north club. The Bluejackets won 19 games a season ago and could very well eclipse that mark this winter. The dynamic duo of Luke Lundell and Ayden McDonald is a big reason for optimism. Lundell is one of the best shooters in the entire state and put up nearly 19 points per game as a junior while Mcdonald averaged 11 per game as just an eighth-grader.

Robbinsdale Cooper: The Hawks should be a top-10 team in Class AAA next year, should push for 20-plus wins and could challenge DeLaSalle in sections thanks to the dynamic duo of Jalen Justice and Jalen Miller. The two combined to average nearly 35 points per game a season ago and could see that number rise this winter.

Winona: The Winhawks won just eight games a year ago but there was an awful lot of roster turnover and upheaval over the course of the year. The bright spots in that campaign were juniors Jake Reeck and Brad Winter. Reeck averaged 16 points per game and upped that number closer to 20 during the second half of the season while Winter averaged 12 and established himself as a sound interior defender. With those two leading the way, Winona could surprise some people.