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Posted On: 01/15/19 11:18 AM
We return with the most interesting teams of the week, class by class! Who has chances this week to prove something, double down or bounce back? NHR dives in here.
Class A: Minnesota Valley Lutheran – Jake Kettner leads the 11-1 Chargers into mid-January with a couple close wins over New Ulm Cathedral and highly ranked Springfield. Can they continue the run? Cedar Mountain and Wabasso are up next. With Kettner likely the best player on the floor throughout those games, it’s hard to see them coming up empty in either game. Matchup to watch: Jake Kettner vs Lewis Pendleton. Two proficient southern MN scorers face off in what should be a high-octane affair. Which side gets the last shot? Can Cedar Mountain upend the surging Chargers? We’ll find out tonight.
Class AA: Brooklyn Center – Having to regroup with a very youthful team after a State berth last season, the Centaurs have lots to look forward to with 2023 prospects Quyavant Douglas and Maxsamus Wilson. They’re playing good teams tough (multiple losses by five or fewer points) but are 6-7 on the season. Two conference foes in DeLaSalle and St. Croix Lutheran are on the slate this week, definitely teams with talent and experience. Can BC go at least 1-1 this week? It would say a lot about the valuable minutes these young guys are getting already. Matchup to watch: Quyavant Douglas vs Tyrell Terry. One is an eighth grader with tons of time to develop into a fearsome perimeter player, the other is a seasoned senior vet who will play PAC-12 basketball in 6 months. Nevertheless, both Douglas and Terry can catch fire quickly so I’m interested in that individual battle.
Class AAA: Waseca – The Bluejays are one of three remaining AAA undefeated squads and they have a trifecta of games to win for the season to stay perfect. They face Hutchinson and Fairmont which should be somewhat breezy wins, but the kicker will be the Saturday game against Marshall. Malik Willingham and company face Noah Puetz and Matt Onken for some section 2 action. Can Waseca stay on top and grab a key win for seeding? Matchup to watch: Andrew Morgan vs Matt Onken. A five inch height difference is nothing new for the 6-3 Onken, who is one of the best undersized post players on both ends. His physicality could be a challenge for the taller Morgan, a sophomore with rapidly improving footwork and ball skills. It’s likely that Willingham will do his thing on the perimeter but the post battle might swing the game.
Class AAAA: Duluth East – At 10-3 on the season Duluth East is feeling good. They picked up a nice section win over Coon Rapids last week and they will take on Forest Lake this week to try and distance themselves in the 7AAAA race. Big man Noah Paulson is becoming an interior force and the Greyhounds can rely on him for impact on both ends. Matchup to watch: Noah Paulson vs Galvy Ngimukua. Who has been a go-to guy for the Rangers as of late? That would be Galvy Ngimukua. The athletic forward is just 6-foot-1 but has good range and rebounding skills. He might have to guard the much bigger Paulson but could hold his own.