Week 9 Conference Rewind

With the 1st round of conference games done or just finishing up, I figured it'd be a good time to take a look at what is going on in each of the metro leagues.

Classic Lake
The season is early but Minnetonka is already 0-2 in the league with the loss to Wayzata last Friday. A rough week for Armstrong as they were blown out at Edina and then lost a tough one in OT at Blaine. That loss to Kennedy is still baffling. Wayzata and Edina both rolling along.

Classic Suburban
Tartan, Richfield and Mahtomedi all 2 games back of Sibley. Mahtomedi hosts Richfield on Tuesday to determine who's tied for 2nd with Tartan after 1 rotation. Despite a drought against Stillwater on Saturday, they did get a nice win at St. Thomas Academy on Friday. With St. Thomas being down, section 1AAA looks wide open.

Does anyone want to win this thing? Chaska was in the thick of the race and they've lost at Rosemount and Eastview in the last 2 weeks. Burnsville has lost 3 in a row. Jefferson lost to Apple Valley. That put Eden Prairie 2 games up and then Jefferson beat them last Tuesday. Lakeville North has won 13 of 14 with the only loss at Eden Prairie. They'll host Jefferson on Tuesday.

Minneapolis City
Washburn and Henry are known teams but how about North. They won at Henry so at worst they'll be 1 game behind Washburn after 1 rotation or at best in a 3 way tie for first with those teams. As I said when they played Richfield in December, Kevin Thompson is a beast putting up 22 a night. If he would have ended up at MTS, that lineup would have been crazy good.

Heritage lost 3 in a row this week to eliminate any chance they had in the league (1 of those was non-conference to CHOF). Heritage had the last real shot at Lester Prairie so I'm giving them the crown now. Maranatha in the driver's seat for 2nd after beating SW Christian on Friday but they still have to beat New Life on Thursday.

4 teams all 3-1 in the league and Northfield is not one of them. That should sort itself out this week. New Prague has Northfield and Farmington. Farmington also has Prior Lake. Northfield looked to be rolling after the win over Owatonna but road losses to Shakopee and Farmington left them out of the top 4.

North Suburban
A 2 horse race with Cooper and Spring Lake Park. Fridley 2 games back of Spring Lake Park for 2nd. Cooper still has a trip to Spring Lake Park at the end of the month. Fridley getting a huge season of 24 a night from Isaiah Thomas for an 11-4 start with no bad losses.

Northwest Suburban
Osseo and Champlin Park where I expected and Sam Dower is having a huge season. Maple Grove about where I would have expected. I thought Blaine wouldn't be at the top of the league, but a stretch of 1-10 was a major surprise. Hopefully the win over Maple Grove this week gets the Bengals going.

St. Paul City
The 1st rotation ends this week. The league is shaking out as the talent shows. Central at 12-4 is a surprise considering what they lost from last year but guys like Taylor Smaller, LeDarian Horton and Jordan Larson are all talented players. Como Park at 2-2 in the league is understandable, but 3-12 with their talent is the biggest surprise.

Suburban East
Mounds View at CDH for 1st place alone to end the 1st rotation on Tuesday. Hastings is the biggest surprise here as they're 9-7 and 4-4 in the league. They stole one from Roseville on Friday night as Roseville committed a foul on their own FT with a second left to lose that one. Mike Muscala having a big season for much improved Roseville but they've lost 6 of 7 now, all by 7 points or less. Stillwater with a young roster and a new coach is only 6-10 and 3-5 in the league.

Biggest surprise for me is Minnehaha being 3 games up in the West on De La Salle. St. Paul Academy much improved at 7-7 with Evan McMillan leading the way but sophomore center Gabe Mast is also having a nice season for them. Their top 3 kids return next year.

Be sure to check out my MN Preps column this week (available Monday morning in the upper right corner of the blog). I take a deeper look at the Hopkins/Cooper showdown on Tuesday, a look at a big battle of 2 of the state's top point guards and another team from the NW Suburban.

If you missed any of the games I saw this week, here's the complete list.
My schedule for the week can be found on the right side in "The Czar's Schedule" section. A busy week with games every day.

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