Early season review

With a handful of games in the books for most teams in the metro, let's take a quick trip around the metro leagues.

Classic Lake
Minnetonka survives their 5 game stretch without stars Tor Anderson, Cole Stefan and Leonard Glass at 2-3 with all games within 10 points.  The Skippers travel to Benilde-St. Margaret's on Tuesday.  Hopkins an impressive 5-0 with big leads in all games.  While they almost gave a lead back vs Columbia Heights and Henry Sibley, the Royals are once again the clear favorite at this point in the season.  Edina 3-3 with 4 games decided by 3 points or less.  With all of their losses, credit to the Hornets for giving Benilde-St. Margaret's and Orono all they wanted and beating a much improved Park Center team.

Classic Suburban
Sibley with a shocking 31 point loss to Robbinsdale Cooper, but they made a big comeback at Hopkins.  With their size, the Warriors are still a force to be reckoned with.  Mahtomedi and Simley are both 4-1 but against soft schedules.  The conference slate starts right after the holidays and these teams will need to make a step up to maintain those records.

Lake
How about Eagan at 6-0 and 4-0 in the league?  Nice wins for the Wildcats at Jefferson, Lakeville North and then taking Eastview behind the woodshed at their place.  Jameson Parsons with 21 a night for them.  Eden Prairie with a pair of come from behind wins.  First vs Lakeville South and then down by 10 at half at Apple Valley.  Nice start for Apple Valley too at 4-1 (3-1 league).  Rosemount and new coach Brian Schnettler off to a nice 3-1 start as well.  Eastview, Lakeville South and Chaska all with 2 league losses already but can beat anyone on a given night.

MCAA
Biggest surprise was Maranatha losing at home to St. Agnes.  New Life Academy has played a big school schedule to start and so they've stumbled to a 1-4 start but expect better once they begin league play.

Missota
How about Hutchinson at 5-0 including wins over Waconia, St. Michael-Albertville and both Mankato schools?  Great start for them.  Holy Angels is 1-4 against a brutal schedule that includes 3 ranked teams.  New Prague undefeated by beating up on the Big 9, expect them to be in the running for the league title.

Minneapolis City
Minneapolis South 4-0 with good home wins over Osseo and Richfield.  Big center Alonzo Traylor averaging 24 a night for the Tigers.  Henry is the only other team above .500 at 2-2 but they gave Hopkins and Minnesota Transitions decent games.  with their guard play (Hughes and Cox 50 ppg combined) and athletes, they're not a team you want to see in the tournament. 

North Suburban
Benilde-St. Margaret's and Robbinsdale Cooper off to impressive undefeated starts.  The Red Knights go 10 deep and have to be one of the state's favorites in class AAA.  Cooper getting scoring from Darry Jones and the inside presence of Calvin Godfrey for a great duo.  The Hawks won at Minnetonka in double OT and demolished Sibley by 31 last weekend for a pair of impressive wins.  Columbia Heights with a tough loss to Park Center last week to fall to 2-2, but with Jacob Thomas and Zach Lofton they can fill it up in a hurry.  Those 3 are the class of the league with Spring Lake Park trying to jump into that mix.

Northwest Suburban
The story here has to be 5-1 Park Center who finally took their 1st loss last week to Edina.  The Pirates are big and athletic with a quality point guard.  They'll have a chance to jump up into the top group.  Anoka and Elk River off to a combined 7-1 start.  Can they keep that up?  Post Lomumba Ismail off to a nice start for Anoka.  Early favorite Champlin Park off to a tough 1-2 start with both losses to ranked teams.  Centennial also surprisingly is 0-4.  Their schedule has been difficult, but winless at this point is a surprise.

St. Paul City
Johnson off to an impressive 4-0 start where they really haven't been challenged.  The destruction of Stillwater was particularly impressive.  Central 5-0 coming off an impressive week where they won at Minnehaha and Orono who were both ranked.  The rest of the league has been down as expected.  Arlington losing a couple of close ones, including 27-24 to Trinity.  That's an ugly score.

Suburban East
The 3 favorites (Stillwater, CDH and Forest Lake) all off to nice starts.  How about Zach Riedeman putting up 30.8 ppg for Forest Lake?  Hastings slightly disappointing at 1-4.  Cretin-Derham Hall getting great play from their 3 sophomore stars.  CDH has great depth with those 3 playing well and a beast inside in Seantrel Henderson.

Tri-Metro
In the east, St. Croix Lutheran off to a disappointing 0-3 start giving up 77 points a game.  St. Agnes with a surprising win at Maranatha.  St. Anthony 3-1 but the competition will get tougher.  In the west, Blake is 4-1 against a soft schedule.  Minnehaha 4-2 with both losses to ranked teams but they dominated a ranked Braham team at the Breakdown tip-off. Disappointing 1-4 start for St. Paul Academy but 2 of those losses were to ranked teams and another to the east favorite St. Anthony.

Independents
Minnesota Transitions with a pair of impressive road/neutral wins in their 3-0 start.  PACT 5-0 against a weak schedule.  The New Life Academy win was a good one.  It'll be interesting to see how PACT does in the St. Cloud Cathedral tournament.  Good test for them.  Austin Rink 24 a night for PACT.  CHOF 0-5 despite 16.6 PPG from soph center Tyler Strandlund.  A 1-man band with no accompaniment.

3 comments:

  1. what about the MISSISSIPPI 8?

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  2. pact beat st. bernards...thoughts?

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  3. James, the Mississippi 8 is a league that I don't cover on a regular basis. Without following it, I can't make any comments on it.

    Newb11, that's a nice road win, especially with Rink only scoring 8 points. While St. Bernard's isn't the team of past years, their building isn't an easy place to play. As I said in the piece, the competition picks up in St. Cloud. That will say a lot about the team.

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