Hard to believe but its already a month into the season. Here's what catching my eye.
Classic Suburban Conference
Tartan's defense has been amazing giving up only 43.3 points a night in a 6-0 start. The 46-0 run vs Brooklyn Center was a defensive display. Tradition is great but Henry Sibley is starting 5 non-seniors for a 1-4 start. Richfield running and running and running some more to a 4-1 start including a win at Grand Rapids but they really took it on the chin giving up 100 to Duluth Central. Simley 4-3 with no good wins and double-digit losses to Harding, West Lutheran and Prairie Seeds Academy.
Eden Prairie got it done against the softest part of their schedule and then 2 impressive wins over ranked teams in their holiday tournament (Benilde-St. Margaret's and Chaska). That gives them 6 in a row. The schedule is a nightmare the rest of the way. Don't sleep on the rest of the league. Edina is 6-2 with close losses at Chaska and a 1 pt home loss to Armstrong. Wayzata is 6-2 with nice wins over Blaine, White Bear Lake, Cooper and a win at the Catholic Spirit over CDH. Minnetonka is 1-7 against a tough schedule but recently they've played Armstrong, Orono and Rocori tough in 3 close losses.
West Lutheran and Bethany are still undefeated against very weak schedules. The Bethany vs undefeated Lakeview Christian game is an interesting test for Bethany. West Lutheran visits MCA on Thursday in their biggest test of the young season. Providence Academy is on pace for their best season since 2006-07.
Minneapolis City Conference
Biggest surprise is that only Washburn is above .500. Henry is at Washburn in a battle of the 2 top teams on Thursday night. I thought Henry would be better than 3-4 at this point but they do have Deonte Blakemore back so we'll see how that impacts them in league play.
So much for the sirens on Chaska. After that tough loss to Burnsville, they ran off 6 wins in a row with wins over Edina, De La Salle and Waconia. Shakopee is only 2-3 with a loss to a struggling Waconia team and a home loss to Woodbury. The next 3 of 4 on the road in non-conference play do them no favors. New Prague stumbled against White Bear Lake and the schedule hasn't been great. After a visit to Albert Lea, they visit Owatonna, Edina and Shakopee with Chaska at home in the next 4. Chanhassen's start looked great and then we find out that Lakeville North and Waconia aren't quite what we thought.
North Suburban Conference
Chisago Lakes stumbled in a crazy game at Mound-Westonka but their 4 win start is quickly approaching last year's 6 win total. With only 6 teams in section 7AAA, finding a favorite is still tough. St. Louis Park is 3-5 against a tough schedule but Wayzata is their best win. A trip to Columbia Heights and a home game vs Irondale are a tough start to league play for the Orioles. A early test in the league standings comes Thursday with Heights visiting BSM.
Northwest Suburban Conference
The big story in the league is Maple Grove at 7-1. We'll really see where they stack up in league play as they visit Armstrong and Osseo in the next couple of weeks. Champlin Park is 5-1 with respectable wins over Cooper and Rosemount at the Bethel tourney. They host Armstrong and Osseo in the next week. Anoka has lost to Armstrong and Osseo but won their other 4 games without star guard Marcus Tyus and he'll return to the lineup soon.
South Suburban Conference
Eagan is 6-1 against a fairly weak schedule but missed free throws cost them a chance to beat Columbia Heights down in Winona last week. So I say add Eagan to the list of league contenders. They'll find out quickly with the league opener at Eastview Tuesday. Lakeville South with a pair of tough home losses to Hopkins and Johnson (5 pts total) so they can play with anybody. They visit Apple Valley Friday. The Eagles are 2-3 against a tough schedule without Tyus Jones and made a nice run to the Granite City title game last week. Thomas Schalk stepping up big there. Lakeville North is a surprise at 1-6 because of how well they played against Hopkins. But with 5 juniors starting and the return of senior Al Erickson at point guard, they'll only get better.
St. Paul City Conference
Biggest surprise in the St. Paul City is Johnson losing to Chicago Hyde Park last week. Central at 3-4 with a loss to Hill-Murray after beating them earlier in the season is a disappointment. Team is too talented to be under .500. Highland Park off with 1 OK win over Mahtomedi to jump to a 5-3 start.
Suburban East Conference
East Ridge is 6-2 but 3 of those wins were at the weak Trinity holiday tournament. Woodbury is 2-3 with 2 of those losses by 1 point on the road. They have home games with Stillwater and CDH coming up in the next week. White Bear Lake with a nice win over New Prague in Winona last week for a 4-1 start. They visit CDH Tuesday in a good test. Forest Lake lost a ton from last year but they're 5-2 with a pair of 8 point losses. They visit Stillwater and host CDH this week.
St. Anthony is at 7-1 after losing a nice group of seniors. Didn't see that coming. Not the greatest schedule but they did win at Concordia (who just beat Braham over the holidays) and have a neutral site win over Minneapolis South. Add in a home win over St. Croix Lutheran and they're in the early drivers seat in the east division. St. Agnes is only 1-2 in the division but those losses are understandable at St Croix and home to Concordia.
Waconia is my biggest disappointment at 2-4. They host Orono on Tuesday and visit Delano next week in a very difficult start to Wright County play. Zimmerman with a nice 7-1 start with good wins at Rocori and Maple Lake. Rogers could be 6-1 with the tough lane violation loss at Totino-Grace. They have difficult games at Zimmerman and Anoka and host Buffalo in the next week. Speaking of Buffalo, now that they're done playing the NW Suburban, will they make another big run through the league schedule? They have an important section game at St. Cloud Tech on Saturday before next week's trip to Rogers.