Introducing the Weekly 360 Windmill. Its my look back on the week that was and a look ahead to the week that will be. Of course the only 360 I know is to go all the way around the buffet table, but we'll give this a shot anyway. So with that in mind, here goes.
Week 1 Thoughts
Farmington opened their season with a pair of easy wins against the 2 weaker Rochester teams. Good confidence builder for that group vs a couple of section 1AAAA foes and it shows they belong outside of the dreaded 1st round game vs Lakeville North or Rochester John Marshall
Staying in section 1AAAA, a very good win for Lakeville South on the road at New Prague. Especially when you consider they did it without PG Jack Sorenson in the box score. That gives the Cougars the very early inside track on the 3 seed in 1AAAA.
St. Paul Academy is getting used to a new coach. They start 2-0 with road wins at St. Croix Prep and Rochester Lourdes. But it took them a while to pull away at SCPA, where a blowout was expected. Expectations are high there, I'm watching to see what they look like come the tough stretch in mid-December vs St. Croix Lutheran and Mountain Iron-Buhl.
Statement win for Orono at #2AAA Marshall as the Spartans are off to a 2-0 start. Expect them to jump into this week's AAA poll and stay there.
Good home wins for Cristo Rey over Concordia and North St. Paul over Chisago Lakes as those teams look to take the next step.
Week 2 Look Ahead
Monday has a light schedule. The Post-Hanson era at Maranatha begins as they host Como Park. Its also the beginning of the John Robinson era on the boys side at Como Park. With a talented feeder school, I think they can start keeping some kids and he had success on the girls side. Things looking up for the Cougars. Also a rivalry matchup as PACT visits Spectrum in the first of 2 meetings this year between future MCAA foes.
Tuesday is the first night of the season where we have a full slate of games. It has a pair of games that immediately stick out. First is Armstrong at Wayzata. Stiff test for Armstrong to start the season as they look to plug in last year's undefeated JV guys with 3 returning guys. In the other game of note, #6AAA Mahtomedi visits Chisago Lakes in what could be a state tournament preview. Chisago Lakes was the top seed in 7AAA last year and they have their top 3 back to get there again. Forward Carter Duncan was not in the box score vs North St. Paul. His size will be needed against Mahtomedi. Sleeper games, Park Center at Brooklyn Center, Prior Lake at Waconia and Simley at Byron. Soph Mike Coble vs senior Jack Stensgard in that last game is a very compelling matchup.
Wednesday night has 1 game. St. Paul Harding at Richfield. The drama that is the battle for the 8th seed in section 3AAA.
Friday is quiet in the metro but Osseo and Bloomington Jefferson will be at the Duluth East tourney for the weekend. Jefferson vs #8AAA Hermantown and Osseo vs Duluth East are a couple of interesting games there.
Saturday has the 1st showcase of the season at Anoka-Ramsey. 6 games there including Marshall vs Stillwater and Moorhead vs Elk River in an 8AAAA battle. But the biggest game of the day is #5AAAA Wayzata at #8AAAA Lakeville North in the afternoon. Skill and shooters all over the place in that game. If Lakeville North can keep Reuvers and Brooks both on the floor, I think that forces Wayzata to play bigger rather than a more comfortable 4 out group. Later in the south metro #1AAAA Apple Valley has their home opener against Minnetonka. Sleeper game: Sauk Rapids-Rice at Delano in a game full of talented underclassmen. Cam Jackson vs Calvin Wishart and Cody Landwehr vs Keegan O'Neill are a pair of quality matchups of sophomores in that game.