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The Week Ahead in Minnesota High School Hoops, Feb. 25-Mar. 2

DeLaSalle gets warmed up for their Section 3AAA title defense with the Tri-Metro Conference tournament this week.
DeLaSalle gets warmed up for their Section 3AAA title defense with the Tri-Metro Conference tournament this week.
Dan Hinrichs

As the regular season winds down, good teams often like to get tested by strong competition to get them ready for what they’ll face deep in the section tournaments. No team’s getting more of a dress rehearsal for the tournament than the Fairmont Cardinals (#3 in Class 2A), as they’re traveling to #5 Maple River and #4 St. Peter this week before they kick off tournament play in Section 3AA on Saturday afternoon. The Cardinals won’t have to worry about showcasing too much to potential section opponents in these games; while they play in Section 3AA and already have the #1 seed in the south subsection locked up, both St. Peter and Maple River play in Section 2AA.

In the metro area, the Tri-Metro Conference tournament promises to provide some good tourney warm-up competition for the teams in the semifinals. Two of the semifinalists are Class 3A teams (#1 DeLaSalle and #5 Blake) while the other two are in Class 2A, #6 Minnehaha Academy and unranked Breck. Both Minnehaha and Breck belong to Section 4AA, and they’re tracking to be the top two seeds in the section tournament. They played once in the regular season- an 8-point Minnehaha victory- but one wonders if they’d hold anything back for a potential section title matchup if they happen to meet in the championship or third-place game in the conference tournament.

The top seed in Section 6AAAA and likely the Lake Conference title will be on the line Friday night when Edina travels to Hopkins to take on the #6 Royals. Hopkins, who’s been synonymous with outstanding basketball for a long time, will be looking to avenge an overtime loss to the Hornets; they’ll need a win to have a chance to claim at least a share of the Lake title. The Section 6AAAA playoffs promise to be some of the most competitive in the state, as all eight of the teams currently boast records over .500.

This week’s schedule for teams in the Minnesota Basketball News Top 10, along with last week’s scores:

Class 4A

1. Apple Valley Eagles (23-1; Last week- #1)
Last week: d. #9 Lakeville North 94-78; d. Rosemount 86-61
This week: at Prior Lake, 7pm Tuesday; vs. Lakeville South, 7pm Friday

2. Osseo Orioles (22-2; Last week- #3)
Last week: d. Wayzata 89-76; d. Centennial 66-52
This week: at Elk River, 7pm Wednesday; vs. Coon Rapids, 7pm Friday

3. Park Center Pirates (22-2; Last week- #4)
Last week: d. Andover 89-43; d. Blaine 98-51
This week: vs. Champlin Park, 7pm Tuesday; at Minnetonka, 7pm Friday

4. Tartan Titans (20-4; Last week- #7)
Last week: d. North St. Paul 78-58; l. to Duluth East 64-61
This week: at Simley, 7pm Tuesday; vs. South St. Paul, 7:30pm Friday

5. Woodbury Royals (20-4; Last week- #8)
Last week: d. Hastings 94-64; l. to #10 Roseville 74-52
This week: vs. Park of Cottage Grove, 7:15pm Tuesday; vs. Mounds View, 7:15pm Friday

6. Hopkins Royals (20-4; Last week- #7)
Last week: d. #8 Eden Prairie 83-70; d. Andover 74-59
This week: vs. Minnetonka, 7pm Tuesday; vs. Edina, 7pm Friday

7. Eden Prairie Eagles (16-8; Last week- #8)
Last week: l. to #7 Hopkins 83-70; l. to Edina 57-55
This week: vs. Coon Rapids, 7pm Tuesday; at Wayzata, 7pm Friday

8. Brainerd Warriors (22-1; Last week- not ranked)
Last week: d. Sauk Rapids-Rice 77-53; d. St. Cloud Apollo 79-64
This week: vs. Rocori, 7:30pm Monday; vs. Grand Rapids, 7:30pm Tuesday; at Fergus Falls, 7:30pm Friday

9. Lakeville North Panthers (18-6; Last week- #9)
Last week: l. to #1 Apple Valley 94-78; l. to Prior Lake 57-56
This week: at Lakeville South, 7pm Tuesday; vs. Bloomington Kennedy, 7pm Friday

10. Roseville Raiders (19-5; Last week- #10)
Last week: d. East Ridge 74-63; d. #5 Woodbury 74-52
This week: vs. White Bear Lake, 7:15pm Tuesday; at Hastings, 7:15pm Friday

Class 3A

1. DeLaSalle Islanders (21-1; Last week- #1)
Last week: d. St. Paul Academy 84-24; d. Minneapolis Washburn 83-42
This week: at Breck, 7pm Tuesday; vs. TBD, Friday (Tri-Metro Tournament)

2. Austin Packers (24-0; Last week- #2)
Last week: d. Winona 61-53; d. Rochester John Marshall 66-47
This week: at Owatonna, 7:30pm Friday

3. Marshall Tigers (23-2; Last week- #3)
Last week: d. Windom 57-24; d. Moorhead 70-59
This week: at New Ulm, 7:30pm Friday

4. Holy Angels Stars (18-6; Last week- #4)
Last week: d. New Prague 57-53; d. Northfield 66-43
This week: vs. Shakopee, 7:30pm Tuesday; at Chanhassen, 7:30pm Friday

5. Blake Bears (18-6; Last week- #6)
Last week: d. Brooklyn Center 68-66; d. St. Agnes 83-38
This week: at 2A #6 Minnehaha Academy, 7pm Tuesday; vs. TBD, Friday (Tri-Metro Tournament)

6. Delano Tigers (21-3; Last week- #5)
Last week: l. to Holy Family Catholic 59-50 (OT); d. Glencoe-Silver Lake 69-53
This week: vs. Hutchinson, 7:30pm Tuesday; at Orono, 7:30pm Friday

7. Waconia Wildcats (20-5; Last week- #7)
Last week: d. Orono 57-55; d. Dassel-Cokato 76-33
This week: vs. Mound-Westonka, 7:30pm Friday

8. St. Paul Johnson Governors (15-7; Last week- #8)
Last week: d. St. Paul Como Park 92-62; d. St. Paul Washington 107-30; d. MetroTech Career Academy 106-59
This week: at St. Paul Harding, 7pm Tuesday; vs. St. Paul Highland Park, 7pm Thursday

9. Hermantown Hawks (22-3; Last week- #9)
Last week: d. Hibbing 66-36; d. Proctor 75-40; d. Thief River Falls 85-73
This week: at Duluth Denfeld, 7:15pm Tuesday

10. Columbia Heights Hylanders (16-7; Last week- not ranked)
Last week: d. Spring Lake Park, 63-59; d. Chisago Lakes 49-45
This week: at Benilde-St. Margaret’s, 7:45pm Tuesday; vs. Fridley, 7:15pm Friday

Class 2A

1. Melrose Dutchmen (24-1; Last week- #1)
Last week: d. Sauk Centre 81-67; d. Lac qui Parle Valley 98-39
This week: vs. Sartell-St. Stephen, 7:30pm Tuesday; vs. Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City, 7:30pm Thursday

2. Hawley Nuggets (20-1; Last week- #2)
Last week: d. Detroit Lakes 82-71
This week: at Ada-Borup, 7:30pm Monday; at Breckenridge, 7:30pm Tuesday; at Park Rapids, 7:15pm Friday

3. Fairmont Cardinals (20-3; Last week- #3)
Last week: d. Blue Earth 75-60
This week: at #5 Maple River, 7:30pm Monday; at #4 St. Peter, 7:30pm Thursday; vs. St. James, 7pm Saturday (Section 3AA playoffs)

4. St. Peter Saints (21-3; Last week- #4)
Last week: l. to #5 Maple River 62-61 (2OT); d. Rocori 78-58
This week: at Sibley East, 7:30pm Monday; vs. #3 Fairmont, 7:30pm Thursday

5. Maple River Eagles (21-4; Last week- #5)
Last week: d. #4 St. Peter 62-61
This week: vs. #3 Fairmont, 7:30pm Monday

6. Minnehaha Academy Redhawks (18-5; Last week- #8)
Last week: d. Providence Academy 77-56; d. Providence Academy 65-47; at Minneapolis South, 2pm Saturday
This week: vs. 3A #5 Blake, 7pm Tuesday; vs. TBD, Friday (Tri-Metro Tournament)

7. Rochester Lourdes Eagles (19-6; Last week- #9)
Last week: d. Kenyon-Wanamingo 57-43; d. La Crescent 67-53
This week: no games scheduled

8. Pelican Rapids Vikings (18-6; Last week- #10)
Last week: d. Ulen-Hitterdal 64-60; d. Park Rapids 63-47
This week: at Barnesville, 7:30pm Tuesday; at Battle Lake, 7:30pm Friday

9. St. Cloud Cathedral Crusaders (18-6; Last week- #8)
Last week: d. Zimmerman 68-55
This week: vs. Princeton, 7:30pm Tuesday; vs. Milaca, 7:30pm Friday

10. Byron Bears (21-4; Last week- #7)
Last week: l. to Lake City 60-43; d. Lake City 50-42 (Hiawatha Valley Championship)
This week: no games scheduled

Class 1A

1. Maranatha Christian Mustangs (23-1; Last week- #1)
Last week: d. St. Agnes 76-42; d. Lester Prairie/Holy Trinity 89-76
This week: at Brooklyn Center, 7pm Monday; at St. Paul Como Park, 7pm Friday

2. Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa Jaguars (21-1; Last week- #2)
Last week: d. Pierz 67-35
This week: at Holdingford, 7:30pm Tuesday; vs. Paynesville, 7:30pm Thursday; vs. Kimball, 7:30pm Friday

3. Southwest Minnesota Christian Eagles (22-1; Last week- #3)
Last week: d. Hills-Beaver Creek 96-69; d. Edgerton 90-41
This week: vs. Adrian, 6:15pm Monday; vs. TBD, Section 3A playoffs, 11am Saturday @ Worthington

4. Upsala Cardinals (23-0; Last week- #4)
Last week: d. Eagle Valley 93-47; d. West Central Area 112-76; d. Lakeview Christian 105-96
This week: at Swanville, 6pm Tuesday; vs. Royalton, 6pm Thursday; at Isle, 7:30pm Friday

5. Russell-Tyler-Ruthton Knights (25-1; Last week- #5)
Last week: d. Pipestone 70-44; d. Tracy-Milroy-Balaton 73-53; d. #8 Dawson-Boyd 72-67
This week: vs. TBD, Section 3A playoffs, 2:30pm Saturday @ Worthington

6. Browerville Tigers (19-2; Last week- #6)
Last week: d. Royalton 58-41; d. Menahga 64-41; d. Osakis 82-42
This week: at Long Prairie-Grey Eagle, 6pm Tuesday; at Verndale, 6pm Thursday; vs. Eagle Valley, 6pm Friday

7. Rushford-Peterson Trojans (21-3; Last week- #8)
Last week: d. Caledonia 59-42
This week: vs. Kingsland, 7:30pm Tuesday; vs. TBD, Section 1A playoffs, 7pm Thursday

8. Dawson-Boyd Blackjacks (19-5; Last week- #9)
Last week: d. Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg 93-21; l. to #5 Russell-Tyler-Ruthton 72-67
This week: vs. TBD, Section 3A playoffs, 11am Saturday

9. Heritage Christian Eagles (19-5; Last week- #7)
Last week: l. to Minneapolis Southwest 67-58
This week: vs. Mayer Lutheran, 7:30pm Friday

10. West Lutheran Warriors (20-4; Last week- #10)
Last week: d. New Life Academy 79-65
This week: vs. Great River, 7pm Friday

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