OK, we were pretty focused on the bigger schools last week. This week we’ll focus more on the smaller schools. Our Game of the Week matches A versus AA.
Game of the Week
I don’t know exactly what Brett has in mind for the Class A and AA rankings but last week Watertown-Mayer was rated #3AA and Heritage Christian was #6A. Since them Watertown-Mayer has taken down #2AAA Alexandria on its (Alexandria’s) home court, 66-60, to win the Alex holiday tournament. They’re now 7-1 and their only loss came with 3 rotation players out sick and a fourth leaving the game early and scoring 15 points below her average.
Meanwhile, it’s true that Heritage got torched over the holidays but that was by #1AA Roseau at the Perham tournament. Heritage did beat Perham and, while Perham is not rated, they are 8-2, and were on their home court and are Class AA compared to Heritage in Class A.
Watertown-Mayer comes to Heritage Christian, located in Maple Grove, Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m. The Royals will bring two ultra-quick senior guards in Claire Killian and Kristin Klitzke, plus a strong junior post in Monika Czinano. Heritage sophomore guard Taylie Scott will have her hands full but is an aggressive and skillful player, while Heritage can throw 3 players 5-11 or bigger—6-1 freshman post Jordyn Allen, 6-0 senior power forward Maddy Torve and 5-11 junior forward Annika Simonson—at Czinano and the Royals.
Watertown is both the bigger and the higher-rated school, but Heritage has the home court advantage. So it should be a terrific matchup.
Also on Tuesday, January 3
#11AAAA Wayzata @ #4AAA Orono, 7 p.m.
Two teams looking to bounce back against a backyard rival. Wayzata lost to Mahtomedi and Forest Lake at Hill-Murray, while Orono lost to Champlin Park and Elk River at Park Center. Watch point guards Mimi Schrader of Wayzata and Madeline Loder of Orono go at it.
#9AA Norwood Young America @ #13AA Holy Family, 7 p.m.
NYA comes in unbeaten and with a recent 2-point win over Class AAA-rated New Ulm. Holy Family won 2 at the Howard Lake tournament to get to 6-2.
Brandon-Evansville @ #10AA Osakis, 7:30 p.m.
Both are unbeaten.
#18AAA Waseca @ #10AAA New Ulm, 7:30 p.m.
Two more teams looking to bounce back. Waseca lost a pair at Rochester, while New Ulm lost to the host at the Norwood Young American tournament. New Ulm senior guard Meleah Reinhart has been a terror so far this season.
Thursday, January 5
Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa @ #14A Kimball, 7:15 p.m.
Kimball is a deep team that is now 9-1, with its only loss at Class AA Annandale. BBE is just 4-3 but with losses to Sauk Centre and Goodhue, and a 62-59 win over Sleepy Eye last week at Goodhue.
Friday, January 6
Martin County West @ #2AA Minnehaha, 7 p.m.
Martin County West is another unrated but solid team from Greater Minnesota. They’re 6-1 and gave up about 30 points per game through their 6 wins. Minnehaha is now 6-2 after getting torched at New London-Spicer 75-53 last week.
Lester Prairie-Holy Trinity @ Southwest Christian, 7:30 p.m.
Neither is rated though Lester Prairie was earlier this year. Now, they’re 5-3 but 2 of the losses are to rated Mankato Loyola and Goodhue. The 3rd is to Litchfield. Southwest is pretty much unknown despite a 5-0 record with wins over Litchfield and Holy Family.