Holiday break nets many positive results for area basketball teams


Andover went 0-3 at its tournament, the Twin Cities Orthopedics Holiday Classic at Augsburg College Dec. 27-30.

Henry Sibley provided the closest competition for the Huskies with 57-52 score. Andover led 30-29 at the break, but a 28-22 run in the second half was enough for the Warriors to reach the semifinals.

Connor Wilkie led the team with 15 points and six rebounds and Kyle Kettler added 14 points, three assists and two steals. Zach Swanson blocked two shots, scored eight points and grabbed six rebounds.

Hopkins handed Andover an 87-41 defeat Dec. 28, holding the Huskies to 17 points in the second half. Hopkins led 58-24 at the break. Jake McNallan led the Huskies with 15 points and Kettler had five assists. Jacob Wright led the Royals with 20 points.

Andover closed out the tournament with a 66-51 loss to Chanhassen Dec. 30. The Storm took a 32-18 lead at the half and outscored the Huskies 34-33 in the second half. Kettler had 15 points and Wilkie added 13 points in the loss. Chanhassen’s Danny Spillum had a game-high 29 points.

Andover returned home to open 2014 with a 78-62 win against section foe Cambridge-Isanti Jan. 3.

McNallan had a huge game for the Huskies with a 29-point, 10-rebound performance to complete the double-double. He also had four assists. Wilkie was just shy of the double-double with 10 rebounds and nine points and Derek McLaughlin contributed 17 points to lift Andover to a 5-7 record.

The Bluejackets were led by Kyle McDonald with 14 points.


Anoka (1-10) started 2014 with a rough 88-47 loss to rival Champlin Park Jan. 3. The loss extended the Tornadoes’ losing streak to seven games and one month. The Rebels led 53-13 at halftime and Ian Smith finished with a game-high 16 points for the visitors. Anoka’s Dillon Hanson had 13 points and Jacob Grow had 10 points.


Instead of competing in a holiday break tournament, Blaine hosted Park Christian in a non-conference contest inside the Blaine Fieldhouse Dec. 27. Blaine senior Jason Travis had 36 points to lead the way to a 76-65 win. Kyle Cappard had 15 points and Fedhi Gobena added 10 points to help the Bengals finish 2013 with a 5-5 record.

One week later, Jan. 3, the Bengals returned to Northwest Suburban Conference play and equaled a season-high points total in a 93-85 win over state finalist Park Center.

The Pirates led by four points at the break, but Blaine rallied to outscore the visitors 52-40 in the second half. Travis had a game-high 31 points and the Pirates countered with Lekeyto Lusane with 30 points.

Blaine found consistent scoring across the board with five players in double digits. Matt Barthels and Chris Novak each had 12 points, Cappard added 11 and Nick Keller had 10 points.

Coon Rapids

The Cardinals finished 2013 in style snapping an 0-9 start to the season before by posting a season-high 92 points in a 92-72 win over Yellow Medicine East at the Norwood-Young America Tournament Dec. 28. Coon Rapids opened a 50-36 lead at the half and outscored the Sting by six points in the second half. Senior guard Timmy Nguyen led the way with 30 points and junior guard Chris Buckley added 28 points to help with strong guard play. Forward Jeremy Becker had 12 points.

One day earlier Coon Rapids couldn’t solve Buffalo Lake-Hector-Stewart in an 80-75 loss.

The Mustangs jumped to a 40-24 lead by the half. A furious comeback attempt by the Cardinals fell short, despite outscoring Buffalo Lake-Hector-Stewart 51-40 in the second half. Buckley had 30 points to lead the Cardinals, but Mustangs Kyle Kubesh’s 37 points and Tate Lange’s 22 points were more than enough to hold off the Cardinals.

Robbinsdale Armstrong visited Coon Rapids to open 2014 and resume the Northwest Suburban Conference schedule. The Falcons led by 23 points at the break and didn’t look back in the second half (34-19). The Falcons were led by Ryan Casperson’s 17 points. Coon Rapids’ Buckley was held to a season-low nine points, while Nguyen led the team with 13 points and Becker had 10 points.

Legacy Christian

The Lions fell to 6-4 after a 67-59 loss to Ellsworth at the Mountain Lake Tournament Dec. 26.

PACT Charter

PACT went 1-1 at the Mounds Park Academy Tournament Dec. 27-28. The Panthers opened with a 68-61 loss to Washington Tech after entering the break tied at 25. PACT’s Danny Mooers led the way with 18 points, but Daniel Nelson had a double-double with 14 points and 18 rebounds. Junior guard Derek Stone had eight assists, five steals and five points.

The following day, PACT beat Mounds Park Academy for the second time in two weeks by a 63-44 score Dec. 28. Nelson led the Panthers with 15 points and Iserael Jones had 12 points.

Spring Lake Park

The Panthers extended their winning streak to four games after opening the Tartan Holiday Tournament with a 54-48 win over former North Suburban Conference foe Chisago Lakes Dec. 27. Spring Lake Park overcame a three-point deficit at the half led by TC Robinson’s game-high 18 points and Devonte Skrebes 14 points.

The Panthers were 5-4 entering 2014 and had to reschedule their Jan. 7 contest at Columbia Heights. The Panthers were tested with road games at Benilde-St. Margaret’s (Jan. 9) and St. Louis Park (Jan. 14) before a visit to section opponent Champlin Park Jan. 15.

St. Francis

The Saints’ tough schedule continued over the holidays at the Granite City Classic in St. Cloud. St. Francis (9-2) dropped a 72-59 loss to Prior Lake at St. Cloud Apollo Dec. 27. Jake Johnson had 16 points and Nate Svihel 15 points. Johnson also had 16 rebounds to complete the double-double.

The Saints rebounded with a 60-58 upset of Delano at Hallenbeck Hall at St. Cloud State Dec. 28. The Saints led 29-26 at the break and held on in the second half for the narrow win. Svihel paced the Saints with a season-best 25 points. He came into the tournament with a season-high 19 points against Chisago Lakes.

Jason Olson is at

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