Saints spoil Anoka home opener with balanced offense, defense
Behind 17 points from Travis Swenson and 15 points from Hunter Trautman, St. Francis spoiled Anoka’s hopes of a home opener win with a 66-50 defeat Nov. 24.
Trautman, a senior guard and captain also led the way with nine rebounds, four assists and steals. Fellow guard Robbie Whitney had four assists and steals in addition to 13 points as the Saints led 34-26 at the break.
Anoka junior guard Isaiah Prouty flashed his quickness on both ends of the court to generate turnovers on defense and drive the lane on offense. Senior 6-foot-8 center Jackson Sutton added 12 points and senior guard Chase Thomas added nine points.
Sutton was the lone Anoka player to score in double digits in a 69-49 loss at Rogers to open the season Nov. 20. Junior Josh Larson added nine points, Thomas had eight points while Prouty added six points for a team that saw seven different players contribute points.
St. Francis followed up the season-opening win with a 59-57 loss to Minneapolis South in a game played at Anoka Ramsey Community College during its annual preps jamboree on the Coon Rapids campus Nov. 28.
The Saints led 29-28 at the break but couldn’t shake a fiesty Tigers squad in the end.
Andover splits home pair
After falling to Delano 83-70 in the Nov. 21 opener, Andover regained its form to down Rogers 75-69 on Nov. 24.
The Huskies couldn’t match Delano in the opener as they built a 41-34 lead at the break despite 22 points from senior Corbin Johnson and 14 points from Logan Rezac. Delano countered with 24 points each from Calvin Wishart and Mitchell Kurtz.
Against Rogers, Rezac, a 6-foot-2 junior guard had a game-high 22 points and five assists while senior guard Nate Rodewald added 21 points, eight rebounds and five assists. Jacob Paul and Luke Leisner each had six rebounds.
Cardinals drop pair of non-conference contests
Coon Rapids began the season with two games away from Carlson Fieldhouse and couldn’t find that right mix of scoring and defense in losses at Hastings and North St. Paul.
Coon Rapids led at Hastings 37-31 at the break in the Nov. 20 season opener but the Raiders were too much in the second half for a 65-59 win.
Hastings 6-foot-4 senior Brady Gullicks had a game-high 29 points while Coon Rapids junior guard Dayo Lawal had 19 points and Tyree’on Johnson had 16 points and 11 rebounds. Johnson also had five assists and made five of the Cardinals 14 steals.
The defense also blocked two shots thanks to Lawal and Nik Keller. Keller added eight rebounds and four points. Jake Dujmovic had 11 points and six rebounds.
North St. Paul added a 73-41 win over Coon Rapids Nov. 24 after holding the Cardinals to 17 points in the first half. Lawal and Keller led the Cardinals with 11 and 10 points, respectively. Johnson pulled down eight rebounds while Lawal, Keller and Sam Carver had six rebounds each. Johnson also had three steals and blocked one shot.
Bengals split pre-holiday start
Blaine opened the season with a 79-63 win at Big Lake Nov. 21 behind a 25-point performance by senior post Ben Scherer and 12 points from senior forward Zach Baker.
The Bengals returned home Nov. 24 to face coach Chris Carr’s Minnetonka debut after the former Timberwolf made the transition from guiding the Eden Prairie girls program.
The Skippers overcame a four-point Blaine advantage at the half for an 81-61 win to spoil the Bengals home opener.
Blaine junior post Tim Leo led the team with 14 points while nine players scored, including nine points each from Scherer and senior guard Dakota Neppl.
Minnetonka was led by Cedric Boone with 24 points and 17 points from Sam Coatta.
Perham upsets Panthers in opener
Class AA Perham made a six point halftime lead stand as they spoiled Spring Lake Park’s Nov. 28 home opener 59-53. Perham’s Jenson Beachy had a game-high 20 points while Spring Lake Park’s Zach Ojile and Mark Raihle contributed 16 and 14 points, respectively, to pace the home team.