Andover opened the season with a 55-51 win against Forest Lake to give first-year Huskies head coach Robb Belschner his first win Dec. 3. Andover senior guard Haydn Becker led the way with 18 points and classmate Madi Hahn added 12 points. Fellow senior guard Katie Yoder added nine points and converted some key free throws down the stretch in her return to the court after an ACL injury ended her junior season last January.
Thanksgiving week yielded big wins for four area teams including Andover, Anoka, Blaine and Spring Lake Park. The first week of December gave everyone a strong early-season test.
Girls’ hockey teams hit the road for early-season tests after the Thanksgiving break.
Robbinsdale Armstrong spoiled Andover’s home and season opener with a 76-55 Northwest Suburban Conference loss Nov. 26. The Huskies led by two points at halftime, but Armstrong rallied in the second half 47-24.
With five new coaches and an Anoka squad full of experience (five college signees) looking for a third section title in four seasons should make for an exciting girls’ basketball season.
It looks like Blaine should challenge for another conference title and perhaps a section title, returning several of its key contributors from last season. Spring Lake Park moved sections and will not have to face St. Thomas Academy or the other Class A powers that made up the section bracket each year.
Three programs have new coaches and each experienced different levels of success last season from Andover’s run to the state quarterfinals, returning a majority of its starters including leading scorer Connor Wilkie.