JOSHUA WITHERS

Eden Prairie • swimming

Preparing to step on the starting block before the finals of the 50 freestyle at the Maroon and Gold Invitational Saturday, the sophomore leaned over to teammate Jordan Greenberg. “I said ‘Let’s make it exciting. Let’s finish one-two and do it by one-hundredth of a second,’ ” Withers recalled.

Talk about prophetic. Withers stretched past Greenberg to win the race in a personal-best time of 21.22. Greenberg finished second, one-hundredth of a second behind.

“We were laughing about it,” Withers said. “We never thought it would actually happen.”

Withers’ performance was key to Eden Prairie’s victory in the Gold Division, the meet’s elite-level bracket, adding victories in the 100 butterfly and on the 200 medley relay team. The Eagles defeated perennial power Omaha (Neb.) Creighton Prep by just six team points, 1,233 to 1,227. Madison Memorial was third with 1,211 and Minnetonka fourth with 1,130.

Not bad for Withers’ first meet of the season, after missing the first two meets while swimming at the Speedo Winter Jr. Championships in Austin, Texas.

“Our first meet, we lost to Minnetonka,” he said. “I really wanted to be there. They’re our big rivals, so that beating them was big.”

 

BOOKER COPLIN

Shakopee • basketball

The senior guard just missed a triple-double in an 88-72 victory over St. Francis, finishing with 30 points, 11 rebounds and 9 assists. He added 21 points and 6 assists in a 77-72 victory over Eden Prairie.

 

SUZANNE GILREATH

Fridley • basketball

The senior guard scored a season-high 41 points in an 87-66 romp over Minneapolis North and added 28 in a 78-72 victory over Minneapolis Southwest. She made 12 three-pointers in the two games and led the Tigers to the championship of the Fridley Tournament.

 

CLAIRE KILLIAN

Watertown-Mayer • basketball

The all-around play of the junior guard lifted the Royals to the championship of the Fergus Falls Classic. She scored 27 points and had 6 steals and 6 rebounds in a 75-52 victory over Coon Rapids, and 18 points and 5 rebounds in a 76-41 rout of St. Louis Park in the finals.

 

SYDNEY SCOBEE

Breck • hockey

The senior goalie was unbeatable in Edina’s Walser Invitational. She stopped all 23 shots she faced in a 2-0 victory over Grand Rapids in the quarterfinals and made 40 saves in a 3-0 shut out of Maple Grove in the championship game.

 

TUCKER SJOMELING

Delano • wrestling

The junior won the 120-pound championship at the Rumble on the Red tournament in Fargo, N.D. He went 6-0 with three pins, defeated No. 1-ranked Rylee Molitor of Class 3A Sartell in the finals and was selected outstanding wrestler of the meet.

 

MCKINLEY WRIGHT

Champlin Park • basketball

The junior guard had 62 points, 18 rebounds, 11 assists and 10 steals as the Rebels bounced back from their first loss of the season, 101-82 to Hopkins on Dec. 22, to post victories over Wayzata (56-49), Minneapolis North (80-67) and Lincoln (Iowa) 76-45.

JIM PAULSEN

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