Plenty of notable preps sports options this weekend

  • Article by: JIM PAULSEN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: January 3, 2014 - 12:11 AM

This weekend amounts to an extended sports holiday of sorts to see how some of Minnesota’s best high school teams stack up against other states in wrestling, boys’ basketball and boys’ swimming.


What: Clash National Duals

When: Friday and Saturday

Where: Rochester

The skinny: The prestigious tournament features 32 teams from 12 states — Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Illinois, California, Missouri, Ohio, New Jersey and Alabama. They will converge on the Rochester Community and Technical College Field House for what is widely considered one of the nation’s premier high school wrestling events.

Every team is ranked in the top 10 in their respective states. Ten are ranked among the top 50 in the nation by, including No. 2 Oak Park (Ill.) River Forest, No. 3 Apple Valley (shooting for its fifth meet crown), No. 6 Bergen (N.J.) Catholic, No. 13 Marist (Ill.), No. 17. Bound Brook (N.J.) and No. 18 Cincinnati (Ohio) Moeller. Three previous tournament winners — defending champion St. Michael-Albertville, Orland Park (Ill.) Carl Sandburg and Glenbard (Ill.) North — will compete as well.

Wrestling begins at 9 a.m. each day, with qualifying rounds on Friday and championship rounds Saturday. For more information, go to

Boys’ basketball

What: Timberwolves Shootout

When: Saturday

Where: Target Center

The skinny: The Shootout showcases five of the state’s top teams in four games beginning at 9:15 a.m.

The opener pits Lakeville North and sharpshooting Division I guard J.P. Macura, who has signed with Xavier, against Grand Rapids, which features 6-9 junior forward Alex Illikainen, who has more than 1,000 career points and 1,000 career rebounds.

He is being sought by many Big Ten schools, including Minnesota.

At 11 a.m., Cretin-Derham Hall, which opened the season with eight consecutive victories, takes on Bettendorf (Iowa), which was the runner-up in the Iowa Class 4A state tournament in 2013.

Two-time defending Class 3A champion DeLaSalle plays Chicago (Ill.) St. Rita at 12:45 p.m. The Islanders likely will be without senior forward Reid Travis, who still is recovering from a stress fracture in his foot suffered over the summer.

They still have an athletic lineup featuring guards Geno Crandall and Jarvis Johnson and forwards James Lawson and Sacar Anim.

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