As if it hasn’t taken enough gut punches recently, Minnesota took it on the chin again Saturday. The Minnesota-Wisconsin Border Battle, an annual boys’ basketball event pitting local heroes against counterparts from the Badger State, was played in Stevens Point, Wis.
The Minnesotans didn’t fare so well.
Five of the seven games were won by Wisconsin teams. Only Minnehaha Academy, a 73-68 victor over host Stevens Point (without star forward Javonni Bickham), and Lake City, which defeated Prescott (Wis.) 84-77, upheld the honor of the North Star State.
The matchup of Kaukauna (Wis.) vs. Minneapolis North was anticipated to be the best game of the day, but the Galloping Ghosts (yes, that’s the nickname) ran the Polars off the floor early, building a 20-point halftime lead and cruising to a 122-103 victory. Kaukauna made 21 three-pointers. Nasir El-Amin had 37 points for the Polars and budding eighth-grade star Trej Holloman added 18.
The best individual battle pitted Minnehaha’s Jalen Suggs against Stevens Point guard Drew Blair, a 6-3 long-range bomber who can also slither through a crowd and create a shot. Blair won the scoring battle, outpointing Suggs 40-36, but Suggs’ ability to create and dictate led the Redhawks to the victory.
The week ahead
Monday: Annandale (No. 10, 2A) at Hopkins (No. 2, 4A), 7 p.m.
Tuesday: Cretin-Derham Hall (No. 1, 4A) at East Ridge, 7 p.m.
Thursday: DeLaSalle (No. 1, 3A) at St. Croix Lutheran, 7 p.m. The Islanders had their 11-game winning streak stopped by Eden Prairie on Friday. St. Croix Lutheran has won 12 in a row but will be coming off a tough game Tuesday at Columbia Heights.
Tuesday: DeLaSalle (No. 4, 3A) at Hopkins (No. 3, 4A), 7 p.m. DeLaSalle puts its 12-game winning streak on the line against Hopkins, which is without star guard Paige Bueckers, who is sidelined because of an ankle injury.
Tuesday: Centennial (No. 7, 4A) at Maple Grove, 7 p.m. The second game of a brutal back-to-back road stretch for Centennial, which ended Champlin Park’s 11-game winning streak Friday with a 71-52 victory.
Tuesday: Roseau at Warroad, 7:30 p.m. Neither team is setting the world on fire, but any time these two rivals face off, it’s worth a mention.
Wednesday: St. Thomas Academy (No. 2, 2A) vs. Cretin-Derham Hall (No. 6, 2A), at Highland, 7:15 p.m. The host Raiders are rolling, fresh from a 10-1 drubbing of Holy Family (No. 5, 2A) Saturday.
Saturday: Mahtomedi (No. 2, 1A) at Hermantown (No. 1, 1A), 3:15 p.m. After a slow start, defending 1A champion Hermantown has won 10 of 12.
Tuesday: Edina at Eden Prairie, 7:30 p.m.; Andover at Centennial, 7:30 p.m.
Friday: Blake at Centennial, 7:30 p.m.; Rogers vs. North Wright County (at Albertville), 7:30 p.m.