No. 1 Champlin Park (31-0) vs. No. 2 Apple Valley (29-2), 8 p.m.
Why Champlin Park will win: Stopping one star is possible. Even two. But five? The Rebels’ starting lineup is as deep and talented as any team in recent memory. J.T. Gibson has gotten much of the publicity, but fellow guards Marty Hill, Jeremy Johnson and McKinley Wright are capable of taking over a game.
Why Apple Valley will win: The Eagles have the dual motivation of the disappointment of missing the state tournament altogether in 2014 and the sting of a 79-74 loss to Champlin Park in December. “This is the game we’ve been wanting all season,” guard Gary Trent Jr. said. No team in the tournament controls tempo better than the Eagles. They can frustrate Champlin Park.
Key to the game: The matchup inside between Champlin Park’s 6-8 Theo John and Apple Valley’s 6-11 center Brock Bertram. Summer basketball teammates and friends, the winner of that battle will be crucial to his team’s overall success.
Family ties: Trent, Apple Valley’s best player, is the son of former Timberwolves forward Gary Trent. Eagles guard Tre Jones is the younger brother of Duke star Tyus Jones.