The Eagan boys’ basketball team was looking to build off a fifth-place finish in the South Suburban Conference in 2013-14. It hasn’t transpired in large part due to injuries and illness.
“We haven’t had a lot of games where we’ve had our entire varsity team,” Eagan coach Matt Vollum said.
The Wildcats dropped a recent 93-92 decision to Prior Lake despite a school-record 46 points from senior point guard Bryndan Matthews. The team’s top scorer is averaging 19.5 points per game, but missed some games because of a back injury.
“It was fun for him, the team and the fans,” Vollum said. “He made some incredible shots.” The previous one-game school mark was 39 points, shared by Luke Anderson (2001) and Michael Gorder (2013).
The end result, though, was Eagan’s seventh setback by six points or fewer on the season. Four of those losses have been decided by one field goal.
The Wildcats hope to make amends at playoff time, though Class 4A, Section 3 is one of the toughest in the state. It includes No. 2 Apple Valley, No. 4 Cretin-Derham Hall, No. 8 East Ridge and No. 12 Eastview, according to Minnesota Basketball News’ state rankings.
Senior guard Chase Seiberlich, the team’s second-leading scorer, has returned after being sidelined by a concussion and foot injury, as has senior forward G.T. Johnson, who ranks fourth in scoring and also was sick for a short period of time.
“Now that we’re getting healthy, we’re trying to do the things that will allow us to be competitive in the section,” Vollum said. “It doesn’t get any easier.”
Team to be honored
Class 2A girls’ soccer state champion Eagan was presented with the Army National Guard national ranking trophy during a pep assembly. The trophy is part of the fourth annual MaxPreps Soccer Tour of Champions, and is presented to 10 girls’ soccer programs around the nation.
“This recognition from MaxPreps and the Army National Guard is a definite honor,” Eagan first-year coach Bulut Ozturk said. “The girls are so proud of what they have accomplished.”
The Wildcats concluded the season with a record of 21-0-1. They only yielded nine goals for the year, none in the state tournament.
• Northfield senior Bailey DuPay became the first gymnast to win the Class 2A all-around state title for three consecutive years. DuPay’s mark of 39.05 was the third best in state history. She became the first gymnast in state history to score 39 or better twice in the state meet. She had a 39.0875 in 2014.
• Senior Keegan Dickson scored as time expired after grabbing an offensive rebound, giving Eastview a 79-78 victory over Lakeville South in a South Suburban Conference boys’ basketball game. Dickson finished with 16 points, helping the Lightning overcome a 12-point halftime deficit.