There's no doubt that St. Paul Johnson's victory over Hopkins on Wednesday night was the biggest game of the season in boys' basketball, and certainly the biggest victory of the season for the unbeaten Governors.
After Johnson beat Henry Sibley on Tuesday night in the semifinals of the Best Buy Holiday Classic at Augsburg College, I asked Governors coach Vern Simmons if that was the biggest victory of the year. His answer tells us something about what makes the Governors tick:
"No, no, no. We’ve played a very aggressive schedule. We like to think we’re an established program but we’re always flying under the radar. But we can’t be concerned about what people think about us. We need to be concerned with our kids and getting them ready to play the game and leave all the other intangibles alone."
They are surely flying in clear sight of all basketball radar now. The Governors are 9-0 and begin diving into the St. Paul City Conference schedule on Jan. 8 at Central. Their remaining non-conference games are against Minneapolis South, Richfield and Armstrong, as well as a game against Maple Northwestern of Wisconsin during a Jan. 22-23 tournament at Johnson.
Hopkins (7-1), which lost for the first time in 38 games, will continue playing a high-level schedule in addition to Classic Lake Conference games vs. Minnetonka, Edina, Hopkins and Armstrong. Non-league opponents for the Royals include Champlin Park, Sioux Falls Roosevelt, Proir Lake, Duluth East, Minneapolis North and Henry, Cooper, Benilde-St. Margaret's, Como Park and Washburn.
John Millea is on Twitter at twitter.com/stribjohn