The Burnsville boys’ basketball program hasn’t reached the .500 mark in any of the past six seasons. That isn’t keeping Blaze coach Matt Eppen from setting lofty goals for 2015-16.
“We have high expectations for our team this year,” said Eppen of the Blaze, which has accumulated an overall record of 45-114 during that six-year span. “We are a young team. We will have several underclassmen in our rotation.”
Eppen’s squad will be led by its two seniors, forward Jason Gumm and guard Tucker Shepley, and junior guard Jackson Martens.
It was Gumm’s layup with one second left that gave the Blaze a 74-73 upset victory over Class 4A, No. 4 Eden Prairie in the season opener for both teams. Gumm finished with 26 points and nine rebounds. Shepley added 13 points and five rebounds while Martens chipped in nine points.
“We have a lot of respect for the Eden Prairie program, so it was a big win for us,” Eppen said.
The Blaze pulled off the upset despite Eden Prairie shooting 49 percent from the field and only turning over the ball six times.
“They simply played great,” Eden Prairie coach David Flom said.
• The Farmington boys’ basketball team opened its season with three consecutive victories, the last coming on a three-point buzzer-beater by senior forward Alex Burrell to defeat Irondale 65-64.
• New Prague senior forward Alex Gregor had a hat trick, including a shorthanded goal, in leading New Prague to a 4-0 victory over Northfield in a nonconference game. He had two goals and one assist in the Trojans’ previous game.