North metro basketball and hockey teams enter January with momentum from strong showings over the holiday break.

In boys' basketball, Champlin Park improved to 11-0 and took over the No. 1 ranking with a victory against previously top-ranked Apple Valley. Leading scorer JT Gibson (18.9 points per game) gets plenty of support from teammates Marty Hill (16.7), McKinley Wright (14.5) and Jeremy Johnson (11).

Also worth noting is Mounds View, winners of seven consecutive games, and Fridley, which won tournaments in South St. Paul and at home.

In girls' hockey, Maple Grove remains unbeaten with a 15-0-1 record. More big things could be ahead considering the Crimson went undefeated last January. Sophomore Taylor Wente leads the team with 14 goals and 27 points.

The Elk River/Zimmerman boys' hockey team won four consecutive games, pushing its record to 11-3 and moving to No. 7 in the Let's Play Hockey poll. The Elks, led by Jacob Jaremko (14 goals, 29 assists) and Reggie Lutz (20, 12), blasted Northwest Suburban Conference foes Maple Grove and Centennial by a combined score of 10-3.

In girls' basketball, defending Class 3A state champion Park Center won its holiday tournament, then lost 47-41 to Eden Prairie, a Class 4A state tournament team last March. The Pirates' top four scorers are Mikayla Hayes (14.6 points per game), Hannah Schaub (11.8), Danielle Schaub (11.6) and Ann Simonet (10.7).

In Class 4A, No. 4 Elk River pushed its winning streak to five games. Abi Scheid (19.2) and Gabi Haack (14.8) pace the scoring.

Mounds View baseball fundraiser

Former Minnesota Twins player Terry Steinbach will be the keynote speaker at the 9th Annual Mounds View Diamond Club dinner and silent auction on Jan. 25 at the North Oaks Golf Club. A ticket costs $50, with all proceeds directly benefitting the Mounds View High School baseball program. Reservations are required. Go to for more information.

David La Vaque • 612-673-7574