Siyani Chambers leads Hopkins
The Breakdown’s Tip Off Classic is loaded with most of the top teams and players in the state of Minnesota. Thirteen games will be held on two court at Minnetonka high school. The following is a preview of the games held at the West gym. Tomorrow, we will look at the East Gym games. GoldenSports.Net will be in attendance with all the latest news feom the event.
Saturday, Dec. 12 – Minnetonka west gym
9:45 a.m. – Sebeka (No. 4 A) vs. New London-Spicer (No. 1 AA)
The Trojans finished 24-4 last season, losing to eventual state champion Ellsworth 59-46 in the first round of the Class A state tournament. Sebeka returns their top five scorers in Joey Cuperus (15.6 points per game), Cody Pulju (13.9). John Clark (13.8), Alex Brockpahler (11.1) and Ryan Sharp (11.0).
New London-Spicer won the Class AAA state title in football and is hoping to win the crown in Class AA hoops. The Wildcats, like Sebeka, lost to the eventual state champion, falling to Pelican Rapids 71-58 in the first round of the playoffs as they finished 23-9. They won the 2008 title, beating then 32-0 Crosby-Ironton 59-51 in the title game.
11:30 a.m. – Mpls North vs. Plainview-Elgin-Millville (No. 2 AA)
The Polars finished 16-9 last season, beating Minnetonka in the first round of the playoffs before losing to Class AAAA champion Hopkins. They must replace top scorer Kevin Thompson, who averaged 21.4 points per game, but return junior point guard Malik El-Amin (10.0) and sophomore guard Charles Smith (6.6) in the backcourt. Mark Devine (6.7) and Pengi Mboma (12.8) add frontcourt punch.
Plainview-Elgin-Millville finished third in the Class AA Tournament, defeating Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted 70-52 in the third place game. They are led by junior Cole Olstad and senior Clay Olstad.
1:15 p.m. – Minnetonka vs. Braham (girls)
3:00 p.m. – Lakeville South vs. Benilde-St. Margaret’s (No. 1 AAA)
The Cougars finished 12-15 last season, losing to Apple Valley 69-65 in the first round of the playoffs. They are led by 6-foot-6 junior Alex Richter, who averaged 19.0 points per game as a as he scored in double figures in 25 of 27 games. He had three games of more than 30 points as he scored 34 versus Bloomington Kennedy, 36 against Burnsville and 38 versus Apple Valley. Richter had ten other games of 20 or more points. They also return junior point guard Riley West and junior big men Jon Christensen and Spencer Pankonin.
Benilde-St. Margaret’s is ranked as the top preseason #1 team in Class AAA. They return seniors Peter Crawford (13.4), Darren Glover (11.4) and Seth Marx (9.7). They also welcome back junior big men Myles Barnes (11.0) and Evan Battle (5.1) and have outstanding sophomore shooter Isaiah Zierden (7.4). Fellow sophomores Will Dunn provide depth for a talented team.
4:45 p.m. – Henry Sibley (No. 3 AAAA) vs. Cloquet
Henry Sibley, which finished 27-3, lost to the Wisconsin state champion Madison Memorial and Minnesota Class AAAA champ Hopkins in the regular season. They were the second seed in the Class AAAA state tournament, but were upset by Bloomington Jefferson 60-56 in the first round. Lafayette signee Jake Kreuser (6.0) and forward Mike Rostampour (8.1) will be expected to carry more of the scoring load this season with the graduation losses of Wisconsin signere Mike Bruesewitz (17.4 points per game), Valparaiso signee Chris Halvorsen (14.9) and Division II Concordia St. Paul signee Maurice Hernandez (14.2). They are the only returnees among the top seven scorers from last year. Transfer Jordan Jacksom, who averaged 16.3 points per game at St. Paul Como Park, is getting to provide offense in the backcourt along with senior Jimmy Ryan.
Cloquet finished 16-13 last season, losing to Grand Rapids 65-51 in the section finals. The Lumberjacks are led by Colorado State signee Chad Calcaterra, who averaged 23.8 points, 10.9 rebounds, and 4.3 blocks per game and shot 58.6% from the floor and 62.1% from the charity stripe.
6:30 p.m. – Hopkins (No. 1 AAAA) vs. Tartan (No. 6 AAAA)
Hopkins won the Class AAAA state title last year as they finished 31-0. Hopkins, which also won the 2005 and 2006 titles, had a starting lineup dominated by Division I-caliber players and Royce White, who signed with Minnesota, Trent Lockett, who is at Arizona State, Mike Broghammer, who is with Notre Dame and Raymond Cowels, who is signed with Santa Clara. Point guard Marcus Williams signed with North Dakota State and plans to play both football and basketball in college. However, the cupboard is far from bare as the younger players got plenty of chances to play together since Hopkins won by an average of over 25 points per game. Joe Coelman, who has a scholarship offer from Santa Clara, scored 43 points in the season opening win over Minneapolis Henry Senior D.J. Peterson, who had 15 points in the win has offers from North Dakota State, Baylor and Wisconsin Green Bay. Junior Marvin Singleton and sophomore point guard Siyani Chambers also return. Ninth grader Rilley Dearring is an name to watch for the Royals
Tartan finished 24-5 last season, losing to Henry Sibley for the third time 47-36 in the section finals. The Titans lost their lone double figure scorer in Marc Sonnen, who signed with Northern Iowa. However, they return seniors Manani Beavers and Troy Klingsporn and junior guards Drew and Luke Preiner. Freshman guard Darian Strong is a transfer from Chicago who shined in fall league action.
8:15 p.m. – Minnetonka (No. 2 AAAA) vs. Chaska (No. 7 AAAA)
The Skippers finished 12-14 last year after winning the Class AAAA title in 2008. They lost to Minneapolis North 64-55 in the Class 4A, Section 6 first round playoff game. They Skippers must replace Kyle Risinger (13.3) and Taylor Nelson (12.7). However, they welcome back one of the state’s top shooters in Cole Stefan, a 6-foot-3 senior guard, averaged 18.8 points per game as he scored in double figures in all but three games and had a season-best 32 points versus St. Paul Johnson. Junior Nick Latzke (13.8) is an outstanding outside threat who attended the Nike Jamboree this past summer. Leonard Glass (9.3) is a inside banger and Tor Anderson returns to action after being limited for JV play after transferring from Prior Lake.
Chaska finished 18-10 last year, losing to Bloomington Jefferson in the Section 2 semifinals 86-73. They are led by junior forwards Jake White and Ross Travis. White paced the team in scoring with 13.6 points per game, while Travia has picked up six scholarship offers. Junior guard Max Watts had 25 points in the Hawks’ season opener.