Last weekend was one of the biggest when it comes to in-season weekend tournaments. There was also no shortage of juicy conference and nonconference matchups. This upcoming weekend may not have quite the same kind of juice for weekend tournaments,…
Last weekend was one of the biggest when it comes to in-season weekend tournaments. There was also no shortage of juicy conference and nonconference matchups. This upcoming weekend may not have quite the same kind of juice for weekend tournaments, but there are a bunch of big time matchups throughout the week.
Here are some of the big matches to watch this week:
Watertown-Mayer vs. Norwood-Young America
Norwood-Young America has just one loss on the season while the Raiders aren’t ranked in Class AA, they’ve got several impressive wins on their resume and should contend for a spot in the state tournament. Watertown-Mayer has five losses on the season, but four of them have come to teams that are ranked. This is a very good non-conference matchup.
Wadena-Deer Creek vs. Park Rapids Area
Wadena-Deer Creek is one of the best teams in Class A and while the Wolverines haven’t been tested a great deal, a nonconference matchup with a sneaky good Park Rapids team will be a good test. Park Rapids is undefeated on the season and will be one of the favorites to contend in Section 8AA.
Maple Lake vs. Mayer Lutheran
The defending state champions in Class A and AA and favorites to take home those titles again go head to head in what looks like the best match of the week. Something’s gotta give as both teams are undefeated heading into the matchup. What’s more is that the two teams have lost a combined eight sets all season.
Southwest Christian vs. Bethlehem Academy
Another week, another big nonconference bout for Bethlehem Academy. The Cardinals, despite going 1-3 in the Eagle Invite over the weekend, moved up to No. 3 in the Class A coaches poll. They get another big test in Southwest Christian, which had a great showing in the Class AA showcase tournament by going 4-1 with a loss to Maple Lake in the title.
Shakopee vs. Lakeville North
This is No. 2 vs. No. 6 in Class AAA as the Panthers head to Shakopee for a South Suburban Conference heavyweight matchup. The two teams have a combined three losses on the year.
Stewartville vs. Hayfield
Here’s a super juicy Hiawatha Valley League matchup featuring maybe the two best teams in the conference. Stewartville is ranked No. 3 in Class AA while Hayfield is ranked No. 5 in Class A.
Waterville-Elysian-Morristown vs. Jordan
Here’s a great rivalry matchup featuring two of the top programs in the state. WEM had a great showing in the Class A showcase tournament, going 5-1. Jordan went 2-3 in the Class AA showcase tournament and while the Jaguars have seven losses on the season, they are still a very talented squad.
Hill-Murray vs. North St. Paul
A Wednesday matchup featuring two teams with very good records, Hill-Murray heads into the week ranked No. 7 in Class AA. North St. Paul isn’t ranked but has just one loss on the year and a handful of solid wins.
Willmar at Rocori
Arguably the two best teams in the Central Lakes Conference go head-to-head in a Thursday slate. Rocori won four matches in the Class AA showcase tournament over the weekend, losing only to Belle Plaine. Willmar hasn’t lost since early September in a loaded tournament in Shakopee.
Prior Lake vs. Eagan
Eagan asserted itself once again as the heavy title favorite over the weekend, cruising to a tournament title in the Eagle Invite in Apple Valley, taking down a handful of the top teams in the state. The Wildcats head to Prior Lake to take on a solid Lakers squad that despite eight losses has plenty of talent.
Lakeville North vs. Lakeville South
This matchup would be juicy even if both teams weren’t legitimate state title contenders. But both are, so this might be the match of the week. The Panthers beat the Cougars earlier in the season in a tournament in Marshall and South’s only other loss is to Eagan. The Cougars are also the only team to beat Eagan on the season. Lakeville North had a good showing in the Eagle Invite before losing to Eagan in the title match.
Jackson County Central vs. Marshall
A matchup featuring the two powers in the Big South and contenders in Section 3AA. Marshall’s ranked No. 3 in the state while JCC would likely be in that ‘receiving votes’ category. This is an opportunity to make a statement for both teams.
Moorhead vs. Stillwater
On a day loaded with small-school weekend tournaments, this nonconference matchup looks the most interesting on paper. The Ponies head up the Spud country to take on a Moorhead team that picked up wins over Marshall and Shakopee over the weekend. Stillwater’s ranked No. 5 in Class AAA and could use a resume-boosting win like this one.