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The number one high school basketball event of the summer is this weekend at Hopkins High School. The Breakdown State Tournament is a three game event with 32 teams all competing within their respective classes for a summer championship. Eight of the top contenders in each class will be there.
Teams: Apple Valley vs St. Cloud Tech, Park Center vs Lakeville North, Hopkins vs Woodbury, and Cretin-Derham Hall vs Eden Prairie
The Headliners: 5 star Tre Jones (AV), 4 star talents Dain Dainja (Park Center) and Daniel Oturu (Cretin-Derham Hall), and D1 talents Breyvn Spann-Ford (St. Cloud Tech), Khari Broadway (Park Center), Tyler Wahl (Lakeville North), Anthony Davis (Hopkins), Joe Hedstrom (Hopkins), Zeke Nnaji (Hopkins), Blaise Beauchamp (Hopkins), Michael Jones (Woodbury), Drake Dobbs (Eden Prairie), and Austin Andrews (Eden Prairie) as well as scholarship level guys in Luke Martens (Apple Valley), Camden Jackson (St. Cloud Tech), Tyler Lewko (Lakeville North), Ryan Larson (CDH), Jaeden King (CDH), Sy Chatman (CDH), and Kyler Kluge (Eden Prairie) among others.
Top Match-Ups: If Tre Jones has a healthy ankle locals like Camden Jackson, Tommy Jenson, Blaise Beauchamp, Ryan Larson, and Kyler Kluge will all get their chance to go against the best point guard in the nation. A Daniel Oturu vs Brevin Spann-Ford match-up would put a Gopher committed hooper against a Gopher committed football player. Drake Dobbs vs Blaise Beauchamp would give us a look at who the best freshman guard in the Lake is while Zeke Nnaji against Tyler Wahl would put two of the top 2019s against each other. Joe Hedstrom vs Oturu would be a match-up of D1 bigs and then you have Michael Jones facing a number of excellent defenders.
The Final Thought: Everyone wants a shot to unseat Apple Valley. Starting now every time they play a team they will get the opposing team’s best shot starting with St. Cloud Tech and their talented senior group. The Eagles will win games this weekend with or without a healthy Tre Jones but they win the event with him. Top contenders? CDH and Hopkins who both bring back a load of talent.
Teams: Orono vs Totino-Grace, St. Thomas Academy vs Fergus Falls, Delano vs Mankato East, and Austin vs Waconia.
The Headliners: Three players in this group have D1 offers and that is Jarvis Thomas of Orono, Calvin Wishart of Delano, and Both Gach of Austin. Guys like Damani Hayes of Mankato East and Duoth Gach of Austin have a chance to join them some day. There are several guys on the radars of division two teams and top MIAC programs and those names include Max Bjorklund (Orono), Colton Codute (Orono), Charlie Jacob (Totino-Grace), Jack Thompson (St. Thomas), Nathan Rund (Fergus Falls), Uhana Ochan (Mankato East), Tate Hebrink (Austin), and Nick Fulford (Waconia).
Top Match-Ups: If Max Bjorklund’s ankle heels watching him against Charlie Jacob, Jack Thompson, or Nathan Rund would be a lot of fun. Jarvis Thomas and Uhana Ochan got into it last weekend in Mankato so a rematch their could be fun. Jack Thompson vs Nathan Rund will definitely be good as will be Calvin Wishart vs Damani Hayes. A Both Gach vs Calvin Wishart battle would also be worth the price paid to get into the Lindbergh Center.
The Final Thought: Austin and Orono are very much contenders for the Class AAA crown next year. DeLaSalle has the talent to win their seventh straight but they are going through changes. Austin and Orono have the talent to win it all and Orono nearly took out the Islanders last March. Last weekend Orono beat Austin in the Mankato championship (Orono didn’t have Bjorklund and Austin didn’t have any of their football players including Hebrink) so this weekend we could be clued in to who has the best chance. Key note here, the Gach brothers are leaving for the Loul Deng basketball camp Sunday so they may not play in all the games.
Teams: Minneapolis North vs Lake City, Perham vs Jordan, Caledonia vs Esko, and St. Cloud Cathedral vs Brooklyn Center
The Headliners: This is quite the group. North is led by a great senior class in Odell Wilson, Tayler Johnson, and Nasir El-Amin plus has young talent while state tournament participant Lake City has Nathan Heise and Marc Kjos back. Perham and Jordan each have key wings/forwards (Jenson Beachy and Eric Tiedman) and bigs (Logan Richter and Andrew Niehbuhr). Caledonia’s King brothers Owen and Noah lead the Warriors against 7-foot-2 Adam Trapp of Esko, and then you have the depth of talent at Cathedral led by Mitchell Plombon and Michael Schaefer facing Lu’Cye Patterson and the wealth of young BC talent.
Top Match-Ups: Noah King vs LuCye Patterson would put two of the most productive freshmen in the state last year against one another. Odell Wilson and Logan Richter are offered D1 football bigs (Richter will be a Gopher) while Andrew Niebuhr and Adam Trapp are two of the biggest players in the state. Owen King against Tayler Johnson would be a guard match-up that could steal the show.
The Final Thought: Who is the top contender to Minnehaha Academy this year? Most would say Minneapolis North and they would likely be right. That said, there are talented teams that made state that return a lot of talent. Teams like Lake City who faces North right away. Teams like St. Cloud Cathedral. Not to mention Caledonia and Esko that bring much of their rotation back after being top ten teams all of last year. The winner of this event will look like the number one contender for the Minnehaha Academy repeat opportunity.
Teams: North Woods vs Lester Prairie, Cleveland vs Cass Lake-Bena, Mayer Lutheran vs McGregor, and Spring Grove vs Cedar Mountain/Comfrey.
The Headliners: Each team has one of the best Class A players in the state. Cade Goggleye and Tate Olson (North Woods), Michael Ziermann (Lester Prairie), Carter Kopet and Austin Plonsky (Cleveland), Noah DeLaPaz and Ethan Brown (Cass Lake-Bena), Kobey Woolhouse and Baden Noenning (Mayer Lutheran), Carson Passer (McGregor), Alex Folz and Ethan Matzke (Spring Grove), and Dylan Hillesheim and Wambde Diaz (Cedar Mountain-Comfrey).
Top Match-Ups: Every game has a top match-up. Game one puts AAU teammates Cade Goggleyeand Michael Ziermann against one another and Austin Plonsky versus Noah DeLaPaz matches two of the best second weapons in outstate Minnesota last year. Kobey Woolhouse and Cole Hagen have to stop the hot hand of Carson Passer while Alex Folz against Dylan Hillesheim is a great backcourt battle.
The Final Thought: Class A basketball this year is going to the most wide open class we can remember in a long time. Outside of Isaac Fink of Springfield the Class A level will not have near the star power nor the mega teams that they’ve had in recent pass. It’s completely wide open hopefully this event can give us at least a small clue as to what will happen next winter.