Hockey Day Minnesota is Saturday in Mankato. Friday is shaping up to be an unofficial Basketball Night in Minnesota, at least from a high school perspective.
While many eyes will be focused Friday on the four-team girls' basketball invitational at Hopkins that features the top girls' high school teams in the nation according to ESPN — No. 1 Sidwell Friends (D.C.) vs. No. 3 Hopkins at 4 p.m., No. 2 DeSoto (Texas) vs. Grandview (Colo.), which boasts the nation's No. 1 recruit, 6-7 Lauren Betts, at 6 p.m. — those are not the only high-profile matchups of the night.
On the boys' side, the meeting of a pair of No. 1 teams is drawing plenty of interest. Park Center, undefeated and top-ranked in Class 4A, travels to Totino-Grace, 9-2 and ranked No. 1 in Class 3A. Game time is 7 p.m. Expect a packed house.
Don't be misled by the two losses for Totino-Grace. Both of the Eagles' losses have been to top teams from outside Minnesota. They lost to Corona (Calif.) Centennial 66-35 at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Hoophall Classic in Sioux Falls, S.D., on Dec. 17 and lost to Chicago Whitney Young 75-67 at home on Jan. 8.
Totino-Grace is 7-0 against teams from Minnesota and also has a 71-41 victory over Houston (Tenn.) to its credit. The Eagles have one more game against a team from outside Minnesota. They face Menomonee Falls (Wis.) at 3:45 p.m. Saturday at Minneapolis North.
Mercy Miller exits Minnehaha Academy
Mercy Miller, a highly regarded 6-5 sophomore guard, left Minnehaha Academy and transferred to Oak Hill Academy in Virginia last week.
Miller and his older brother Hercy transferred to Minnehaha Academy in 2018, Jalen Suggs' senior year, helping the RedHawks to back-to-back state championships while at the same time elevating the profile of the school.
In addition to Suggs, Minnehaha Academy also featured 7-1 forward Chet Holmgren, the nation's No. 1 recruit in the Class of 2021. Suggs was the No. 1 pick of the Orlando Magic in the 2021 NBA draft. Holmgren is averaging 13.4 points, 8.6 rebounds and 3.4 blocked shots for Gonzaga and is expected to be among the top draft picks in 2022.
Hercy Miller went to Tennessee State after graduation but recently entered the transfer portal and recently tweeted he is at Xavier. Mercy Miller has verbally committed to Houston.
The Millers are the sons of hip-hop empresario Percy Miller, also known as Master P.
• Stillwater junior guard Max Shikenjanski buried a three-pointer at the buzzer, giving the Ponies a 74-71 victory over Roseville in a Suburban East Conference boys' basketball game Tuesday and becoming the school's all-time career leading scorer in the process. A year ago, he broke the program's single-game scoring record, scoring 49 points in an 83-81 loss to Cretin-Derham Hall. He is the son of former Gophers player Jim Shikenjanski.
• East Ridge's Kendall Blue scored 28 points in a victory Tuesday over Park of Cottage Grove and moved beyond 1,000 points in his career. Blue, a 6-6 senior forward committed to St. Thomas, is averaging 22.5 points per game.
• Concordia Academy of Roseville's AJ Greene became the 10th member of the Beacons boys' basketball program to reach 1,000 points. The junior guard averages a team-high 24 points per game.
• Buffalo senior Antonio Bluiett recorded his 1,000th career point recently and leads the Bison in scoring with 17.1 points per game. He also was a Star Tribune All-Metro first-team defense selection at defensive back last fall.
• Three basketball coaches, Brian Baum (Chatfield girls), Tyler Biwan (Blake boys) and Jeremy Post (White Bear Lake girls), achieved recent important career victories. Baum recorded No. 400, Post reached 300 and Biwan joined the century club with No. 100.
Sauk Centre streak ends
Montevideo's girls' basketball team ended Sauk Centre's 100-game winning streak in West Central Conference games Jan. 7, winning 47-44. Montevideo had been the last team to win a conference game from Sauk Centre, defeating the Mainstreeters 74-72 in overtime on Feb. 6, 2014. Last February, the Mainstreeters had a 99-game home winning streak ended. That streak began in 2013.
Brian Halonen and Ben Meyers, players who keyed Delano's Class 1A boys' hockey state tournament debut in 2017, were among 77 nominees for college hockey's Hobey Baker Memorial Award.
Halonen is a forward at Michigan Tech, Meyers a forward at Minnesota. A list of 10 finalists will be named March 16, followed by the "Hobey Hat Trick" of three finalists on March 31 and the announcement of the winner on April 8.
• Only a ninth-grader, Apple Valley girls' hockey standout Makayla Moran recently crossed the 100 career points threshold. She leads the Eagles in both goals (24) and assists (22) heading into Thursday's home game against Burnsville.
• Chisago Lakes senor forward Danielle Burgen recently surpassed the Wildcats girls' hockey program career record of 242 points. Heading into Saturday's game, Burgen has 121 goals and 126 assists for a total of 247 points. She has signed to play at Minnesota Duluth.
• Holy Angels senior Carter Hermanson recently recorded his 100th career point. Hermanson was also a Star Tribune All-Metro first-team selection in soccer last fall, helping the Stars take second in the Class 2A boys' soccer state tournament.