St. Thomas Academy vs. Mahtomedi

7 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 9

St. Thomas Academy does not have the perfect, or near-perfect, record one might expect from a team ranked No. 3 in Class 3A, but with every loss being competitive and coming against a Class 4A school — four of which are currently ranked in the Top 10 — the reason for the Cadets' ranking becomes clear. 

The growth of Sam Vascellaro (16 ppg), Jack Thompson (14.8 ppg) and George Stewart (14.1 ppg) has been a boon for St. Thomas Academy and will give the Cadets (5-5, 2-0) a strong chance to return to the Class 3A state tournament. 

Mahtomedi started the season well, as it won four straight games before falling 71-63 to Columbia Heights on Dec. 15. The No. 10-3A Zephyrs (7-3, 0-1) have gone 3-3 starting with that loss, but a win against a talented Metro East Conference and Class 3A rival could set up another winning run. 

Sophomore guard J'vonne Hadley (16.9 ppg) leads Mahtomedi in scoring, while senior Jack Shay (13.2 points, 7.7 rebounds per game) is a consistent producer from the forward position.