This matchup was nearly a clash between undefeated teams, but after winning its first eight games, Holy Angels (8-1) suffered its first loss this season — a 65-63 contest against Waconia in the University of St. Thomas tournament on Dec. 29.
Thor Holien, a 6-foot-5 senior, averaging a team-high 19 points per game, and 6-6 senior Matt Banovetz (16.7 ppg) lead the Stars. Freshman guard Emmett Johnson averages 12.1 ppg, and seniors Max Gerstner (10.7 ppg) and Charles Johnson (9.9 ppg) add plenty of support.
This matchup is the start of difficult three-game stretch for Holy Family Catholic (9-0), which faces No. 10-4A Edina and No. 4-2A Breck next week. The Fire, led by a guard trio of junior Nick Hendler (16.3 ppg), and seniors Ryan Bowlin (12.6 ppg) and Jacob Konz (11.8 ppg), may have trouble sizing up as the bulk of their production comes from the backcourt.
The 9-0 start isn’t unfamiliar territory for Holy Family Catholic, which won 12 of its first 14 games last year before losing eight of its last 13 games. However, Hendler, Konz and Bowlin were not the primary contributors to that team.