Maple Grove vs. Park Center

7 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 7

If Park Center can beat Maple Grove on Thursday night and somehow score 79 points in the process, it would be a delightful bit of poetry in the Northwest Suburban Conference West Division.

Such an outcome would give the No. 3-4A Pirates a four-game sweep of its fierce rivals Osseo and Maple Grove. And it would mean Park Center (17-1, 7-1) scored 279 points in becoming kings of School District 279 for this season.

The three schools share a school district but not a unity. The rivalry is heated.

Park Center won at Maple Grove 76-63 on Dec. 18 and two days later beat Osseo 64-42. But don't think that means the Pirates expect to simply put down another workmanlike performance and walk away with a season sweep. Park Center escaped Osseo with a one-point victory (60-59 on Jan. 25) in the teams' second meeting, and another tough game against the Crimson awaits.

For the Crimson (12-4, 6-2) to prevent the sweep, they will have to slow Pirates' leading scorer and sturdy junior post Dain Dainja (15.8 ppg), who had 29 points in the first meeting at Maple Grove.

They'll also have to contend with 6-5 junior swingman Detavius Frierson, who scored only seven points in the first game but is the Pirates' second-leading scorer (14.5 ppg) and an energizing presence, and Tommy Chatman (13.8 points).

Seniors Nate Adams (14.7 ppg) and Jared Rainey (13.8 ppg) are the Crimson's top scorers, and each had 19 in the Dec. 18 loss. Kyle Dreyer, a 6-1 senior, averages 10.5 points.