North St. Paul started the season missing a handful of varsity players for a variety of reasons. With JV players plugged into the starting lineup, and playing a difficult schedule that included matchups with No. 3-4A Cretin-Derham Hall, No. 1-4A Eden Prairie, No. 6-4A Spring Lake Park, No. 1-3A Minnehaha Academy and No. 3-3A DeLaSalle, the Polars (13-7, 10-0) lost six of their first seven games.
But the Polars haven't lost since late December. A 65-64 victory over Maple Grove on Dec. 27 kicked off a 12-game win streak that North St. Paul carries into this week, which includes Friday's game at Tartan that could cement the Metro East Conference championship for the Polars.
On Jan. 14, North St. Paul beat Tartan 69-56 at home and then got three-year starter Brenden Lankford Johnson back onto the court for the first time this season. Johnson, the team's assists leader as a junior, has averaged 11 points a game since his return. Shaheed Muhammad, one of the few Polars to play in every game this season, leads the team in scoring with 18.3 points per game.