Apple Valley huddles before the start of its game at Eagan on Jan. 7. The Eagles defeated the Wildcats 87-51. Photo by Jon Laqua
A basketball powerhouse begins this season looking to bounce back from two tough losses: a defeat in the section championship and the departure of its top player.
Apple Valley's hopes of winning another Class 4A state title were dashed by Cretin-Derham Hall's 89-77 victory over the Eagles in the Section 3 championship.
Apple Valley also waved goodbye to guard Tyus Jones, who graduated and took his talents to Duke University.
The Eagles welcome back many young faces and plan to continue following a winning formula that has brought the program 58 wins the past two seasons, as well as a state title in 2013.
Apple Valley's first test comes against a Chaska team with a plethora of seniors who are ready to step up after a 16-10 season. Senior guard Jacob Hansen returns after finishing as the Hawks' second-leading scorer and averaging 16.3 points per game. Hansen should provide leadership for Chaska, which is expected to have 12 seniors on its roster.
The first game of the season often gives fans a good indication of a team’s identity. This matchup should provide some answers for what Apple Valley and Chaska will look like this season and is our Top Game of the Week.
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