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Top Games: Eden Prairie can buoy title chances by sinking Minnetonka

By Taylor Lunemann, Sport Ngin, 02/02/15, 3:15PM CST


The Eagles can still win a Lake Conference championship but must first ground the high-scoring Skippers.

Eden Prairie players celebrate during the Eagles' 68-67 victory at Lakeville North on Dec. 20. Photo by Nick Wosika

There's a small margin in talent level between the top and bottom teams in the Lake Conference standings.

That’s good news for Eden Prairie, a team needing victories to stay in the hunt for a conference title. The Eagles, ranked No. 6 in Class 4A by Minnesota Basketball News, are 3-1 in the league with victories over every team except No. 5-4A Hopkins, which defeated Eden Prairie 75-67 on Jan. 16. 

Eden Prairie has a highly anticipated meeting with the league-leading Royals (5-0) in the regular-season finale on Feb. 20, a game that could decide the conference champion if the Eagles win their remaining league games beginning with our Top Game of the Week against Minnetonka on Feb. 6.

The Eagles defeated the Skippers on Dec. 19 by beating Minnetonka at its high-scoring game. Eden Prairie finished with a season-high point total in the 106-86 victory. 

Running and gunning with the Skippers may not be the best option for the Eagles this time, especially against a reeling Minnetonka team.

The Skippers are 1-3 in their last four games and dropped to 2-3 in the conference after losses to Hopkins (97-79) on Jan. 23 and at Edina (81-80) on Jan. 30. Minnetonka could be looking to ease the sting of those two league losses with a victory over Eden Prairie. Or the Skippers could revel in ruining the Eagles’ chances to capture the crown. 

This is a must-win game for Eden Prairie, and a high-scoring shootout may be fun for fans, but the Eagles may need to lock down defensively to sink the Skippers. 

Minnetonka could boost its confidence and keep its season from sliding away down the stretch with a win, and running Eden Prairie out of the gym may be the game plan.

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