Joe Coleman (left) and Marvin Singleton (right) reacted as Hopkins fell from the ranks of the unbeaten vs. Eden Prairie. /Star Tribune photo by Kyndell Harkness
It has been a rough week for the top teams in high school hoops, as four of the state’s seven unbeaten teams lost for the first time.
In Class 4A, Hopkins (15-1), suffered a 75-71 loss at home on Tuesday to Eden Prairie (14-2). Though they can’t erase their first tally in the loss column, the Royals will get another crack at the Eagles on Feb. 18 at Eden Prairie.
Two unbeatens in class 2A took their first loss as well. Perham (15-1), playing through much emotion on the day that teammate Zach Gabbard underwent successful heart surgery at the University of Minnesota Medical Center, lost last Friday to conference rival Pelican Rapids (12-4), 52-47.
Montevideo (14-1) was the other 2A team with a perfect record ruined over the weekend. The Thunder Hawks played a tough Windom Area (13-3) team, which earned a 64-51 win in a game played at Southwest Minnesota State last Saturday.
Lastly, Glenville-Emmons (14-1) of 1A had its run at a perfect season denied by Hope Lutheran (6-8), losing 40-37 last Friday. It was the second meeting between the two teams, and went drastically different this time around. The Wolverines won by 44 points in the first game, but the Patriots took full advantage of having the second on their home floor to win a close one.
A look at the three remaining unbeatens in Minnesota boys' basketball:
Class 2A-No. 2 Waterville-Elysian-Morristown (16-0), Gopher conference: The closest game the Buccaneers have played all season long was a 21-point win over United South Central. Last season, the Bucs won their first 27 contests before losing to Belle Plaine in the section playoffs. They are likely to run the table in conference again this year. That being said, circle Feb. 26 on the calendar. W-E-M will host No. 3, 4A Tartan (16-1) in a game that will really test their caliber. No doubt they will play the underdog, but you may see the home team hang with the 4A Titans.
Class 1A-No. 1 Sebeka (15-0), Park Region conference: The Trojans are set to take on Isle (9-8) at 10 a.m. this Saturday at Target Center. The first week in March may also prove difficult for last season’s state runner-up, as they play host to Perham on March 1 before going on the road to face No. 5, 2A Pequot Lakes (12-4) on March 5. The Trojans are impressively trying to improve on their 30-3 record of a season ago.
Class 1A-No. 2 Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa (17-0), Central Minnesota conference: The Jaguars could be in for a tough one tonight when they head to Maple Lake (11-6). If they are able to win tonight, they have two other tests to pass before postseason play: home games against conference challengers Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted (14-4) on Feb. 18 and Pierz (7-8) on Feb. 25. Though Pierz’s record may not be intimidating, the Pioneers are tied for second in the conference and are a team the Jaguars beat just 84-80 earlier this year.