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Prep Blog: Friday's Top High School Match-Ups

The high school football season has been officially over for about a month, but the show must go on.

Many of those same athletes who were battling for a state championship at the Prep Bowl have now switched their football jersey and helmet out for basketball shoes, hockey skates or wrestling gear. Most teams in basketball and hockey are about a third of the way into their winter seasons.

Things will only get more hectic as pretty much every school in the state will be involved in a holiday tournament around Christmas. Then the gauntlet of conference play resumes in January, and it's all a race toward the state tournaments in March. A lot can and will happen before that.

Many of the state's top teams are in action this weekend before taking a break for the holidays. Here are some of Friday's top match-ups in basketball and hockey.

Friday Boys Basketball: Eastview (5-2) at Apple Valley (7-1)

There is a huge game in the South Suburban Conference Friday night between a pair of rivals with city bragging rights on the line. No. 2-ranked Apple Valley hosts Eastview. The Eagles have all five starters back from last year's state championship team. They're led by Gary Trent Jr., a highly-sought recruit nationally, who averages 32.6 points per game. All five starters average double figures in scoring.

Apple Valley's only loss so far came to now No. 1-ranked Hopkins in the Breakdown Tip-Off Classic. Eastview is 5-2 on the season with losses to Chaska and Lakeville North. The Lightning are led by Sean Ryan's 19 points per game. He's one of six players who average double figures in scoring and it should be a highly-offensive contest. Both teams score around 80 points per game.

Friday Boys Basketball: Melrose (4-0) at Albany (4-0)

There's a big game between two top-10 teams in Class AA Friday night as Albany hosts perennial power Melrose in non-conference action. The Dutchmen are unbeaten and are led by the duo of Drake Meyer and Dillion Haider. Both have gone for at least 20 points in victories this season. Albany is led by Kyle Birr's 24.8 points per game.

Friday Girls Basketball: Eden Prairie (1-5) at Minnetonka (3-3)

A pair of Lake Conference rivals in girls basketball meet in the west Twin Cities metro Friday night as Minnetonka hosts Eden Prairie. The Skippers are ranked in the top five in Class 4A despite losing three of their past four games. They're led by Courtney Fredrickson's 16 points per game. The Eagles are looking to recover from a tough start, going 1-5 in their first six games. That lone victory was against Park Center. They're led by Jordan Schinas and Esabelle Levine, who each average better than 14 points per game.

Friday Boys Hockey: Edina Invitational

Braemar Ice Arena will serve as the host to some pretty competitive hockey this weekend as four ranked teams will be playing in the Edina Invitational. The teams include No. 5 Edina, No. 9 Grand Rapids, No. 2 Eden Prairie and No. 13 Elk River/Zimmerman. In Friday's action, the Hornets face Elk River/Zimmerman and Eden Prairie faces Grand Rapids. Edina and Eden Prairie were state tournament teams last year, with both reaching the semifinals.

Tune into WCCO-TV's High School Sports Rally at about 10:20 p.m. Friday as Mike Max and Frank Vascellaro will have all the action covered.


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