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At Bloomington Kennedy, in a game between Kennedy and Hopkins, TT Starks(22) of Hopkins gets her shot altered by Jade Martin(13).] rtsong-taatarii@startribune.com

1 BEST TO CLASH RIGHT OUT OF GATE

Eastview has finished fourth and third in the state tournament the previous two years, and has plenty of experience and talent returning to its 2013-14 lineup. Does it have enough to make a run at state power Hopkins? An early test comes when the Lightning play at Hopkins at 7 p.m. on Dec. 13. The Royals, guided by Brian Cosgriff, have just one starter returning from last year’s state championship squad.

2 PLENTY OF TALENT IN SENIOR CLASS

The 2014 graduating class might not match the marquee names of previous years, but it still has plenty of talent. During the early signing period, more than 30 players from the class signed Division I letters-of-intent. Typically the number is in the 20s. Creighton, which recently knocked off the Gophers 63-52, Marquette and North Dakota State have each plucked three from the group.

3 LAKEVILLE NORTH HAS NEW LOOK

Shelly Soule replaces former mentor Andy Berkvam as coach at Lakeville North. Berkvam, who coached at Lakeville and Lakeville North for 23 years, resigned after last season to return to his alma mater, Northfield, and take over the boys’ program. Berkvam won 420 games, 10 section titles and three state championships — 2001, 2002 and 2010 — in Lakeville. Soule, a guard, was a member of the 2001 and 2002 state championship teams.

4 QUEEN OF THE COURT

New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva senior guard Carlie Wagner has made fans statewide with her state tournament play. The Panthers finished third in 2012 before winning the title in 2013, behind Wagner’s outstanding play. The Gophers recruit enters the season with 2,810 career points, 15th on the all-time list. Wagner has scored more than 40 points in four of her six state tournament games, topped by a state record 50 points in last year’s 60-59 victory over Braham in the title game.

5 COACHING LEGEND STEPPING DOWN

Rochester Lourdes mentor Myron Glass is retiring at the end of the season, his 30th at the school. He has 705 career wins, second only to Mike Dreier of New London-Spicer with 792. Glass has guided the Eagles to 15 state tournament appearances and eight championships. He is 8-0 when reaching the title tilt.

 

RON HAGGSTROM

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Tag(s): Featured  Star Tribune  Braham  Rochester Lourdes  Hopkins  Northfield  Eastview  Lakeville North  New London-Spicer  Richland (N.D.)