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Top Games: Kennedy, Cooper set for Metro West Conference clash

02/08/2016, 5:00pm CST
By Shane Koob, Sport Ngin

Feb. 9: The Eagles and Hawks are tied atop the league standings heading into Tuesday's matchup.

Bloomington Kennedy coach Quinton Johnson has the Eagles flying high after starting the season with nine straight losses during a difficult stretch of their schedule. Photo by Mark Hvidsten

Bloomington Kennedy and Robbinsdale Cooper square off for the second time this season on Tuesday night in a monster Metro West Conference clash. The teams are tied for first in the league standings with 7-1 records heading down the back stretch of the conference slate.

The Eagles might not look like much at first glance with a 10-9 overall mark, but nearly all of Kennedy's losses came to some heavy hitters before the calendar flipped to 2016.

It all started with a 59-51 loss to Eastview, now ranked No. 3 in Class 4A by Minnesota Basketball News, and snowballed from there as the Eagles lost their next eight games while facing teams the likes of Osseo, No. 5-3A St. Paul Como Park, No. 6-4A Lakeville North and No. 2-4A Hopkins.

But Kennedy has won 10 of its last 11 games in the thick of league play, led by South Dakota commit Lashayla Wright-Ponder, who averages 25.5 points per game.

The Hawks (12-6) lost to the Eagles 59-49 on Jan. 12, but have responded by winning five of their last six games.

Featuring a scoring duo of talented underclassmen, Cooper is led by sophomore Ja'Hyia Gaston (13.2 ppg) and freshman Aja Wheeler (13.1 ppg).

With Kennedy finally looking like the team everyone thought it would be before the season started and the Hawks tied with the Eagles in the Metro West title race, this Top Game of the Week has plenty at stake for both teams.

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