This season has not gone the way Minnetonka would have hoped. A 73-53 loss last Friday against Wayzata — their fourth defeat in a row — has the Skippers bailing water from their deck. But they have a chance to right the ship with three games this week, including Saturday's contest at Grand Rapids.
Slowing the pace and playing defensively might be the best way to go for the Skippers (7-10, 0-3), who’ve allowed 52.7 points per game this season. It's a high-water mark they’d like to get back to after giving up their two highest point totals of the season in their last two losses: 77 against Hopkins on Jan. 18 and 73 against Wayzata.
To get the season turned upstream, Minnetonka will also need to continue getting offensive production from Sophie Haydon (9.7 ppg) and Desiree Ware (9.4 ppg), who lead the team in points (225 combined).
Grand Rapids (13-5, 3-0) hasn't shied away from playing against Class 4A teams this season, but with a 1-3 record, the outcome hasn't been what the Thunderhawks wanted. Their lone victory was a 77-52 win at Duluth East in early December. That can change with a victory on Saturday, as Grand Rapids — a Class 3A state tournament entrant the past three years — claws through a regular-season schedule filled with challenging games to prepare for the postseason.
This week's showdown with Minnetonka is the first of two games the Thunderhawks are playing against Lake Conference opponents (Hopkins on Feb. 16) this season.
Hannah DeMars (18.5 ppg) has led the way for the Thunderhawks and has been especially good lately, scoring 17 points or more per game in the past seven contests, including a season-high 32 against North Branch.