If there was one team that stood in the way of last year's Class 3A state championship run by DeLaSalle, it was Holy Angels.
A layup by Nurjei Weems with eight seconds remaining proved to be the difference in the Islanders' 61-59 victory over the Stars. It was by far the most competitive of the state tournament games DeLaSalle played on its way to the title.
Holy Angels, ranked No. 2 in Class 3A by Minnesota Basketball News from Jan. 1, will host the defending champion on Tuesday in a rematch of that semifinal matchup.
If the Stars can find a way to take down No. 1-3A DeLaSalle in our Top Game of the Week, the victory would help bolster their status as a title contender, as Holy Angels has yet to be tested against a premier opponent this season.
Scoring typically isn't an issue for a Stars (6-3, 0-0) team that's averaged 74 points per game. Junior guard Francesca Vascelarro drives the team's offense, averaging more than 19 points per game.
While Holy Angels has been getting it done on offense this season, DeLaSalle is more than capable of being a terror for opposing defenses.
DeLaSalle started the season with an 0-3 record, losing to competitive outstate teams and No. 1-4A Hopkins. DeLaSalle (4-3, 0-0) has since won four straight games, with its offense heating up to average 78 points a game.
Weems, the Islanders' hero of last year's state semifinal matchup against the Stars, has been a catalyst, producing 17.5 points per game in four of DeLaSalle's first seven games. Kiani Lockett has also been a factor.