Forest Lake and Stillwater will each finish the regular season at or near the top of the Suburban East Conference standings. Stillwater has already clinched the league title and Forest Lake looks for a second-place finish.
With the conference champion already crowned, Friday's contest provides an important test as these rivals start to turn their attention to defending their respective section titles.
Stillwater (18-5, 15-1) heads into the week looking to bounce back from a 77-74 loss last Friday to No. 10-4A Eden Prairie. The defeat snapped an 11-game winning streak for the No. 5-4A Ponies who look to defend their Class 4A, Section 4 title.
Forest Lake, meanwhile, desperately needs some momentum after its recent struggles. The Rangers look to improve on an 80-52 loss against Stillwater on Feb. 5 and they've lost three of their last four games. Despite their troubles, the Rangers are tied for second place with Roseville in the Suburban East standings and there's no better time than now to start playing their best basketball.
Forest Lake (18-6, 12-4) won the Class 4A, Section 7 title last season. Logan Anderson (17.3 ppg) and Maddie Krieger (13 ppg) are two players whom the Rangers might lean on in the section playoffs if they're to defend their title and earn another state tourney berth.