St. Paul Como Park may score a full regular season’s worth of points in just 10 games.
The state’s top-scoring team entered Thursday’s tip off against rival St. Paul Central averaging triple-digit scoring per night and came close to that mark again in a 90-51 home victory over St. Paul Central.
With that offensive potency, the Cougars, ranked No. 4 in Class 3A by Minnesota Basketball News, not only cemented their spot atop the St. Paul City Conference standings, they extended their conference win streak to 67 games — a successful run which extends back to 2015.
Due to COVID-19 precautions, league teams are sticking to a conference-only, 10-game double-round-robin schedule for 2021. The Cougars (5-0) are used to testing themselves against a stingy non-conference schedule. They’ll have to rely on capital city dominance to boost their section playoff seeding resume.
“I take a lot of pride. I was born and raised in St. Paul, so playing in this conference I've been here before. I graduated from Highland Park, so I know how it is,” said Como Park first-year coach Olanda England. “Of course, it's a little bit less than what it's been competition-wise the last couple years but just trying to keep basketball in St. Paul means a lot to me. That's why a lot of the girls that are from St. Paul are here at Como.”
The reign over St. Paul Central continues for St. Paul Como Park.
Como Park, featuring Ronnie Porter who had a game-high 30 points, extended its St. Paul Conference winning streak to 67 games Thursday. The Cougars’ latest triumph came in a 90-51 home defeat of Central.
Central, which was the last team to beat the Cougars in league play back in 2015, went into Thursday’s tip off with each of its four wins this season coming by double-digit margins.
The Minutemen (4-1) were competitive with the Cougars (5-0) in the game’s opening minutes, playing to an 8-8 early score. Central kept pace with its rival until the Porter show began when Como Park had a 20-16 lead.
Porter, a junior guard, was the catalyst for Como Park’s blistering surge into the halftime break. She scorched the net for six first-half three-pointers, helping her team to a 46-22 lead at the break.
Porter got a lot of help from teammates, too, with Cloey Dmytruk scoring 16 points, and Demya Riley and Kaylynn Asberry each added 15 points for the Cougars.
Central’s offense was spearheaded by senior Alayjza Campbell, who had 15 points. The Minutemen also got 12 points apiece from Anna Rykienwich and Aaliyah Hamilton.
The Cougars, ranked No. 4 in the Class 3A by Minnesota Basketball News, came into the matchup leading all teams in scoring, regardless of class designation, with 102.5 points per game.
St. Paul City Conference teams are playing a 10-game, conference-only schedule in the 2021 season. Como Park and Central are scheduled to meet again March 8 at Central.
The MN Girls' Basketball Hub poll is for entertainment purposes only.