As the crowd stood and applauded Chaska’s Kennedy Sanders as she passed 1,000 career points, the Hawks guard’s face turned red as the spotlight was all on her.
Though Sanders may have been modest in that moment, she has plenty of things to brag about. She’s the leading scorer for the defending Class 4A state champion. She was also the catalyst as her team came back from a double-digit deficit to hand section rival Eden Prairie its first loss, 65-59.
This was the first time the two schools had met since the Class 4A, Section 2 final in 2019 when the Eagles defeated Chaska on its home court. This season, both teams are ranked in the top four in Class 4A in Minnesota Basketball News’ Dec. 22 rankings and are likely to be vying for the section title alongside No. 2-4A Minnetonka.
Trailing by as many as 11 points in the second half, Chaska slowly clawed its way back and took down Class 4A, Section 2 rival Eden Prairie 65-59 on Wednesday at Park Center High School.
The Eagles, ranked No. 3 in Class 4A by Minnesota Basketball News on Dec. 22, came out tough on both sides of the ball in the first half. On offense, Eden Prairie was led by senior leaders Nia Holloway and Myra Moorjani. Holloway, a University of Minnesota commit, led her team with 14 points while Moorjani scored nine of her 12 points in the first half.
Junior Molly Lenz was also a big part of the offense as she poured in 13 points for the Eagles (8-1).
The No. 4-4A Hawks (7-1) stuck close by the Eagles in the first half thanks to junior guard Kennedy Sanders. She finished the game with a team-high 19 points. Eleven of those came in the opening half.
Trailing by eight points heading into the second half, Eden Prairie saw its lead grow to 11. But Chaska started slowly chipping away thanks to senior standout Mallory Heyer. After having just three points and limited time in the first half because of foul trouble, the future Gopher stepped up with 13 second-half points, including three 3-pointers.
Besides Heyer and Sanders, junior guard Ashley Schuelke came through with 17 points, including 12 in the second half that helped put away Eden Prairie as Chaska handed the Eagles their first loss of the season.
The MN Girls' Basketball Hub poll is for entertainment purposes only.