Despite the presence of a pair of Division I recruits, DeLaSalle coach Faith Johnson Patterson knew her team would experience growing pains as it prepared to defend its Class 3A championship.
"We have a very tough schedule [and] we may struggle in the beginning," Johnson Patterson wrote in an e-mail. "However, we have a lot of talent, and we will learn how to work together and improve as the season progresses."
Based on DeLaSalle's results in Hamline University's Pat Patterson tournament on Friday and Saturday, it's safe to say that Johnson Patterson is spot-on with her early assessment of her team.
Playing without senior forward Claire Thomas, the Islanders fell to Bloomington Kennedy 82-76 and to Eastview 82-59.
Tyseanna Johnson, who has signed with Iowa State, and Allina Starr, an Auburn recruit, lived up to their billing, combining to score 100 of the Islanders' 135 points in the two games.
Royals leave no doubt
Hopkins, the two-time Class 4A girls' basketball champions, got its quest for a three-peat off to a strong start with a 68-40 rout of White Bear Lake in the Bethel Tip-Off tournament.
Pacing the Royals were a pair of Nias: Freshman guard Nia Hollie, who had a team-high 11 points, and senior forward Nia Coffey, who added 10.
T.T. Starks and Erin O'Toole had eight points each for Hopkins, highlighting the Royals' depth as 10 different players scored.
Hornets fire first shot
A debate over the best Class 2A hockey team in Minnesota -- Edina or Benilde-St. Margaret's -- is expected to rage all season.
With two impressive victories in the Wayzata Turkey Trot tournament, the Hornets gained the early advantage.
Defenseman Matt Nelson scored twice in Edina's 7-2 romp over a quality Holy Family team in the first round of the tournament.
Forward Connor Hurley had a goal and an assist for the second consecutive game. Goalie Willie Benjamin stopped all 16 shots he faced in the Hornets' 3-0 victory over Wayzata in the championship game.
With Edina playing Lakeville South on Tuesday night and playing host to Centennial on Thursday, the Hornets will have four games played before Benilde-St. Margaret's plays one.
The Red Knights open defense of their Class 2A championship Saturday at Moorhead.