Boys rankings stay the same, but Hillcrest gets within striking distance of Battle Lake and Moorhead tops Detroit Lakes.
On the girls side, the top two teams squared off with Ada-Borup proving why the Cougars are the best girls basketball team in the area.
Here are your area Minnesota high school boys and girls basketball rankings for the week of Feb. 18.
1. Battle Lake (24-1)
Last week: 66-48 win at Henning; 85-82 win at home over Hillcrest Lutheran Academy
Next up: host Barnesville, Thursday, 7:30 p.m.
Battle Lake will head into the postseason with a grip on 6A, after beating Hillcrest twice in the regular season. Things become a tad more interesting considering Battle Lake beat Hillcrest 54-34 earlier in the season and only beat the Comets by three on Tuesday.
Outside of a loss to Maranatha Christian, the closest margin was 15 in the 23 Battle Lake wins. Hillcrest now has gotten the closest with a three-point loss.
The Battlers are healthy with Tony Ukkelberg fully back. He had 21 against Hillcrest, Petric VanErp had 23 and Andrew VanErp and Nick Trosdahl each had 16.
2. Hawley (19-3)
Last week: 65-35 win at home over Verndale; 58-48 win at home over Perham; 84-53 win at Pelican Rapids
Next week: host Frazee, Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Big win for Hawley over Perham, considering Perham is sporting two new players from Class 4A St. Cloud Tech transfers junior Max and freshman Mitch Plombon.
With the Plombons, Perham rolled one of the top 8AA North teams in Crosby-Ironton 46-30 on Monday, so the Yellowjackets are nothing to sleep on. Then again, they lost to Frazee 45-44 for the first time in two decades.
The Nuggets have won 12 in a row and big man Ben Ellefson just became the 26th player in Minnesota high school boys basketball history to have over 2,000 points and 1,000 rebounds in his career.
Against Perham, it was Ellefson with 19 points and seven rebounds and Dillon Omberg with 17 points that led the Nuggets. Hawley has size, weapons and is full of seniors.
Next stop should be state for the first time since 2000. First step was locking up the No. 1 seed in 8AA South and the Nuggets did just that.
3. Moorhead (19-5)
Last week: 73-63 win at Alexandria; 52-46 win at home over Detroit Lakes
Next up: postseason
Moorhead looks to have a No. 2 seed locked up for the 8AAAA tournament, meaning they’ll open the playoffs at home. Spuds are 8-1 in the section with their only loss coming 70-59 to St. Michael Albertville, which will most likely be the No. 1 seed.
Spuds will most likely have Rogers in the section semifinals, a team they beat 66-50 in the regular season.
If things go according to plan, Spuds should have St. Cloud Tech in the first round, a team they beat 79-37 on Jan. 9.
4. Detroit Lakes (21-4)
Last week: 69-68 win in overtime at Grand Rapids; 52-46 loss at Moorhead
Next up: host Alexandria, Friday, 7:30 p.m.
The good news for the Lakers is they got their leading scorer Christian Hedstrom back after a concussion.
Hedstrom missed the second half of the game against Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton that the Lakers squeaked out a 51-49 win, missed a 54-46 loss to a Thief River Falls team the Lakers beat 78-58 with him and a 69-68 overtime win over an 11-14 Grand Rapids team.
Clearly, the Lakers need Hedstrom. They close the season against the only 8AAA team with a better QRF ranking than them.
5. Hillcrest Lutheran Academy (19-4)
Last week: 70-49 win at home over Underwood; 69-26 win at home over Wheaton-Herman-Norcross; 85-82 loss at Battle Lake
Next up: at Minnewaska Area, Thursday, 7:30 p.m.
Hillcrest gets the No. 2 seed in 6A North despite going 15-2 in the section with their only losses coming to Battle Lake, which was 16-0 in 6A.
Waubun got the No. 1 seed in 6A North even though the Bombers 77.7 QRF ranking was third in 6A North to Hillcrest’s 81.6 and Park Christian’s 79.2
The Comets never did play Waubun in the regular season and Park Christian went 1-1 against the Bombers.
Regardless, Hillcrest made things very interesting. Outside of one loss, no team came within 15 of Battle Lake before Hillcrest fell to the Battlers 85-82 on Tuesday.
Chris Tungseth lost his mind on Tuesday, scoring 39 points on 14-of-22 shooting to go along with Jake Isaac’s 27 points. With those two playing like that, Hillcrest can beat anyone in 6A.
1. Ada-Borup (22-0)
Last week: 80-10 win at home over Lake Park-Audubon; 55-51 win at Hawley
Next up: host Crookston, Tuesday, 7:30 p.m.; vs. Win-E-Mac at Lake Park, Saturday, 2 p.m.
Still only one remaining unbeaten girls basketball team in the state and that’s Ada-Borup.
The Cougars just beat one of the best teams in Class 2A on the road without one of their starters in Morgan Miller. Haley Poehler had 16 points against Hawley.
The road gets even harder to close the regular season for the Cougars, as they take on 17-6 Crookston and 19-4 Win-E-Mac.
2. Hawley (18-3)
Last week: 62-41 win over Brandon-Evansville at Concordia-Moorhead; 55-51 loss at home to Ada-Borup
Next up: host Pelican Rapids, Thursday, 7:30 p.m.; at Frazee, Tuesday, 7:30 p.m.
Hawley dropped a tough one to the No. 1-ranked team in Class 1A, but the Nuggets have bigger fish to fry. They’ve already given Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton hope by dropping a game to the Rebels. They can’t allow that with Pelican Rapids as well.
The Nuggets are 11-1 in 8AA and have one loss to a Class 2A team.
3. Dilworth-Glyndon Felton (15-6)
Last week: 67-47 win at Pelican Rapids; 69-67 win at Crookston; 60-57 win at home over Breckenridge
Next up: at Barnesville, Thursday, 7:30 p.m.; host Perham, Tuesday, 7:30 p.m.
Big week for the Rebels. They rolled a team they’d need to get through to get another shot at Hawley in the sub-section championship in Pelican Rapids and they showed they are contenders for the 8AA title with a 69-67 win over Crookston.
D-G-F is a better bet to beat Hawley than Wheaton-Herman-Norcross is to beat Ada-Borup.
4. Wheaton-Herman-Norcross (21-2)
Last week: 40-36 win at home over Underwood; 61-25 win at Hillcrest Lutheran Academy
Next up: host Breckenridge, Thursday, 7:30 p.m.; at Park Christian, Friday, 7:30 p.m.; host Clinton-Graceville-Beardsley, Tuesday, 7:30 p.m.
The Warriors didn’t deserve to drop a spot in the rankings, but with Ada-Borup getting stronger and with D-G-F having beaten Hawley before, there’s just no reason to think the Warriors will beat the Cougars in the section title game if they are to even get there.
W-H-N doesn’t play Ada-Borup in the regular season.
5. Detroit Lakes (16-6)
Last week: 69-38 win at home over Bemidji; 60-38 win at home over Staples-Motley
Next up: host Pequot Lakes, Saturday, 7:15 p.m.
One would think 16-6 would be a good overall record, but that is good enough for sixth in 8AAA. The section holds five of the top 23 QRF rankings in Class 3A.
DL has a tough road, but they have five seniors for it.
Chris Murphy can be reached at 701-241-5548 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @SeeMurphsTweets for Minnesota prep updates and smart alecky remarks about sports, movies, music and life in general.