The boys rankings stay the same and the girls rankings add Detroit Lakes and knock out Breckenridge in this week’s area basketball rankings for Minnesota.
1. Fergus Falls (18-2)
Last week: 57-49 win at Alexandria; 51-48 win at Bemidji.
Next up: host Willmar (5-16), Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Fergus Falls beat Alexandria on the road to justify its top spot in Class 3A, Section 8 and then avoided an upset to section foe Bemidji via a Matt Johnson 3-pointer at the buzzer, after trailing 44-34 with four minutes to go.
Two big section wins on the road for the Otters. Just as they’ve done all season, the Otters spread the wealth. Harrison Christensen and Nathan Rund had 16 against Alexandria and Rund had 23 points and Christensen had 13 against Bemidji.
2. Hillcrest Lutheran Academy (18-0)
Last week: 75-56 win at home over Hancock; 88-78 win at home over Fargo Oak Grove; 80-56 win at home over Brandon-Evansville
Next up: host Ashby (0-20), Thursday, 7:15 p.m.; vs. Hawley (3-16) at Fargo Civic Center, Saturday, 5:45 p.m., host Minnewaska Area (15-4), Monday, 7:30 p.m.
The Comets showed they have other weapons not named Chris Tungseth, as Sean McGuire had 23 points in the win over Hancock. Tungseth had 12 points, seven rebounds, five steals and four assists against Hancock and then dropped 31 points on Fargo Oak Grove in a shootout and 20 points on Brandon-Evansville.
The Grovers hit 15 3-pointers and the Comets still found a way to win.
Comets have a good challenge against a 15-4 Class 2A team in Minnewaska Area coming.
3. Perham (16-3)
Last week: 46-42 loss at Barnesville; 64-60 win at home over Breckenridge.
Next up: host Detroit Lakes (14-5), Thursday, 6 p.m.; vs. Fargo Oak Grove (6-8) at Fargo Civic Center, Saturday, 7:30 p.m.
Just when it seemed as though Perham was slowly running away with Class 2A, Section 8, Barnesville came in and disrupted things, handing the Yellowjackets their first section loss.
The Yellowjackets are still the front runners in the section, but Staples-Motley, Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton, Barnesville and Breckenridge now have a blueprint on how to beat them.
Breckenridge hit a 3-pointer with 18.4 seconds remaining to cut the Perham lead to 62-60 this week, but the Yellowjackets snuck out with a win thanks in large part to 10 missed free throws for the Cowboys.
The section seems to be gaining on Perham.
4. Lake Park-Audubon (18-4)
Last week: 70-55 win at Mahnomen.
Next up: host Norman County East-Ulen-Hitterdal (14-7), Friday, 7:30 p.m.; at Park Christian (8-12), Monday, 8:30 p.m.
The win over Mahnomen makes it 14 straight, heading into a big matchup with Norman County East-Ulen-Hitterdal.
Another huge night for Jesse Bergh against Mahnomen, as the 6-10 junior finished with 23 points and 24 rebounds, while Mitch Hall added 18 points and Lane Ulmer had 17.
5. Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton (16-4)
Last week: 55-21 win at Pelican Rapids; 71-55 win at home over Waubun.
Next up: at Staples-Motley (12-7), Thursday, 7:30 p.m.; host Norman County East-Ulen-Hitterdal (14-7), Monday, 7:30 p.m.; at Pequot Lakes, Tuesday (12-9), 7:30 p.m.
Big game at Staples-Motley on Thursday for the Rebels, as the Cardinals could be the team to sit between them and a chance at Perham in the section championship.
Tuesday’s win over Waubun showed how dangerous D-G-F can be. They trailed 37-31 at half with their arguably two best players having two points combined in Kyle Rothschadl and Blake Kragnes. The fact the Rebels were within six shows how deep they are and the fact Rothschadl finished with 15 points and Kragnes finished with 13 points and 20 rebounds shows the Rebels can adjust.
All five starters were in double figures with Ethan Edeen netting 14, Cole Tahran adding 11 and Gunnar Payne finishing with 10. Five wins in a row for the Rebels.
1. Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton (17-0)
Last week: 64-57 win at Moorhead; 60-47 win at home over Thief River Falls.
Next up: at Pequot Lakes (16-1), Thursday, 7:15 p.m.; host Pelican Rapids (12-6), Tuesday, 7:30 p.m.
The Class 2A Rebels handled Class 4A Moorhead on the road. They handled then Class 3A’s No. 5-ranked Thief River Falls. Now, the Rebels get to see how they hold up against one of the best teams in Class 2A in 16-1 Pequot Lakes.
Only three undefeated girls basketball teams in the state.
The Rebels just continue to find a way to win. They trailed Moorhead by one with 2 minutes 11, seconds to go and closed the game on a 9-1 run on the road. Against Thief River Falls, the Rebels went nearly 10 minutes without scoring, yet, still won.
Against Moorhead, it was Alyson Brenna and Anna Smith. Against Thief River Falls, it was Ally Reno and Natalie Steichen. They press, they can shoot and Smith continues to prove she can fight down low against anyone alongside jumpers Frannie Mercil and Faith Anderson.
2. Ada-Borup (15-2)
Last week: 71-31 win at home over Climax-Fisher; 55-54 loss at Win-E-Mac.
Next up: at Park Christian (5-11), Thursday, 7:30 p.m.; host Northern Cass (7-11), Friday, 7:30 p.m.; host Waubun (14-4), Tuesday, 7:30 p.m.
Ada-Borup has lost two games by a combined two points to teams combined 35-2, with one of those teams being a class above the Cougars.
The loss to Win-E-Mac snapped a 15-game winning streak and a 72-game conference winning streak that dates back to 2011 for Ada-Borup.
The Cougars have won four straight section championships, but they look somewhat human.
3. Wheaton-Herman-Norcross (18-2)
Last week: 66-45 win at Hancock; 85-42 win at home over Ashby.
Next up: at Ortonville (12-6), Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Confidence continues to grow for the Warriors, especially seeing Ada-Borup lose. The Warriors have two losses to two teams that are a combined 33-1.
One of those losses was to D-G-F by 11, which Ada-Borup lost to by one in overtime, so that’s the slight tiebreaker between the two.
Currently, W-H-N is higher in the QRF, but it’s hard to bet against the defending champs until proven otherwise.
4. Detroit Lakes (13-6)
Last week: 51-46 loss at Thief River Falls; 62-57 win at Perham; 63-60 win in double overtime at Pequot Lakes.
Next up: at Alexandria (13-4), Friday, 7:30 p.m.
The Lakers are a weird team in Class 3A. They got beat by Class 2A D-G-F 63-57, which is understandable as the Rebels are 17-0, and then lost big 55-40 and 59-40 to two of the top teams in Class 3A in Pequot Lakes and Albany.
So that was a fine time to write them off. Then, they lose by five to then Class 3A’s No. 5-ranked Thief River Falls on the road and it’s safe to say Detroit Lakes can’t win the big game.
Then, they follow barely getting by Class 2A 11-8 Perham 62-57 by being the first team in the state to beat Pequot Lakes 63-60 in double overtime.
The Lakers have another chance to prove themselves with Alexandria. Currently, Thief River Falls, Alexandria and Sauk Rapids-Rice are ahead of them in Class 3A, Section 8. The Lakers lost by 14 and five to TRF, beat Alexandria 56-51 to open the season and will not play Sauk Rapids-Rice in the regular season.
5. Pelican Rapids (12-6)
Last week: 63-25 win at home over Wadena-Deer Creek; 65-58 loss at home to Thief River Falls.
Next up: host Ashby (3-14), Thursday, 7:30 p.m.; at Frazee (8-9), Friday, 6 p.m.; at Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton (17-0), Tuesday, 7:30 p.m.
The good news is Pelican Rapids stuck with one of the best Class 3A teams in the state in Thief River Falls. The bad news is Class 2A, Section 8 rival D-G-F beat that TRF team by 13.
Vikings have a good chance to prove the section isn’t D-G-F’s yet with a game against the Rebels on Tuesday.
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.