Tuesday night's 66-56 Chaska victory over Shakopee assured the Hawks of the Missota Conference championship and improved their record to 21-4 on the season. Chaska, the 4th ranked team in class AAAA by Minnesota Preps, was led by 23 points from Wichita State signed Jake White and the 20 points from Penn State signed Ross Travis.
"We started the game and the second half extremely well," explained Hawks Coach Dana Kallman. "I thought we defended well and executed our sets well.
"We started the game on a 6-0 run and forced a timeout from Shakopee. Then we built a lead of 21 to 9 and forced a second timeout. Later we built an 18 point lead in the second half."
After accumulating this advantage the Hawks had too much firepower to let the Sabers make a legitimate comeback. Shooter Max Watts scored 16 points for the Hawks while the big two combined for 43.
"The size of Jake White and Ross Travis really caused problems for Shakopee," said Kallman. "They both had double doubles. Also, Max Watts hit three of five three-pointers in the first half."
Chaska clinched the league title but what about section play? Both Eden Prairie and Chaska have 21-4 records and in head to head competition they split a pair of games.
The decision for the top seed could come down to the final game as EP plays at Edina tomorrow while Chaska is at four-win Northfield.
"Our Section Tourney starts next Thursday, March 10," Coach Kallman explained. "We will have a home game versus a TBD (to be determined) team. In my opinion our section is one of the toughest in the state (if not the toughest in the state). It should make for a great atmosphere! We just hope to perform at a high level and play our best basketball of the year."
In addition to Eden Prairie and Chaska, Section 2AAAA also has Shakopee, Edina, an improved Chanhassen team, 14 win Bloomington Kennedy, a building Prior Lake program, and Bloomington Jefferson with standout Marcus Alipate.