Monday, January 30, 2006

Prep Notes for January 30, 2006

(photo caption) Tartan's Kwadzo Ahelegbe continues to turn heads with his strong play this season (photo: courtesy MNSportsPreview.com).

At least one opposing coach feels that Tartan's senior point guard, Kwadzo Ahelegbe, may be the best Minnesota prep senior this season. Ahelegbe, who has accepted a scholarship to Northern Iowa, is averaging 23.3 points per game for the 13-3 Titans. Tartan is currently third in the Classic Suburban Conference at 6-2, behind St. Thomas Academy (7-1) and Richfield (6-1). The Titans were defeated by both teams earlier this season.

Hastings boys' hockey star Derek Stepan continued his amazing scoring streak over the weekend by scoring two of his team's three goals in a 3-3 tie with Stillwater. Stepan, a sophomore forward, has scored at least one point in every game he's played in for the Raiders this season. On the year, Stepan has 18 goals and 13 assists for 31 points. Stepan's father, Brad, was a 1985 5th round draft choice of the New York Rangers. Hastings is currently 10-8-2 overall and 6-4-2 in the Suburban East Conference, which is good for fifth place presently. The road will not get any easier for Hastings before beginning tough play in the Section 2AA playoffs, as they face conference and section rivals Cretin-Derham Hall and Woodbury prior to the regular season's end.

Phil Housley is in the midst of a second season trying to rebuild the boys' hockey program at Stillwater High. The Ponies are 10-8-2 on the season thus far, with a 5-5-2 mark in the Suburban East Conference. Though only at 6th place in the nine team SEC, the Ponies have beaten or tied three of the five teams ahead of them in the standings. However their regular season plays out, Stillwater will face a daunting task come playoff time in Section 3AA, home to perennial powers Hill-Murray, White Bear Lake, and Centennial.

The rebound of the Henry Sibley boys' hockey team from dismal results the past couple of seasons suffered a setback Saturday at Mahtomedi as the Zephyrs downed the Warriors 5-3. Sibley had defeated Mahtomedi earlier this year and was gunning for the season sweep in the series. Sibley is now only 6-11-2 overall and 2-7-2 in Classic Suburban Conference play. However, after a one win season in 03-04 and two wins in 04-05, the Warriors have tripled their win total this year over last season's mark. Head Coach Chad Norman, a member of the powerful Brian Bonin-led White Bear Lake squads of the early 1990s, has the Warriors headed in the right direction, though it may take a few more years to reap substantial rewards.


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