Cam Steele, Minnetonka's 6'8" Division I talent, was giving Chaska fits. Steele, who will play at Abiliene Christian, netted 17 points in the first half Jan. 7.
So, who did Hawks head coach Dana Kallman call upon to slow down Steele? Spencer Goetz, who generously is listed at six feet, three inches.
Goetz held Steele to six second-half points, two free throws down the stretch, as Chaska rallied from a 10-point deficit to win 62-59.
Luke Strazzanti's heads-up outlet off a Minnetonka slam dunk late resulted in a lay-up and foul, a three-point play, to put Chaska up for good at 60-58.
The Skippers had one last opportunity, 4.8 seconds remaining out of a timeout. With Steele covered, fellow senior JT Gaffney got the final look, his 3-point attempt falling short before the horn buzzed.
FINAL— Ryan Paul (@rypaul21) January 8, 2020
Chaska 62 Tonka 59
Cam Steele 23
Luke Strazzanti 20, Zach Lea 11, Brady Nicholson 11 pic.twitter.com/Ze95mHe6BM
Chaska, ranked No. 5, is now 9-2 with losses to No. 1 Eden Prairie and No. 4 Eastview. Minnetonka is 5-5 overall.
Steele led all scorers with 23 points for the Skippers.
Chaska got 20 from Strazzanti, including nine in crucial points of the second half. Other leading scorers were Zach Lea and Brady Nicholson with 11 each.
Minnetonka, up 35-33 at halftime, took its biggest lead at 49-39 with 11:14 to play. Chaska took its first lead since early on at 55-53 with four minutes left on the clock.
The Hawks open its Metro West Conference defense on Friday, Jan. 10 at home against Bloomington Jefferson.
Minnetonka is back in action at home versus Edina at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 9.
SOUTHWEST CHRISTIAN 78, TRI-CITY UNITED 27
Tyson Sandness scored 28 points. Tri-City United had just 27 as a team.
Southwest Christian improved to 3-1 in the Minnesota River Conference in a 78-27 blowout win over the Titans Jan. 7 in Chaska.
The Stars are tied with Mayer Lutheran and Belle Plaine in the league standings, one game back of unbeaten Jordan.
Michael Woodward added 11 points for Southwest Christian (4-4), which last had played on Dec. 20.
Next up is a road game at Brooklyn Center at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 9.
EDEN PRAIRIE 100, CHANHASSEN 67
Eden Prairie showed why they're the undisputed No. 1 team in Class 4A basketball on Jan. 9.
The Eagles scored 53 of the first 69 points, en route to a 66-point first half, in a 100-67 win over Chanhassen.
Eden Prairie emptied its bench early and often, a full-court defense making it hard for the Storm to set up its offense in the first half. They trailed 66-32 at the break, and by as many as 37 points at one point.
Luke Gitzen led the Storm with 18 points with Spencer Dieken (12) and Vince Manuel (10) also adding to the offense with double-digit efforts.
Eden Prairie had six players in double figures with Austin Andrews the top scorer with 19.
Chanhassen (1-10) opens the Metro West Conference on Friday, Jan. 10, at St. Louis Park at 7 p.m.