Cretin Derham-Hall opened its season as the Minnesota Basketball News' top-ranked team. Eden Prairie was pegged at No. 3.
Northstar Hoops had Park Center at No. 1, Eden Prairie No. 2 and Cretin Derham-Hall No. 3.
On Saturday, Eden Prairie and Cretin-Derham Hall would open their 2019-20 campaigns with a neutral-court showdown (Breakdown USA Big 12 Classic at Champlin Park High School).
Eden Prairie defeated Cretin-Derham Hall 56-47.
“A complete grind,” said Eden Prairie coach David Flom. “They've got four to five 6-foot, 6-inch guys who defend well and we have four to five 6-foot, 6-inch guys who defend well.”
Eden Prairie made 36% of its shots, Cretin made 30%.
“There were no easy baskets,” said Flom.
The under card, if there was one, featured the play of the state's two best point guards (Eden Prairie's Drake Dobbs and Cretin's Tre Holloman).
Dobbs finished with 17 points, Holloman 16.
Note: Dobbs scored all of his points in the second half.
The difference in the game — Eden Prairie led Cretin-Derham Hall 22-21 at halftime — was the play of Austin Andrews.
“It was the one matchup we thought we might be able to expose,” said Flom. “The guys did a good job getting Austin the ball and Austin had a great game.”
Andrews, named the Breakdown Player of the Game, finished with 19 points and nine rebounds.
Dobbs counted 17 points, John Henry 10 and Connor Christensen eight.
While Brenden Donahue only scored two points, he was clearly an unsung hero.
“He played 18 minutes and finished a plus-18,” said Flom. “Pretty good for a guy who practiced for the first time on Friday.”
On Saturday, Eden Prairie plays an even bigger neutral-court game.
“We get Prior Lake, who is No. 3 and No. 4 in a couple polls, at Hopkins,” said Flom. “On Saturday, Prior Lake beat East Ridge, another top-10 team, by 16 points.”
Eden Prairie and Prior Lake both compete in Section 2-4A.
“It's early,” said the coach, “but it's an important game.”
On Tuesday, Eden Prairie was scheduled to host Burnsville.
“The guys have a pretty mature focus,” said Flom, “but we'll still talk about it.
"Besides, it's our home opener,” added Flom.