With Lake Conference play two weeks away, things are about to get a whole lot tougher for the tenth-ranked Minnetonka boys basketball team.
But for Tuesday night, it couldn't have been much easier as the host Skippers rolled to a 45-point win over visiting St. Paul Academy, winning 86-41.
The Skippers controlled the game offensively and defensively from the opening against an out-manned Spartans squad.
"I thought our guys came out with good energy," said Minnetonka head coach Tom Dasovich. "We've been emphasizing defense in practice lately and rebounding and I thought that– not taking anything away from St. Paul Academy– I thought our guys really rebounded well and played defense hard the first half. That just set the tone."
Tommy McDermott had 16 points to lead four Minnetonka players in double figures. Latrell Love had 12 points, Riley Dearing 10, Andrew Grosz 10 and Joe Risinger nine.
Minnetonka led 47-14 at the half, and coach Dasovich went to the bench early and often in the second half. The Skippers improved to 12-2 on the season St. Paul Academy fell to 6-7.
Lake Conference play begins Jan. 31 at Edina for the Skippers, and it promises to be another rip-roaring conference season. Minnetonka's four conference opponents are a combined 45-7 overall. Led by No. 2 Hopkins (12-1), the league is strong throughout, with No. 5 Wayzata (14-0), No. 7 Eden Prairie (10-2), Edina (9-4) and No. 10 Minnetonka (12-2) forming the best conference in the state, Dasovich said.
"I'm obviously biased. And we're not a very big conference, but hands down, we're the best conference in the state, top to bottom," Dasovich said.
Minnetonka hosts Rochester John Marshall (3-9) Saturday in another non-conference game, tipping off at 6 p.m. This will be some additional practice for the Minnetonka team.
"We're close to where we should be," Dasovich added. "We're playing well, but we're not playing as well as we can. We have areas that we can improve on."