Boys’ basketball prepares for game against Minnetonka

Playing high-ranked teams readies players for Sections


Lucy Zumbrunnen

Senior Anthony Rayson makes his way around a defensive player to score against Minnehaha Academy. Park’s next game will take place 7:30 p.m. Dec. 21 at the high school.

Kate Schneider

According to coach Rob Griffin, Minnetonka is a high-scoring team and in order to win, Park has to stay in control of the ball and the speed of the game.

“To beat them, we’ve got to play our game, we’ve got to be able to control the tempo of the game. Minnetonka scores around 80 points a game, they’ve had a game already this year where they scored 100, so they’re looking to try and score as much as they can,” Griffin said. “We’re going the other way, where we try to value each possession so we want to keep (the score) around the 60s area. If we do that, we’ll come out with a win.”

Senior Keyshon Howard said Minnetonka is a talented team this year and has lots of returning players.

“They’re a pretty solid team, they’re going to be pretty good this year. They’ve got some good guys returning from last year. We’re going to have to stay focused in order to beat them,” Howard said.

According to junior Aaron Ellingson, the team will have to step up its defense and keep moving in order to beat Minnetonka this Friday.

“On defense, we have to box out so they can’t get second chances on rebounds. We have to closeout on the shooters to make sure they can’t get open shots. Then on offense, we just have to keep moving the ball and then take good shots,” Ellingson said.

Griffin said that while every game is important, the game against Minnetonka will especially help to prepare the team for other tough opponents later in the season.

“This is a good opponent as far as where they’re ranked in the state. I think it prepares us for conference playing and going into February when we play Sections. So to play these top-ranked teams is huge. I also think we need to win to get back on track after playing a couple tough opponents,” Griffin said.

According to Ellingson, the team has had some surprising loses this season, but have the rest of the season to keep improving their playing skills.

“We’re two and two right now. We should’ve beat Armstrong in the last game but it’s still pretty early in the season,” Ellingson said. “We’ve got some things to work on but overall I think it’s going pretty good.”

The game against Minnetonka is at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 21 at Park High School.