The winter sports season is coming down the stretch and teams all over Minnesota are jockeying for playoff positioning. Before you know it, section tournaments will start (if they already haven't) and then come the state tournaments.
It's a magical time of year for high school athletes, and some teams are firing on all cylinders at just the right time. This week, we're focusing on the teams in winter sports currently riding long winning streaks, starting with part one of our series: boys' basketball.
19 - BOLD
What isn't BOLD good at? They seem to win in every sport and boys' basketball is no different as the Warriors are a perfect 19-0. They're ranked No. 1 in Class 1A for good reason.
18 - Eden Prairie
The Eagles are a perfect 18-0 entering play this week, with three big games on tap: Wednesday versus Wayzata, Friday at Edina and a huge non-conference showdown with Cambridge-Isanti on Saturday.
18 - St. Croix Prep
Ranked fifth in Class 2A, St. Croix Prep may not be playing the toughest schedule in the state, but it's hard to argue with perfection. They have yet to lose and can boast impressive wins over Minneapolis North, St. Paul Johnson and St. Paul Central.
18 - Southwest Minnesota Christian
A perfect 18-0 with 16 of wins by double digits, including five victories by at least 40 points.
16 - East Grand Forks
Hockey school? Yes, but this basketball team is rolling with an undefeated record entering a Red River Valley showdown Tuesday against Ada-Borup, which the EGF Twitter account refers to as one of the "best teams in the state."
16 - Eden Valley-Watkins
The Eagles dropped their season opener to Osakis and have since rattled off 16 wins in a row. Osakis, by the way, has won eight straight and is also 16-1 this season.
15 - Perham
The Yellowjackets are a perfect 15-0 and have won 13 of 15 games by double digits. They also can brag about having a player with one of the coolest names in the state: Finn Diggins, a 6-foot-5 junior averaging more than 20 points per game.
14 - Cambridge-Isanti
The Blue Jackets lost their second game of the season to St. Cloud Apollo but have won 14 in a row since. They are difficult to stop with Henry Abraham averaging better than 33 points per game, including a 43-point effort (he made 19 free throws) in a recent win over Edina.
14 - Mankato East
At 16-1, Mankato East is ranked No. 2 in Class 3A and hasn't lost since the Tip Off Classic against DeLaSalle in early December.
13 - Lake City
At 17-1 overall, Lake City appears to be the real deal in Class 2A. Their only loss was by five points to the No. 1 team in 2A, Caledonia. They're led by Northern Iowa commit Nathan Heise, who is averaging nearly 30 points per game.
12 - Minnehaha Academy
The high-powered Redhawks are rolling with 5-star recruits and the result has been a bunch of dominating victories, including an impressive road win at 2A-power Caledonia and a victory on national TV over Sierra Canyon (California), which includes a boatload of big-time recruits, including the son of NBA superstar LeBron James.
11 - Mora
The Mustangs are red-hot with 11 straight wins after starting the season 3-4. They are fresh off a statement-win over Pine City (17-2), which has been among the best teams in in Minnesota this season.
10 - Henning
Ten straight wins and 17-1 overall. They're ranked No. 2 in 1A because the only team ranked ahead of them is the team that beat them 77-70, the BOLD Warriors.
10 - Waterville-Elysian-Morristown
They're 17-1 overall and their only loss is to the team above them on this list: Henning, which won 77-73 two days after Christmas.
– Cretin-Derham Hall has rattled off nine straight wins and are 16-2 this season, with their only losses coming in relatively close fashion to Eden Prairie and Wayzata.
– Eastview has won 13 of 14 with their lone loss a one-point defeat against Lakeville South.
– Spring Lake Park has won 12 of 13 and just put up 106 points against Elk River.
– Marshall has won seven straight and is 19-1 overall as a 3A power. Their lone loss was to fellow 3A powerhouse Mankato East (16-1).
– Richfield has won eight in a row and has cracked the top 10 in the 3A poll. They'll rise like a rocket if they can defeat DeLaSalle Tuesday night.
– Caledonia, ranked No. 1 in 2A, is 18-1 overall and its only loss was to 3A super power Minnehaha Academy. They're not among the longest winning streaks because that loss happened just a week ago.
– Minnesota Valley Lutheran has won nine straight and is 20-1 overall, with their only loss coming in close fashion to 1A power Springfield.
– Pine City deserves a mention at 17-2 overall, with their 12-game winning streak ending Monday in a 63-61 loss to Mora.
– Lewiston-Altura is 16-3 and can put the state on notice if they're able to beat Caledonia Tuesday night.
– Twin Cities Academy/Great River is 17-1 overall. Their only loss was by five points to St. Paul Academy.
– New Ulm Cathedral has won nine straight and is 19-1 overall. Their lone loss was to the team they're battling with for the top spot in the Tomahawk Conference: Minnesota Valley Lutheran.
– Springfield is 16-2 overall and in third place in the Tomahawk Conference. They have two close losses to New Ulm Cathedral and are the only team to beat Minnesota Valley Lutheran. Clearly, the Tomahawk is a strong conference.
– Fertile-Beltrami is 17-1 overall, with a recent loss ending their 16-game winning streak.
– Martin County West is 17-2 overall and just recently had an 11-game win streak snapped.
– MACCRAY is 17-4 overall but three of the four losses are by a combined four points.
If we missed a team that's rolling in the right direction, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Check back the rest of the week as we go through the hottest teams in girls' basketball and boys' and girls' hockey.