by MATTHEW DAVIS
Champlin Park keeps on winning and look to strengthen their lead in the Northwest Suburban Conference in the coming days.
The Rebels (10-1, 6-0 NWSC), ranked No. 5 in Class 3A, visit rival Anoka (1-10, 1-5 NWSC) to tip-off the new year on Friday. Blaine (4-3, 3-3 NWSC) will face the Rebels afterward on Tuesday, Jan. 7.
Most recently, the Rebels dominated at the Granite City Classic in St. Cloud on Dec. 27-28. They pounded Stillwater of the Suburban East Conference 100-66 on Friday, Dec. 27, at St. Cloud State University.
Witt scored a team-high 19 points, and Jeremy Johnson added 18. Ian Smith and Marty Hill each had 16 points, and JT Gibson hit 11.
McKinley Wright pulled down a team best 8 rebounds, and Smith had a team high of 7 assists. Hot shooting form three-point range by the Rebels buried the Ponies with a 12-17 mark.
Another Suburban East team took tumble at the hands of the Rebels on Saturday, Dec. 28 in an 81-67 win over No. 9 Roseville. Five Rebels scored in double figures as they won their ninth-straight and their fourth over a top 10 team.
Gibson led the Rebels scoring with 20 points. Smith had a double double with 12 points and 10 assists. Johnson also had 12 points, and Wright had 10. Witt finished with 15.
The high-flying Rebels average 85.5 points per game with five players averaging in double figures. Witt leads the team with 19.1 per game.
Champlin Park girls hoops (5-3, 3-2 Northwest Suburban) tips off the new year with rival Anoka (2-3, 2-2 NWSC) on Friday.
The Rebels have a three-game winning streak on the line, and they will look to break a two-game skid in the series with the Tornadoes. Their last meeting resulted in a 48-43 win by the state-bound Tornadoes last February against.
Hanna Crymble has emerged as a go-to player for the Rebels in the post with 15.4 points per game. Division I South Dakota State recruit Alexis Alexander averages 14.6 points per game.
In their most recent outing, they edged Elk River 61-60 right before the Christmas break. Crymble had a team-high 18 points, and Alexander scored 11. Allison Gerads scored 13.
The Rebels capitalized on 21 turnovers by the Elks and pulled ahead to stay in the final minutes. It came as the second time in a year where the Rebels have edged the Elks by three points or less.
Area college athletes
Former Champlin Park football standout AJ Van Voorhis will take part in a historic Division I college football game on Saturday. Van Voorhis, a strong safety for North Dakota State University, will look help complete the Bison’s quest for a third-consecutive national championship. They face Towson University in Frisco, Texas for the title. The Bison play at the Football Championship Series (formerly I-AA) level of Division I. Van Voorhis has 22 tackles for the Bison this season.
Ironically Van Voorhis’ father, Tom, played for the Bison in 1983 when they played Towson State at the time in the Division II playoffs. The elder Van Voorhis and the Bison claimed the Division II national title that year.