Junior guard Takara Mason, playing her first girls’ basketball game as a member of the Cretin-Derham Hall Raiders, made an immediate impact, scoring a game-high 19 points and leading them to a 60-59 victory over the St. Louis Park Orioles in the Tip-Off Classic at Hopkins High School last Saturday evening.
It was the season-opener for both teams.
Reagan Alexander, a junior guard fresh from leading the Orioles to the Class 3A state volleyball tournament consolation championship tournament team a couple of weeks ago, had a team-high 18 points for St. Louis Park, who led 35-28. Senior guard Jordyn Turek added 13 and junior forward Kendal Coley, also a member of the volleyball team, added 10.
Junior guard Audrey Martinez Stewart and senior backcourt mate Sydney Jackson had 13 points apiece for Cretin-Derham Hall.
St. Louis Park is coached by 2005 graduate and Orioles Hall of Fame inductee Arsenio Richardson, who excelled in football, basketball, and track before moving on to the University of Nebraska Omaha and graduating from the University of Sioux Falls.
Crystal Flint, now in her second year coaching at Cretin-Derham Hall, was a standout for the University of Minnesota women’s basketball team, leading them to their first NCAA tournament appearance. She then became one of the state’s top game officials, coached at Concordia University-St. Paul, and revived the girls’ program at Minneapolis North.
Prep Spotlight: Walker, Jones, headed to A&T
Two of the metro area’s top student-athletes, Arie Walker (St. Paul Academy) and Shaliciah Jones (North St. Paul), have both signed National Letters of Intent to attend North Carolina A&T University, an HBCU (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) in Greensboro, NC, in their respective sports.
Walker will play volleyball after a senior season in which the setter led SPA with 459 set assists and 38 service aces.
Jones has been one of the most dominant track and field performers the past few years and is the defending Class AA state champion in the 100 and 200-meter runs. She was also part of the first-place 4×100 relay team.
Former Prep Spotlight: Morgan honored
Taylor Morgan, a middle blocker for the number-seven-ranked University of Minnesota volleyball team after graduating from Blaine High School in 2015, led them to a 3-0 victory over the University of Iowa on Senior Night at the Maturi Pavilion last Saturday evening.
Morgan had nine kills and six blocks in her final regular-season home game as a Gopher after an outstanding career.
She was honored on Senior Night along with Alexis Hart, Kylie Miller and Lauren Litzau.
Dr. Mitchell Palmer McDonald is a contributing columnist at the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder.