Must-see girls basketball matchups add intensity to regular season's end

There is nothing better than the state's best clashing for supremacy during the regular season's final week in undoubtedly the No. 1 conference.

Perennial power Hopkins, No. 1 in the girls basketball Metro Top 10, hosts No. 3 St. Michael-Albertville and No. 2 Minnetonka in final Lake Conference heavyweight matchups Tuesday and Friday.

The Royals are coming off an 89-62 victory over No. 6 Wayzata in which senior Liv McGill (29 points) and sophomore Tatum Woodson (21 points) combined for 50 points. McGill, a 5-7 guard, is headed to Florida.

Minnetonka just defeated No. 4 Maple Grove by 13 points and edged No. 8 Eden Prairie by two points. Junior standout Aaliyah Crump scored 31 points in the 67-54 victory over Maple Grove, while Gophers recruit Tori McKinney scored 25 in a 62-60 win over Eden Prairie.

St. Michael-Albertville has gotten healthy just in time to also travel to Wayzata, after the Hopkins game, for its regular-season finale. Providence Academy rounds out the top five.

Wayzata climbs to No. 6, followed by No. 7 Lakeville North, No. 8 Eden Prairie, No. 9 Andover and No. 10 Benilde-St. Margaret's.

This week's marquee matchup

Minnetonka at Hopkins, 7 p.m., Friday

An outstanding way to close the regular season, the state's best going head-to-head. Hopkins handled Minnetonka 79-62 in the first matchup, opening up a 20-point lead in the first half. Expect coach Brian Cosgriff's squad to be better prepared for the second go-round.

Girls basketball Metro Top 10

1. Hopkins (22-2). Last week: 1

2. Minnetonka (22-2). Last week: 2

3. St. Michael-Albertville (19-5). Last week: 7

4. Maple Grove (20-4). Last week: 3

5. Providence Academy (2A) (21-4). Last week: 4

6. Wayzata (17-7). Last week: 8

7. Lakeville North (18-5). Last week: 5

8. Eden Prairie (17-8). Last week: 6

9. Andover (20-4). Last week: 9

10. Benilde-St. Margaret's (3A) (19-5). Last week: 10