The first full week of 2020 offers up some great prep match-ups as Steele County teams battle for conference titles while positioning themselves for the playoffs. Here are a few KRFO-area teams that could go a long way this winter.

Medford girls basketball is having another great season. After going unbeaten last winter during the regular season, the Tigers aren't going to sneak up on anyone. Additionally, many of the Tigers were members of the back-to-back state placing volleyball squad.

Coach Mark Kubat commented on Saturday's AM 1390 KRFO Coaches Show that the Tigers need to rebound a little better. Medford beat JWP Monday, January 6 68-31 in a make up game to improve to 9-1 on the season. Big game this week: Medford faces section foe Waseca Saturday, January 11 at 11:45 am at the showcase event at Kasson-Mantorville High School.

Blooming Prairie boys basketball knows how to win. After all, their roster is filled with players from the state championship football team. BP has only played five games so far, half as many as some teams. One of those was a tremendous win over Hayfield. Big games this week: No. 12-A BP goes to Southland Tuesday, January 7 for a big section game and hosts WEM in a key Gopher Conference game Friday, January 10.

Blooming Prairie girls basketball shouldn't be overshadowed by their male classmates. At 8-1, the Awesome Blossoms are rated fifth in the state and have played most of their games so far on the road. Their only loss came at No. 17-AA Goodhue. Big game this week: BP hosts Southland (8-2) Tuesday in a battle between the top two teams in Section 1A.

The Blooming Prairie girls also get our nod as Cash Wise Foods Team of the Week. BP recently won back-to-back games on last second shots at the Hayfield Tournament. Cash Wise Foods of Owatonna and Waseca presents a gift card to a charity in the district of the team of the week throughout the 2019-2020 school year.

Owatonna wrestling seems to be building some great momentum. After starting the season unranked, the Huskies are No. 7 and crushed No. 8 Wayzata during The Clash National Wrestling Duals. OHS lost to Northfield in their Big Nine showdown. Last year the Huskies beat the Raiders during the regular season only to lose to them during sections. Owatonna could get the chance to return the favor next month. Big match this week: OHS wrestles at Albert Lea Thursday, January 9. The Tigers might be down a little but this is still a great rivalry.

Owatonna boys hockey is sailing through the season at 9-2 with a win over a top 20 rated Class A team and an overtime loss to another. Big games this week: The Huskies host Century Thursday, January 9 in a game that will go along way toward the Big Nine title and section seeding. Saturday the Huskies play at Mayo.

Owatonna gymnastics has been a bit hobbled by injuries this season yet is till rated 11th based on their average score and just won the Faribault Invitational which featured a big field of quality teams. Big match this week: The Huskies face No. 10 Northfield in Farmington Thursday. The Raiders are one of several rated teams that Owatonna will have to top to return to state for a fifth straight season.



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