Except for a smattering of hockey games, winter sports have contests that count next week.
There is, however, a way for hoops fans to get a glimpse of what the next three-plus months have in store.
The annual St. Cloud State high school boys basketball scrimmage is Saturday at Halenbeck Hall.
A huge chunk of area teams competes, including Rocori, Sartell, Sauk Rapids, St. Cloud Apollo, St. Cloud Cathedral, St. Cloud Tech and Foley, among many others.
Competition begins at 8 a.m.
It’s the Central Lakes Conference jamboree, but there are all sorts of non-CLC teams there, too.
Of the CLC teams, Rocori is definitely a squad to watch. The Spartans are under the direction of new head coach Nate Guetter and return a strong nucleus from 2012’s state tournament team, including Jonah Eisenschenk, a 6-foot-5 forward already committed to Minnesota-Duluth.
It should be a good season for talent. Eisenschenk is one of a number of area players who already have made collegiate commitments for 2013-14.
Cathedral 7-footer Conor Voss is headed to Division I Columbia. Scottie Stone, a 6-4 guard/forward from Melrose, will play for St. Cloud State.
Patrick Fischer, a 6-4 guard for Sartell, will play for Bemidji State. Fischer is recovering from a knee injury suffered in football.
And, Sauk Centre guard Patrick Knoblauch has committed to Dordt, an NAIA school in Iowa.
Saturday at Halenbeck, teams will play other teams for one half. It’s fairly informal, but fun to watch if you’re a serious basketball fan.
A quick look at the rest of the week:
* St. Francis/North Branch vs. Sartell/Sauk Rapids girls hockey, 5:30 p.m. at the Municipal Athletic Complex.
This is the first of a two-game series in a mini tournament that includes the St. Cloud Icebreakers and Bemidji.
St. Cloud and Bemidji play at 7:30 p.m. at the MAC. The Storm’N Sabres then face Bemidji at 12:30 p.m. Saturday and the Icebreakers skate against St. Francis/North Branch at 2:30 p.m.