Boys Basketball: Local ties lead teams to state semis
MINNEAPOLIS—No. 4 seed Princeton (27-3) secured a semifinal berth with a 68-63 win over No. 5 Mahtomedi (24-6) in the Class 3A Quarterfinals Wednesday, March 20 at Williams Arena.
In just their second all-time trip to the state tournament and first since 1932, the Tigers head to the state semifinals where they'll face top seed DeLaSalle noon Thursday, March 21 at Target Center in Minneapolis.
Mahtomedi junior J'Vonne Hadley led all scorers with 32 points, adding 16 rebounds. He was 14-of-25 from the floor and added five assists and three steals.
The Tigers, who are coached by Brainerd High School graduate Brett Cloutier, rallied with a 13-0 run, staking their largest lead of nine, 42-33 on the back of three consecutive buckets by senior Reilly O'Neill with just under 14 minutes to play. He finished with 15 on the day.
Senior guard Adam Williams buried the comeback hopes, draining a pair of 3-pointers to push the lead back to nine, 59-50 with less than six minutes to go. Williams finished with a team-high 17 points, including five 3-pointers, while adding seven assists, four steals and five rebounds.
O'Neill and Williams were two of Princeton's four players to score in double-figures, as senior James Flicek added 16 points and senior Jon Stimmler tallied 12 points to go with a game-high 17 rebounds (12 offensive).
No. 1 DeLaSalle 76, Bemidji 45
Top seed DeLaSalle (25-5) heads to the state semifinals with a 76-45 win over Bemidji (23-5) Wednesday in the Class 3A State Quarterfinals.
The Islanders used a 35-8 scoring margin by creating 19 Bemidji turnovers while committing just 11. They also made 13 3-pointers at a 61.9 percent clip (13-21).
DeLaSalle senior Jamison Battle led all scorers with 21 points on 8-of-9 shooting, including a perfect 4-of-4 from 3-point range and senior Tyrell Terry collected 15 points, nine assists and five rebounds while adding three 3-pointers.
Spencer Konecne was one of three Lumberjacks to score 10 points in the game, making 5-of-8 from the field and leading the club with five rebounds. Junior Colten Jensen was 5-of-7 from the floor and scored 10 points and senior Jacob Beberg added 10 points off the bench, as well.
Waseca 82, Academy of Holy Angels 62
No. 2 Waseca (29-1) jumped out to an early double-digit lead and didn't look back in an 82-62 quarterfinal win over Holy Angels (24-5) Wednesday at Williams Arena in the Class 3A Quarterfinals.
Waseca jumped out to a 15-2 lead in the first five-plus minutes of play and led throughout the contest.
Waseca senior Malik Willingham led all scorers with 22 points, adding 11 rebounds and six assists. Sophomore center Andrew Morgan added 21 points on 9-of-10 shooting and nine rebounds and sophomore Kyreese Willingham had 17 points and 12 rebounds. K. Willingham and Morgan combined for five blocked shots, with three to Willingham who also had four steals on the defensive end.
The Stars were led by three players with 15 points each: senior Max Gerstner, junior Matt Banovetz and freshman Emmett Johnson. Johnson also had six assists.
No. 3 Austin 68, Monticello 52
No. 3 seeded Austin (24-5) returns to the Class 3A state semifinals with a 68-52 win over Monticello (14-16) Wednesday at Williams Arena.
The Packers, who placed fourth at state in 2018, will face No. 2 Waseca in the semifinals 2 p.m. Thursday, March 21, at Target Center in Minneapolis.
Austin senior Medi Obang had a game-high 16 points on 7-of-14 shooting and had seven of Austin's 22 steals. He helped the Packers forced 31 turnovers while committing 17 which led to a 26-14 edge in points off turnovers.
Senior Gavin Owens led Austin in the post with 12 points.
Monticello junior Austin Wetter led three Magic in double-figures with 13 points, adding nine rebounds and five steals while senior Austin Puppe added 11 points and seven rebounds.
No. 3 East Ridge 78, Eastview 41
East Ridge made its state tournament debut a successful one with a 78-41 victory over Eastview in the Class 4A Quarterfinals Wednesday, March 20 at Target Center.
Senior forward Courtney Brown Jr., led four Raptors teammates in double figures with 18 points and 10 rebounds to send East Ridge (28-2) into the semifinals Thursday against No. 2 Hopkins. East Ridge opened the season with a 74-65 victory over Hopkins Dec. 1.
Senior guard Zach Zebrowski and sophomore guard Kendall Brown added 17 points each. Junior forward Ben Carlson had 11 points, seven rebounds, three blocks and three steals in 27 minutes of play.
Steve Crowl, a 6-foot-10 junior forward led Eastview with 17 points and junior guard Jaylen James added 12.
No. 2 Hopkins 86, Cambridge-Isanti 53
Hopkins (25-4) used their superior height and a fast up-and-down-the-floor style to overwhelm a shorter, but scrappy team from Cambridge-Isanti, 86-53 in the Class 4A State Quarterfinals Wednesday, March 20.
Zeke Nnaji had 23 first half points and finished with 25 after playing just six minutes in the second half. Royal teammates in double figures were Kerwin Walton with 19 and Dane Zimmer's 15.
Hopkins led the entire way on the strength of 56 points in the paint versus the Bluejackets' 12. Hopkins size dominance was also evident in their rebounding advantage, out rebounding their opponent 43-17.
Cambridge-Isanti's 44 field goal attempts were beyond the 3-point line. Henry Abraham led the Bluejackets with 17 points and five assists.
No. 1 Park Center 77, Maple Grove 56
Park Center opened the game with a 3-point play by Khari Broadway and never trailed running past Maple Grove, 77-56 Wednesday in the Class 4A quarterfinals at Target Center.
Broadway led three Pirates in double figures with 19 points. Dain Danja and Tommy Chatman added 16 points apiece. Danja finished with a double-double adding 10 rebounds. He also had three blocks.
Park Center shot 67 percent compared to Maple Grove's 36 percent. Park Center was most dominant inside, outscoring the Crimson in points in the paint, 50-22.
The Crimson were led by Nate Adams with 18 points. Kyle Dreyer added 13 and Caden Boettcher finished with 12.
No. 5 Lakeville North 73, No. 4 Eden Prairie 48
Lakeville North, the No. 5 seed to open the Class 4A tournament, was off and running en route to a 73-48 victory over Eden Prairie in the quarterfinals Wednesday, March 20 at Target Center.
Senior guard Tommy Jensen scored 12 of his 23 points in the second half when the Panthers (26-4) turned a four-point halftime advantage into a blowout. Senior guard Tyler Wahl added 15 points, 12 rebounds and four assists and senior forward Tate Staloch chipped in 11 points and six rebounds.
The Panthers' victory reversed a four-point loss they endured to Eden Prairie (20-10) just before the holiday break. The Eagles, who were held to 18.8 percent shooting in the second half (6 of 32) were led by junior guard Drake Dobbs, who had 13 points, and junior forward Austin Andrews, who contributed 12 points and nine rebounds.
No. 1 Minnehaha Academy 78, St. Peter 47
Junior Jalen Suggs had a triple double and the Redhawks of Minnehaha Academy (27-2) won comfortably, 78-47 over St. Peter (22-7) in a Class 2A quarterfinal game Wednesday, March 20.
Suggs had 21 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists to lead his team to the win.
The Redhawks had four players in double figures; Kaden Johnson and Chet Holmgren each had 14 and Prince Aiigbe put in 11 off the bench. Holmgren also had eight blocks.
The Saint's Wyatt Olson poured in 17 and Brock Hanson had 10 to lead all St.Peter scorers.
No. 2 Minneapolis North 61, Esko 53
No. 2 seed Minneapolis North (22-9) returns to the state semifinals following a 61-53 quarterfinal win over Esko (21-10) Wednesday at Williams Arena.
The Polars, winners of the 2016 and 2017 Class 1A state titles, will now head to the Class 2A semifinals in the program's 22nd overall state tournament appearance.
North freshman Willie Wilson had a game-high 17 points on 6-of-9 shooting while sophomore Davon Townley, Jr. had the game's only double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds, including six on the offensive glass. Seniors Eli Campbell and Omar Brown sparked the backcourt with seven and six steals, respectively and each had four assists.
Esko was led by junior Payton Wefel with 16 points on 6-of-10 shooting including 4-of-8 from the arc. Senior Camden Berger added 12 points for the Eskomos.
No. 5 Lake City 60, No. 4 Melrose 44
Lake City extended its winning streak to 19 consecutive games with a 60-44 victory over Melrose in the Class 2A quarterfinals of the boys basketball state tournament on Wednesday, March 20, at Target Center.
The Tigers (27-2) were in control throughout behind an attack paced by junior guard Nathan Heise. He had 18 points, seven rebounds, four assists and a block in 33 minutes of play. Freshman guard Justin Wohlers and senior forward Ethan Heitman contributed 11 points each.
The victory sends No. 5 seed Lake City into the Class 2A semifinals Friday night against No. 1 Minnehaha Academy, the two-time defending champion.
Senior guard Preston Keaveny led Melrose (26-5) with 13 points and sophomore guard Grant Mosho added 11.
No. 3 Perham 73, Redwood Valley 58
No. 3 Perham (30-1) overcame an early deficit and used an early second-half run to advance with a 73-58 win over Redwood Valley (16-12) in the state quarterfinals on Wednesday night at Williams Arena on the campus of the University of Minnesota.
The Yellowjackets head to the state semifinals as the program seeks its second state championship in a fourth state appearance. They'll face No. 2 Minneapolis North at 8 p.m. Friday, March 22, at Target Center in Minneapolis.
Redwood Valley heads to the consolation semifinals against Esko 8 p.m. Thursday, March 21, at Gangelhoff Center on the campus of Concordia University, St. Paul.
The Cardinals started hot, sprinting out to an 8-1 lead while holding the Yellowjackets to one point for the first four and a half minutes of play.
Following a 7-0 run by Perham, they finally claimed their first lead over 10 minutes into the half and didn't look back from there. A 15-2 spurt put the Yellowjackets ahead by 10, 23-13 with 4:40 to play in the half.
Redwood Valley trimmed the margin back to one late in the half before another Perham run put the game away. The Yellowjackets buried a 3 just before the halftime buzzer and pushed the lead back to nine (35-26) in the opening minutes of the second half.
The Yellowjackets played to a double-digit lead for the final 13-plus minutes of action in the win.