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Boys Basketball, Class AAAA semifinal: Park Center 61, Eastview 56

Posted: Thursday, March 23, 2023 - 8:51 PM


Top-seeded Park Center took another step toward what they hope will be a successful defense of its Class AAAA crown with a 61-56 victory over No. 5 Eastview in the semifinals of the Minnesota State High School League’s Boys Basketball State Tournament on Thursday, March 23 at Target Center. The Pirates used a 13-3 run in the final four minutes to do so, getting eight points from junior guard Casmir Chavis and five from senior guard CJ O’Hara to earn a spot in the big-school championship game for the second consecutive season and third time since 2013.

Eastview (23-8) didn’t look the least bit intimidated by the defending champs and held leads throughout, including a 53-48 advantage after junior forward Jon Mekonen made two free throws with 3:59 remaining in regulation. The Pirates (28-2), however, answered with a flurry during a game-defining spree that included two powerful dunks from O’Hara.

Chavis finished with 21 points, six rebounds and five assists to pace the Pirates. Junior guard Jackson Fowlkes was next with 13 points.

Mekonnen had 19 points, six rebounds, two assists and three steals to lead the Lightning.

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