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Boys Basketball, Class AAAA semifinal: Wayzata 79, Lakeville North 77

Posted: Thursday, March 23, 2023 - 10:28 PM


Wayzata, the No. 3 seed in the Class AAAA field, escaped adversity and then turned it into euphoria in posting an exhausting 79-77 victory over No. 2 Lakeville North in the semifinals of the Minnesota State High School League’s Boys Basketball State Tournament late Thursday, March 23 at Target Center.

Shortly after surrendering a 20-point lead to Lakeville North, Wayzata put itself into position to make a third consecutive trip to the big-school championship game. And it was senior guard Hayden Tibbits, a crafty playmaker throughout, that delivered the final blow. With the Trojans (26-4) working the clock on their final possession, Tibbits took control from the top of the NBA arc and weaved his way into the lane before launching a soft floating jumper from the elbow with 1.1 second left in regulation to give Wayzata another shot at Park Center for a Class AAAA championship.

After winning the Class AAAA crown in 2021, Wayzata was the runner-up to Park Center a year later. In the earlier semifinal, top-seeded Park Center advanced with a narrow victory over No. 5 Eastview.

Jackson McAndrew, a 6-foot-9 junior, had a team-best 28 points and eight rebounds. Tibbits finished with 24.

Lakeville North (27-4), which defeated Wayzata during the regular season, trailed by 20 points with 15 minutes to go in regulation. The Panthers defended well and shot their way back into the game at a dizzying pace, but committed a costly turnover with 1:07 remaining in regulation time. Senior guard Hudson Vaith and senior post Nolan Winter had 24 points each.

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