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Boys Basketball, Class A semifinal: Russell-Tyler-Ruthton 61, Cherry 57

Posted: Friday, March 24, 2023 - 2:44 PM


Russell-Tyler-Ruthton, which started the season on a 24-game winning streak, is on another one with one game to play during the 2022-23 boys basketball season. The only blemish on the Knights’ season run is a two-point loss to Dawson-Boyd in the regular-season finale. The current winning streak is a modest six-game run, but it comes at the most important time of the season.

The top-seeded Knights earned a spot in the Class A championship game with a 61-57 victory over No. 4 Cherry in the semifinals of the Minnesota State High School League’s Boys Basketball State Tournament on Friday, March 24 at Target Center in downtown Minneapolis. Senior guard Aidan Wichman scored a team-high 23 points, including 9 of 9 from the free throw line to send the Knights (30-1) into the Class A championship game on Saturday against the winner of the later semifinal between No. 2 New Life Academy and No. 3 Spring Grove.

In addition to 10 assists, Wichmann had eight points in the final minutes, including six free throws in the final minutes, to help Russell-Tyler-Ruthon hold off the Tigers (27-5) and earn a spot in the championship game for the first time since winning the Class A crown in 2018. The Knights were also the Class A champs in 2004 and 2005. Junior Drew Werkman added 16 points for the Knights, including a power baseline drive and a last second power layup in the Knights’ game-closing surge.

Cherry, the Section 7A champion, maintained pace throughout with the Knights, but wasn’t able to get to the free throw line enough in the final minutes to rally with the clock stopped. University of Minnesota commit Isaac Asuma, a junior guard, had 21 points, including 11 of the Tigers’ final 17 points. He was assessed his fourth personal foul with 2:54 remaining in regulation time, but played through it and scored five more points. Younger brother, Noah, a freshman guard, chipped in 13 points and 10 rebounds.

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Boys Basketball, Class A semifinal: New Life Academy 51, Spring Grove 35