Boys Basketball: Day 1 Recap
Posted: Tuesday, March 21, 2023 - 9:55 PM
Semifinal pairings were set in three enrollment classes during Day 1 of the Minnesota State High School League’s Boys Basketball State Tournament. Quarterfinals were completed in Class AA, Class AAA and Class AAAA during 12 games that were played at Target Center in downtown Minneapolis and at Williams Arena on the University of Minnesota campus.
Each of the top seeds advance in each tournament field.
In Class AA, top-seeded Holy Family Catholic advanced with a victory over Eden Valley-Watkins. The Fire, the Class AA champion in 2007 and making their first state tournament trip since 2014, moves on to face Minnehaha Academy. It will be a rematch of a regular season game that Holy Family won, 101-56, on Jan. 16. In the lower-half of the bracket, Albany kept Pequot Lakes at bay and moved on to face Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton, who recorded the only significant upset of the day with a victory over No. 3 Plainview-Elgin-Millville in the last Class AA quarterfinal. The Class AA field will play its semifinals on Friday night at Target Center.
On Thursday, the Class AAA and Class AAAA fields will play their semifinals at Target Center.
In Class AAA, top-seeded Totino-Grace, the defending class champion, faces No. 5 Alexandria Area. The Eagles’ eight losses this season are deceiving. They are all to either Class AAAA schools or outstate schools. Totino-Grace has not been threatened during the postseason. Alexandria is on its second long winning streak of the season. The first spree was 10 games and the current winning streak is 13 in a row. In the lower-bracket semifinal, No. 2 Orono takes on No. 3 DeLaSalle. Orono is on a 15-game winning streak. DeLaSalle, a longtime Class AAA power, is making its 12th consecutive state tournament appearance.
In Class AAAA, top-seeded Park Center will play No. 5 Eastview in the first semifinal. Eastview avenged a loss to Minnetonka on Feb. 4 with a victory in the quarterfinals. Park Center lost two of three games to end the regular season, but has since put together a four-game winning streak. In the lower-bracket semifinal, Wayzata and Lakeville North will face one another for the second time this season. Wayzata, the No. 3 seed, lost to Lakeville North 67-58 on Dec. 13 to extend a season-opening losing streak to three games. The Trojans then answered with a 17-game winning streak. Lakeville North, a traditional Class AAAA power, has a loss to Eastview during the South Suburban Conference season and a loss to Park Center on Dec. 17.
Here is a look at Tuesday’s quarterfinals:
- No. 1 Holy Family Catholic 80, Eden Valley-Watkins 52: Senior 6-foot-11 post Boden Kapke had a triple-double with 26 points, 16 rebounds and what is believed to be an individual-game state tournament record with 13 blocks to help power the Fire (28-2) past the Eagles in the quarterfinals. He was 10 of 14 from the field, including 3 of 5 from three-point range as Holy Family Catholic won for the 17th consecutive time since a loss to Park Center on Jan. 23. Senior Collin Mulholland, another 6-foot-11 post, contributed 25 points and 11 rebounds. Junior forward Parker Schultz had 12 points for the Eagles (24-7) while junior center Noah Stommes had 11 points and 12 rebounds.
- No. 5 Minnehaha Academy 53, No. 4 Maple River 48: Junior guard Jerome Williams scored 26 points and had three assists as Minnehaha Academy held off Maple River’s late surge to avenge a loss earlier in the season. Senior forward Hayden Niebuhr had 19 points for Maple River, which had a 68-63 victory over Minnehaha Academy on Dec. 3.
- No. 2 Albany 69, Pequot Lakes 53: Sophomore Sam Hondl, a 6-foot-6 guard, scored 20 points and had 12 rebounds to fuel Albany’s quarterfinal victory over the Patriots. Senior guard Tysen Gerads was close behind with 19 points and six assists for the Huskies (30-1). Senior forward Grant Loge paced Pequot Lakes with 23 points.
- Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton 63, No. 3 Plainview-Elgin-Millville 61: Senior guard Owen Leach made two free throws with eight seconds remaining in regulation time and senior guard Drew Sheeley added two more three seconds later to send Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton (25-6) to a victory over the Bulldogs (26-5). Leach finished with 28 points for the Rebels.
- No. 1 Totino-Grace 86, St. Francis 36: Totino-Grace played the part of a top seed in racing past St. Francis in the quarterfinals at Williams Arena. Senior Patrick Bath, a 6-foot-9 forward, had 23 points and seven rebounds to pace the Eagles (22-8) and senior guard Taison Chatmon added 16 points and five assists. Senior forward Matthew Bothun had 16 points for St. Francis (16-13).
- No. 5 Alexandria Area 62, No. 4 Mankato East 57: Junior forward Grayson Grove and sophomore forward Chase Thompson made two free throws each in the final seconds to help send the Cardinals (25-4) past the Cougars (24-6) in the second quarterfinal at Williams Arena. Grove led the way for Alexandria with 20 points and 10 rebounds while Thompson added 15 points.
- No. 2 Orono 84, Hermantown 82: Orono led by as many as 16 points in the second half and that advantage was enough to hold off the hard-charging Hawks in the third quarterfinal at Williams Arena. Senior guard Isaiah Hagen powered the Spartans (25-5) with 35 points, five rebounds and three assists. Junior Abraham Soumis had 34 points for the Hawks (22-7) and senior Blake Schmitz added 24.
- No. 3 DeLaSalle 71, Stewartville 66: Senior PJ Pounds II scored 12 of his 20 points in the first half when DeLaSalle built a 12-point advantage en route to a quarterfinal victory. Senior guard Nasir Whitlock had 18 points and 10 assists and senior Israel Moses V added 13. Stewartville (25-5), making its state tournament debut, got 14 points each from junior forward Tegan Malone, sophomore guard Parker Wangen and junior guard Henry Tschetter.
- No. 1 Park Center 92, Andover 72: Junior guard Casmir Chavis led six Park Center players in double figures with 18 points in sending the top-seeded Pirates (27-2) to a quarterfinal victory over the Huskies (22-8) for the third consecutive season. Senior guard Joe Burgess added 15 for the Pirates. Sophomore guard Alex Kopetzki had 22 points, five rebounds and three assists for the Huskies.
- No. 5 Eastview 72, No. 4 Minnetonka 68: Senior forward Myles Adams had an open-court dunk with 5.5 seconds remaining in regulation and senior guard Dylan Omweno followed with two free throws with 3.3 seconds left to send the Lightning (23-7) to a victory over the Skippers (23-7). Omweno finished with 25 points for the Lightning, who move into the big-school semifinals against top-seeded Park Center. Minnetonka staged a late rally to tie the score at 67-all before Eastview pulled away. Junior guard Andrew Stefonowicz had 25 points for the Skippers.
- No. 2 Lakeville North 87, Buffalo 59: University of Wisconsin recruit Nolan Winter, a 6-foot-11 senior post, scored 25 points and grabbed 17 rebounds to fuel the Panthers (27-3) sprint past the Bison (23-7). Junior guard Jack Robison led the supporting crew with 16 points and senior guard Hudson Vaith added 15.
- No. 3 Wayzata 81, White Bear Lake 61: Wayzata used a late surge in the first half to build a 13-point advantage at the break and it grew from there en route to a victory over White Bear Lake in the final quarterfinal in the big-school class. Senior guard Hayden Tibbits scored nine of his 17 points in the first to help send the Trojans (25-4) into the Class AAAA semifinals for the third consecutive season. Junior forward Jackson McAndrew followed with 14 points and seven rebounds. Senior guard Jack Janicki had 16 points for the Bears (21-8) and 15 from senior guard Jack Misgen.