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Boys Basketball State Tournament 2024: Class AAA Championship

Posted: Saturday, March 23, 2024 - 7:57 PM

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Totino-Grace entered the Minnesota State High School League’s Class AAA Boys Basketball State Tournament as a heavy favorite to win a third consecutive title. Needing to find that exclamation point to illustrate another season of dominance, the Eagles delivered one with just under six minutes remaining in regulation time.

Stationed on the right wing, junior guard Chace Watley was looking to make a play. What looked like an off-target jump shot was really a spoon-fed highlight reel invitation for his teammate, 6-foot-7 senior forward Isaiah Johnson-Arigu. Watley’s alley-oop pass to Johnson-Arigu was an arc of perfection. In stride, Johnson-Arigu soared over a Mankato East defender, caught the ball with his right hand, and in a windmill motion, threw down a thunderous dunk that told all that Totino-Grace meant business in its quest for a three-peat.

While the top-seeded Eagles already had a nine-point lead at that point, the dunk served as the springboard for Totino-Grace to finish out what would be a 73-64 victory over No. 2 Mankato East in the Class AAA championship game on Saturday, March 23 at Williams Arena on the University of Minnesota campus. Johnson-Arigu, a Miami (Fla.) recruit, finished with 25 points and 11 defensive rebounds to spur the Eagles (27-5) to their third consecutive Class AAA crown. Totino-Grace is halfway to equaling the six consecutive Class AAA titles captured by DeLaSalle from 2012-2017.

Junior guard Tyler Wagner added 17 points for the Eagles and Watley chipped in 10.

Mankato East (28-3) led just once and that was early in the first half. But the Cougars closed to within three, 37-34, at the half and made mini-runs to keep things close in the early going of the second half. Junior guard Brogan Madson scored 27 points, including 9 of 11 from the free-throw line. Senior forward Carson Schweim had 10 points and 14 rebounds.

Mankato East, the Section 2AAA champion, was attempting to win its first state championship in 12 appearances.

Third place

  • DeLaSalle 58, Alexandria Area 53: Senior guard Ray James, Jr., scored 16 points and senior guard Jaden Morgan was next with 13 to help send the Islanders (22-10) past the Cardinals (25-7) for the third-place trophy. Junior forward Chase Thompson had 13 points for Alexandria Area. 
BBB AAA Champ 2024 TG

Meet Totino-Grace, the Class AAA Boys Basketball State Champion for 2024.

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Boys Basketball State Tournament 2024: Class AAAA Championship