Boys Basketball State Tournament Day 1 Recap
Posted: Tuesday, March 22, 2022 - 9:46 PM
Boys Basketball, the final activity in a long run of Minnesota State High School League winter state tournament events, began a five-day run on Tuesday, March 22 at Target Center and Williams Arena. Between the two Minneapolis venues, three of the four enrollment classes completed their quarterfinals and semifinals are set. Quarterfinals still remain to be played in Class A and that will commence on Wednesday, March 23 at Williams Arena.
In Class AAAA, Park Center, Eastview, Cretin-Derham Hall and Wayzata advanced to the semifinals. In Class AAA, Totino-Grace, Mankato East, Princeton and DeLaSalle did the same. In Class AA, Minneapolis North, Morris Area/Chokio-Alberta, Caledonia and Annandale made that next step to the semifinals.
Here is a look at what happened in Tuesday’s quarterfinals:
- No. 1 Minneapolis North 74, Glencoe-Silver Lake 69: Minneapolis North (26-6) turned back an upset bid from Glencoe-Silver Lake (20-10) in advancing to the semifinals. Glencoe-Silver Lake held a one-point advantage at the break, but saw the Polars reverse their fortunes in the second half by building a steady lead. Senior forward Gani Stevens made a basket with 6:23 remaining in regulation that gave the Polars a 66-54 lead and the separation they had been seeking. Senior guard Willie Wilson led North with 23 points and seven rebounds. Glencoe-Silver Lake’s Mitchel Jaskowiak scored 37 points and had five rebounds.
No. 5 Morris Area/Chokio-Alberta 71, No. 4 Minnehaha Academy 67: Morris Area/Chokio-Alberta stretched is most recent winning streak to eight games with a signature victory in the quarterfinals. Senior guard Thomas Tiernan scored 20 points and senior center Jackson Loge added 18 points and 16 rebounds to power the Tigers (28-2) past the Redhawks (17-11), the Class AAA champion in 2021. Senior guard Prince Aligbe had 36 points and sophomore forward Mateo Cortes Weiss made a three-pointer at the horn, but it wasn’t enough to catch the Tigers.
No. 2 Caledonia 51, Perham 40: Caledonia didn’t need three overtimes or late-game dramatics to post its quarterfinal victory. Senior guard Eli King, a finalist for Minnesota Mr. Basketball Award, scored 17 points and had five assists as the Warriors cruised (28-1) cruised past the Yellowjackets (18-11). Senior guard Ja’Shon Simpson added 11 points to go with seven rebounds in sending the Warriors to the semifinals. To earn a berth in the state tournament, Caledonia survived a three-overtime saga against Plainview-Elgin-Millville in the Section 1AA championship game. Junior guard Micah Johnson had 14 points for Perham.
- No. 3 Annandale 55, Pequot Lakes 40: Annandale (29-2) used a series of runs in piecing together a quarterfinal victory over Pequot Lakes (24-7). Among them, a 7-0 run late in the first half sent the Cardinals to a lead at the break. Another 7-0 run to start the second half created a 39-30 lead with about 14 minutes remaining. Senior forward Brady Spaulding had 16 points for Annandale. Junior guard Eli Laposky had 17 points for Pequot Lakes.
- No. 1 Totino-Grace 83, Hermantown 50: The top-ranked Eagles used a 15-0 run in the first half to build a lead they wouldn’t lose in their quarterfinal victory. Junior guard Taison Chatman scored 16 of his 19 points in the first half to pace Totino-Grace (23-6). Junior forward Patrick Bath chipped in 16 points, nine rebounds and three steals. Junior Blake Schmitz, sophomore Abe Soumis and senior Michael Lau led a balanced Hermantown (21-9) with 10 points each.
- No. 4 Mankato East 68, No. 5 Mound Westonka 55: Mankato East, the Section 2AAA champion, used a 21-6 run to open the second half to erase a halftime deficit and then cruised to a double-digit victory over the Whitehawks. Senior forward Bajado Omot had 25 points and five steals for Mankato East (22-8) while teammate Jalen Hayes, a junior guard, had 12 points and 18 rebounds. Senior guard Jake Dallman paced Mound Westonka (21-9) with 21 points and 10 rebounds.
- No. 2 Princeton 73, Austin 63: Princeton opened the second half with a 13-4 run that would pave the way for a 10-point victory over the Packers (17-13). Senior forward Haydn Stay led the Tigers (27-1) with 23 points and 16 rebounds and junior guard Cooper Drews chipped in 22 points. Austin pulled to within 53-50 on the strength of a 10-0 run midway through the second half, but Princeton answered with an 11-0 run. Junior guard Ater Manyuon had 17 points for Austin.
- No. 3 DeLaSalle 69, St. Cloud Tech 55: DeLaSalle (21-7) built a 14-point halftime lead and maintained that advantage in posting a victory over St. Cloud Tech (19-10). Senior guard Kyle Johnson scored 19 points for the Islanders and junior guard Nasir Whitlock had 14. St. Cloud Tech was paced by junior guard Dontae Horshaw’s 16 points.
- No. 1 Park Center 74, Andover 60: The top-ranked Pirates (29-1) gained separation in the second half en route to posting a victory for the second time this month. Senior guard Leo Torbor scored 20 points and senior guard Braeden Carrington added 16 to send Park Center into a semifinal matchup with No. 4 Eastview on Thursday night. Park Center built a four-point advantage at the half and slowed increased that during the final 18 minutes of play. Torbor gave the Pirates a 64-49 lead with 2:50 remaining after a steal and a basket punctuated with a one-armed windmill dunk. Andover (19-11) made mini-surges but couldn’t sustain them to threaten Park Center’s lead. Junior guard Ben Kopetzki led the Huskies with 16 points.
- No. 4 Eastview 67, No. 5 Eden Prairie 51: Eastview earned a berth in the big-school semifinals on Thursday with a second victory over Eden Prairie this season. Senior forward Jamal Ambrose scored 20 points and senior forward Kayser Hassan added 17 to fuel the Lightning (23-6). Earlier this season, Eastview recorded a 91-78 victory over the Eagles (19-11) on Dec. 9. Senior guard Miles Smith scored 16 points for Eden Prairie and junior forward Chiddi Obiazor added 15 points and seven rebounds.
- Cretin-Derham Hall 52, No. 2 Owatonna 51: Junior guard Adam Tauer made a three-pointer from the deep corner with 22 seconds remaining in regulation time to lift the unseeded Raiders (20-10) over the Huskies (27-3). Owatonna had two chances in the final seconds to rally, but was unsuccessful. Senior guard Tyrel Creger attempted a three-pointer from midcourt at the horn, but it caromed off the glass and rim. Senior guard Tre Holloman, the Gatorade Minnesota Player of the Year, scored 17 points, grabbed six rebounds and dished out nine assists. Senior forward Evan Dushek, a 6-foot-8 presence in the paint, led the Huskies with 17 points and eight rebounds.
- No. 3 Wayzata 71, Moorhead 28: Wayzata (26-4), the defending Class AAAA champion, opened defense of its big-school crown by zipping past Moorhead in the final game of the Class AAAA quarterfinals. Junior guard Myles Barnette led a balanced Trojans attack with 13 points in 15 minutes of play. Junior guard Spencer Hall added 11 points. Junior center Adam Jenkins scored 13 points for the Spuds (17-13).