The Melrose Dutchmen will play for a boys basketball state championship on Saturday for the first time in 41 years. The Dutchmen advanced to the 2A title game following their 55-40 semifinal victory over St. Croix Lutheran on Friday.
Melrose shot 50 percent from the floor and had three players score in double figures. Dillon Haider scored 19 points while Colton Meyer added 12 and Tyler Braegelmann chipped in 10 to lead the Dutchmen.
Things didn't come as easily offensively for the Crusaders, who shot just 33 percent from the floor.
In 1971, Melrose was the Class A champion and a playoff runner-up, in 1972 and 73 the Dutchmen finished as the Class A runner-ups and then won in all in 1974, but they haven't been back to the tournament much since a title game since then.
The Dutchmen (27-5) will face Caledonia at Target Center on Saturday afternoon.
Early run leads Caledonia to state championship game
Caledonia started the game on a 19-2 run and used that propel them to a 74-58 victory over Maple River in the Class 2A semifinals.
The Warriors forced 11 first half turnovers and held the Eagles to 29 percent shooting in the first half.
Three Caledonia players finished in double figures, Owen King scored 18, Kyle Sorenson added 17 and Colton Lampert chipped in 13.
Jonah Breiter had 18 in the loss for Maple River.
Caledonia will meet up with Melrose in the Class 2A Championship game at Target Center on Saturday.
Hanson's efforts lead Maranatha Christian passed Battle Lake
Jeremiah Hanson led Maranatha Christian Academy to the Class A title game as they beat Battle Lake 74-69 in the semifinals on Friday afternoon.
Hanson scored 30 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for the double-double. Damario Armstrong chipped in 15 points for the Mustangs.
Petric VanErp led the Battlers with 29 points and 12 boards, including seven offensive rebounds.
After a first half that was dead even, the Mustangs broke away with about eight minutes to play as they went on a 12-3 run to take an 11 point lead with around three-and-a-half minutes to play.
The lead was too much for the Battlers to come back from.
Maranatha Christian will meet Rushford Peterson in Saturday's championship game at Target Center.
Defense propels Rushford-Peterson to state Class A title game
Rushford-Peterson used a suffocating defense to beat Central Minnesota Christian 62-39 and advance to the Class A championship game.
The Trojans (31-1) held the Blue Jays to 39 percent shooting and forced them into 23 turnovers in the victory.
The Trojans offense had its struggles too. They shot just 29 percent in the first half, and were 3-of-18 from the three-point line in the game, but they made the plays in the second half to pull away.
Noah Carlson led the Trojans with 16 points, he also had five assists and seven steals, while Kyler Paulson chipped in with 13 points and nine boards.
Austin Bulthuis had 19 in the loss for Central Minnesota Christian.
Rushford-Peterson meets Maranatha Christian Academy in the Class A Championship on Saturday at Target Center.
The championships in Class 3A and 4A were set on Thursday. In 3A, DeLaSalle faces St. Paul Johnson and in 4A Champlin Park matches up with Apple Valley.