Saturday marks the championship round of the Minnesota State High School boys' basketball tournament. At the end of then night's games, one school from each class, from 4A to 1A, has a new trophy to take home.
Minneapolis North 68, Goodhue 45
After struggling to overcome Goodhue's slowed-down offensive style in the first half, Minneapolis North came out of the locker room strong, going on a 10-2 at the start of the second half that swung momentum in their favor.
The Polars made a halftime adjustment in their defense, switching to a zone scheme that caused Goodhue to cough up 14 turnovers in the second – almost 3 times their first half total.
North point guard Pat Dembly was scoreless before halftime but on fire for the rest of the game, scoring 14 points and tallying 4 assists. Issac Johnson led the team with 18 points.
This championship marks Minneapolis North's 6th overall state title and first since 2003, as well as the team's first win as a class 1A school.
Braham 96, Jackson County Central 90
The 2A finals were an offensive fireworks display, ending with a score that bears more resemblance to an NBA game than a high school one. Baraham managed to hold off a late-game surge from Jackson County Central, who cut a 17 point deficit to just 5 points during the final minutes.
Chris Olson stuffed the stat sheet, scoring 18 in the first half and leading Braham with 33 points, 2 assists and 3 steals while Ryan Larson added 28 on an efficient 11-of-13 shooting. The Bombers were also unstoppable from deep, canning 10 of their 18 three point attempts.
Braham's win marked their 4th state championship, and first since 2006.
DeLaSalle 79, Fergus Falls 65
The Islanders dynasty continues! DeLaSalle secured their 5th consecutive basketball championship, a new state record thanks to an impressive performance over the Fergus Falls Otters.
While the score stated close during the game's initial minutes, DeLaSalle sophomore guard Gabe Kalscheur caught fire and broke the game wide open, scoring 19 of his eventual 27 points during the first half. He led all scorers for the Islanders, shooting an efficient 3 of 6 from deep and corralling 7 rebounds.
Despite trailing by as much as 21 points during the second half, Fergus Falls fought on, eventually trimming the lead to just 8 points within the game's final minutes. Harrison Christensen led the Otters with 22 points on 10 of 14 attempts, including gutsy late game 3 pointer.
This title is DeLaSalle's 11th overall championship win.
Lakeville North 55, Hopkins 64
The Hopkins Royals team got to serve Lakeville North a cold slice of revenge for the Panthers' last-minute upset during the 2014 state championships. This time it was the Royals who seized the day during the game's waning minutes thanks to a pair of well-timed steals and fastbreak runouts from senior guard Xavier Johnson, sparking a 15 point run that would eventually give Hopkins the title.
Hopkins struggled with three point shooting all night, partially thanks to the Panther's methodical defense and rebounding, but their offense came alive when it mattered thanks to Amir Coffey, who poured in 19 points, 7 of which came at the free throw line, and senior guard Vinnie Shahid, who made two clutch free throws to add to his 13 points and seal the game.
This title marks the Royal's 9th overall championship and 7th since 2002.