Four state championships will be decided Saturday in Minneapolis including an undefeated Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa team looking to finish 33-0 on the season after rolling to a 86-69 semifinal victory.
In the semifinal, Kevin Kuefler finished with 25 points to pace B-B-E after averaging nearly 20 points per game on the season. Junior Connor Goodwin also chipped in 19 points and nine boards in the winning effort. This season, Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa, located about an hour west of St. Cloud, has torn through opponents by an average score of more than 25 points per game.
Located more than two hours southwest of Minneapolis, Springfield (25-3) was led by Alex Fink, whose 21 points, 12 rebounds, and five assists paced the Tigers. In their semifinal matchup Springfield needed free throws to force overtime before nailing an additional 12 shots from the foul stripe in overtime to seal the win.
In class AA, Rochester Lourdes (24-7) needed four overtimes to defeat their semifinal opponent. Alex Kapraun led Rochester-Lourdes with 20 points on 6-17 shooting from the floor. Shane McGrath nearly posted a double-double in the victory with 10 points and nine rebounds.
Their opponent, Perham needed two overtimes of its own to dispatch their semifinal opponent. Perham, located more than an hour southeast of Fargo, North Dakota, was led by Nick Tobkin with 14 points on 4-13 shooting. The only other Perham player in double-digits was Mark Schumacher with 10.
The AAA finals features Columbia Heights (25-6) versus Orono (27-4).
Columbia Heights is making their first finals appearance in more than 80 years behind junior forward Jordan Mills who finished with 31 points in the semifinal on 10-22 shooting from the floor. He also chipped in 10-13 from the foul stripe in the win.
Orono avenged two earlier losses to a conference foe in their semifinal matchup, defeating Waconia 50-48. Jordan Smith paced Orono with 22 points and six rebounds, including four from three point range. The only other Orono player in double figures was Jeremy Borg with 11 points and seven rebounds.
The marquee matchup of the day is in Class AAAA as Hopkins (30-1) looks to win its third consecutive state title against number two seed Eden Prairie (27-4).
In an interesting storyline, Eden Prairie is the only team to have defeated Hopkins this season with a 75-71 victory in early February. Hopkins won by 13 in a second matchup.
In the semifinal, Hopkins was led by Joe Coleman with 29 points and nine rebounds. Coleman is a University of Minnesota recruit. Marvin Singleton also contributed 15 points and 12 rebounds in the win and will be a member of the Northern Iowa Panthers this fall.
Dylan Stewart led Eden Prairie with 24 points and eight rebounds in the semifinal. Connor Nord posted 18 points and nine rebounds in the win as well.
Minnesota at a Glance - All Games ET
Saturday, March 26 @ Target Center, Minneapolis
Class A Finals
12:00 p.m. - Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa vs. Springfield
Class AA Finals
2:00 p.m. - Rochester Lourdes vs. Perham
Class AAA Finals
6:00 p.m. - Columbia Heights vs. Orono
Class AAAA Finals
8:00 p.m. - Hopkins vs. Eden Prairie