Minny High School March Madness

Hopkins Becomes Third Minnesota School To Win Three Straight Boys Basketball Titles

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Class AAAA Final: Hopkins Avenges Only Loss, Wins Third Straight Title

After splitting the first two meetings between the schools, Hopkins defeated Eden Prairie 64-52 on Saturday and won its third consecutive Class AAAA Minnesota boys basketball title at Target Center in Minneapolis.

Senior wing Joe Coleman, a Minnesota commit and Minneapolis Star Tribune player of the year, scored 22 points and grabbed eight rebounds for Hopkins, which is now 92-3 over the last three seasons. Northern Iowa commit Marvin Singleton was a force inside for the Royals, finishing with 15 points.

Neighboring suburbs of Minneapolis, Hopkins (31-1) and Eden Prairie (27-5) shared the Lake Conference championship this season, and even though the Eagles handed the Royals their only loss of the season in their own gym, Eden Prairie could not overcome numerous turnovers, including 10 in the first half that led to 12 points for the Royals.

Hopkins, which has won eight titles overall and five since 2005, when Blake Hoffarber famously made the game-winning basket in overtime from a prone position on the floor, stretched a 32-28 halftime lead into double digits early in the second half by shooting 12-pf-20 from the field.

In contrast, Eden Prairie cooled off in the second half after shooting 65 percent in the first half, making only eight of 26 attempts. The Eagles also cooled off from distance, converting two of seven threes in the second half after making all four attempts to start the game.

Eden Prairie finished with 16 turnovers that the reigning champs turned into 18 points.

As part of a balanced effort by the Royals, Siyani Chambers added 12 points with inside presence Zach Stahl putting up 10 points and eight rebounds.

Eden Prairie's Grant Soderberg, who hit his first three three-point attempts for the Royals, finished with 18 points. He was the only Eagle player to score in double figures.

The victory by Hopkins marks only the third time in Minnesota prep history that a team has won three straight boys titles. In addition to the win by the Hopkins boys, the girls squad prevailed over Eden Prairie last week to take home its own state title.


Class AAA Finals: Orono Captures First Title Over Columbia Heights

Orono won its first state championship in boys basketball Saturday in Minneapolis with an 85-77 victory over Columbia Heights in a Class 3A final between Minneapolis-area teams.

Orono's Brady Wohler scored 23 points. Jordan Smith scored 21 despite foul trouble.

The stars for both teams suffered through foul trouble in the first half. Smith picked up his third foul with a little less than eight minutes left in the first half ,and Columbia Height's Zach Lofton picked up three early as well, in addition to starting out 0-for-4 from the field.

Orono (28-4) led 34-32 after a close first half that featured five early Columbia Heights turnovers as a result of pressure defense from Orono. 

Columbia Heights (25-7) responded to a 9-0 Orono run with a 7-2 run of its own before halftime.

The Spartans were not able to create separation until a 10-0 run keyed by several easy fast break buckets by Brady Wohler and Chase Myhran.

Lofton sparked an 9-0 run upon re-entering the game for Columbia Heights, a school making its first state tournament appearance since 1930, but Orono converted at the free-throw line down the stretch to win comfortably.

Lofton, who picked up his fourth foul with 11:23 remaining and was sitting when Orono created separation midway through the second half, still managed to score 19 points and grab six rebounds.

Brady Wohler scored a game-high 23 points for the senior-laden Hylanders and was aided by 21 points from Jordan Smith. Jeremy Borg added 19 points and seven rebounds.


Class AA Finals: Inspired Perham Triumphs Over Tired Lourdes

Playing less than 24 hours after a four-overtime semifinal victory, Lourdes of Rochester ran out of gas in the fourth quarter as Perham pulled away for the school's first Class AA Minnesota boys basketball title, winning 45-37 on Saturday at the Target Center in Minneapolis.

Inspired by teammate Zach Gabbard, who was in attendance for the semifinal victory on Friday after nearly dying following cardiac arrest during a January game, Perham (31-1) went on an 18-2 run to turn a 23-22 deficit midway through the second half into a 41-25 lead with three minutes remaining.

Lourdes (24-8) narrowed the lead to eight with under a minute remaining, but Perham converted opportunities at the free throw line to seal the victory. A 58 percent free-three shooting team over the course of the season, the Yellowjackets made 15 of 17 for the game (88 percent).

Perham took a 18-13 lead into halftime after making four 3-pointers in the first half and attempting only two shots from inside the arc. Cold shooting by the Eagles (6-of-18 from the field) contributed to the early deficit.

Nick Tobkin scored 15 points to lead Perham and scored seven of the team's final 12 points. Jordan Cresap contributed 12 points.

For Rochester Lourdes, Chris Eickemeyer scored 13 points in the losing effort. Alex Kapraun, who hit the game-winning shot in the semifinal victory Friday night, added 10 in the loss.


Class A Finals: Springfield Spoils Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa's Undefeated Season For First Title

In a game dominated by second-half momentum swings, Springfield ruined Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa's undefeated season and took home the school's first Class A boys basketball championship with the 70-58 victory at the Target Center in Minneapolis.

Neither team gained an advantage early in the battle of schools looking for their first state titles as Springfield (26-3) clung to a 27-26 lead over Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa (32-1) at the half. That was unfamiliar territory for a B-B-E, a team whose win margin was 25 points per contest entering the title game.

A 6-0 run early in the second half gave Springfield a 33-26 lead and forced a B-B-E timeout.

Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa, a school located an hour west of St. Cloud, responded with a 10-0 run, forcing another timeout, this time from the Springfield sideline.

Springfield, from the southwestern part of the state, responded with an 8-0 run to take a 41-36 lead with just over 10 minutes remaining and never looked back.

B-B-E could not overcome its shooting struggles, missing its first 15 3-point attempts and finishing just 2-of-27 for the game from three.

Senior guard Jesse Kieper led the way for Springfield with 25 points.

For Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa, senior guard Kevin Kuefler scored 20 points and had 20 rebounds. He was held to six points in the decisive second half.


Grudge Match Between Eden Prairie And Hopkins Headlines Minnesota Finals

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

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