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.

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