The 2nd seeded Mpls. Washburn boys pulled off the upset Thursday night over #1 seeded and #1 rated Benilde-St. Margaret's 71-66. The #1 and #2 rated AAA teams in the state met in the section 6AAAA final, just another brick in the wall of a 64-team NCAA seed and bracket format that many hope the MSHSL will adopt soon.
Jerry Pratt opened and closed the game with a pair of monster dunks including a windmill as Washburn nursed a 4-point lead approaching the final buzzer. But Benilde went on an early 16-4 run to take a 21-12 lead. It led 31-28 at the half. Washburn opened the 2nd half with a 12-2 run to make it 40-33 but Benilde came back to tie at the 8 minute mark. The 2 teams traded the lead down to about 1 minute, when Washburn scored 8 straight points.
Dwight Anderson scored 19 for Washburn, Isaiah Zierden 19 for Benilde. The loss ends a 27-game winning streak for Benilde.
Also of Note
A total of 12 state tournament entries was determined last night. Along with Washburn, surprises include:
#2 Woodbury 68 #1 Roseville 66 (OT) in Section 4AAAA
#5 Moorhead 58 Bemidji 52 in Section 8AAAA
#1S Worthington 64 #1N Redwood Valley 43 in Section 3AA
Also punching their ticket: Rushford-Peterson, Esko, Mankato East, Rocori, Braham, Southwest MN Christian, Plainview-Elgin-Millville, Detroit Lakes.
Hopkins, Osseo, Richfield and DeLaSalle advanced to Saturday's state finals in AAAA and AAA, while Mountain Iron-Buhl, Ada-Borup, Maranatha Christian and Spring Grove advanced to the Class A semi-finals.
Player of the Day
Richell Mehus, Spring Grove, scored 37 points with 9 boards, 3 steals and 2 assists as her team came from way behind to defeat Warren-Alvarado-Oslo 68-66 in OT in the Class A girls state tournament.
Coach of the Day
Everybody knew that Osseo had the 2nd best talent in girls Class AAAA but they suffered some surprising losses and ended up unseeded at the state tournament. Wins over the #3 and #2 seeds have them in the title game opposite Hopkins. I think its safe to say that coach Joey Waters now has her girls all on the same page.