The saying "Good things come to those who wait" isn't Plainview-Elgin-Millville (Minn.) High's motto, but it definitely should be. After all, the school waited almost a century to pick up its first state title before its 55-39 win against Litchfield (Minn.) High during the 2012 Minnesota Class 2A state tournament finally got the job done.
As the Minnesota Star Tribune and St. Paul Pioneer Press noted, Plainview-Elgin-Millville's state title victory was impressive for a number of reasons -- the school came into the state title unranked and had to fend off stout competition, but most notably because the school managed to finally win a championship 99 years after the school took part in the very first basketball tournament in the state.
"I always had a feeling there was something special about this team," Plainview-Elgin-Millville coach Kirk Thompson told the Pioneer Press. "The kids played with a lot of poise and confidence throughout the tournament."
As the Star Tribune reported, the title came just a year after the school failed to even make the state tournament, despite holding the No. 1 ranking for most of the year. The lack of respect during this year's tournament appeared to motivate Plainview-Elgin-Millville, as the school managed to run the table, defeating two of the top three seeds, before taking down Litchfield, whose coach, John Carlson, came into the game with a spotless state record.
The Bulldogs' victory ended an impressive streak for Litchfield coach John Carlson, who suffered his first loss in the state tournament in four appearances. Carlson was 11-0 in the tournament before Saturday's game after leading Litchfield to Class 2A state titles in 2000, 2002 and 2003.
And you thought just winning a state title was impressive. Plainview-Elgin-Millville did it in style against one of the top coaches in the state, while also breaking a 99-year state championship drought.
The game didn't have a buzzer-beater or a record scoring night, but it was certainly a special game for one of the longest-running basketball teams in the state.
"We saw stuff in the papers when we got to town Wednesday that we didn't have much of a chance to win it," Litchfield guard Beau Nelson told the Pioneer Press. "We were saying, 'Why not us?' We loved it when we came in unseeded. It gave us more reason to prove ourselves."