Half of Championship Saturday is set for the boys basketball tournament

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Class 1A quarterfinals


At Target Center

[1] Cherry 78, Russell-Tyler-Ruthton 46

[5] Nevis 78, [4] Mountain Lake Area-Comfrey 54

[2] West Central Area 64, Heritage Christian 53

[3] Fertile-Beltrami 64, Goodhue 57



At Williams Arena

Class 3A

[1] Totino-Grace 74, [5] DeLaSalle 67

[2] Mankato East 65, [3] Alexandria 62

Class 4A

[1] Wayzata 74, [5] Cretin-Derham Hall 48

[2] Minnetonka 68, [Unseeded] Eagan 45

. . .

1:54 p.m.

Totino-Grace defeats DeLaSalle, again

Isaiah Johnson-Arigu put on a show Thursday at Williams Arena. The Totino-Grace senior forward drove to the hoop, blocked shots — even dunked the ball a couple of times — and finished with a double-double to help send his team back to the Class 3A championship game.

With Johnson-Arigu setting the stage, top-seeded Totino-Grace defeated No. 5 seed DeLaSalle 74-67 in Thursday's first semifinal, which was a rematch of the past two 3A title games. The Eagles, No. 2 in the Star Tribune's final Metro Top 10 rankings and No. 1 in Minnesota Basketball News' final regular-season rankings, have defeated the Islanders three consecutive years in the state tournament.

Johnson-Arigu led all scorers with 28 points and had 15 rebounds, six assists, four blocks and three steals in 36 minutes of action. He nearly had a double-double by halftime, leading all scorers with 17 points to go with nine rebounds and two assists. He also added three blocks in the first half, including one along the baseline in which the 6-7 forward got up to swat away a shot from Islanders junior De'von Irvin with 2:28 remaining before halftime.

The Eagles' spectacular defense wasn't limited to plays by Johnson-Arigu, who credited two teammates — sophomore Tian Chatman and junior Josiah Young — for their performances in the game.

"I feel like defensively, these two really locked in," Johnson-Arigu said. "I feel that was what really sparked our offense."

DeLaSalle coach Todd Anderson said Totino-Grace's defense made a difference, especially with the Eagles putting pressure on the rim in the second half.

"I think we needed to do a better job of controlling the ball," Anderson said. "The game always comes down to whatever, five possessions. And there's a couple that we had some transition opportunities that we turned it over, and then just some uncharacteristic things, too, I thought."

Totino-Grace asserted itself on the offensive glass and prevented DeLaSalle from getting rebounds, Anderson added.

The Eagles finished the game with 11 offensive rebounds.

A back-and-forth affair

Once the teams settled into the game, they traded double-digit scoring runs. An 11-0 run gave Totino-Grace a 19-11 lead, but DeLaSalle immediately followed immediately with a 10-0 run. They maintained the slim margin for most of the half, with neither team gaining a lead of more than a couple of points until DeLaSalle went on a 7-2 run to enter halftime with a 43-37 advantage.

Shooting was even in the first half, with DeLaSalle finishing 16-for-38 from the field and Totino-Grace going 16-for-36. But it was the Islanders' long-range shots that made the difference. DeLaSalle made seven of 19 from beyond the three-point arc; Totino-Grace went 0-for-4.

The No. 5-ranked Islanders held a slim lead in the second half before the Eagles tied the game and took the lead with less than seven minutes to play.

Totino-Grace then used a 9-0 run in the final minutes to take its biggest lead of the day and seal the victory.

Justin Johnson led DeLaSalle with 14 points while Dorian Pruitt added 13. Ray James Jr. scored nine points and had 14 rebounds.

Eagles eye the Islanders' mark

The Eagles (26-5) will play for their third consecutive Class 3A championship Saturday at 1 p.m. at Williams Arena. The last team to three-peat? DeLaSalle, which won five consecutive Class 3A titles (2013-17). The Islanders (21-10) have qualified for the state tournament for 12 years in a row, finishing as the runner-up the past two seasons and last winning the championship in 2019.


. . .

9:26 p.m.

Minnetonka ends Eagan's Cinderella story

This time, Eagan's opponent was better prepared.

Minnetonka raced out to a 9-0 lead and never let Eagan find solid footing. The No. 3-seeded Skippers leaned on their offensive depth to build a lead that grew to as much as 28 points in the second half en route to a 68-45 victory Thursday night in the final Class 4A semifinal at Williams Arena.

Eagan reached the semifinals after pulling off the tournament's biggest surprise, an upset victory over second-seeded Park Center in the quarterfinals.

The victory sets up a matchup between Lake Conference rivals for the Class 4A championship Saturday. Wayzata and Minnetonka played twice this season, with the Trojans winning both high-scoring affairs.

Greyson Uelmen finished with a team-high 21 points, while Jordan Cain added 14 and Andy Stefonowicz had 12 for Minnetonka (24-6). Alex Schroepfer, one of Wednesday's heroes for Eagan (18-13), paced the Wildcats with 16 points.


. . .

7:33 p.m.

Wayzata eases past Cretin-Derham Hall

The explanation for Wayzata's comfortable 74-48 victory over Cretin-Derham Hall in the Class 4A semifinals was obvious. He stood a head taller than any other player on the floor and had arms longer than broom handles. He possessed terrific timing and operated with the softest shooting touch in the building.

The entire game was played in the rather generous shadow of 6-9 guard Jackson McAndrew.

The reigning Star Tribune Metro Player of the Year put his particular skill set on display early and often Thursday night on the Williams Arena court.

After a nip-and-tuck, evenly played first 13 minutes, McAndrew and top-seeded Wayzata closed out the first half by outscoring fifth-seeded Cretin-Derham Hall 15-5 and took a 37-24 lead into the locker room.

McAndrew had 12 points before the break, highlighted by an NBA worthy catch-and-shoot three-pointer from the corner that drew gasps from the crowd and had the Raiders bench shaking their heads.

"We talk about him and his ability to score at all three levels: inside, midrange and his go-deep range," Cretin-Derham Hall coach Jerry Kline Jr. gushed about McAndrew. "He's so long and he's gifted. He's tough."

Halftime did nothing to stem Wayzata's control of the game. McAndrew continued dictating the direction, scoring seven of the Trojans' first 12 points out of the break. He was far from a one-man show, however. Wayzata's strength has long been its depth of talent, and it showed in the second half. It didn't matter who was on the floor for the Trojans, their relentless motion offense played havoc with Cretin-Derham Hall's defense.

"We tell our kids at the beginning of the year that we have more depth of talent than anybody in the state, and we want to use it to our advantage," Wayzata coach Bryan Schnettler said.

McAndrew finished with game-highs in points (25), rebounds (13) and blocked shots (8) as Wayzata pulled away for a cozy victory.

With his third and final time playing for a high school state championship at hand, McAndrew talked about approaching the climax of his career in Saturday's final.

"My role was a lot different last year. And being more of a leader, it's definitely got a different feel to it this year," McAndrew said. "But it's been a lot of fun so far and I can't wait for Saturday."

Isaac Olmstead added 12 points for the Trojans (29-1), No. 1 in the final regular-season rankings released by Minnesota Basketball News.

Monteff Dixon had team highs in points (10) and rebounds (11) for No. 10 Cretin-Derham Hall (25-5).


. . .

3:48 p.m.

Mankato East gets up from early blow, knocks out Alexandria

If there's one thing Mankato East coach Joe Madson didn't talk about before the Cougars' Class 3A semifinal against Alexandria on Thursday, it was spotting their opponent a 14-0 lead to start the game.

"[The Cardinals] came out and punched us in the face right away, and we just weren't ready," Madson said.

That early run from Alexandria changed Mankato East's defensive plans, but also jump-started the offense for the No. 2-seeded Cougars, who responded by scoring 11 consecutive points. They continued their strong play on both ends in the first half and employed the same strategy to take a lead in the second before fighting off a late comeback from No. 3 seed Alexandria to record a 65-62 victory at Williams Arena.

The Cougars made 11 three-pointers in the game, including five of six in the second half to help build a 46-39 lead.

The Cardinals (25-6) started hot thanks to the play of Grayson Grove and Chase Thompson inside the lane, Alexandria coach Forrest Witt said. However, they also missed a few opportunities after their good start, while Mankato East got a lot more comfortable.

"I thought we had some good looks," Witt said. "We just didn't capitalize to keep that lead and kind of keep that momentum. But again, that's easier said than done with a team with as many threats that [Mankato East] have."

The Cardinals' lost momentum allowed the Cougars to claw back and finish the half on an 18-2 run — which was fueled by four three-pointers. Alexandria scored a few times in the first half to take a 27-25 lead at the break.

Mankato East took a lead in the second half, but the score remained close near the end of regulation. The Cougars led 62-55 with 47 seconds to play when Alexandria made free throws down the stretch to make the score 63-61 with 12 seconds remaining. The Cardinals then had an opportunity to tie the game, inbounding the ball under their basket. However, a shot from the lane — crowded with Mankato East defenders — for Thompson was just out of reach. Alexandria fouled and senior Dwayne Bryant hit a pair of free throws in the final 10 seconds to seal the victory for the Cougars (28-2).

Mankato East junior Brogan Madson said the victory came down to which team wanted it most. "They came back tough and hit some tough shots," he said. "But we just knew that we're supposed to be here. We got a great group of guys. We had to finish it."

Carson Schweim led the No. 2-ranked Cougars with 15 points, all on five three-pointers. The senior also added seven rebounds.

For No. 7-ranked Alexandria, Grove finished with 17 points (on 8-for-12 shooting) and 10 rebounds. He also had three assists, three steals and two blocks before fouling out in the final minute of the game.

Witt said he was proud of the effort his team displayed while whittling down a seven-point deficit in the final two minutes, but that it doesn't ease the sadness and disappointment of the final result.

"That was a tough one," Witt said. "I want to credit Mankato East. They have a very good team. And we knew that. They sustained a big run that we had early."

The Cougars reached their first state championship game in their 12th state tournament trip. They took third place in 2022 and lost last year to Alexandria 62-57 in the quarterfinals. The Cougars will face top-seeded and two-time defending champion Totino-Grace in the Class 3A championship. Mankato East has won 23 of its last 24 games this season.

Thursday's game was a rematch of a meeting on Dec. 30 at the St. John's University Granite City Classic. The Cougars won that game 69-63.


7:06 p.m.

Fertile-Beltrami overcomes Goodhue's upset bid

Neil Steffes rose from the bench 10 minutes into Fertile-Beltrami's matchup with Goodhue. He clapped vigorously and yelled "Let's go!"

The mismatch on paper wasn't transpiring on the court. The veteran Falcons were struggling with a youthful Wildcats group.

No. 9-ranked Fertile-Beltrami battled through a lackluster performance for a 64-57 victory over Goodhue in the final Class 1A boys basketball state quarterfinal on Thursday at Target Center.

The Wildcats have two sophomores, a freshman and an eighth-grader in their starting lineup.

"It was frustrating to watch," Fertile-Beltrami coach Neil Steffes said. "We've been playing so well."

Senior guard Caiden Swenby's six unanswered points with less than six minutes remaining helped the Falcons (26-6) escape Goodhue's upset bid. Swenby was one of two Falcons to record a double-double in the game. He finished with 23 points and 12 rebounds, while sophomore forward Preston Hanson had 19 points and 11 rebounds.

"It was too close of a game," said Swenby, who scored 20 second-half points. "I knew that I had to take over. I wanted to win."

The Wildcats (18-14) were led by sophomore guard Luke Roschen, who finished with 18 points.

"It was very physical," Swenby said. "We weren't ready for it to be that physical. They're young but they played like seniors."


4:28 p.m.

A welcome victory for West Central Area

Camden Anderson provided the kind of leadership a first-time state tournament entrant is looking for from a senior.

The lefthanded guard had 23 points, eight rebounds and seven assists to lead No. 3-ranked West Central Area to a 64-53 victory over Heritage Christian Academy in its initial appearance in the Class 1A boys basketball state quarterfinals Thursday at Target Center.

"He is very poised with natural instincts," Knights coach Kraig Hunter said.

Anderson had 16 points, hitting both of his three-pointers, and six assists in the first half when the second-seeded Knights built a 44-28 lead. He also had three assists and two of his team's three steals.

"We knew they would make a run," Hunter said. "We had to stay poised."

He was right. With the Knights' lead trimmed to 53-51 with 5 minutes, 11 seconds remaining in the game, Anderson hit a jumper and a three-pointer to restore order.

"I was just trying to get us going again," Anderson said. "We didn't have much momentum at the time. I was trying to get the momentum back for us."

Senior forward Bryce Kjesbo finished with 16 points and senior guard Mitchell Dewey had 10 for West Central (28-3).

Junior Owen Haag and sophomore Griffin Booms each had 11 points for the Eagles (21-8).


2:28 p.m.

Nevis dominates inside and out in victory over Mountain Lake Area-Comfrey

Pick-and-roll is Alex Lester's best friend. It's Nevis' too.

The Tigers are at their best when the 6-7 junior center is dominating in the paint, which opens their perimeter game.

Fifth-seeded Nevis used the combination to defeat fourth-seeded Mountain Lake Area-Comfrey 78-54 in the Class 1A boys basketball state tournament quarterfinals Thursday at Target Center.

"At this point of the season we have seen everything thrown at [Lester]: double-teams, triple teams, denial," Nevis coach Scott Kramer said. "Alex is good at kicking the ball out to his teammates."

Lester got off to a fast start, scoring 10 points in the first nine minutes and giving his teammates time to get untracked. His supporting cast went 5-for-7 from three-point range as the Tigers built a 39-32 lead at halftime.

Lester set the tone again at the outset of the second half. He scored six points in the first three minutes to help the Tigers extend their lead to 10 points. He finished with a double-double (21 points and 15 rebounds) to go with four assists. Teammate Austin Ahrendt, a senior guard, added 17 points for Nevis (24-7).

"Alex gets us going," Ahrendt said. "He opens up everything for everybody else."

The No. 8-ranked Wolverines (27-4) were led by senior guard Carter Olson's 15 points.


12:24 p.m.

Cherry outpaces Russell-Tyler-Ruthton

Track season is drawing near, but don't tell that to Cherry. It's been running since November.

The fast-paced, high-powered Tigers had no trouble running off 10 points in two-minute intervals in a 78-46 victory over Russell-Tyler-Ruthton in the first Class 1A boys basketball state quarterfinal Thursday at Target Center. It was only fitting for the game to be put on running time.

"They play at such a fast pace that they are tough to deal with," Russell-Tyler-Ruthton coach Daren Gravely said. "We gave up too many transition points, runouts, fast breaks."

The always-moving Tigers raced to a 46-24 halftime lead on 58% shooting (18-for-31) with nearly half the misses coming from three-point range.

Freshman guard Isaiah Asuma paced three players in double figures with a game-high 26 points on 11-for-13 shooting for the top-seeded Tigers, No. 1 in the final regular-season rankings by Minnesota Basketball News. He also had four assists and three steals, while his brother Isaac — a senior guard and future Gopher — added 20 points and 13 rebounds.

"I was running the floor," Isaiah said. "I knew my teammates would find me."

Junior guard Noah Sundquist finished with 16 points for Cherry (29-2).

Senior guard Blake Christianson led the unseeded Knights (23-8) with 15 points. They defeated the Tigers 61-57 in the Class 1A semifinals a year ago.

"We had to move on and get better from it," Cherry coach Jordan Christianson said.

The Tigers average a state-best 91.9 points per game, and it's easy to see why. Their ball movement, whether it's on a fast break or in a half-court set, is superb. They have reached triple figures eight times this year and hit a season-high in a 114-55 victory over Fond du Lac Ojibwe in the Section 7, North Subsection championship.


. . .



At Williams Arena

Class 2A

[1] Breck (29-1) vs. [5] Minnehaha Academy (15-14), 6 p.m.

[2] Albany (29-2) vs. [3] Lake City (25-5), 8 p.m.

Class 1A

[5] Nevis (24-7) vs. [1] Cherry (29-2), noon

[3] Fertile-Beltrami (26-6) vs. [2] West Central Area (28-3), 2 p.m.

. . .TV and tickets

Ch. 45 will televise the semifinals and championship games starting Thursday. Class 1A quarterfinals and consolation round games are available for a fee on NSPN. Tickets to the event range from $11 to $22 and are available at

. . .

Championship games


At Williams Arena

Class 1A: 11 a.m.

Class 3A: [2] Mankato East (28-2) vs. [1] Totino-Grace (26-5), 1 p.m.

Class 2A: 5 p.m.

Class 4A: [3] Minnetonka (24-6)vs. [1] Wayzata (29-1), 8 p.m.

. . .

Tournament brackets

Class 4A | Class 3A | Class 2A | Class 1A

. . .

Star Tribune coverage

The Star Tribune will be publishing stories and other content related to these state championship games and more this week. Keep up by checking each day. Thank you for reading and subscribing.

. . .

Tournament information

* Download and print the tournament program

* Star Tribune high school sports page