THE STARTING FIVE
- HOPKINS RULES IN 4A: To no one’s surprise, Hopkins emerged as the 2008-09 Class 4A state champs. However, the road to the title was not always easy for Ken Novak’s Royals. Hopkins defeated Osseo 69-59 in the championship game to finish the season 31-0. Minnesota recruit Royce White led Hopkins with 20 points while Santa Clara recruit Ray Cowels and Notre Dame recruit Mike Broghammer each had 11 points. The other DI recruit in that group – Trent Lockett – had 9 points in the win. Osseo’s John Rowland scored 17 points in the loss, including making 5 of 6 3-pointers. He kept Osseo in the game with his sharpshooting in the first half as Hopkins used the 6-9 Broghammer and 6-7 White to double team 6-9 all-state center Sam Dower. Despite the constant attention Dower, a Gonzaga recruit, scored 15 points, grabbed 11 rebounds and blocked 7 shots. He was a defensive force inside the entire game, but in the end, Hopkins proved why they just may be the best team in state history.
- WASHBURN WINS IN 3A: The Millers got it done. Washburn defeated top-ranked Mankato West 58-45 to win the 3A state title Saturday. Cedric Martin led the Millers with 23 points and Minnesota Gophers football recruit Ra’shede Hageman added 18 points and 11 rebounds for the Millers, who won the school’s first state basketball title in 15 years. Aaron Richter scored 16 points and Ray Teachout 11 to lead West. Both Richter and Teachout were key components of the Scarlet’s 2008 Prep Bowl championship team, and played key roles in a state runner-up finish in basketball.
- PELICAN RAPIDS ROLLS IN 2A: Pelican Rapids defeated St. Bernard’s 80-68 to win the 2A state at the Target Center. Tydan Storrusten scored 34 points, Jan Erik-Lindberg 18 and Erik Shulstad 11 to help Pelican Rapids complete an undefeated season at 33-0. Jordair Jett, a Mr. Basketball Finalist who is being recruited by Arkansas, was held scoreless in the first half for St. Bernard’s, but he scored 20 points in the second half to pace the Bulldogs.
- GHEC ENDS ELLSWORTHS REIGN: Granada-Huntley-East Chain defeated Ellsworth 62-54 in overtime to knock off the two-time defending state champions and win the Class A state title Saturday. Tim Garry led GHEC with 25 points and Tyler Nawrocki scored 18 in the win. GHEC finished the season 33-0 and was one of three state champions (Hopkins, Pelican Rapids) to complete the season without a loss.
- BRUESEWITZ NAMED PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Henry Sibley’s Mike Bruesewitz didn’t have the ending to his high school career he wanted. After finishing the runner-up in Class 4A in 2008, #2 seeded Sibley was bounced in the first round of the 2009 state tournament with a 60-56 loss to Bloomington Jefferson. Despite that setback, Bruesewitz had some solace when he was named the Associated Press Player of the Year Tuesday. Bruesewitz, who has signed with Wisconsin, averaged 17.3 points and 10.1 rebounds per game for the Warriors. He is a finalist for the state’s Mr. Basketball Minnesota Award.
THREE TO WATCH:
- Mike Broghammer, Hopkins: The bulky 6-9 center may not get the hype of other Hopkins players, but he has the size, strength and finesse to be a strong player at the DI level at Notre Dame. He has a soft jump shot from mid-range and is a strong player down low. He was an effective player in the state tournament, averaging 12.3 points, 8 rebounds and blocking 8 shots in three games.
- Nate Wolters, St. Cloud Tech: Where will Wolters end up? The 6-5 guard averaged 24.2 points per game, 6.2 rebounds, 5.8 assists and 3.4 steals in his senior year. Tech entered the state tournament undefeated and finished third, going 31-1 on the season with its only loss to Hopkins. Wolters scored 1,734 points in his career and has not committed on where he may play college basketball.
- Rodney Williams, Cooper: Cooper may not have made the state tournament, but Minnesota fans will still get a chance to see the high-flying Williams play in the future. Williams has signed with Tubby Smith’s Gophers and the 6-5 wing player is expected to contend for playing next time at shooting guard or small forward at Minnesota. He averaged 15.5 points per game and is considered one of the top 25 small forwards in the nation. He is regarded as Minnesota’s best dunker.
TWO HOT TOO HANDLE:
1. Shaun Jensen, Spring Lake Park: Jensen’s team came up on the losing end in the 3A third-place game, losing 86-77 to St. Paul Johnson, but he did everything in his power to try and get the win. Jensen scored 34 points and made 19 of 20 free throws in the loss. In three state tournament games Jensen scored 29, 22 and 34 points to lead the Panthers, who finished the season 24-8.
2. Averey Duncan, St. Bernard’s: Duncan, who ran for over 2,000 yards in the fall as a running back for the Bulldogs football team, was the #2 in the 1-2 punch that helped St. Bernard’s reach the 2A title game. The 6-3 senior scored 37 points in three games and opened the state tournament with 13 points in a win over Triton (making all six of his shots). He then added 12 points and four rebounds in a semi-final win over Plainview-Elgin-Millville. Finally, Duncan added 14 points and 12 rebounds in the loss to Washburn in the championship game.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS:
64,355 – Total attendance for all classes for the four-day Minnesota State High School Boys Basketball tournament.
27 – The number of points Tech’s Wolters scored in a 59-55 third-place game win over Bloomington Jefferson Saturday at the Target Center.
17 – The number of points Mike Talley scored to lead Johnson to that 86-77 win over Spring Lake Park in the third-place game. He also added seven rebounds and three steals.
15 – The number of points Talley’s teammate – Dion Suggs-Young – scored in that same win over SLP. Suggs-Young also added six rebounds and three assists.