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Posted by Guest (jmillea@mshsl.org) - Updated 3/24/2012 10:17:52 PM

By Luke Sleeper

The Class 3A state championship game ended in spectacular fashion Saturday at Target Center. It took a DeLaSalle shot as the overtime buzzer sounded for the Islanders to sneak past a very tough Minneapolis Washburn team. The Islanders’ championship is the sixth state title in program history.

The game was tightly contested from the beginning, each team displaying an ability to run the floor and score quick baskets. The Islanders utilized sophomore big man Reid Travis to declare their presence in the paint; Travis scored 14 points and had seven rebounds in the first half of play. Millers forward Joseph Doby had success inside early on, scoring 12 of his 21 points in the first half.

Each team tussled for the lead until the final moments of regulation. Washburn guard Dwight Anderson hit a jumper to tie the score at 51 with under a minute remaining. The Millers regained possession and kept the ball for the last shot. Washburn coach Reggie Perkins drew up a play that isolated Anderson to drive to the basket, where he was fouled. Two crucial missed free throws sent the game to overtime.

As the two teams continued to fight for the lead, Islander Luke Scott hit a three-pointer with under a minute remaining to give his team a one-point lead. DeLaSalle coach Dave Thorson called it “the most important possession of the game.”

“In big games like these, it comes down to five possessions that make the difference. Luke’s three was the difference-maker tonight, in my mind,” said Thorson.

After Scott’s three-pointer, the Millers took the lead right back after Doby drove the lane and laid in the go-ahead basket with 10 seconds left. Without hesitation, the Islanders moved the ball up the floor to find a wide open Ross Barker on the wing. Barker, a senior guard, hit the game-winning jumper from the wing as time expired, giving the Islanders the game and the championship.

DeLaSalle’s last championship in 3A was in 2006. Previously, the Islanders won four championships in Class A and 2A.


Osseo (30-2) won its second Class 4A championship Saturday night with a buzzer-beating jump shot by sophomore center Ian Theisen. The championship win over Lakeville North by a 49-47 score came two nights after Osseo pulled off the biggest upset of the tournament, when they dethroned three-time defending champion Hopkins in the semifinals. The Orioles’ championship is their first since 2001; Osseo was state runner-up in 2003 and 2009.

The game became a physical defensive clash early on; each team used a stifling man-to-man that effectively slowed down the pace of the game, making each possession count. Osseo had the early edge, pulling ahead to a 23-16 halftime lead.

After another state tournament slow start, Lakeville North made one more second-half charge to propel itself back into the game. The Panthers locked up their defense and the shots finally began falling. Seniors Trey Heid and Tyler Flack were the leading scorers for Lakeville; they had nine and 12 points, respectively. Flack’s ability to protect the rim allowed the Panthers to claw their way back and eventually tie the score; Flack had three blocks on the night.

Osseo junior point guard Bridge Tusler used his size to get to the basket seemingly at will for several possessions late in the game. Tusler had eight points, nine rebounds and two steals in the contest. Senior guard D.J. Hebert provided the offense from outside the arc; the leading scorer for the Orioles had 13 points on 3-for-4 shooting from behind the three-point line.

After Lakeville junior guard Grant Erickson hit a tying free throw with under a minute left, the Orioles held the ball with hopes to melt the clock for the last shot. Rapid ball movement with the clock ticking down eventually found Theisen, a 6-foot-9 sophomore, wide open on the baseline. The jumper landed and his teammates mobbed the 10th-grader in celebration.

Lakeville North (30-2) takes home the runner-up trophy in its first appearance in a state title game.

--Luke Sleeper is a journalism student at the University of Minnesota


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