Third Time No Charm, Austin Falls to DeLaSalle in AAA Title Game
Minneapolis DeLaSalle won its sixth straight state boys basketball Class AAA title, beating Austin for the third time in that span 72-44 Saturday.
The Packers got off to a slow start in the AAA title game at Target Center and trailed 9-0 after three missed shots and a trio of turnovers in their first six possessions. Austin's first points came with 13:23 left in the first half, according to the game summary from the Minnesota State High School League. They played even with the Islanders for the rest of the first half and went into the break down by eight, 31-23.
With most of the stats fairly even through the first 18 minutes, free throws were the difference. DeLaSalle went 7-for-8 at the line, while Austin was just 2-for-2. Plus one of the Packers' leading scorers, Both Gach, had three fouls.
Another slow start to begin the second half doomed any hope of an Austin comeback. DeLaSalle went on a 10-0 run over the first two minutes and led by double digits the rest of the way. Austin had three straight turnovers and two missed shots and trailed 41-23 with 15:52 to go.
Austin got within 12 a couple of times, but never threatened the Islanders from hoisting the title trophy for an unprecedented sixth consecutive time. DeLaSalle also topped Austin in 2013 and 2014 on their current run. The Islanders have played in the title game 14 times and won 11 championships overall. The second-place finish was the seventh in school history for the Packers, who also won titles in 1935, 1946 and 1958.
Western Illinois recruit Goanar Mar led DeLaSalle with 28 points and 11 rebounds. Gabe Kalscheur added 20 points, four rebounds, four assists and three steals. DeLaSalle (27-3) outscored Austin 22-12 on second chance points and 30-19 on points off turnovers.
The Packers (29-3) were led by Both Gach with 14 points. Duoth Gach had 10. Austin's other losses came to Big Nine champ Rochester JM, who plays in Class AAAA.