KDHL Baseline to Baseline State Boys Basketball Class 4A Preview
KDHL baseline to baseline coverage of the Minnesota Boys High School Basketball State Tournament opens Wednesday with games featured from three of the four classes. Class A games don't start until Thursday at Williams Arena. Roy Koenig will have games at Williams Arena and I'll be at the Target Center.
The lineup for Wednesday includes:
- 10:00 a.m. Class 3A quarterfinal round game from Williams Arena #1 seed DeLaSalle Islanders (24-5) against Bemidji Lumberjacks (23-4).
- NOON Class 4A quarterfinal round contest between #4 seed Eden Prairie (20-9) and #5 seed Lakeville North (25-4) at Target Center
- 2:00 p.m. Class 3A quarterfinal round game at Williams Arena, #2 seed Waseca Blue Jays (28-1) tangle with Academy of Holy Angels (24-4).
- 8:00 p.m. Class 2A quarterfinal #5 seed, Hiawatha Valley League Champion Lake City Tigers (26-2) play #4 seed Melrose Area (26-4) at Target Center
All games will be on KDHL Radio, 920AM. The best way to listen is to download the FREE KDHL app. There is no static that way and you can listen anywhere in the world where there is cell service.
The Class 4A preview includes information submitted to the high school league.
10:00 a.m. Wednesday #1 seed Park Center Pirates (28-1) plays Maple Grove Crimson (23-6). Pirates average 72.1 points per game and allow 57.6. The Crimson have a defensive average of 51.6 and offensive average of 66.4 points per game. Park Center's lone loss was to Robbinsdale Armstrong on January 8th 62-56. The Pirates scored a 57-55 triple overtime game to advance to State. They also had a 69-67 overtime win over Champlin Park the last game of the regular season.
Maple Grove has over 200 three point baskets this season. They have three players averaging double figures. Senior 6'3 Nate Adams leads the way averaging about 15 points a game. Adams was the State Champion in Class 3A golf last spring and is going to NDSU to play golf Classmate 6'1 Jared Rainey is a stat sheet stuffer with a 13 points, 4.3 rebounds and 5 assists a game average.
Park Center in Brooklyn Park also has three players averaging double digits scoring per game. The Pirates are led by junior 6'10 Dain Dainja with 16 points, 9 rebounds, 2 assists a game. The reason they are hard to beat is their 69 percent as a team shooting percentage. That's efficiency.
Noon on KDHL it's Lakeville North (25-4) and Eden Prairie (20-9). Lakeville North provided no statistical information for the State Tournament media guide but we do know 6'7 senior guard Tyler Wahl is going to Wisconsin next year and has that unteachable ability to make a big play when it's needed on either end of the floor. He averages 18.5 points per game. Senior 6'6 Tate Staloch is going to St. Thomas next year. Classmate 6'0 Tommy Jensen is going to St. Johns. Senior 6'5 Jack Rusch will be at Minnesota State Moorhead next season. Eli and Will Mostaert were big reasons why the Panthers won a state football title against Eden Prairie in November. The 6'4 twin brothers are going to NDSU to play football.
Eden Prairie is coached by Cannon Falls native David Flom. I feel old every time I see the Eagles Head Coach because I had the opportunity to call some of his high school games and college games at Gustavus where he assisted Mark Hanson for some years before landing at Eden Prairie.
Junior 6'0 Drake Dobbs is a thousand point scorer and leads the team with 18.4 points per game. Classmate 6'5 Austin Andrews also has over 1,000 points and averages 12.2 points, 7.2 rebounds a game. There is just one senior on this team. The Eagles defeated Lakeville North December 21st 66-62 in Lakeville. Assistant Coach Matt Eppen was a Head Coach at New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva.
2:00 p.m. #2 seed Hopkins Royals (24-4) faces Cambridge-Isanti BlueJackets (17-12) . The Royals losses came against Edina, East Ridge, DeLaSalle and they split with Eden Prairie. Winning 78-71 and falling to the Eagles 77-70. The BlueJackets only lost to Eden Prairie by 3 points .
Hopkins averages 40 points per half and is led offensively by senior 6'10 Ezekiel Nnaji averaging 24.1 points, 9.4 rebounds, 2 assists a game. Three players average double figures.
Cambridge-Isanti has 350 three point field goals this season (that's 12 a game and yes is a school record). The problem for them in this game could be the glass. Hopkins is excellent in the rebounding department and the BlueJackets have been a -11 on the glass.
Cambridge-Isanti does have three players averaging double digits scoring led by junior 5'11 Henry Abraham with 23 points per game along with about 5 assists per contest.
The final Class 4A quarterfinal game at 4:00 p.m. has the #3 seed East Ridge Raptors (27-2) playing Eastview of Apple Valley Lightning (18-11). East Ridge two losses were to Eden Prairie 55-50 and Prior Lake 70-62. The Raptors went undefeated in the Suburban East Conference, average 78 points and give up 55 points per game. This is the first ever trip to the State Boys Basketball Tournament for the Woodbury school.
The Raptors have six seniors on their team and have four players averaging in double figures. Terrific balance ranging from 10.6 to 17.3 points per game. Sophomore 6'7 Kendall Brown paces the team with 17.3 points per game. Junior 6'10 Ben Carlson averages a double double every game (16.6 points, 11.3 rebounds). Senior 6'6 Courtney Brown Junior has a 15.7 points per game average, 5.2 rebounds, just under 3 assists.
Eastview is a South Suburban Conference team which may explain their 11 losses. They have one senior on their team so look out next year. Junior 6'10 Steven Crowl is their leader averaging 19.6 points, 8.1 rebounds, 2 assists and has 45 block this season.