Lakeville North Wins 8th Straight Section Crown
Matthew Hurt, Rochester John Marshall's incredible basketball talent will not experience a single high school state basketball tournament as a player. The Lakeville North Panthers ran by the Rockets in the Section 1 Class 4A title game tonight 84-50. It was the 7th straight year John Marshall has lost to Lakeville North and the 8th straight year the Panthers have gone to state. It is their 11th trip overall.
Basketball is a team game and nowhere has there been more evidence of that than in Section 1AAAA the last several years. Hurt is being heavily recruited by the major basketball programs in the country, is a Mr. Basketball finalist and has been involved in the Rockets losses to Lakeville North the last 5 years.
Lakeville North has a Mr. Basketball finalist of their own and Division one player in Tyler Wahl. The 6'7 guard has played AAU basketball with Hurt during the summer. Wahl has committed to the Wisconsin Badgers next season. Entering the Section title game Hurt was leading the state in scoring averaging 37.1 points per game and also averaged 12.4 rebounds. Wahl averaged 18.5 points per contest.
For years Lakeville North teams have excelled on the defensive end of the floor because Head Coach Jon Oxton is a big believer it's the end of the floor they can be consistent. Shooting can be off some nights but if you work hard on defense you can stay in games on those nights and still get victories. His teams are well known for their pressure defense but they don't pressure all the time. They pick their spots.
The Panthers led 44-28 at the half and never looked back. Lakeville North was led by Jake Rusch with 23 points, Tommy Jensen added 18 points and Wahl tallied 10 points. Rusch is going to Division II Minnesota State Moorhead and Jensen to St. Thomas University next season.
Hurt finished his high school career with 30 points, 10 rebounds. His final point tally is 3,819 points. It appears Duke is the favorite to land the 6'9 star. Nobody else scored in double figures for the Rockets.
The loss snapped a 14 game winning streak by John Marshall and was Lakeville North's 13th consecutive win.
The stat of the game was turnovers. The Rockets 21, Panthers 6. Lakeville North had 29 rebounds and John Marshall 28. The Panthers buried 10 three point baskets and the Rockets 3.