DeLaSalle senior Ben Albert achieved his goal of making it back to the boys’ basketball state tournament. Albert was born with a “short arm” on his left limb, but has overcome the challenge to play several varsity sports for the Minneapolis Catholic high school on the edge of downtown.
Last year he played junior varsity, but Albert earned a spot on the Islanders’ bench for the championship game. He hoped as a senior he would make the loaded varsity roster and achieved that goal and more. He played in DeLaSalle’s championship and semifinal victories and was one of three seniors to meet at midcourt for Saturday’s championship game introductions.
Albert is also a baseball and soccer player for the Islanders. He was the baseball team’s No. 1 pitcher as junior and will be back on the field this spring.
• Southwest Minnesota Christian won its fifth Class 1A boys’ championship on Saturday. The school, located in Edgerton, a small town in — well, the name says it — won four consecutive state titles from 1999 to 2002. Current head coach Jamie Pap started at point guard on the 1999 team. He is a cousin of senior guard Dominic Nibbelink, whose game-high 29 points helped clinch the latest championship. “We hold our basketball tradition at Southwest High,” Nibbelink said. “It’s been a while, so it will be nice to hang another banner.”
• The Mr. Basketball finalists are Quinton Hooker (Park Center), Graham Woodward (Edina), Anders Broman (Lakeview Christian Academy, Duluth area), Aaron Lien (Moorhead), Riley Dearring (Minnetonka).
• The attendance for Friday’s games was 18,782 and the tournament total was 62,809.
Edina 84, Eden Prairie 49: Guard Graham Woodward scored 29 points and center Reggie Lynch had 22 points and 10 rebounds for the Hornets (23-8). Eden Prairie, which shot just 32.1 percent (18 of 56) ended the season 22-10.
Marshall 71, St. Paul Johnson 62: Four players scored in double figures, led by Riley Sharbono’s 18 points, as the Tigers (28-3) beat Johnson (22-8). The Tigers took the lead seven minutes into the first half on a three-pointer by Sharbono and never relinquished it. Austin Saugstad had 17 points, Derek Buyesse 15 and Tanner Bukowski 10 for Marshall.
Annandale 59, Esko 58: Matt Miller made two free throws with eight seconds left to lift the Cardinals (22-10). Miller scored 27 points for Annandale, making 11 of 14 shots from the floor.
Rushford-Peterson 50, Upsala 38: The Trojans forced 25 turnovers and turned them into 24 points en route the victory.
David La Vaque