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Austin’s Zach Wessels, right, battled for the ball in the Class 3A semifinals last year at Target Center. The Packers finished as state runners-up.
Class 3A story lines
1 Big men on campus
At least three players in the Class 3A tournament are school record-holders for career scoring. Austin, runner-up to DeLaSalle last season, is led by senior guard Zach Wessels (1,497 points). Yet Wessels ranks third on his team in scoring (13.1 points per game) behind senior center Ajuda Nywesh (14.2) and senior guard Bret Lukes (14.1). Senior forward Joe Hanel went over 1,000 career points to become Holy Family’s leader in that category. And Cloquet senior forward Adam Laine (1,771 points) leads the Lumberjacks. Hanel averages 13.3 points, Laine 21.2.
2 All in the family
Cloquet coach Steve Battaglia played on state tournament teams in 1997 and 1998 for former coach Tom Brenner. This season, Brenner’s two sons, Maxxton, and Mason, helped Battaglia’s team reach the state tournament. Maxxton, a senior guard, is tied for second on the team with 36 three-pointers made. Mason, a junior guard, ranks fourth with 34.
3 Iron men
St. Paul Central’s “Iron 7” consists of Kalu Abosi, Garrett Gardner, Sam Gubbrud, Jakobi Jackson, Abdikalak Muse, Felix Taylor Jr. and Rayeon Williams. All seven have seen action in at least 23 games this season and combined to account for 97 percent of the team’s scoring.
DAVID LA VAQUE