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Holy Angels outlasts St. Thomas Academy for Class 3A, Section 3 crown

By Ryan Williamson, SportsEngine, 03/14/19, 8:15PM CDT


The Stars, led by Emmett Johnson's game-high 26 points, head to the state tournament for the first time since 2004.

Holy Angels' Emmett Johnson had a game-high 26 points Thursday against St. Thomas Academy in the Class 3A, Section 3 championship. The Stars beat the Cadets 85-78 and advance to the state tournament. Photo by Earl J. Ebensteiner, SportsEngine

In the weeks leading up to the section playoffs, Holy Angels senior forward Matt Banovetz noticed a mood change within the team.

“You could tell we wanted to get to state,” Banovetz said. “Guys were preaching that we had to be ready.”

On Thursday, the Stars and their motivated seniors shined in the Class 3A, Section 3 final at Bloomington Jefferson High School. In a roller coaster-ride of a game, Holy Angels prevailed 85-78 against St. Thomas Academy. The win gives the Stars their first state tournament appearance since 2004.

When this season began, first-year Holy Angels coach Andy Hannan didn’t have to watch his team long to know he had a group of players capable of getting to the state tournament.

Holy Angels' Matt Banovetz goes for a layup in the second half of the Class 3A, Section 3 final Thursday in Bloomington. The Stars went on to defeat the St. Thomas Cadets 85-78. Photo by Earl J. Ebensteiner, SportsEngine

First report

For the first time since 2004, Holy Angels is headed to the state boys’ basketball tournament after beating St. Thomas Academy 85-78 Thursday in the Class 3, Section 3 championship at Bloomington Jefferson High School.

The top-seeded Stars (24-4) entered halftime with a seven-point lead as senior forward Matt Banovetz put in a team-high 12 points in the first half. He hit a pair of key three-pointers later in the game to finish with 18 points.

Banovetz was one of four Holy Angels players to score in double figures. Freshman guard Emmett Johnson had a game-high 26 points while his brother, senior guard Charles Johnson, tallied 10 points.

Senior forward Thor Holien added 15 second-half points and finished with 23.

The No. 7 seed Cadets (17-12) lost their late second-half lead, and with it, an opportunity at their third consecutive state tournament appearance. Senior guard Jack Thompson had a team-high 21 points, senior Charlie Fafinski added 20 and Tony Wright had 13 points.

Pairings for that tournament will be announced on Saturday morning. Quarterfinal action begins Wednesday.  

St. Thomas Academy's Noah Chamberlain drives to the rim in the first half of Thursday's Class 3A, Section 3 championship game against Holy Angels. The Cadets lost the game 85-78. Photo by Earl J. Ebensteiner, SportsEngine

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