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Princeton, 87 years after last state tourney appearance, advances to 3A semifinals

By DAVID LA VAQUE, Star Tribune, 03/20/19, 1:15PM CDT


The No. 4 seed Tigers defeated Mahtomedi 68-63 in a lower-scoring game than their seasons would have suggested.

Princeton's James Flicek drove to the basket despite defensive pressure by Mahtomedi's Luke Ricker in the first half Wednesday at Williams Arena. Photo: ELIZABETH FLORES • liz.flores@startribune.com

The most confident athlete Princeton’s Brett Cloutier has coached, senior guard Adam Williams, sparked the Tigers’ second-half surge.

Williams dropped three-pointers four times in the second half as the No. 4 Tigers held off relentless Mahtomedi for a 68-63 victory Wednesday in the Class 3A quarterfinals.

Neither Princeton (27-3), ranked first in Class 3A scoring, nor the Zephyrs, ranked fourth, shot the ball well in the first half. Williams personified both teams’ struggles, making just one of his nine attempts from the field.

Williams Arena? Not for this Williams.

“It was tough to shoot,” Williams said. “It was the first time since two summers ago that we played here. It comes down to trusting yourself and shooting with confidence.”

No. 5 Mahtomedi (24-6) received a game-high 32 from J’Vonne Hadley, who contorted himself on every drive with great success.

First report

Two of the four highest-scoring boys’ basketball teams in Class 3A, Princeton and Mahtomedi, didn’t approach their season averages but nevertheless engaged in a back-and-forth quarterfinal Wednesday at Williams Arena.

No. 4 seed Princeton prevailed in a 68-63 victory. No. 5 Mahtomedi (24-6) played but couldn’t get closer than three points from late in the first half on.

Princeton (27-3), playing in its first state tournament since 1932, advances to Thursday’s semifinal at the Target Center against No. 1 DeLaSalle.

Check back later for more on the game.

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