Minneapolis North's Eli Campbell and Esko's Trevor Spindler battled for a rebound in the Class 2A quarterfinal Wednesday at Williams Arena. Photo: Jerry Holt • Jerry.email@example.com
After moving up a class last season, Minneapolis North got its first taste of the Class 2A state tournament on Wednesday and came away winners. But it wasn’t easy.
The Polars (22-9), who won the Class 1A championship in 2016 and 2017, defeated Esko 61-53 in the Class 2A quarterfinals at Williams Arena.
“To be honest with you, I don’t know what a Class 3A, 2A … I don’t know what the difference is. A win is a win,” said Polars coach Larry McKenzie about the program’s first 2A state tournament victory. “Our mission is we want to be playing Saturday. We want a 2A title, we don’t want a 2A win.”
Sophomore center Davon Townley Jr. hit a free throw with 2:45 left to give the Polars a 54-53 lead. They finished with an 8-point run, capped by freshman guard Willie Wilson’s dunk at the buzzer. Wilson scored 17 points to lead the Polars.
Minneapolis North finished with 18 steals to Esko’s four.
After moving up a class last season, Minneapolis North got its first taste of the Class 2A state tournament on Wednesday and came away winners.
The Polars (22-9) defeated Esko 61-53 in the quarterfinals at Williams Arena.
The Eskomos (21-10) and North were tied 30-30 at halftime and the game remained close much of the second half.
Polars sophomore center Davon Townley Jr. hit one of two free throws with 2:45 left to give North the lead 54-53. From there the Eskomos couldn’t get anything going offensively, and the the No. 2 seeded Polars finished with an 8-point run capped by freshman guard Willie Wilson’s dunk at the buzzer.
The Eskomos built an 8-point lead to start the game. Esko senior guard Camden Berger had seven points in the first 8 minutes and helped his team to a 17-9 lead, its biggest of the game.
The Polars out-scored the Eskomos 8-2 to end the first half tied. Wilson led the Polars with nine points in the first half.
The Eskomos carried a nine-game winning streak into the state tournament. Esko took the consolation championship in the state tournament last season. The program has made the tournament five of the last six seasons.
Minneapolis North, which won the Class 1A championship in 2016 and 2017, will play the winner of Redwood Valley vs. Perham at 8 p.m. Friday in the semifinals at Target Center.
Check back later for more on the game.