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Minnehaha Academy breezes to 2A championship game

By JIM PAULSEN, Star Tribune, 03/22/19, 7:30PM CDT


The Redhawks, behind 24 points from prized recruit Jalen Suggs and 23 from 7-foot Chet Holmgren, cruised to an 82-52 victory over Lake City.

Lake City guard Reid Gastner (34) went up for a shot as Minnehaha Academy guard Jalen Suggs (1) and forward Prince Aligbe (10) leapt to defend in the first half. Photo: ANTHONY SOUFFLE • anthony.souffle@startribune.com

Leaving the locker room before their Class 2A semifinal, Lake City guard Jake Wohlers let loose with a series of full-throated yells, eager with anticipation.

That was as good as it would get for the Tigers.

Two-time defending champion Minnehaha Academy (28-2) had too much of everything for game-but-overmatched Lake City (27-3) to handle, advancing to their third consecutive Class 2A championship game with an 82-52 victory Friday at Target Center.

Jalen Suggs did his usual thing from the guard position: Scoring, creating offense, maneuvering with ease through the Lake City defense. Seven-foot center Chet Holmgren showing a versatility not expected of a player his size. Freshman Prince Aligbe looking like anything but a ninth-grader with his power and athleticism.

The rest of the Redhawks — quality role players such as Siegel Howard, Kaden Johnson and Craig McDonald — filled out what Lake City coach Greg Berge called “one of the top two or three teams in the whole state of Minnesota.”

First report

Minnehaha Academy looked exactly like a No. 1 team should with a thorough 82-52 trouncing of Lake City in the Class 2A semifinals. 

Jalen Suggs had 24 points and 11 rebounds, and 7-foot center Chet Holmgren had 23 points, 11 rebounds and at least four dunks. Freshman forward Prince Aligbe had 15 points, 9 rebounds and a powerful one-handed alley-oop slam of his own as the Redhawks (28-2) took control early with an 18-3 run that gave them a 27-8 lead. 

That advantage ballooned to as much as 32 in the second half at Target Center before both teams began to substitute freely.

Reid Gastner had 21 points and Nathan Heise 16 for Lake City (27-3).

Check back later for more on the game.

Minnehaha guard Jalen Suggs (1) reacted after blocking a Lake City shot in the first half. Photo: ANTHONY SOUFFLE • anthony.souffle@startribune.com

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