Richfield junior Lamar Grayson (left) leaps to take a shot against Holy Angels in the Class 3A, Section 3 championship at Bloomington Jefferson High School on Thursday night. Grayson had a game-high 26 points in the 67-53 win. Photo by Carter Jones, Sport
Walking off the floor after the team’s 21st and final loss of the season a year ago, Richfield guard Lamar Grayson wanted to shake that night’s feeling as quickly as possible.
It was the conclusion of the program’s sixth consecutive losing season.
A lot can change in a year, as top-seeded Richfield proved in its 67-53 defeat of No. 2 seed Holy Angels in Thursday’s Class 3A, Section 3 championship game at Bloomington Jefferson High School.
The win marks the Spartans’ first trip to the state tournament since 2006.
“It felt great. It felt great to get this ‘W’ and go to state,” said the hot-shooting Grayson, whose five three-pointers and 26 points were both game highs. “Last year we had a bitter taste in our mouth but this year we wanted to work harder.”
Richfield senior Jeff Moore eyes the basket against Holy Angels in the Class 3A, Section 3 championship at Bloomington Jefferson High School on Thursday. Photo by Carter Jones, SportsEngine
For the first time since 2006 Richfield is going to the state tournament, as the top-seeded Spartans defeated No. 2 seed Holy Angels 67-53 Thursday night at Bloomington Jefferson High School to win the Class 3A, Section 3 championship.
Richfield (23-6) opened the game against its crosstown rival on an 8-2 run before Holy Angels (19-10) weathered the storm to take a 25-21 halftime lead.
The Spartans’ typically balanced attack was led by the hot hand of junior guard Lamar Grayson. He hit four of his five three-pointers in the second half and scored a game-high 26 points. Ryan Miles chipped in with 13 points and Jaden Wollmuth had 10.
Sophomore guard Emmett Johnson was a big part of keeping the Stars in the game. His ability to muscle his way into the paint helped him score 12 of his team-high 18 points in the first half.
Holy Angels quickly built its biggest lead of five early in the second half but then Richfield got hot from deep. The Spartans surged back to lead by 10, but the Stars got a pair of buckets from Matt Banovetz, who finished with 12 points, and they closed the gap to 46-45 with under seven minutes to play.
Richfield ended the game on a 21-8 run to win its third of three meetings against Holy Angels this season.
Holy Angels sophomore Emmett Johnson drives to the basket against Richfield in the Class 3A, Section 3 championship at Bloomington Jefferson High School on Thursday. Photo by Carter Jones, SportsEngine
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