Wayzata's Camden Heide (23), Drew Berkland (15), Carter Bjerke (32) and Wayzata teammates celebrated with championship trophy after the Trojans defeated Cretin-Derham Hall 75-61 to win the Class 4A championship. Photo: Carlos Gonzalez * carlos.gonzalez@st
The first time Wayzata coach Bryan Schnettler saw the players he currently coaches, he recognized what they were capable of.
That potential became reality Saturday as Wayzata pulled away in the second half to defeat Cretin-Derham Hall 75-61 in the Class 4A championship game.
It’s Wayzata’s first boys’ basketball state championship since 1959.
“When I first got here, the guys on the court tonight were in fifth, sixth, fourth grade,” Schnettler recalled. “Seven years later, I’m not the least bit surprised.”
The Trojans journey to the state title included a disappointing 11-17 record last year, which proved to be a motivating factor to this season.
“Last year was definitely tough, for sure,” senior guard Kody Williams said. “It put a chip on our shoulder.”
The versatile Trojans entered this season as a favorite in Class 4A. With a starting lineup of five talented offensive players, all that remained was for them to prove it.
They did just that at Target Center, turning up the heat after taking a 35-28 halftime lead.
The question was asked all season: Was Wayzata -- a deep, talented veteran team -- the best in Class 4A?
The answer was an emphatic yes on Saturday after the Trojans pulled away from Cretin-Derham Hall in the second half en route to a 75-61 victory in the Class 4A championship game.
As has been their reputation all season, the Trojans won with balance. Four players scored in double figures, led by Drew Berkland’s 19 points and Camden Heide's 17 points to go with 10 rebounds.
Blessed with a number of offensively gifted players, Wayzata has a defense that is often overlooked. The defensive standout for Saturday was senior guard Kody Williams, who pressured Cretin-Derham Hall’s standout guard Trejuan Holloman all game. Holloman scored 20 points, but had work for every one and was never able to get the Raiders into a rhythm offensively.
After the game Wayzata coach Bryan Schnettler talked about leading the team through a season that culminated with the school's first boys' basketball state title in 62 years.
“You don’t do it for the winning and state championships. You do it to see these kids grow and create memories and friendships,'' he said. "That’s what this is all about and it’s really fun to see that happen.”
Ranked No. 9 in the final Class 4A poll, Cretin-Derham Hall came out determined to let Wayzata know it planned to give the Trojans a battle. The Raiders took a quick 6-2 lead on consecutive three-pointers.
Wayzata tied it up soon after and the teams spent much of the first half trading baskets. The Trojans’ depth began to make a difference as the half wore on. Four different players scored between six and nine points before halftime as the Trojans finished the first half on a 7-2 run to take a 35-28 lead into halftime.