Taison Chatman (11) pulls down a rebound in the closing minutes of Totino-Grace's 48-44 victory in a Class 3A Section 4 championship game at Columbia Heights. Chatman scored a team-high 17 points. Photo by Mark Hvidsten, SportsEngine
Columbia Heights senior Muja Burton tries to keep the ball in play in the late stages of the game. Burton, who averages nearly 23 points a game, was held to eight points against Totino-Grace. Photo by Mark Hvidsten, SportsEngine
Taison Chatman was determined that he and his Totino-Grace teammates would not lose in a section final for the fourth consecutive year. And he made sure that didn't happen, setting the tone at the start and putting on the final touches at the finish in the Eagles' 48-44 victory in the Class 3A, Section 4 championship at a packed Columbia Heights gym on Thursday night.
Chatman scored 17 points, including four points in the last three minutes after the Hylanders tied the game at 40-40. Demarion Watson added 16 points and, more importantly, shut down Columbia Heights' leading scorer, Muja Burton, who averaged 22.9 points per game during the regular season and was coming off a 37-point performance in a section semifinal victory. Burton finished the game with just eight points and struggled to get his hands on the ball.
The loss was the first of the season for Columbia Heights, which had overtaken Totino-Grace as the top-ranked Class 3A team a few weeks ago. The victory ended a run of frustrating finishes for the second-ranked Eagles (23-6) in the Section 4 championship. Totino-Grace lost powerful Minnehaha Academy in 2021 and 2020 and to Mahtomedi in 2019.
Terrence Brown, who entered the game with a 22.8-point scoring average, had 10 points on Thursday and shared team scoring lead with Donnavin Hinsz and Jency Davis.
Demarion Watson (0) makes Columbia Heights' Donnavin Hinsz twist into a knot trying to get his shot to the rim. Watson scored 16 points and had the difficult task of guarding Muja Burton. Photo by Mark Hvidsten, SportsEngine
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