When Minnetonka coach Bryce Tesdahl scheduled a game against Totino-Grace—a team outside of its conference, section and class—there was a reason for it.
“We wanted to play a high-level team that’s a good team and could probably repeat as state champion,” Tesdahl said.
On Wednesday, Tesdahl got what he wanted. Despite the Skippers jumping out to a big lead early, the Eagles rallied. But Minnetonka persevered and held on for a big late-season 89-80 win at Totino-Grace High School.
The Skippers, ranked No. 4 in Class 4A by Minnesota Basketball News, entered the final week of the regular season as one of Class 4A’s best and had a chance to continue a successful season with a win over No. 1-3A Totino-Grace, the defending Class 3A state champions.
Minnetonka started fast on Wednesday with a 13-0 run, holding onto the lead through a Totino-Grace rally as the Skippers won 89-80 at Totino-Grace High School.
Minnetonka (19-6, 7-4) came out ready and it showed as they started the game on a 13-0 run and lead by as many as 18 points. Junior Jordan Cain got things going for Minnetonka early with nine first-half points. He finished the game with a team-high 24 points for the Skippers, who are ranked No. 4 in Class 4A by Minnesota Basketball News.
Totino-Grace (17-8, 15-3) pushed back and managed to cut the deficit to two points by the end of the first half. Senior forward Patrick Bath controlled things in the paint throughout the night as he poured in 31 points along with 13 rebounds.
The No. 1-3A Eagles continued to push and eventually tied the game in the second half. Junior Isaiah Johnson added 18 points and senior guard Taison Chatman scored 19 points.
Minnetonka held firm with a balanced scoring attack as seven different Skippers contributed points. Junior guard Andy Stefonowicz finished with 23 points while sophomore guard Duke Richardson tallied 10 points in the win.
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