MACCRAY is making up for lost time.
The Wolverines rode senior forward Seth Hinrichs’ double-double (21 points and 15 rebounds) to their first state tournament victory since 1983, beating Maranatha 61-52 in the quarterfinals of the Class 1A boys’ basketball state tournament Thursday afternoon at Williams Arena.
“This is an exciting time for MACCRAY,” said coach Gary Nelson, in his 32nd year at the helm of the program. “It makes you proud, and at the same makes you think about the teams that didn’t get here.”
One team Hinrichs is all too familiar with — last year’s squad. The Wolverines were ranked No. 1 and unbeaten before falling to Ellsworth 76-71 in the Section 3 finals. “We were so close last year, and fell short,” Hinrichs said. “It hurt.”
The Lafayette recruit took home one valuable lesson from that loss, how to close out games. The Wolverines led by one with 40 seconds left in that matchup.
“We didn’t have too many close games all of last year,” Hinrichs said. “We had to learn how to win, and not lose those games.”
Fifth-ranked MACCRAY (27-3) has done that this year, including against No. 3 Maranatha (26-3). The game was tied at 35 when the Wolverines scored seven consecutive points, the first five by Hinrichs, to take control.
“Seth is a complete player,” Nelson said. “Kids like him only come along once in awhile.”
MACCRAY is the acronym for Maynard, Clara City and Raymond. Its only previous state tournament appearance as a combined district came in 1996, when it lost in the opening round of the final Sweet 16 event.
Clara City reached the state tournament in 1978 and 1983, topping Littlefork-Big Falls in the quarterfinals of the later trip. “We’ve had some good teams not get here,” Nelson said. “This victory is just as much theirs. They paved the way for this group.”
No player stats available for MACCRAY.