DeLaSalle's Tyrell Terry goes in for a layup against Minneapolis North. Terry had a game-high 23 points in the Islanders' 66-57 victory over the Polars Tuesday night in Minneapolis. Photo by Jeff Lawler, SportsEngine
DeLaSalle senior Kameron Givens pulls up for a shot as Minneapolis North's Eli Campbell defends. Givens had 20 points in the Islanders' victory Tuesday night over the Polars. Photo by Jeff Lawler, SportsEngine
When the season nears the final stretch, if nothing else, DeLaSalle can say it’s well-prepared. Maybe more so than any other team in the state.
Tuesday, the Islanders, ranked No. 1 in Class 3A by Minnesota Basketball News, returned home to host No. 2-2A Minneapolis North. Playing without their leading scorer, Jamison Battle (28.8 points per game), the Islanders absorbed a second-half charge from the Polars and finished out a 66-57 win to reignite a dormant rivalry — and close what might have been the toughest four-game stretch any team in Minnesota will have faced this season.
DeLaSalle’s last three games were in the Hoop City Classic in South Dakota over winter break, where the Islanders lost 78-68 to national powerhouse Findlay Prep (Nev.), beat nationally-ranked (No. 16) Mountain Brook (Ala.) 62-61 and lost 71-65 to reigning South Dakota Class AA state champion Yankton. Battle, who rolled his ankle early in the first matchup, hasn’t played since.
“It’s been crazy, to be honest with you,” DeLaSalle coach Travis Bledsoe said. “It’s definitely one of the hardest stretches I’ve been a part of. It has to be top in the state. Again — state champions from South Dakota, Findlay Prep, Mountain Brook, North. It’s been a gauntlet. We’re happy we got some wins in between and didn’t go 0-4, which was a possibility [against] a lot of teams in that stretch.”
It had been a while since two of the top boys' basketball programs in the state met. This time, it was DeLaSalle that won on its home court in a 66-57 win over intracity foe Minneapolis North on Tuesday night.
A choppy first half, thanks to fouls and turnovers, led to DeLaSalle (6-3, 0-0) leading 25-18 at halftime.
Minneapolis North, ranked No. 2 in Class 2A by Minnesota Basketball News, briefly led early in the second half, before the game became a back-and-forth affair.
Tyrell Terry had a big game for the No. 1-3A Islanders, finishing with 23 points. Teammate Kameron Givens added 20 points while Jalen Travis had 10 points and eight rebounds.
Eli Campbell led the Polars (6-3, 2-0) with 17 points, while Willie Nelson had 12 points and Nasir El-Amin added 10.
The teams last played each other on Feb. 4, 2011, which resulted in a two-point Islanders’ win at Minneapolis North.
Minneapolis North guard Nasir El-Amin drives for the basket around DeLaSalle's Andrew Irvin on Tuesday night. The Polars fell to the Islanders 66-57. Photo by Jeff Lawler, SportsEngine
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