GARY TRENT JR.

Apple Valley • basketball

The post-tournament analysis of Apple Valley’s second Class 4A state championship in the past three years was a spiderweb of reasoning, ranging from the excellent play of the Eagles’ bench to the interior presence of Brock Bertram to the emergence of Tre Jones as a big-time point guard. The most obvious reason, however, might have been somewhat overlooked: the superior all-around play of Trent, a rangy 6-5 superstar-in-the-making.

Called J.R. (for obvious reasons), Trent scored 54 points, leading the Eagles in scoring in all three games, grabbed 15 rebounds and shot 58.3 percent on three-pointers (7-of-12). He also provided a calming influence for the youthful Eagles (just three turnovers in three games) and hit three three-pointers in the early stages of the second half of Apple Valley’s 64-61 victory over Champlin Park in the championship game.

“J.R. was huge, like always, coming up with big baskets and playing great defense on the back end,” Apple Valley coach Zach Goring said.

After the game, Trent finally broke his stolid game face with a broad smile. “This is what you put in all the work for,” he said. “This is the dream come true.”

 

SACAR ANIM

DeLaSalle • basketball

Marquette University coaches had to be thrilled with the show their 6-4 recruit put on in leading DeLaSalle to its fourth consecutive Class 3A state championship. He scored 81 points in three games, improving on his point total in each game, capped by a 32-points, 10-rebound efforts in the Islanders’ 82-64 victory over St. Paul Johnson in the Class 3A championship game.

 

MIKAYLA HAYES

Park Center • basketball

The 6-2 sophomore center is the fulcrum to the Pirates offense, with most of what they do predicated by her play inside. She led them to the Section 3, 3A championship last week with consecutive double-doubles: 15 points and 10 rebounds in a 69-24 victory over Fridley and 19 points and 14 rebounds in a 57-39 victory over DeLaSalle.

 

ALISON HINCK

White Bear Lake • basketball

After a pair of double-digit losses to Roseville during the regular season, the Bears got their revenge in the Section 4, 4A championship game with a 53-41 victory. Hinck, a junior guard, led the team in scoring with 19 points, scoring key points down the stretch. Hinck averaged 17 points over three section playoff games.

 

JOEY MANION

Anoka-Hennepin adapted floor hockey

The sophomore helped the Mustangs to the PI Division state championship game Saturday. Though the they fell 4-3 to five-time defending champion Robbinsdale, Manion provided the team’s offensive spark during the tournament, scoring 11 goals in all. He scored all three in the final game, all four in a 4-1 semifinal win and tallied four goals plus an assist in a 8-4 quarterfinal victory.

Jim Paulsen