Owen King is accustomed to leading Caledonia to state football championships. Now he's got the Warriors within one victory of a basketball state title.
King, a Mr. Basketball finalist who will play Division I basketball at South Dakota State, guided the Warriors to a 73-67 victory over Brooklyn Center in the Class 2A semifinals.
King was at his best after picking up his fourth foul midway through the second half. With his team clinging to a 42-41 lead, King made a pair of three-pointers and contributed two assists to teammate Marten Morem as the Warriors built a nine-point lead and stayed ahead.
Caledonia coach Brad King never thought about taking Owen, his son, out of the game despite his foul trouble.
"Absolutely not," Coach King said. "I trust that we've communicated over time that when you get that fourth foul and Coach leaves you in there, sometimes you've got to let the other team get two points. We need you on the floor."
"He's got complete trust in me," Owen said. "I still wanted to be aggressive. I didn't want to play in the third-place game tomorrow."
King finished with 11 points, seven rebounds and six assists before fouling out in the final minute.
Brooklyn Center (22-9), making its first state tournament appearance since 1983, wasn't fazed by Target Center's bright lights and the televised stage, racing out to a 12-7 lead.
Caledonia (28-4), which plays a tough regular-season schedule to prepare for the postseason, fought back, taking a 33-32 halftime lead behind King and the inside presence of Morem, who finished with a team-high 25 points.
Despite Caledonia leading most of the second half, Brooklyn Center's pressure kept the Centaurs close throughout. Sophomore guard Lu'Cye Patterson led the Centaurs with 29 points.
"We're pretty thankful that Minnehaha puts us on their schedule, that Minneapolis North puts us on their schedule," Brad King said. "It helps when playoffs come around."