No more waiting. After 41 years, the Melrose Dutchmen are state champions once again.
Drake Meyer scored 24 points, Cesar Cervantes had 10 points and seven assists and Melrose never trailed in beating second-seeded Caledonia 63-51 in the Class 2A boys' basketball championship game Saturday at Target Center.
It was Melrose's first title since 1974 — the last time the Dutchmen appeared in the state tournament.
"Everyone's been talking about [how it's been] 41 years since we've been here," Meyer said. "We worked our butts off to get here, and it's finally paid off."
Meyer was four of six on three-pointers — all in the first half — but it was Melrose's balanced attack that helped the Dutchmen pull away from normally high-scoring Caledonia (28-5).
Melrose (29-5) had four players score at least eight points without a single player attempting more than 10 shots. Seventeen of the Dutchmen's 23 field goals came following assists.
Tyler Braegelmann had 15 points and eight rebounds, and Colton Meyer had eight points and 11 rebounds.
The Dutchmen shot 46.9 percent from the field, and after Cervantes' three-pointer on the opening possession, they held the lead for the final 35-plus minutes.
"That's the M.O. of our team — everybody can score every night," Drake Meyer said. "We don't have like a star player or anything. It's just, who's going tonight?"
It wasn't Caledonia.
The Warriors came into the game with three players averaging more than 14 points per game; four scoring at least nine. But nothing went their way Saturday.
They shot only 33.3 percent from the field in the first half, 33.9 percent for the game and made only four of 21 shots from behind the arc.
"We got shots. The ball just didn't go in the hole," Caledonia coach Josh Diersen said. "… There wasn't a lot of opportunities after that first shot, and credit to those guys."
The Melrose lead never fell below five points in the second half, and the Dutchmen fans in the crowd were in a frenzy for the final five minutes.
"We didn't need to win this game for the community to feel good about our team, but the fact we did just adds to it," Melrose coach Ryan Dusha said, gesturing toward the crowd. "They've been waiting."