Cretin-Derham Hall senior forwards Sy Chatman and Daniel Oturu combined for 23 second-half points as the Raiders defeated East Ridge 62-52 on Thursday in the Class 4A, Section 4 championship at Hastings High School.
Chatman and Oturu gave the top-ranked and top-seeded Raiders (27-2) a nine-point lead with five points in a four-second stretch midway through the second half. The team led by at least five for the rest of the game to capture its second consecutive state tournament berth.
Reaching the tournament was "really the only thing on our mind, and it's the only thing we worked for all summer," said the 6-8 Chatman, one of four seniors in Cretin-Derham Hall's starting lineup. "This year, we're trying to go off the Target Center floor with a smile on our face."
The Raiders, who have five contributors who are at least 6-5, used their length and athleticism to limit East Ridge (23-6) to 21 points in the first half. Oturu, a Gophers recruit, led the team with multiple blocks and finished with 14 points. Senior point guard Ryan Larson, who transferred to Cretin-Derham Hall from Braham two years ago, assisted on several of Oturu's baskets late in the game and finished with 12 points.
"It's unselfish," Raiders coach Jerry Kline Jr. said of Larson's play. "He understands team before self, and he makes us better in all facets of the game."
Chatman led the Raiders with 18 points and junior guard Jaeden King added 12. The Raiders are looking for their first state title since 1993, when Kline played on the team.
Junior forward Courtney Brown led East Ridge with 19 points and sophomore forward Ben Carlson added 18. The Raptors, who graduated four starters from last year, were looking for the first state tournament appearance in school history.
"I think down the road this will provide us a lot of good experiences," first-year coach Bryce Tesdahl said.