With his victory at 145 pounds in the Class 3A wrestling state tournament, Forest Lake’s James Pleski became the 18th wrestler in school history to win an individual state championship.

Pleski’s victory was impressive, but it was far from easy. His cumulative margin of victory in his four matches was just eight points, by far the fewest of any of the 42 state champions across the three classes. It included a 3-2, four-overtime victory over Forest Lake’s Brock Morgan in the quarterfinals.

Other east-metro place winners in the Class 3A meet were Grant Bolduan of White Bear Lake, who took third at 138 pounds, Ty Okada of East Ridge, sixth at 120 pounds, Ben Donnelly of Woodbury, sixth at 145 pounds and Cory Flaata of Park of Cottage Grove, sixth at 170 pounds. In Class 2A, Mahtomedi’s Devin Fitzpatrick lost to Brady Berge of Kasson-Mantorville 7-3 in the 152-pound finals.

Girls’ basketball conference recap

Hill-Murray and Hastings tied for the inaugural Metro East Conference girls’ basketball title with 12-2 records. Mahtomedi finished one game back at 11-3. Hill-Murray’s Lindsey Malecha led the lead in scoring, averaging 21.8 points. Ali Greene of Mahtomedi was second, averaging 20.2.

In the Suburban East, Roseville won the league title with a perfect 16-0 record. Park of Cottage Grove finished fourth at 8-8, with East Ridge and Woodbury tying for fifth with 6-10 records. Forest Lake was seventh at 5-11. Stillwater struggled in its first year under coach Willie Taylor, winning just two conference games.

Spring sports begin

Monday is the first official day of practice for softball and track and field teams. Baseball and golf can begin practicing on March 16, boys’ tennis on March 23 and boys and girls’ lacrosse teams on March 30.