The next time Gabe Kalscheur plays basketball at Williams Arena, he will have traded DeLaSalle’s black and gold for Minnesota’s maroon and gold.

Kalscheur, a 6-4 senior guard who signed with the Gophers, scored a game-high 21 points Wednesday in a Class 3A quarterfinal against Hermantown.

“It’s going to be special to play here the next four years,” Kalscheur said.

His focus this week, however, is leading the Islanders’ quest for a seventh consecutive Class 3A state title.“I have to embrace these last few days with my high school coaches and teammates,” he said.

DAVID LA VAQUE

Rematch in 4A

Eden Prairie defeated Cretin-Derham Hall 65-63 on Feb. 28, a game in which Raiders point guard Ryan Larson didn’t play because of an injury. The two teams meet again in Thursday’s Class 4A semifinals. Eden Prairie coach David Flom expects to see a highly motivated bunch of Raiders.

“We’re not going to be able to sneak up on them,” Flom said. “They’re going to have laser-sharp focus.”

But Flom stressed that the Eagles feel confident going into the game. “We beat them and we know that we can beat them,” he said.

JIM PAULSEN

Letting Coach off easy

Cretin-Derham Hall center Daniel Oturu, generally well-spoken, was left laughing and at a loss for words as the postgame news conference ended. John Sherman, well-respected longtime reporter for the Sun Newspapers, asked with a smile, “Daniel, how does it feel to be the best post player at C-DH since Coach Kline?”

Raiders coach Jerry Kline was a presence inside for Cretin-Derham Hall in its run to the 1993 Class 2A title.

“I don’t know” was all Oturu could muster.

“You had to bring that one up,” Kline said with a laugh. “No comment, Daniel. Good job!”

JIM PAULSEN

Award finalists named

The Minnesota Basketball Coaches Association announced the finalists for the inaugural McDonald Award on Wednesday.

The finalists are Kalscheur, Oturu, Tre Jones of Apple Valley, Owen King of Caledonia, Calvin Wishart of Delano, Noah Kannegiesser of Hancock, JaVonni Bickham of Minnehaha Academy, Matt Todd of Monticello, Jarvis Thomas Omersa of Orono and Michael Jones of Woodbury.

The award, named after longtime coach Bob McDonald, will be presented each season to the senior player of the year.

JOEL RIPPEL

Eight of nine not bad

Mankato East is making its ninth appearance in the state tournament. Coach Joe Madson has been a part of all but one. He played for East when it made its first appearance in 1984. He was an assistant coach on the 1999 and 2000 teams. The Cougars are making their fifth appearance under Madson’s direction — 2003, 2005, 2012, 2015 and 2018.

The Cougars also reached the tournament in 1986 while Madson was in college.

JOEL RIPPEL