Shakopee junior guard Evan Hagen apologized to reporters Wednesday after the Sabers' thrilling victory for being "a little out of it right now."
Without Hagen, Shakopee wouldn't have been in it. Each of Hagen's six points in the second half was clutch. He closed a back-and-forth contest with Osseo by making two free throws with two seconds left in a 54-51 victory in the Class 4A quarterfinals at Target Center.
Sabers leading scorer Tyler Weiss was held to two points, but Hagen (16), Steffon Mitchell (18) and Booker Coplin (10) all stepped up.
Shakopee's lead swelled to 10 points in the first half, but No. 4 Osseo (22-8) never quit. Elliot Kane's three-pointer gave the Orioles a 43-41 lead. Mitchell answered by making a shot, drawing the foul and hitting the free throw to complete a three-point play.
That put No. 5 seed Shakopee (23-6) ahead 44-43, but the lead changed eight times through the game's final 8 minutes and 12 seconds.
"That was probably the most intense game I've ever played in," Hagen said. "That was the biggest student section we've ever had. It was crazy."
Leading 52-51, the Sabers watched as Osseo's Wheeler Baker, one of five finalists for Mr. Basketball, launched a three-pointer with four seconds left.
Worried luck would turn against his team, Hagen was relieved to grab the rebound, get fouled and make the clinching free throws.