A Minneota High School boys' basketball player was suspended by the school for two games after shooting teammates' free throws in a game, according to news reports.
According to the Marshall Independent and Minneota Mascot newspapers, Thomas Hennen acknowledged that he went to the free throw line twice after other players were fouled.
Two teammates were suspended for one game.
Minneota, which was undefeated at the time and ranked No. 1 in Class A, defeated MACCRAY 87-83 with Hennen, a senior, scoring 45 points, one short of the school record.
The player's apology was published by the Minneota Mascot: "In our varsity boys' basketball game against MACCRAY on Jan. 31 in Clara City, I took it upon myself to violate a Minnesota State High School League rule by shooting free throws on two separate occasions when it was a teammate that had been fouled and should have gone to the free-throw line. As a result of my actions, I was suspended for two games while each of those two teammates received a one-game suspension. I whole-heartedly accept the penalty given to me by my administrators. In the heat of the game, my competitiveness emerged and I failed to think about the repercussions of my actions at that time."
The Independent reported: "MACCRAY boys coach Lucas Post said they weren’t aware at the time on how the players were switched out at the free-throw line and they hadn’t noticed it in either scenario."
"It's an unfortunate thing that happened," MACCRAY athletic director Jim Trulock told the West Central Tribune of Willmar. "Minneota is handling it and we're going to move forward with the season. We'll let Minneota handle it."
With Thomas Hennen, as well as teammates Jacob Hennen and Logan Sussner suspended, Minneota lost Saturday 57-55 to Yellow Medicine East, a team it had defeated by 39 points earlier in the season.
“I wasn’t worried as much about what had occurred," said Bob Madison, an associate director with the Minnesota State High School League. "I wanted to know what [Minneota] was going to do moving forward. It would have been a technical foul if it would have been caught at the time.”
Madison added: “I don’t know how the school was made aware of it. But they responded as we hoped they would.”
Responding to a question about whether the game officials bear responsibility for what happened, Madison said, "I think they do. But not having spoken to the officials, I imagine it’s a learning experience for them as well.”
Minneota, which is about 160 miles west of the Twin Cities, was the top-seeded team in Section 3A last season, losing to Russell-Tyler-Ruthton 71-69 in the title game.
The full Marshall Independent story is here.
The apology, which was published in full by the Minneota Mascot, is here.
Staff writer David La Vaque contribiuted to this report.