2A No. 1 St. Croix Lutheran nips 3A No. 1 DeLaSalle
• ST. CROIX LUTHERAN 67, DELASALLE 65: St. Croix Lutheran's Ade Murkey got the moment he spent the entire second half Thursday working toward.
With his team down by a point in a showdown against the Class 3A, No. 1 Islanders, Murkey was at the foul line with three shots and a chance to win.
He made the first and missed the next two, but Garett Maag leaped above the crowd around the rim and tipped the ball in as the buzzer sounded. The Class 2A, No. 1 Crusaders won 67-65. The student section rushed the court, and, as coach Jay Wendland said, the place went crazy.
"I just jumped, and I was like, 'Dear Lord, please put that in,'" Maag said. "I was speechless. My body's shaking."
The students carried Maag on their shoulders after he put the finishing touch on Murkey's masterpiece.
Murkey finished with 29 points after he brought his team back from a nine-point deficit in the second half.
The Crusaders (17-2) led 18-4 early in the game, but once the Islanders started hitting outside shots and went on a 13-0 run late in the first half, the Crusaders were on the ropes.
Murkey, though, had other things in mind as he slashed to the basket and spun to create space time after time to keep his team close.
"Honestly, it was part my teammates knowing I was hot, and they were giving me the ball," Murkey said. "I was making my shots, so I felt like no one could guard me out there."
Trenton Krueger also had 26 points as the Crusaders relied on inside scoring against a stingy Islanders defense. Gabe Kalscheur finished with 20 for the Islanders and Goanar Mar had 19, and at one point it looked as if the Islanders (11-4) would pull away.
But in addition to Murkey's offense, the Crusaders began closing out on shooters.
"Our team really dug in defensively, and it was possession-by-possession to crawl back into the game," Wendland said.
The Crusaders' resilience paid off with the most exciting of finishes and the most unlikely of heroes.
"It's the best feeling ever," Maag said.
• PROVIDENCE ACADEMY 39, ST. PAUL ACADEMY 38: Dominic Miller made a three-pointer with 10 seconds left to lift the Lions past the Spartans. Miller finished the game with 11 points. Kent Hanson led the Spartans with 13 points.
• BRECK 4, ST. PAUL ACADEMY 3 (OT): Chase Ellingson scored a power play goal 1 minute, 35 seconds into overtime to help the Class 1A, No 2 Mustangs to a 4-3 victory over the No. 9 Spartans.
The goal was the second of the night for the senior captain to help the Mustangs avoid being upset.
Evan Dahlseide scored in the first period and Matt Dahlseide gave the Spartans a 2-0 lead in the second period. The Mustangs answered with goals from Tyler Scott and Ellingson in the middle frame.
Justin Jallen scored 1 minute, 22 seconds into the third period to put the Spartans back in front. Austin Heidemann scored for the Mustangs with 7:10 remaining to send the game to overtime.