The 2012-13 high school sports season came to a close with the baseball state tournament championship games Monday at Target Field, a mere 308 days after it began last August. Here’s a quick recap of 10 of the most notable storylines that emerged from the West Metro.
1 Three-peat the hard way
Minnetonka established itself as a dynasty by winning its third consecutive Class 2A girls’ hockey title, but the Skippers’ 3-1 championship game victory over Hill-Murray was overshadowed by an epic six-overtime semifinal showdown against Lakeville North. Amy Peterson deflected in the game-winner at 4:29 of the sixth overtime, ending the longest girls’ hockey game in state history. The teams played for 113 minutes, 29 seconds in a game that ended at 1:04 a.m., more than five hours after it began.
2 Five Lake schools, 18 team titles
Just five teams make up the Lake Conference — Eden Prairie, Edina, Hopkins, Minnetonka and Wayzata — but those five teams won nearly 60 percent of the large-school team championships — 18 of 31 — in the last 10 months. Wayzata and Eden Prairie, the two largest schools in the state in terms of enrollment, had the most team titles with five each. Edina won four, Minnetonka three and Hopkins one.
3 Hornets slay giants until …
No football team in the state had as impressive a two-game stretch as Edina did in October. The Hornets went into Wayzata and beat the Trojans 20-17 on Oct. 5. A week later, in the year’s biggest football shocker, they ended Eden Prairie’s 49-game home winning streak with a convincing 17-6 victory. Edina took over the No. 1 ranking in Class 6A after the victory. The Hornets were upset by Rosemount in the state tournament quarterfinals. Eden Prairie went on to win its second straight state championship.
4 Wrestling to a team draw
Always a wrestling power, St. Michael-Albertville looked strong enough this year to end Apple Valley’s seven-year stranglehold on the Class 3A team championship. The Knights won the prestigious Clash National Wrestling Duals in Rochester and ended the regular season ranked No. 1. But in the meeting between the two teams in the state tournament finals, they tied for the title, each taking home co-championship trophies.
5 Royals’ girls rout, rule
With a seemingly endless stream of talented players led by superb 6-foot-1 guard Nia Coffey, Hopkins won its third straight Class 4A basketball championship with its third straight rout of an opponent in the finals. This time, Hopkins crushed Bloomington Kennedy 68-45, giving the Royals an average margin of victory of 22 points in the three championship games. Hopkins is 91-4 during the last three seasons.
6 A flash mob beatdown
A seemingly innocent video by Mound Westonka students performing a flash mob Harlem Shake dance in the school cafeteria led school administrators to suspended students responsible, which included six hockey players. The hockey team subsequently lost a section playoff game, adding to parent and community member outcry over the incident. The aftermath resulted in the resignation of athletic director Dion Koltes.
7 Hoops Central on Nicollet Island
Sweeping the boys’ and girls’ basketball state championships for the second consecutive year, DeLaSalle established itself as the premier basketball program in Class 3A, the state’s second-largest class. The boys’ team was led by junior center Reid Travis, considered one of the top 50 2014 recruits in the nation. The girls had a pair of Division I stars in Tyseanna Johnson (Iowa State) and Allina Starr (Auburn).
8 From Austria to Biwabik
Hopkins’ Jakob Ellingson missed a couple of weeks of the Nordic ski racing season because he was in Austria, competing as a member of the U.S. Junior National Biathlon team. Ellingson rejoined the Royals in time to qualify for the state meet, then went out and won the state individual pursuit championship. His victory included a sparkling time of 14:41in the 5K freestyle portion which proved enough to help him hold off Eden Prairie’s Thomas Bye in the Classic race for the title.
9 Splashing to excellence
The Eden Prairie boys’ swimming and diving team was expected to repeat as Class 2A team champions, but few expected the Eagles to be as good as they were. With one of the state’s deepest and talented lineups ever, the Eagles cruised through the season undefeated and had no trouble winning the state team champship, getting five individual titles and finishing 107 points ahead of runner-up Minnetonka.
10 Unbeatable in adapted sports
The Robbinsdale/Hopkins/Mound-Westonka PI Division adapted athletics program may not get noticed often, but coach Marcus Onsum and his athletes have set a standard for excellence. The Robins swept the adapted soccer, floor hockey and softball championships for the third straight year without a single loss in any of the three sports.