No more waiting. The Melrose Dutchmen are state champions once again.
Drake Meyer scored 24 points, Cesar Cervantes had 10 points and seven assists, and Melrose topped second-seeded Caledonia 63-51 in the Class 2A championship game Saturday at Target Center.
It was Melrose’s first state title since 1974 — the last year the Dutchmen appeared at the state tournament.
Meyer was 4-of-6 on three-pointers — all in the first half — but it was Melrose’s balanced attack that helped the Dutchmen pull away from normally high-scoring Caledonia.
Melrose had four players players score at least eight points without a single player taking more than 10 shots. Sixteen of the Dutchmen’s 22 field goals came after assists.
Tyler Braegelmann had 15 points and eight rebounds, and Colton Meyer had eight points for Melrose. The Dutchmen shot .469 from the field.
Caledonia, meanwhile, struggled offensively. The Warriors came into the game with three players averaging more than 14 points per game; four scoring at least nine. They’re known for their three-point shooting — freshman Owen King made more than 100 three-pointers this season — and their up-tempo play.
But nothing went their way on Saturday. Caledonia shot just .339 from the field, and 4-of-21 from behind the arc.
Austin Bauer, Justin Burg and Colton Lampert each had nine points to lead the Warriors.
Rushford-Peterson 51, Maranatha Christian 44
Rushford-Peterson displayed a potent offense in its first two state tournament victories.
“We can score a lot of points,” Rushford-Peterson coach Tom Vix said. “But our defense carried us all season.”
On Saturday at Target Center, the Trojans relied on their defense to outlast Maranatha Christian 51-44 in the Class 1A boys’ basketball championship game.
The Trojans, who averaged 16 steals per game while allowing just 43.6 points per game, had eight steals and forced Maranatha into 22 turnovers to limit the Mustangs to a season-low offensive output.
“They have two great scorers,” Vix said. “We wanted to make sure we always found them. I think we scrapped and didn’t give them easy baskets. Things went our way today.”
The Trojans, who scored 105 points in their quarterfinal victory over Fond du Lac Ojibwe and 62 in their semifinal victory over Central Minnesota Christian, led by five at halftime and outscored the Mustangs 17-7 over the first 10 minutes of the second half to open a 15-point lead.
But the Mustangs, sparked by Jeremiah Hanson, managed to get within five with 1:28 left. The Trojans (32-1) made 8 of 10 free throws in the final 90 seconds to secure their 28th consecutive victory.
Hanson, scored 17 points in the final six minutes to keep the Mustangs (29-3) close. Hanson, a 6-4 senior, finished with 21 points.
Senior guards Alex Vix, who scored a season-high 23 points, and Charlie Krambeer, who scored 17, led the Trojans. Vix sparked the Trojans in the first half by scoring 10 points in the game’s first six minutes. Vix, who averaged 10.5 points per game, had 13 in the first half.