Duluth East's season ends in disillusionment

  • Article by: STAFF REPORTS
  • Updated: March 21, 2012 - 9:13 PM

The Greyhounds were forced to play without their 7-foot center.

Early-game fist pumps turned to sagging shoulders as Duluth East's Class 4A quarterfinal game against Osseo dragged on Wednesday at Target Center. After the Greyhounds lost, coach Chuck Tolo kept the locker room door closed for nearly 15 minutes.

He emerged still wearing the black T-shirt with the name and number 32 of suspended 7-foot center Akolda Manyang.

The junior allegedly violated a Minnesota State High School League rule that kept him out of the Section 7 playoffs and Wednesday's game. Tolo accompanied him to an appeal with Duluth East administration on Monday. As of Wednesday afternoon, he had yet to hear any information on the ruling.

"That is very unprofessional," Tolo said. "It's just not the way you do things with kids."

Of the T-shirts worn by players and coaches, Tolo said, "The kids wanted to make sure [Manyang] was here."

The veteran coach paused to collect his emotions while speaking with reporters. Asked if he would coach next season if Manyang isn't back, he said, "I'm so disillusioned with the system I'm in right now, that I don't even know if they want me back."

A Rocori legend

When Rocori High School built a gymnasium and named it after the only coach in school history, Bob Brink knew he had to stick around long enough to enjoy it.

"It's a palace," said Brink, who coached his final game at Rocori in the Spartans' loss to Minneapolis Washburn.

Brink, 75, retires after more than 1,300 games and 935 career victories, second only to Chisholm coach Bob McDonald. He credited his wife, Judy, for his longevity.

"I married a high school cheerleader and she came to all but about five or six of those games," Brink said.

Twin City rematch

Thursday's Class 3A semifinal between Minneapolis Washburn and St. Paul Johnson is a rematch of the Twin City Championship game on March 2. Johnson led Washburn late in the second half before losing 90-89 .

"I told some of their guys they better take care of business because I knew we were going to," said Johnson's Marcus Johnson. "It should be a pretty hyped-up game."

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