Osseo sophomore Ian Theisen kept a veteran's poise as the biggest moment in his basketball career unfolded. With time winding down in a tie game with Lakeville North to decide the Class 4A state championship at Target Center, Theisen found himself alone on the baseline. He knew what was next. "I was like, 'It's going to come to me, so don't mess up, don't drop it,'" Theisen said. "I got that rhythm and [hit] nothing but net. I like that 15-footer." Theisen's basket as time expired gave Osseo a 49-47 victory and its first state title since 2001.Advantage: Elk River tennis
After more than an hour of wading through a growing river of tension of its own creation, Elk River's tennis team needed only 15 seconds to burst the dam and let loose an emotional flood.
The Elks, undefeated and ranked No. 1 in Class 2A, rallied to defeat Wayzata 5-2 to win the first boys' tennis team championship in school history. It's the first title for a large-school team north of the I-694/494 loop since St. Cloud Tech won the single-class title in 1985. "Wow," senior doubles player Mitch Brandell said. "I knew it would feel good. I didn't know it would feel this good."Begin's milestone title
Kyle Begin had plenty of open space around the center mat at Xcel Energy Center and another large crowd watching. But then he thought better of duplicating his back flip celebration from a year ago. Sealing Anoka's 50th individual state wrestling championship was quite enough. Begin, a senior 170-pounder, won his second consecutive state title with a 4-2 overtime victory against Albert Lea's Trey Hable.
"That's pretty cool," said Begin, who finished the season 38-2. "I love the school, I love the history. I've had a lot of good friends on this team. To be No. 50 is even cooler."Mounds View answers call
Pete Aus took over as coach of the Mounds View girls' hockey program seven games into the season, a tense situation eased by his calm, collected demeanor.
A veteran coach who retired from Bethel University in 2007 as the men's hockey program's career leader in victories, Aus challenged the girls with polite but pointed words.
The Mustangs answered the call with a victory against Blaine in the Class 2A, Section 5 championship game, earning their first state tournament appearance since 1999.Mustangs rule adapted ranks
The Anoka-Hennepin adapted softball team broke the huddle before the state championship game with a chant of "1-2-3, victory!"
When it comes to quantifying their dominance, the Mustangs must count higher. A 7-2 victory over Dakota United brought the Mustangs a third CI (cognitively impaired) Division state softball championship. Add soccer and floor hockey and Anoka-Hennepin won its eighth consecutive team title overall. The Mustangs have not lost a game in any sport since November 2009.Throwing records abound
Andover senior Tom Anderson and St. Francis junior Maggie Ewen smashed shot put and discus records this spring while rendering some schools' throwing spaces obsolete.
Anderson claimed the boys' shot put state record with a mark of 65 feet, 8 inches but did not compete at Blaine lest he heave the shot over a retaining wall.
Ewen threw the discus 172-7 in May to break her own record for a second time. Her coaches changed the angle of the sector to keep her ever-lengthening throws from landing inside a line of trees. The duo swept their respective shot put and discus titles at the state meet.Maple Grove's new ice age
Maple Grove senior forward Tony Paulson could not keep his eyes off the scoreboard after the Class 2A, Section 5 boys' hockey championship game.
Maybe he struggled to believe the 15-1 score. More likely, he was savoring what it meant. His hockey team became the first in the school's 16-year history to reach the state tournament.
Frustration had mounted the previous two seasons as Blaine defeated Maple Grove in the section championship each time. Most of that frustration disappeared in the blowout of the Bengals.Shining on the diamond
When Melinda Antonson took the Irondale softball coaching job five years ago, she was told that the Knights had never won a North Suburban Conference championship. This season changed all that.
Irondale's success owed to youthful vigor and veteran savvy. Four seniors and three freshmen typically started games, led by ninth-grader Maggie Schley in the pitching circle. She won 11 of her 15 starts this season.Shore-ing up the hockey team
A right arm capable of whipping 90-mph fastballs past hitters. A scholarship to play baseball at Florida. Solid Major League Baseball prospects.
Coon Rapids junior Logan Shore had every reason to concentrate on pitching last winter. Instead, he joined the Cardinals' hockey team as a defenseman.
Moonlighting on the blue line did not hurt his performance on the mound. In nine appearances -- seven of them starts -- he gave up less than a run a game and finished with a 0.80 ERA. He never lost (6-0) and struck out 51 batters.Osseo wins marathon game
When it finally ended, after 19 innings played over two days, the Osseo baseball team celebrated its 6-5 regular-season victory against Coon Rapids as if the Orioles had won a state title.
But emotion builds in a game one inning shy of the state record for duration. Osseo scored three times to tie the score in the seventh inning. Nine additional scoreless innings later, darkness suspended the game.
Two days later, play resumed. The Orioles got the go-ahead run in the top of the 19th. Coon Rapids loaded the bases but the Orioles turned a game-ending double play.
David La Vaque • 612-673-7574