If the Gophers are going to land high school hoops standout Alex Illikainen of Grand Rapids, it appears they will need to put on more miles to do so.
Illikainen informed his high school teammates last week that he would play his senior year at Brewster Academy in Wolfeboro, N.H..
“It’s a tremendous loss for us. He’s been the face of our program for the past three, four years,” Elhard told the Grand Rapids Herald Review in this report. “Obviously, he’s been a national talent and was on pace to be one of the top five scorers in the state and leading rebounded in state history. I knew he was weighing the pros and cons. We wish him well and hope he keeps improving and takes his skills to the level he hopes to attain.”
Illikainen, a 6-9 power forward, is ranked 84th nationally in the 2015 class, according to rivals.com.
As of last month, schools that have offered him a scholarship include Minnesota, California, Creighton, Indiana, Iowa State, Nebraska, Oregon and Providence.
Saints sweep at home
After three consecutive rainouts, the Saints played a doubleheader Tuesday. They beat the Lincoln Saltdogs 5-0 in the first game at Midway Stadium on Anthony Claggett’s four-hitter and 5-4 in eight innings in the second on Sam Maus’ single. It was his first career shutout; only one Saltdog reached second base.
The Saints took a 2-0 lead in the first inning on Devin Thaut’s double and RBI singles by Evan Bigley and Willie Cabrera. They scored three more runs in the fifth on Bigley’s one-run double and Angelo Songco’s two-run double.
• Jerry Rose won 1 up over Richard Blooston and Jon Empanger edged Steve Conway on the 19th hole in the Round of 16 in the 15th annual MGA Senior Players’ Championship at Brackett’s Crossing Country Club in Lakeville. Other winners were Steve Whittaker, the defending champion; Patrick Vincelli, David Steingart, Jim Lehman, James Price and Leif Carlson.
• Troy Johnson and Jesse Bull, who finished 1-2 respectively, in the MGA Mid-Players Championship a year ago, both advanced to the quarterfinals at Brackett’s Crossing with 3 and 2 wins on Tuesday.
• Jim Scanlan, a former two-time All-America goalie at Bemidji State, was named the head coach of the Beavers women’s hockey program. He has been the East Grand Forks girls’ hockey coach the past six seasons; the Green Wave were the Class 1A state runners-up this year.
• Jordan MacIntosh of the Minnesota Swarm is one of three finalists for the National Lacrosse League’s Transition Player of the Year award. He won it in 2013 and this season led all NLL transition players in points with 61 and goals with 23.