A spate of losses in the boys’ basketball section playoffs last week demonstrated the dangers of playing — and defeating — a section rival during the regular season.
Maple Grove, the No. 2 seed in Class 4A, Section 5, lost to Wayzata in the section semifinals. Minneapolis North, the top-seed in Class 1A, Section 4, fell in overtime to Maranatha in the section championship game. And Breck, seeded No. 1 in the south subsection of Class 2A, Section 5, lost to Annandale in the section finals.
In all three cases, the losing team had defeated the winner handily during the regular season: Maple Grove defeated Wayzata 67-59 on Jan. 24, Breck won at Annandale 73-55 and North defeated Maranatha 80-51 on Jan. 17.
Those results didn’t surprise North coach Larry McKenzie.
“They’re still kids and sometimes, even when you prepare them, it’s hard to get them to realize how they have to play when they’ve already beaten a team,” McKenzie said. “And for us, we’re still very young. We’re still figuring out how we have to play.”
While both Maranatha and Annandale advanced to the boys’ basketball state tournament with the victories, Wayzata’s magic ran out in the section finals.
The Trojans missed their first 14 shots from the floor and could not dig themselves out of that hole, falling to Class 4A’s top-ranked Champlin Park 76-63.
Success in state snowboard
The high school snowboarding and freeski state meet was held last week at Buck Hill and Hyland Ski areas.
Edina won the snowboard halfpipe and boardercross competitions. Minneapolis Southwest won the snowboard slopestyle title. Lakeville North won three freeski team titles: halfpipe, rail jam and slopestyle. Eagan took first place in skiercross, and Lakeville South won the snowboard rail jam.
Edina eighth-grader Jacob McCarthy won the individual championship on the snowboard halfpipe, and Southwest’s Lucas Caye won the boys’ snowboard slopestyle championship.
• Former Benilde-St. Margaret’s basketball star Grace Coughlin announced that she is transferring from the University of Minnesota to North Dakota.
• Tom Weko resigned his position as boys’ basketball coach at Minneapolis Southwest.