Bob and Shanna Gerads grabbed each other for a long hug as the final seconds ticked off the clock in the Class 2A boys basketball state championship game Saturday afternoon.
Their embrace was a snapshot of parents experiencing a joyful moment, but probably also an outpouring of relief, too. They had just survived a double dose of March Madness stress.
"A great day," Bob said, beaming in the lobby of Target Center a half hour later.
Their son Tysen led Albany High to its first state title with a 72-65 win over Minnehaha Academy.
One week earlier, their daughter Kylan lost in the Class 2A state championship to Providence Academy as an all-state junior at Albany.
The postseason run to championship games by both Albany teams provided their community a two-fer in thrills. It also created logistical challenges for the Gerads family.
Starting with sections, the parents watched their children compete in 13 win-or-else games in 21 days. That was 11 elimination games, plus two state championship matchups — six for Kylan, seven for Tysen.
"Do we sleep?" Shanna said, laughing. "I don't know."
The girls and boys basketball postseasons overlap, which forced the Gerads to divide and conquer. Albany's girls played in the state quarterfinals and semifinals on the same days as the boys had section games.
The Gerads parents have become proficient in handling overlapping schedules. Both teams played on the same day numerous times this season.
"People always ask, 'How do you decide?' " Bob said. "I always say we flip a coin, and she decides."
Shanna attended her daughter's state quarterfinal game at Williams Arena, with Bob at their son's section game at St. John's University. They switched places two days later.
The beauty of technology allowed the parents to watch one child in person while also streaming the other game on their phone.
"I try to be involved in the moment of the kid I'm watching," Shanna said. "But Tysen looked and goes, 'We're not going to lose Mom. I promise.'"
The kids had their minds on each other, too. Tysen checked his phone right after his games for updates on his sister's games.
Kylan asked her dad to give her a thumbs up from the stands if her brother won in the section finals. As she warmed up for the semifinals at Williams Arena, she looked up and her dad gave her the thumbs up signal.
The siblings are 10 months and 16 days apart. Tysen and Kylan lift weights together several times a week. They shoot in the driveway together. Until Saturday, Kylan had something missing from her brother's athletic resume: A state title.
Kylan was a freshman contributor on Albany's 2021 state championship team.
"We talk about that quite a bit whenever we're shooting in the driveway or playing a game of one-on-one," Tysen said. "She told me that it was the best feeling in the world when she won as a freshman."
Kylan desperately wanted her brother to experience that feeling in his senior season. Their mom played in the state tournament at Albany in 1997 and was an assistant coach for the Huskies when they won the girls state championship in 2008.
"We're a basketball family," Shanna said.
Now they have another championship to add to their collection. Tysen, who has committed to play for MSU-Moorhead, finished with 19 points and eight rebounds in the championship after scoring 31 in the semifinals. He was named to the all-tournament team — just like his sister a week earlier.
In a quiet moment outside the locker room, Tysen called the month of March "crazy but a good crazy" for his family.
"It was a really fun time in our house," he said. "Obviously we're scrambling around all the time, but it's fun."
Albany fans greeted players in the Target Center lobby after the game. Kylan was all smiles. Her big brother knows that feeling now too.
"It is so awesome," she said. "I'm so happy for him. He played awesome."