It's been something Tommy Jensen has done often in the past, so why not in a state tournament game? The Lakeville North senior guard showed off his long-range marksmanship, making five three-pointers, to spark the Panthers to a 73-48 victory over Eden Prairie.
Jensen, who set the school record for three-pointers in a season with 87, started the game Wednesday at Target Center by making his first attempt, helping Lakeville North get off to an 8-0 lead. Jensen hit two more before halftime, and finished with a game-high 23 points.
"This year, being my second time around, I really stressed in warmups getting my vision right," Jensen said. "That was the biggest thing."
"He's done that all year long," Lakeville North coach John Oxton. "He's definitely got some confidence."
It dovetails with what Oxton thinks is the best thing about his players. They may not always be pretty, but when the Panthers (26-4) play with assurance, they're tough to beat.
"We're physical, we have good athletes and we have tough kids," Oxton said. "We play with energy and we play with swag. There's going to be times when maybe it doesn't look great, but that's what we do and we're going to keep doing it."
While fourth-seeded Eden Prairie (20-10) never led, the Eagles kept it close much of the game. They cut the deficit to 43-39 after trailing by 12 in the second half but then went cold.
Eagles coach David Flom pointed to his team's second-half shooting percentage, 18.8, and sighed: "We have not had anything close to that in the second half."