Minneapolis North boys' basketball coach Larry Mc-Kenzie said he realizes the time has come for his Polars to move up in classification. He prefers to take more than just one step, though.
"My request and preference is to go up to Class 3A," McKenzie said Thursday after his defending state champions routed Red Lake 93-46 in the Class 1A quarterfinals at Williams Arena.
"That's the best fit for us,'' said McKenzie, who won four consecutive Class 3A championships coaching at Minneapolis Henry. The Polars have trounced their postseason competition heading into the state tournament, defeating five teams by an average of nearly 70 points per game.
A Minnesota State High School League contingent on Friday will review advisory board recommendations for section placement for the 2017-18 and 2018-19 school years. The league reclassifies teams every two years.
Minneapolis North is expected to move up at least one class in boys' basketball because of increased enrollment. It is the largest Class 1A school in the state tournament field with an enrollment of 199. Breckenridge is the smallest school in the Class 2A field with 222.
North, threatened with closure several years ago when enrollment fell below 100 students, has six state titles in 20 state tournament appearances.
Shot made him famous
The love for Champlin Park senior Sam DuBois and his amazing winning three-pointer Wednesday continued into Thursday as the national media picked up the video.
The shot was the pick for No. 1 in ESPN's "SportsCenter" top 10 plays of the night on Wednesday. USA Today called DuBois' shot "the best clutch shot of the year" in Thursday's edition. When DuBois was introduced before Thursday's semifinal against Wayzata, his name drew some of the loudest cheers from the Champlin Park faithful.
Better passers won
Willie Braziel says his Columbia Heights team shares the ball as well as any he has coached. But DeLaSalle defeated the Hylanders at their own game in the semifinals, dishing 13 assists to just three from Columbia Heights.
"It's kind of our game, too," Islanders junior guard Gabe Kalscheur said. "We like to give the extra pass."
Goanar Mar traded a good shot in the second half for a pass to Kalscheur at the three-point arc. Kalscheur hit the shot to restore a 12-point lead and drew a foul.
"That's the basketball gods talking," DeLaSalle coach Dave Thorson said.
A different view
The last time Springfield played in the state tournament in 2011, Kale Meendering was the student manager. The Tigers won the Class 1A championship, but Meendering was too young to sit with the team. He sat in the stands with fans.
On Thursday, Meendering was his team's leading scorer with 22 points in the victory over Nevis in the state quarterfinals.
"I said to him [after the game], 'Well, now you get to go on the floor,' " Springfield coach Lance Larson said.
Jim Paulsen, David La Vaque, Ron Haggstrom and Mike Hendrickson combined for this report.