Cooper High School boys' basketball coach Steve Burton is convinced Cooper still is the best place for Rashad Vaughn, the star shooting guard who has announced that he plans to attend an out-of-state prep school and won't return to for his senior season.

Burton had heard rumblings earlier that Vaughn might leave, then saw reports on Twitter on Monday and later spoke with the Vaughn family.

Burton said Tuesday that he is understanding of the family's decision and will support it. He still would like an opportunity to speak with Vaughn about the move and wish him well.

"I still think Cooper would be the best place for him, and I'm not going to waver from that," Burton said. "It's bigger than just basketball. It's about relationships and the students, and that's going to be a loss."

Vaughn, who is the No. 11-rated player in the country by ESPN, is considering Huntington Prep (W.Va.), Findlay Prep (Las Vegas), La Lumiere (Indiana) and Prime Prep (Texas), according to his mentor, Pete Kaffey.

Burton started protecting Vaughn since the rising star began attracting attention from outsiders interested in his talent. He limited the contact others had with Vaughn during the high school season.

During the offseason, though, Vaughn was more accessible to other basketball influences and a year ago the idea of transferring to prep school was brought up. Burton was able to keep Vaughn around for his junior season. But the lure of improving against better competition and a national-high school schedule eventually pulled him away.



Tom Ryan of Hazeltine National and Steve Whittaker of Pebble Creek will meet Thursday for the MGA Senior Players' Championship after winning semifinal matches on Wednesday at Island View Golf Club in Waconia. Ryan advanced with a 2-and-1 victory over Leif Carlson of Valleywood, while Whittaker avenged his loss in the 2012 final with a 4-and-3 victory over David Kokesh of Bent Creek.

Jesse Bull of Golden Valley and Troy Johnson of Rush Creek advanced to Thursday's final of the MGA Mid-Players Championship at Island View. Bull beat Valleywood's Sammy Schmitz 3 and 1. Johnson topped Scott Thomas of Bracketts Crossing 2 up.

Dan Kaczrowski singled home Brandon Tripp in the bottom of the ninth, giving the St. Paul Saints a 4-3 victory over the Winnipeg Goldeyes at Midway Stadium.