Minneapolis North's Khalid El-Amin celebrates after hitting a game-winning three-pointer to beat St. Thomas Academy in the 1996 state tournament semifinals. (Star Tribune file photo)
“What was the best high school event you ever witnessed?”
It’s a question deliberately open-ended and the responses were exactly as we had hoped: Some choices were obvious and expected, others less familiar.
The best part? There is no right or wrong choice. This was not intended as a definitive list. The beauty is in its subjectivity. This is about personal favorites. Every game listed resonated with someone for reasons specific to them: drama, context, rooting interest.
And all of them were a whole lotta fun.
Here are some of your responses, culled from our two-day-old Twitter request. They’ve been slightly edited for clarity, but largely appear as they were sent.
Nick Tuckner @tucksports
"The Night Hastings Never Slept"
September 21, 2012. McNamara Stadium (Todd Field).
Cretin Derham Hall 33
Brian J @mrcoachjenson
‘99 was quite a year for Hastings boys teams. How does this game compare to snapping CDH (& Mauer’s) 66-game win streak 11-10 or beating Blaine in the hockey tourney?
Nick Tuckner @tucksports
The football game was HERE [Hastings]. That was the difference. The atmosphere. The smoke from the Bierstube wafting in as the Purple watched the home crowd storm the field. It was chaos in the best way possible. What we all miss right now, balled in to a 2 hour game.
coach lombo @lombocrimson
Obscure game, but Wayzata beat Cretin In 2004 at [the University of] St. Thomas on a 4th and 10 deep post with two minutes left. It was the highest level of high school football I have ever seen on one field. It was unreal! #highestlevel
Ross Kigner @CoachKigner
These two games had unbelievable finishes: [Totino-Grace 13-8 over Mahtomedi in the 2007 Class 4A championship game] and Maple Grove stuns St. Michael-Albertville 29-27 in the 2017 Class 6A quarterfinals [with] three TDs in a minute to win it:
Dan Schmidt @danschmidt672 2017 Maple Grove - STMA Playoff Football game.
Chuck Harris @charris815
The best I ever remember was at Minnetonka High School and Wayzata’s comeback on a hook and ladder play for a touchdown by Aaron Roth and the going for 2 and the win [15-14 in 2010] off a time out. Wayzata goes on to win State Championship
Rich Williamson @Dadof22s
Owatonna vs St Thomas Academy prep bowl 2018 [Won by Owatonna, 14-3]
con and rod @conandrod1
Yep it sure was!! Awesome outcome!! Owatonna Huskies Rocked!!
Nate Wahl, scout, Prep Redzone / Prep Girls Hoops / Prep Hockey Minnesota
St. Clair-Mankato Loyola vs United South Central last season. Thursday night game in late September, an absolute monsoon of rain hit the little town of St. Clair right before kickoff. Seeing the field from the press box was a pipe dream but I didn’t bring the right coat to bear the rain. Zach Niebuhr (MN All Star) of USC ran the ball 35 times in this mud fest for over 150 yards. Final score was 12-0. Best game I got to cover all year.
[Minneapolis] North vs St. Thomas Academy in [the State Tournament semifinals in] ‘96. Khalid El-Amin with 53 [actually, 41] and the buzzer beater.
Tom Hoen @thoen88
No question....sitting press row when Khalid El-amin drained a 3 at the buzzer to beat st thomas.
Andrew Derksen @CoachDerksen12
Blake Hoffarber in 2005? [The famous Butt Shot in the Class 4A championship game]
Steve Senger @hawkbison22
2013-2014 Section 8 AAAA boys basketball final. Buffalo defeats St Cloud Tech [83-75] to go to State in a 5 OT thriller
Jerry Fury @fury_paguy
Ellsworth down 18 with 4:13 to play against two time defending state champion RTR in the Section 3A final. Ellsworth came back to win in OT. Some @Schilling_Cody guy played for Ellsworth.
Todd Davis @GopherTodd
Apple Valley Over Duluth East. 1996 State Quarterfinals. Seriously? Is there any other choice?
Dave Wright @DaveWri32329115
Columbia Heights-Cloquet Section 2 boys 1983 hockey final at the Coliseum. CH goalie Reggie Miracle kept his team in the game. CH won in 2 overtimes.
Jason Kuboushek @JKuboushek
March 2018 Girls Section 2-4A final between Prior Lake and Minnetonka. Prior Lake came back from 23 points down to win in the final seconds.
Kip Kovar @Kovar_HJsports
Sleepy Eye GBB vs. Cedar Mountain in 2016 Sub-Section championship game. 50-47 SE wins in overtime. What a game.
tim elliott @timelliott00
2017 Anoka vs Woodbury in state semifinals. 1-0 13 innings