Comebacks like this just don’t happen: Maple Grove rallied with three touchdowns in the final 59 seconds to stun St. Michael-Albertville 29-27 in the Class 6A football quarterfinals. In the final minute The Crimson converted two onside kicks, got a catch-and-run TD by Joe Raymon, and scored the game-winner on a 1-yard run by Evan Hull. “This game will be remembered in Maple Grove for a long time,” Crimson coach Matt Lombardi said after the game.
Epic top-shelf finish
The Skippers, behind first-year head coach Sean Goldsworthy, won the Class 2A state championship for the first state title in program history. But it was the Section 2 final that defined Minnetonka. Trailing Holy Family by a goal with time running out, Teddy Lagerback’s shot crossed the goal line with 3.2 seconds left, sending the game to overtime. The Skippers won it in the second extra session when Josh Luedtke went top-shelf at the 11:33 mark, sending the Skippers to the state tournament for the first time since 2010.
With 11 regular season losses, Delano wasn’t seeded heading into the Class 3A boys’ basketball state tournament. But it was finally healthy, which mattered most. Behind the scoring magic of guard Calvin Wishart, the Tigers defeated Mankato East, Austin and Columbia Heights to become just the second team in history to win a state title with double-digit losses.
Hawks break through
Before March, not only had the Cooper girls’ basketball program never won a state title, it had never even reached the state tourney. Both streaks ended when former St. Paul Central and Gophers star Kiara Buford coached the Hawks to the Class 3A championship. Cooper used a high-pressure defense and an abundance of team speed to defeat Northfield 49-37 in the finals.
Edina earned plenty of publicity winning 19 consecutive girls’ tennis titles. So did Apple Valley for winning 12 wrestling titles in a row. Both streaks have since ended, so which program has the current longest streak of consecutive state championships? That would be the Wayzata synchronized swimming team, which won its 12th title in a row in late May.
Five more worth noting
• Minnehaha Academy boys’ basketball won the Class 2A championship despite playing all season without a home gymnasium.
• Eden Prairie football added to its legacy with its 11th state championship, defeating Minnetonka in the Class 6A final.
• Minneapolis Washburn’s Emily Covert became the first female athlete from the Minneapolis City Conference to win a cross-country state championship when she won the Class 2A race in November.
• With easily the state’s most talented lineup top-to-bottom, Edina won its second consecutive Class 2A girls’ hockey championship.
• Orono boys’ hockey, another team with a new head coach in Will Scholz, won the Class 1A championship, making the Lake Minnetonka area the epicenter for boys’ hockey.