1. Agony at Target Center: For 35 minutes and 59 seconds, Chaska had shocked the boys’ basketball world, playing a dead-even game with undefeated and consensus No. 1 Champlin Park in the Class 4A basketball state tournament quarterfinals. But that one final second was enough to let Champlin Park guard Sam Dubois track down a loose ball and launch a game-winning three-pointer at the horn, giving Champlin Park a 53-50 win. And the Hawks? “These guys played their hearts out,” Chaska coach Dana Kallman said. “They didn’t deserve to end their season that way.”
2. Waconia runs the table: Before last June, only eight teams in state history had gone through a baseball season undefeated. Waconia became the ninth, completing a magical 26-victory run to the Class 3A state championship with a 6-1 victory over Hibbing in the state championship game. The Wildcats needed a dramatic, bottom of the seventh (and final) inning rally to defeat Marshall in the semifinals. “This is crazy, unbelievable,” Waconia coach Mark Grundhofer said in the aftermath of the final. “Nobody goes undefeated.”
3. Wayzata parties like it’s 1959: The Trojans, with a group of talented gym rats playing an old-school, team-first, passing-and-cutting style of basketball, qualified for the boys’ basketball tournament, ending a 58-year drought for the program. “It was always something we wanted to change,” guard Ryan Lindberg said. The Trojans defeated Lakeville North in the quarterfinals but lost to Champlin Park in the semifinals.
4. St. Michael-Albertville hits the big time: The St. Michael-Albertville football team moved up to Class 6A, joining the state’s largest schools by enrollment. The Knights had been a 5A power, but expectations were that they would suffer growing pains playing with the big boys. Instead they won their first four games against some sturdy 6A competition by an average of nearly 20 points. “We’re not coming out to rebuild or anything,” senior Mitch Kartes said. “We’re coming out to make a statement.”
5. Edina girls’ hockey outshines boys: The Edina girls’ hockey team got a chance to step out of the rather large shadow of the boys’ team by winning its first state championship, defeating Blaine 4-0 in the Class 2A final. The Hornets did it with stifling defense, allowing just one goal in five postseason games. The girls had played in two previous state championship games but had lost in both.