Tre Jones still felt the sting of 2016. Apple Valley was routed in the Class 4A semifinals and Jones, the Eagles' splendid point guard, took it personally.
"For the past year now, I felt like I'd let my team, my family, the whole school, the city of Apple Valley, down," Jones said. "I wanted to get revenge this year and we did that tonight."
With Jones playing spectacularly and his teammates making two of every three shots they took, Apple Valley got revenge with a 77-54 victory over Maple Grove.
The victory sets up a rematch of the 2015 Class 4A title game, when the Eagles defeated Champlin Park, also undefeated going into that game, 64-61.
Anticipation for Thursday's semifinal was high, with two of the metro's top point guards, Jones and Maple Grove's Brad Davison, squaring off. But while Jones put on a virtuoso performance, Davison, battling a sore knee, struggled. Davison, constantly harassed by Apple Valley (29-2), made just four of 17 shots from the field and had 13 points for the Crimson (28-3).
Meanwhile, Jones showed up everywhere and anywhere he was needed. He had a triple-double that looked effortless — 19 points, 13 rebounds, 10 assists — but it was his ability to affect play anywhere on the court that was perhaps most impressive.
In one stretch, he scored on a put-back, blocked a shot, took a charge and started two fast breaks that ended up with three-pointers.
"That's Tre," Apple Valley coach Zach Goring said. "That's the type of game we've gotten from him all year."
His teammates elevated their games, too. The Eagles shot 64.6 percent from the field. Guards Luke Martens, with 17 points, and Mohamed Kone, with 16, each missed just one shot.
"A complete team win," Goring said. "Now we get to be together for a couple more days."