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Basketball border battle set for Duluth on Tuesday

The sixth annual border battle is Tuesday, March 25, at Romano Gymnasium on the Minnesota Duluth campus.

Hosted by the Duluth Amateur Youth Basketball Association, the high school all-star series is ripe with some of this region's best players. That includes Grand Rapids'Alex Illikainen, one of the most highly sought-after Division I recruits in the nation. Illikainen will be joined on the Minnesota boys team by Lakeview Christian Academy'sBjorn Broman, another high-scoring Division I recruit, and Cloquet's Adam Laine.

Other notable players: Hailey Kontny and Carter Anderson (both of Superior),Hannah Johnson (Duluth East), Northeastern Minnesota's all-time leading girls scorer, Darby Youngstrom (North Woods), and Kory Deadrick (Esko). 

That's a lot of talent under one roof.

The Border Battle starts with the girls game at 6 p.m., and will be followed by the boys game at about 7:40. Tickets are $6 for students and senior citizens, $8 for adults. They are available at the door.

Also of considerable interest is Bob McDonald making likely his final coaching appearance in the Northland. The venerable Chisholm icon will help his youngest son,Joel McDonald, coach the Minnesota boys team. Bob McDonald recently retired after 59 seasons, 1,012 victories and three state titles. There will be a brief presentation, led by Tom Hansen, during halftime of the boys game to recognize McDonald's remarkable accomplishments.

The night also will include the selection of the Mike Gerber MVPs — one each for the girls game and boys game. Both MVPs will receive an engraved bronze basketball, and DAYBA will make a $250 donation to the scholarship fund of their respective schools. The award's namesake, Mike Gerber, was a longtime leader of DAYBA who passed away in November after a lengthy battle with cancer.

The following link will bring you to more Border Battle information, including complete rosters and a history of the event: