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Martin Luther King, Jr. Classic showcases the best of northeastern Minnesota basketball

For the fourth consecutive year, BREAKDOWN SPORTS brings together some of northeast Minnesota’s top high school basketball teams for the annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Classic. The one-day showcase at the University of Minnesota-Duluth’s Romano Gymnasium on Monday, Jan. 16, features seven games between top teams from northeastern Minnesota going head-to-head, as well as a few interlopers from other parts of the state.

This year’s lineup is highlighted by five top-20 boys teams and three top-12 girls teams in their respective classes, including the following:  Annandale (No. 3 in AA), Esko (No. 8 in AA), Nevis (No. 11 in A), Mountain Iron-Buhl (No. 17 in A), and Perham (No. 19 in AA) on the boys side, and Mountain Iron-Buhl (No. 1 in A), Annandale (No. 10 in AA), and Esko (No. 11 in AA) on the girls slate.

The full day of hoops starts with unbeaten Mountain Iron-Buhl and the veteran trio of Mya Buffetta, Mary Burke, and Chelsea Mason taking on high-scoring Halley Busse and G-F-W at 10 a.m. and concludes with a boys tilt between Grand Rapids and Duluth East, a battle of big men Brock Schrom and Cody Carlson at 7:30 p.m.

All in all, the entire field of seven games features numerous college prospects and great northeastern Minnesota high school programs.

The schedule for Monday’s competition follows. All games are played at the University of Minnesota-Duluth’s Romano Gymnasium

Time — Away vs. Home

10 a.m. — G-F-W vs. Mt. Iron-Buhl (girls)

11:30 a.m. — Nevis vs. Mt. Iron-Buhl (boys)

1:15 p.m. — Annandale vs. Esko (girls)

2:45 p.m. — Annandale vs. Esko (boys)

4:15 p.m. — St. Cloud Apollo vs. Perham (boys)

6 p.m. — Fridley vs. Hermantown (boys)

7:30 p.m. — Grand Rapids vs. Duluth East (boys)