And in their opening-round rout of Red Lake last Thursday, Cromwell-Wright tied a state tournament single-game record by making a baker's dozen worth of triples. Their 29 total long balls in this year's three state playoff games also equaled a state tournament best of any school all time. "We always have the green light," said freshman Taya Hakamaki, who sank the deep left-wing shot in front of her team's bench against Red Lake to give the Cardinals the most 3-pointers of any prep team ever.
Tyler Ojibway and his classmates have been playing basketball together since their first days of kindergarten in Carlton. Now a long 6-foot-2 standout, Ojibway leads the closely-knit pack of Bulldogs. The gifted right-hander even scored his 1,000th point earlier this winter in a game against McGregor.
MINNEAPOLIS — What a difference a day makes. Thursday night, Jeff Gronner watched his Cromwell-Wright girls basketball team shoot to a single-game state tournament record when his Cardinals canned 13 3-pointers in a state quarterfinal win over Red Lake. The next afternoon however, on St. Patrick’s Day nonetheless, Gronner’s girls caught no luck.
The fifth-seeded Eskomos, which fell to NLS 48-43 Wednesday at Mariucci Arena in Minneapolis, were behind again Thursday to the Panthers, but overcame a 23-21 halftime deficit and looked in control late when sophomore Macy Sunnarborg sank one of her two 3-pointers to extend their lead to 42-36 with 8:17 remaining.
MINNEAPOLIS — Home to the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers men’s hockey team, Mariucci Arena in Minneapolis can be an uneasy place to shoot a basketball. Cromwell-Wright demonstrated that a season ago, when their girls basketball program advanced to their first state tournament in 12 years by making 317 3-pointers on their way southbound. At Mariucci, however, they were 7-of-28 from beyond the arc — or just 25 percent.
NLS expanded their lead to 30-22 just over a minute into the second frame, but still, the Eskomos never went away.
“We have some tourney experience, streaky shooters and we play solid defense,” said Antonutti earlier this week. “I’ve always thought we could play with anyone. Hit some shots, play some defense, have some luck and we are in the mix. Our kids will be ready to play.”
"They've been what you'd ask seniors to be. They've showed leadership and dedication to this program and care about this school and all these guys," Harris said. "They're all remarkable young men. I couldn't ask for a better group of guys." Elsewhere in 7A, eighth-seeded South Ridge (7-18) closed their season with a 65-63 loss to Hill City in Culver Monday, despite a 53-point combined effort between Nick Carlson and Christian Houle.
CLOQUET—It was the last day of February on Tuesday, but Allie Wojtysiak and the Cloquet girls basketball team began March Madness a little early. Yes, this is the time of year on the hardwood where brackets become busted, emotions run wild and buzzer-beaters aren't uncommon. That was the scene Tuesday when Wojtysiak banked in a shot underneath the basket with 4 seconds remaining to lead the Lumberjacks to a 63-61 victory over Princeton in an incredible Section 7AAA quarterfinal in Cloquet.
Pine Journal sports writer Tyler Korby shares his thoughts on the local games to watch each week.