The 6-foot-3 Carlson crammed in a thunderous jam — soaring over Floodwood’s 5-foot-7 Tanner Heggedahl — to win the boys’ dunk competition as a portion of the Polar League All-Star high school basketball series Monday night in Esko.
Although the 5-foot-11 righty connected often in the contest, her team — which also included the Cardinals’ Teana Hakamaki and Chelsea Swatek — couldn’t keep pace, as the Polar League Blue bested the White 65-59.
“The community has supported us all the way through,” added Bailey Gronner. “This has been the best year I’ve had in any single sport. This whole season has just been amazing.”
The Cardinals girls team may have fallen, but they set a program record in victories and returned the school of 76 students to state for the first time since 2004.
MINNEAPOLIS — Briona Edwards has 17 points and the Warriors have instilled their size advantage inside with 34 points in the paint, as Wheaton/Herman-Norcross has a 38-26 lead on Cromwell-Wright in a Class A state girls basketball quarterfinal this afternoon at Mariucci Arena in Minneapolis. The fifth-seeded Warriors (28-2), making their first tournament appearance as a cooperative program since Wheaton alone last qualified in 1987.
DULUTH—Entering this year with a pair of girls basketball varsity seasons under her belt, junior Ava Gonsorowski only knew what it was like to win a blue medal and go to the state tournament. But it was the way the Esko captain reacted and consoled her teammates following a heartbreaking 62-58 loss to Pequot Lakes last Saturday, March 12, in the Section 7AA final at Romano Gymnasium in Duluth that showed her true character.
MINNEAPOLIS—Suffering from strep throat prior to the state boys basketball tournament last week, Esko’s Jaxson Turner tiredly stood outside the Williams Arena locker rooms, his decorated prep career over, and didn’t make any excuses. “I wasn’t hitting anything,” said the senior in a hoarse voice following the team’s 52-40 defeat to Annandale in a Class AA state quarterfinal last Wednesday in Minneapolis.
The Pirates led several times in the second, but couldn’t capitalize. “I thought when we had the lead we were OK, but we got tired,” Verndale coach Art Schluttner said of his team, led by Jordyn Glenz and Shania Glenz’s 18 points each.
For the record, Antonutti’s top-seeded Eskomos (25-3), rated No. 9 in the final Class AA state polls, haven’t lost for 89 days, or 23 consecutive games dating back to Dec. 12. Yet, streaks aside, a tall task waits in either top-seeded International Falls or No. 2 Pequot Lakes Saturday. I-Falls has double-digit wins and reached last year’s final before bowing out to Esko, while Pequot Lakes gave the Eskomos a fit in a Feb. 13 contest that Esko won 55-50 with a late, furious comeback.
For a third time, the Wrens gave the Bulldogs everything they could handle, but Carlton held on to a 46-40 victory over their rivals in a Section 7A tilt last Wednesday at Proctor. Despite an abundance of green within the Proctor high school gymnasium, Carlton’s blue and Wrenshall’s orange colors decorated the bleachers, as plenty of faithful fans attended a game between neighbors that is never one to miss.