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Cloquet to face Hermantown for section 7AAA boys basketball championship

Cloquet beat Proctor in its last regular season game. Here, Spencer Wehr throws to teammate Bryce Turnbull. Jana Peterson/

In a section that was wide-open all winter, perhaps it's only fitting that fourth-seeded Cloquet and No. 6 Hermantown will meet in next week's Section 7AAA boys basketball final thanks to semifinal wins Friday night at Duluth East High School.

The Lumberjacks, who dethroned defending champ Grand Rapids in Tuesday's quarterfinals, got the night started by falling into a big hole against top-seeded Princeton. They trailed 41-32 at halftime before exploding for 54 points over the final 18 minutes to defeat the Tigers 86-83.

Alex Leuzzo and Spencer Wehr scored 26 points apiece to lead Cloquet (17-11), with 21 of Leuzzo's coming after the break. The Lumberjacks avenged their 76-67 loss to Princeton on Dec. 15.

The Tigers (20-8) received 26 points from Adam Williams, who knocked down six 3-pointers.

Hermantown 61, North Branch 45

Connor Bich totaled 27 points, including 15 from beyond the arc, to power the Hawks, who upset No. 3 Duluth Denfeld in the quarterfinals.

Hermantown (13-15) was 8-15 before its current five-game winning streak.

Jonah Marcussen had 13 points for the Vikings (7-21), the seventh seed who surprised No. 2 Hibbing in the quarters.

The Hawks and Lumberjacks will meet at 7 p.m. March 15 back at East, with the winner advancing to the Class AAA state tournament.