Three towns were unable to beat one last weekend in Minnesota state tournament girls basketball play.
The Minneota Vikings won their 56th game in their last 57 attempts on Friday by beating Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa 48-45 in the championship game of Class A. In other girls basketball finals, Chaska defeated Rosemount 45-43 in AAAA, Becker downed Marshall 70-58 in AAA, and Albany outplayed Providence Academy 57-43.
Minneota, which defeated Southwest Minnesota Christian for the Section 3A title, has now sandwiched the 2021 state crown with the championship it won in 2019. Last year the Vikings had advanced to the state semifinals before the coronavirus pandemic canceled the rest of the tournament.
The Vikings led Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa by 16 points at one point in Friday’s championship showdown, but BBE rallied to within a point with 15 seconds to go in the game. Abby Hennen hit two free throws with 2.8 seconds remaining to clinch the triumph.
She and teammate Abby Rost each had 12 points for the Section 3A champs.
Big South Conference powerhouse Marshall entered its AAA championship game against Becker without a loss in 2021. But Becker connected on seven 3-point shots en route to the victory.
Julia Bengtson scored 20 points to lead the winners.
Marshall’s game plan was to exploit the paint, and the Tigers did outscore Becker 44-30 inside. But Becker’s defense got stronger as the game wore on, driving the Tigers farther and farther away from the inside.
In state boys basketball action, Wayzata won its first state title since 1959 Saturday with a 75-61 win over Cretin-Derham Hall in Class AAAA. In AAA, Minnehaha Academy downed Alexandria 80-29. Waseca beat Caledonia 51-49 for the AA crown, and Hayfield edged Hancock 61-60 in Class A.
Chet Holmgren, the nation’s top boys basketball recruit, scored 18 points with 13 rebounds and seven assists to lead Minnehaha Academy. Ryan Dufault scored 23 points to lead Waseca to its title.