Duluth East, minus 7-footer, is eliminated
MINNEAPOLIS — Duluth East came into Wednesday’s Class AAAA boys basketball state tournament quarterfinal against Osseo at a fever pitch due to the suspension of center Akolda Manyang.
The Greyhounds sprinted to a double-digit lead in the first half only to be unable to sustain that momentum in the second half. The fourth-seeded Orioles won 62-51 to set up a semifinal matchup tonight against Hopkins, the three-time defending AAAA state champions. Hopkins needed overtime to get past Woodbury 82-75.
East players and coaches came out wearing warm-up T-shirts with Manyang’s name and No. 32 on it. The 7-footer, who averages 17.6 points, 12.7 rebounds and 5.7 blocks per game, was suspended for last week’s Section 7AAAA playoffs for a Minnesota State High School League rules violation, but he appealed the decision at a Monday hearing.
The players never learned the outcome of that appeal before they stepped on the Target Center floor against fourth-ranked Osseo (28-2). They used that emotion as a positive, sprinting to 11-point leads on four occasions at 21-10, 23-12, 25-14 and 27-16.
But Osseo scored the final seven points to cut the deficit to 27-23 and continued its spurt in the second half, scoring 14 of the first 17 points and taking the lead on a 3-pointer by D.J. Hebert with 14:42 to play. Hebert finished with a game-high 18 points and, without Manyang patrolling the lane, Osseo found gaps inside for easy baskets.
East (20-9) never crept within six points down the stretch, ending its 15-game win streak.
• No. 3 seed Eastview lost 75-68 in overtime to unseeded Eden Prairie. Junior guard Grant Schaeffer of E.P. hit three clutch three-pointers late in the second half to force overtime. Schaeffer then opened the scoring in the overtime period. He finished with a game-high 41 points; his season average was just 10 points per game.
Top seed Minneapolis Washburn emerged from a back-and-forth game with a 52-49 victory over Rocori of Cold Spring.
The game was also the last for Rocori’s legendary coach Bob Brink. He is retiring after coaching the Spartans for 51 years.
• Senior guard Austin Pohlen pumped in 33 points, grabbed nine rebounds, and added five assists as Grand Rapids moved on to the semifinals with a 62-49 win over Mankato East
Braham shocked St. Croix Lutheran by rallying from a four-point deficit with under 30 seconds remaining to win 81-78. Senior guard Tyler Vaughan, who racked up game highs with 34 points, 12 rebounds, and seven assists, hit a key three-point basket with 23 seconds remaining to narrow the Crusader lead to one point. Braham’s junior forward Shaun Hollenkamp stole the in-bounds pass and scored on a layup to give Braham a one-point lead with 18 seconds to go in the game.