EGF, Park Christian face top seeds in opening round of boys basketball playoffs
East Grand Forks (20-9) vs. No. 2 Seed Esko (26-3):
East Grand Forks looks to continue a successful winter season and add to the Green Wave trophy case. EGF already holds a state championship in boys hockey after routing Hermantown 7-3 last Saturday in St. Paul.
The boys basketball team defeated Barnesville in the section final to dethrone the south subsection in 8AA boys basketball.
Perham had owned the 8AA state berth for three seasons. Crosby-Ironton was the last team to qualify, doing so in 2010 and losing to New London-Spicer in the finals 62-52.
East Grand Forks returns to tournament action for the first time since 1971. It is the fourth appearance for the Green Wave, who finished the season unranked in the final MBN poll. East Grand Forks sinks 55 percent of its field goals, led by seniors Jim Warmack and Ty Misialek, who average 19.2 and 15.6 points per game, respectively. Warmack also contributes 9.5 rebounds per game while Misialek dishes 5.7 assists per game.
In its second consecutive and fourth overall appearance, No. 1-ranked Esko is out to improve on last year’s fourth-place finish. The Eskomos outscored opponents by 33.6 points per game on average. Senior Kory Deadrick, the school’s all-time leading scorer and rebounder, averages 25.9 points and 9.3 rebounds per game.
Esko was blown out by Litchfield 72-47 in the semifinals last season and lost the third place game to Annandale 59-58.
Perham fans will recall Litchfield knocked Perham out of the 2012 semifinals 33-31 before losing to Plainview-Elgin-Millville 55-39 in the finals.
The Green Wave girls basketball team remains alive and faces Pequot Lakes in the north 8AA subsection final Tuesday in Bagley.
Wednesday Quarterfinals at Target Center, Minneapolis:
1) No. 1 Annandale vs. New London-Spicer, 6 p.m.
2) No. 4 Caledonia vs. No. 5 St. Paul Academy and Summit School, 8 p.m.
At Williams Arena, Minneapolis
3) No. 2 Esko vs. East Grand Forks, 6 p.m.
4) No. 3 Fairmont vs. St. Peter, 8 p.m.
Park Christian (22-9) vs. No. 1 Seed Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa (28-1).
The Park Christian Falcons are making their first tournament appearance after knocking out undefeated Battle Lake. The Battlers were the 6A representative at state last season and were one-and-done after a 71-60 loss to Upsala.
Falcons’ senior Matt Moberg, who will run track at North Dakota State University next year, leads the Falcons with 16.9 points per game. Senior Hunter Nickel grabs 8.4 rebounds per game and also averages 7.3 blocks per game. Park Christian closed the season unranked in the final Minnesota Basketball News (MBN) poll.
Top-ranked Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa returns after a one-year hiatus to make its third tournament appearance. Senior Brian Goodwin averages 23.6 points per game for the Jaguars and senior James Kuefler averages 7.2 rebounds per game. Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa has won 71 home games in a row and is looking for its second championship. The Jaguars won their first in 2012.
Thursday Quarterfinals at Williams Arena, Minneapolis:
1) No. 1 Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa vs. Moorhead Park Christian, 11 a.m.
2) No. 4 Canby vs. No. 5 Fond du Lac Ojibwe, 1 p.m.
3) No. 2 Maranatha Christian Academy vs. Red Lake, 3 p.m.
4) No. 3 Rushford-Peterson vs. Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City, 5 p.m.
For a full preview of the boys state basketball tournament visit MSHSL.