Boys' State Basketball: Columbia Heights Upsets 6-Time Defending Champ DeLaSalle

March 22, 2018 02:55 PM

Columbia Heights did what no other Class AAA boys basketball team had done in the past six state tournaments with its 71-69 victory over DeLaSalle on Thursday, March 22 in the semifinals at Target Center. 

Senior forward Christian Kelly made two free throws with 6.1 seconds remaining in regulation to send the Hylanders (22-6) to the victory that dethroned the six-time defending Class AAA champion. 

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DeLaSalle (25-4) still had a chance at a last-second shot, but it had to travel the length of the 94-foot floor. The Islanders committed a turnover after the inbound on a steal by the Hylanders’ Quentin Hardrick, a senior guard with five seconds remaining.

Senior center Wendell Matthews led five teammates in double figures with 20 points and 11 rebounds. Hardrict and junior forward Jarvis Wright had 15 points each, while Kelly and senior guard Deundra Roberon had 11 and 10 points, respectively. 

The victory was the first for Columbia Heights in three games against DeLaSalle this season. DeLaSalle had defeated the Hylanders twice during the Tri-Metro Conference schedule. The victory also sends Columbia Heights to the Class AAA championship game for the first time since 2011 when it lost to Orono. 

The following season, DeLaSalle began a run at six consecutive Class AAA championships. The Islanders led twice in the final minutes in the intense, end-to-end battle, including 66-65 after a jumper by junior forward Jamison Battle with 2:18 left in regulation. But Hardrict answered with a baseline layup with 1:53 left. The Islanders pulled into a 69-all deadlock when junior guard Tyrell Terry made a three-pointer. 

Terry led the Islanders with 24 points and Battle added 15. Senior guard Gabe Kalscheur had 12 points.

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