Albany tops Minnehaha Academy for first state basketball title
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For the second consecutive weekend, an Albany High School basketball team and its fans spent extended time in the Twin Cities playing in the Minnesota State High School League’s basketball state tournaments.
“Win or lose, it is a great place to be on the final weekend of the season,” Albany Activities Director Scott Buntje said with a smile on Saturday, March 25.
A week after the Albany girls basketball team finished runner-up in the Class AA field, the boys basketball team sent fans back home on Interstate 94 with smiles galore.
The No. 2-seeded Huskies finished the season on a 29-game winning streak, a spree capped by a 72-65 over No. 5 Minnehaha Academy in the Class AA championship game at Target Center. Senior guard Tysen Gerads led four teammates in double figures with 19 points and eight rebounds to help power the Huskies (32-1) to their first boys basketball championship in five state tournament trips. Senior center Ethan Borgerding had 16 points and 11 rebounds as the Huskies kept the Redhawks (23-9) at bay by hitting free throws down the stretch.
Albany’s only loss of the season was a 76-68 setback to Holy Family Catholic on Dec. 29. Holy Family Catholic was the top seed in the Class AA field, but was upended in overtime by Minnehaha Academy in Friday’s semifinals.
Earlier in the second half, Albany used a 20-4 run to build a 10-point advantage. Junior Jerome Williams, crafty playmaking guard, completed an impressive crossover baseline drive with about two minutes remaining to pull the Redhawks to within 64-59. Senior post Rollins Aligbe, a 6-foot-9 post, had 20 points and seven rebounds. Williams and junior forward Mateo Cortes Weiss both had 16 points each.