Russell-Tyler-Ruthton captures Class 1A state championship
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Russell-Tyler-Ruthton, a merger of school districts that took place in 1987-88, turned back its final challenge of the 2023 Boys Basketball season, and in the process, captured the fourth state championship in program history.
The top-seeded Knights completed its season of dominance with a 59-49 victory over No. 2 New Life Academy in the Class A championship game on Saturday, March 25 at Target Center in downtown Minneapolis. Senior guard Aidan Wichmann scored 18 points, had seven rebounds and dished out six assists in leading the Knights to their first Class A crown since 2018 and fourth to go with titles earned in 2004 and 2005, respectively. Early in the district’s roots, the Knights were the consecutive Class A runner-ups in 1988 and 1989.
In adding to the program’s history of success, Russell-Tyler-Ruthton (31-1) had to fend off a second challenge from a state tournament opponent. In the semifinals, the Knights had to turn back Cherry for the state tournament berth. And then with a state championship trophy and blue-ribboned gold medals waiting offstage for the winner, the Knights had to survive a significant challenge by New Life Academy, who had battled back from a 16-point halftime deficit.
But in crunch time, it was the Knights that delivered with a 7-0 run in the final three minutes that paved the way to a victory celebration.
Junior post Drew Werkman had 15 points and three assists for the Knights.
It was the first championship game appearance for New Life Academy (26-6) in four state tournament trips.
Senior guard Maxwell Briggs scored 17 points and had four assists while senior forward Colton Hendricks had 11 points.