Boys' State Basketball: Minnehaha Academy Makes it Back-to-Back Class 2A Championships

March 24, 2018 04:05 PM

Minnehaha Academy was the Class AA team to beat during the 2017-18 season, and the Redhawks left little doubt of that. The Redhawks captured the Class AA championship for the second consecutive season following a 73-60 victory over No. 3 seed Caledonia on Saturday, March 24 at Target Center. 

Sophomore point guard Jalen Suggs scored 27 points and senior forward JaVonni Bickham poured in 17 to send the Redhawks (28-4) to their third Class AA championship since 2013. Minnehaha Academy, located in Minneapolis, is the first program to win consecutive Class AA crowns since Braham had a string of three championships in a row from 2004-06. It is Minnehaha Academy’s third Class AA championship since 2013. 

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Caledonia (28-5), which upset No. 2 Brooklyn Center in the semifinals, pulled within two points, 59-57, with 8:15 left in regulation, but Minnehaha Academy pulled away in the final six minutes in creating a double-digit lead. 
Minnehaha Academy opened a 10-point cushion, 69-59, with just under five minutes remaining in regulation on an alley-oop lay-in to JaVonni Bickham. He added a baseline drive moments later to push the Redhawks’ advantage to a dozen.

Senior guard Owen King paced Caledonia with 22 points and senior forward Marten Norem added 17. 

Minnehaha Academy used a 14-5 run in a five-minute span to help build a 43-31 lead after 18 minutes of play. Suggs sparked the Redhawks throughout the first half and finished with 18 points, four rebounds and three assists. Bickham had seven points in the first half. 

The Redhawks led by as many as 14 points in the first half when the score was tied three times and lead changed five times. King paced Caledonia with 15 points in the first half and Norem added 10. Both teams were sharp from the field, shooting 50 percent.

It was Minnehaha Academy’s second victory over Caledonia this season. Just over a month ago, Minnehaha Academy recorded a 79-75 victory in a nonconference game. 

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