March 16, 2019 08:35 PM
DeLaSalle played the part of a top seed by returning to the winners circle for the fourth time in the past nine years with a 56-40 victory over No. 3 Becker in the Class AAA championship game on Saturday.
The victory marked the first crown for the Islanders (24-5) since winning the final title of three in a row in 2013. DeLaSalle, a Minneapolis-based private school, was the Class AAA runner-up in 2007 and 2008. That championship game loss in 2007 came to Becker when the Bulldogs won their only state title.
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This championship edition was fueled by a balanced attack that in the final victory of the season produced four scorers in double figures. Sophomore center Nora Francois led the way with 14 points, two assists, a block and three steals. Freshman Kiani Lockett had 12 points, four assists and four steals while junior forward Nurjei Weems had 11 points, five assists, four blocks and three steals. Senior center Mary Claire Francois capped her prep career with 10 points and seven rebounds.
Becker (27-5) surged early in the second half and made runs at the Islanders, but DeLaSalle deflected the push, and instead, built a lead that would reach as many as 17 points. Sophomore guard Courtney Nuest scored nine of her 11 points in the first half.
DeLaSalle built a 31-22 lead at the break behind a balanced attack that produced timely baskets and a suffocating defense that coaxed Becker into 11 turnovers in the opening 18 minutes. Junior forward Nurjei Weems led the Islanders with eight points and two assists while playing the entire first half. Freshman forward Sydney Runsewe added seven points and sophomore center Nora Francois chipped in six for DeLaSalle, who led by as many as 11 in the first half.
Updated: March 16, 2019 08:35 PM
Created: March 16, 2019 08:21 PM
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