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Henning beats North Woods to win Class 1A state championship

March 23, 2019 11:35 PM

Henning made school history with the first Minnesota State High School League state championship in any activity following a 67-42 victory over North Woods in the Class A championship game of the boys basketball state tournament on Saturday, March 23 at Target Center. The No. 4-seeded Hornets captured their historic championship by completing their third state tournament trip, and first since 1966, with an impressive display of up-tempo play and proficient shooting.

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Senior guard Sam Fisher led the Henning (31-1) attack with 22 points, seven rebounds and three assists. Junior guard Parker Fraki added 13 points, five rebounds and five assists. Junior guard Blake Wallevand had 10 points on 5-of-5 shooting. Henning, which opened the season with 24 consecutive victories, shot 55.3 percent in the championship game and used a pressure defense that coaxed North Woods (29-3) into 24 turnovers and 30.6 percent shooting from the field.

This is the second consecutive season that a No. 4 seed has won the Class A state crown. During the 2018 state tournament, Russell-Tyler-Ruthton accomplished the feat.

It was the third consecutive Class A runner-up finish for North Woods, the Section 7A champion, from Cook. Junior forward Trevor Morrison led the Grizzlies with 11 points and 12 rebounds. Senior guard Chase Kleppe contributed 10 points and eight rebounds.
Henning was off and running in the first half, building a lead by as many as 25 points before settling on a 36-17 advantage at the half. Fisher had 14 points in the opening 18 minutes of play and Fraki added 13. The Hornets shot 56.5 percent from the field in the opening half while North Woods was 5 of 19 from the field (26.3 percent).

In the 1966 state tournament, Dick Peterson led Henning with 23.7 points per game. In the semifinals of that tournament, Henning lost to Edina in triple overtime. That was the first season of Edina’s three consecutive state tournaments.

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