March 23, 2019 11:36 PM
Minnehaha Academy said a likely goodbye to the Class AA field in boys basketball by capturing a third consecutive state championship on Saturday, March 23 at Target Center. The Minneapolis-based private school, which has petitioned the Minnesota State High School League to be placed in Class AAA for the next two-year competitive placement cycle for boys basketball, completed its three-peat of Class AA crowns with a 69-52 victory over Minneapolis North in the title game.
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The three consecutive Class AA championships for Minnehaha Academy (29-2) equals the mark of three in a row captured by Braham from 2004-2006.
Junior guard Jalen Suggs, a prized national recruit, powered the Redhawks with 20 points, four rebounds and four assists as Minnehaha Academy defeated Minneapolis North for the second time this season. On Feb. 19, the Redhawks recorded a 63-59 nonconference win. Freshman forward Prince Aligbe also finished with 20 points and also had seven rebounds. Chet Holmgren, a 7-foot sophomore, was a dominant presence in the low post with a triple double of 16 points, 14 rebounds and 10 blocks.
It was the third major-activity championship for Minnehaha Academy. In the fall, the SMB co-op that included players from Minnehaha Academy, won the Class AAAA football championship. A week ago, the girls basketball team won the Class AA crown.
Minneapolis North (23-10) was attempting to become the first school to win championships in three different enrollment classes since the four-class era began in 1997. The Polars’ runner-up finish in 2019 ends a string of three consecutive appearances in championship games by Minneapolis North that ended with titles. During the four-class era (1997-2019), Minneapolis Public Schools are 9-3 in state championship games. North and Henry are both 4-1, and Washburn is 1-1.
Minnehaha Academy built a 30-15 lead at the half behind 10 points from Suggs and eight from Aligbe. Although the Redhawks were just 7 of 24 from the field in the first half (29.2 percent), they made up for it, in part, by making 15 of 16 free throws. Minnehaha Academy extended its lead by a basket over the course of the second half by outscoring the Polars by a 39-to-37 margin in the final 18 minutes of play.
Senior guard Nasir El-Amin scored 17 points for Minneapolis North and sophomore center Davon Towley, Jr., was next with eight points.
Updated: March 23, 2019 11:36 PM
Created: March 23, 2019 04:50 PM
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