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Princeton edges Mahtomedi in 3A quarterfinal matchup

March 20, 2019 06:53 PM

#4 seed Princeton (27-3) secured a semifinal berth with a 68-63 win over #5 Mahtomedi (24-6) on Wednesday afternoon at Williams Arena on the campus of the University of Minnesota.

In just their second all-time trip to the state tournament first since 1932, the Tigers head to the state semifinals where they’ll face top seed DeLaSalle on Thursday, March 21 at noon at Target Center in Minneapolis.

Also breaking a state tournament drought, the Zephyrs continue to compete at state in the consolation semifinals against Bemidji on Thursday at 2 p.m. at Gangelhoff Center on the campus of Concordia University, St. Paul. Junior J’Vonne Hadley led all scorers with 32 points, adding 16 rebounds. He was 14-of-25 from the floor and added five assists and three steals.

Princeton’s narrow 29-28 halftime lead was quickly erased when the Zephyrs scored the first five points of the second half.

The Tigers rallied for a 13-0 run, staking their largest lead of nine, 42-33 on the back of three consecutive buckets by senior Reilly O’Neill with just under 14 minutes to play. He finished with 15 on the day.

Mahtomedi cut the gap to three a pair of times, once with 10:42 to play (47-44) and again with 9:18 (49-46).

Senior guard Adam Williams buried the comeback hopes, draining a pair of three-pointers to push lead the back to nine, 59-50 with under six minutes to go. Williams finished with a team-high 17 points including five three-pointers, while adding seven assists, four steals and five rebounds.

In the closing minutes, the Zephyrs cut the margin back to three once more, 66-63, but with just five seconds to play in the contest and never had a possession with a chance to tie or reclaim the lead late.

O’Neill and Williams were two of Princeton’s four players to score in double-figures, as senior James Flicek added 16 points and senior Jon Stimmler had 12 points to go with a game-high 17 rebounds (12 offensive).

Flanking Hadley in scoring for Mahtomedi was senior Zac Centers with 15 points, adding 11 rebounds. The duo scored 47 of Mahtomedi’s 63 in the contest.

Overall, the closely contested quarterfinal featured 11 lead changes and five ties.

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