Mounds View rallies, wins OT thriller

The Mounds View High School boys basketball team welcomed Centennial to Kauls Court for a Section 5AAAA quarterfinal on Feb. 25. The third-seeded Mustangs won twice as many games in the regular season as the sixth-seeded Cougars but it was Centennial that started fast and looked ready to run the home team out of its own gym.

Centennial led by as many as 15 points in the first half, forcing Mounds View to play from behind most of the night. The Mustangs never led in regulation but tied it late to force overtime, which they won to pull out a 69-67 victory.

The Cougars led 29-14 in the first half before Mounds View trimmed the deficit to nine points at halftime. The Mustangs trailed by five heading into the final minute and were down three when they inbounded the ball to Nate Albers with less than 15 seconds to play. Albers launched a shot from two steps outside the three-point line and tied the game.

The game continued to be tight in overtime but Mounds View made just enough free throws down the stretch to pull out the win.

Albers finished with 18 points but Zeke Thompson was the story for Mounds View. He went toe-to-toe with Centennial Division I prospect Tyler Peterson and won the battle with 29 points to Peterson’s 21. Nick McMillan also reached double figures for the Mustangs with 13.

The victory helped Mounds View (21-6) avoid back-to-back one-and-dones in the post-season. The Mustangs lost to Tartan in the first round of the Section 4AAAA playoffs last season.

Mounds View’s reward for beating Centennial was a semifinal match-up against second-seeded Champlin Park (21-6). The Rebels finished 19-3 in the rugged and stacked Northwest Suburban Conference and knocked off Irondale in the first round of the section tournament.

The winner of the Mounds View/Champlin Park tilt, played past the deadline for this edition of the Bulletin, meets either top-seeded and unbeaten Osseo or fourth-seeded Park Center in the section final on March 4 at 7 p.m. at Rogers High School.

Irondale

The Knights drew the seventh seed in Section 5AAAA and were a decided underdog in their quarterfinal contest against second-seeded Champlin Park. The Rebels won twice as many games in the regular season than Irondale and also beat the Knights. 

Irondale managed to keep that regular-season meeting with the Rebels close — the Knights lost by five ñ but the playoff match-up was a different story. Champlin Park led by six at halftime before pulling away in the second half to win 79-51.

Irondale senior Uwana Etuk-Akpan led all scorers with 18 points and was one of two Knights to reach double figures. Junior Sean Sutherlin was the other as he finished with a dozen.

McKinley Wright, one of four Rebels to reach double figures in points, led them with 16.

The victory advanced Champlin Park to the semifinals and another match-up with a team from District 621. The Rebels and Mounds View met on Feb. 29. 

Irondale finishes the season with a record of 10-17, its best season since 2012-13 when it went 14-13. The Knights went 5-3 in non-conference games but struggled to a record of only 5-14 in Northwest Suburban Conference play. 

Of the Knights’ 10 victories, only three came against teams with winning records and none of those teams were from Class AAAA. 

 

Brian Meyers can be reached at bmeyers@lillienews.com or 651-748-7819. Follow him on Twitter @BMeyersNews.

Section 5AAAA boys basketball playoffs

Semifinals
Game 5 — Park Center at Osseo
Game 6 — Mounds View at Champlin Park

Championship game, March 4, 7 p.m. at Rogers High School
Game 7 — Game 5 winner vs. Game 6 winner

 

Rate this article: 
No votes yet
Comment Here