Saturday was one of those days that goes by quickly, almost in the blink of an eye. There was so much happening in MSHSL activities around the state that keeping up with everything was all but impossible.
Personal example: I attempted to multitask on Saturday evening, watching the Class 2A girls hockey championship game between Benilde-St. Margaret’s and Hill-Murray from the Xcel Energy Center press box while wearing headphones and listening to a boys basketball game between Ely and Chisholm via the online stream of WELY radio in Ely. Oh, and I was also following the state gymnastics meet -- as well as a raft of other events -- via Twitter.
Here’s some of what took place Saturday: The girls state hockey tournament culminated with championship games … state gymnastics titles were decided at the University of Minnesota Sports Pavilion … state entrants in wrestling and boys swimming and diving were decided at section championships … section tournaments in boys hockey were underway … and the boys basketball regular season came to a conclusion. Whew.
The boys basketball game in Chisholm was a very special event. Chisholm’s Bob McDonald, 80, coached his final home game and final regular-season game. McDonald will retire after this season, his 59th as a head coach.
Saturday’s game was a family affair, because Ely is coached by McDonald’s son Tom. And there was a lot on the line in the form of postseason section seeding. Ely came out on top 70-55, which means the Timberwolves (25-1) will be the top seed in the Class 1A Section 7 north subsection; Chisholm (17-8) will be the No. 2 seed, meaning the McDonalds could meet once more.
Bob McDonald’s career record is 1,011-434. He is the only coach in Minnesota history to win 1,000 games.
Here’s a look at some of Saturday’s other championship highlights …
1A GIRLS HOCKEY: BLAKE MAKES HISTORY
Blake not only won its second consecutive 1A state title with a 3-2 victory over East Grand Forks, but the Bears also became the first team in the 20-year history of the girls state hockey tournament to capture five first-place trophies.
The Bears (23-7-1), who also won in 2003, 2007, 2009 and last year, had been tied with South St. Paul, which won it all in 2002, 2003, 2005 and 2006.
“It’s very, very special,” Blake coach Shawn Reid said. “It’s an incredible feeling. This team is different than last year’s team, and they’re both really special experiences for me.”
East Grand Forks (25-3-1) scored the game’s first two goals, with sisters Haley and Alexa Mack combining on both. Haley got the first one with an assist from Alexa, and they reversed that formula on the Green Wave’s second goal, with the second assist going to Riley Koberinski.
Carly Bullock, Sylvie Wallin and Alex Lovaas took over offensively for Blake in the final two periods. Bullock scored on a Lovaas assist midway through the second period and Wallin made it a 2-2 game early in the third with assists from Lovaas and Bullock. The game-winner was scored by Wallin with assists by Lovaas and Bullock at the 6:04 mark of the third.
“There’s a lot of skill on the team, a lot of team speed, lot of heart, and also a tradition of excellence,” Reid said. “At Blake we have high expectations in the classroom and high expectations in athletics.”
East Grand Forks was the top-seeded team in the tournament; this was the Green Wave’s first trip to state. The East Grand Forks boys hockey team has been to state eight times, most recently last year. The Green Wave boys have played in one state championship game, losing to Benilde-St. Margaret’s 4-2 in Class 1A in 1999.
2A GIRLS HOCKEY: HILL-MURRAY IS CHAMP
Hill-Murray captured its first girls hockey state title with a 5-3 victory over Benilde-St. Margaret’s. Jess Bonfe scored the first two goals for the Pioneers (26-3-1) and Jac Kaasa and Lindsey Featherstone completed the scoring. Kelly Pannek had a hat trick for Benilde-St. Margaret’s (26-3-1)
GIRLS HOCKEY CONSOLATION GAMES
1A third place/ Red Wing 5, St. Paul United 2: Nicole Schammel scored twice for the Wingers, who finished third at state for the second year in a row. Schammel finished her state tournament career with 20 goals, one behind the all-time record of 21 held by Krissy Wendell of Park Center in 2000. Alev Baysoy scored twice for St. Paul United.
1A fifth place/ Proctor-Hermantown 4, Alexandria 1: Sophie McGovern scored two goals for the Mirage, including one of her team’s three goals in the third period. Reilly Fawcett had a goal and assist for Proctor-Hermantown.
2A third place/ Lakeville North 5, Eden Prairie 1: Maddie McGlade scored two goals as the Panthers defeated the Eagles. Dani Sadek had a goal and two assists for North.
2A fifth place/ Andover 1, Mounds View 0: A power-play goal by Mikayla Goodin with 1:42 to play lifted the Huskies past the Mustangs.
HOCKEY ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAMS
Class 1A/ Sophie McGovern, Proctor-Hermantown; Emily Stegora, Nicole Schammel, Red Wing; Catherine Johnson, St. Paul United; Carly Bullock, Lilia Everson, Sylvie Wallin, Blake; Alexa Mack, Haley Mack, Karly Nelson, Madi Galstad, Mak Langei, East Grand Forks.
Class 2A/ Maddie Rooney, Mikayla Goodin, Andover; Dani Sadek, Maddie McGlade, Taylor Flaherty, Lakeville North; Bella Sutton, Mounds View; Caitlin Reilly, Kelly Pannek, Benilde-St. Margaret’s; Brittney Anderson, Jess Bonfe, Leah Patrick, Rebecca Zarembinski, Hill-Murray.
STATE GYMNASTICS CHAMPIONSHIPS
--Austin senior Sela Fadness won her second consecutive Class 1A all-around in competition at the University of Minnesota Sports Pavilion. Melrose senior Jailyn Brinkman was second and Melrose junior Lydia Butkowski was third. Fadness won the vault, beam and floor exercise, while Brinkman won the uneven bars.
--In Class 2A, Northfield junior Bailey DuPay repeated as the all-around champion. Finishing second was Winona Cotter seventh-grader Halle Remlinger, third was Roseville junior Isis Muller. DuPay won the uneven bars, balance beam and floor exercise. Brainerd senior Beth Etterman was the vault champion.
--Photos by www.mnprepphoto.com ... more photos on the MSHSL Facebook page.
BY THE NUMBERS
*Schools/teams John has visited: 323
*Miles John has driven in the Toyota Camry: 8,412
(*During the 2013-14 school year)
Follow John on Twitter: @MSHSLjohn