John's Journal
Longtime 'Voice Of MSHSL' Bob Reid Has Died4/5/2018
Bob Reid, the former public address announcer for Minnesota State High School League state tournaments in football, boys hockey, and boys and girls basketball as well as four other sports for 42 years, died on Friday in Wausau, Wis. He was 86.

He meticulously prepared for every tournament. “Kids are sensitive,” he once said. “They’ve worked hard to get to the state tournament. I certainly didn’t want to mar their tournament experience with mispronunciations. They deserve better than that.”

Reid was the Minnesota North Star first administrative director from 1967-72 and then became the Met Center building manager until 1985.

He also worked as high school baseball umpire, as publicity director and lead statistician for the WCHA and as a statistician for the Vikings. He was a 2005 inductee into the MSHSL Hall of Fame.

A memorial service will be held for him at 11 a.m. Saturday at St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church in Wausau.

Here is a full obituary...

Bob Reid, 86, formerly of Edina, passed away Friday, March 30, 2018. Bob loved to tell a good story, sharing (and hearing) jokes, the Chicago Cubs, and tapping his toes to Big Band and polka music. He was a "doer," and an outstanding role model with an exceptional work ethic.

He was born June 12, 1931 in Minneapolis, Minn. to the late Robert S. and Meryl Reid. Bob grew up in the Edina-Morningside neighborhood, graduating from St. Louis Park High School in 1949 and the University of Minnesota, class of 1953, earning a degree in Radio Speech. He was a member of Sigma Nu fraternity. He married Eleanor "Elie" Weld on Feb. 2, 1962 in Minneapolis. She claimed sharing the date with Groundhog's Day would ensure Bob couldn't forget their anniversary. Together they raised two children, Fritz and Julie.

Bob's professional career was centered on sports and entertainment management, enjoying a variety of notable roles. While attending the U of M, he worked for the Athletic Department's Intramural and Sports Information offices. After graduation, he was part of the Minnesota Centennial Commission's publicity team. He became the publicity director for the Minneapolis Lakers basketball team from 1955-58, then joined Max Winter Attractions as an associate until 1963, where he provided public relations support for the Harlem Globetrotters, the Hawaiian State Fair and the Midwest Auto Show. He became a partner with Padilla, Sarjeant, Sullivan and Speer Public Relations for four years, representing clients like the Grain Belt brewery and the Ice Follies. His connections led him to join the fledgling Minnesota North Stars, where he served as the team's first administrative director from 1967-1972 and then became the Met Center building manager until 1985, expanding his duties to oversee the building that hosted not only the hockey team, but numerous rock concerts, the Barnham & Bailey Circus and the Ice Follies. He loved to talk about his experiences hosting the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin and other major bands. During this time, he was involved with the International Association of Auditorium Managers' professional organization (now the IAVM), serving on its board of directors and on various committees. His last career move found Bob working for the Vee Corporation organizing the Sesame Street Live stage shows as its director of booking from 1985-1997.

Bob's interest in sports found him also serving for 42 years as the lead public address announcer for the Minnesota State High School League state hockey, baseball, softball, football and wrestling tournaments; as well as for the MSHSL as a baseball umpire; for the Western Collegiate Hockey Association as publicity director and lead statistician, and also as a statistician for the Minnesota Vikings. He was also part of a group and one of the first coaches who started the Edina Little League organization in the 1950s.

Bob and Elie lived in Edina until 2003, when they moved to Wausau, Wisconsin, to be closer their to daughter Julie and her family. Bob's volunteer work was extremely important and fulfilling to him. While living in Minnesota, he was part of the Edina Recycling Commission, VEAP, Edina-Morningside Church, Loaves and Fishes, Edina High School PTA, Walk for Mankind, St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Friends of Edina Public Library and St. Alban's Episcopal Church. After moving to Wausau, he was part of The Grand Theater board of directors, Friends of the Marathon County Public Library, St. John's Episcopal Church and Mobile Meals. As a former public relations man, he took great pleasure in collecting newspaper clippings for friends and family and keeping detailed travel diaries of the adventures he and Elie had traveling overseas to visit 46 countries and all seven continents.

Bob is survived by his son, Frederic "Fritz" Reid, partner Kim Forrest and son Forrest Hansen, Shingle Springs, Calif., daughter Julie Bliss, husband Jim, and children Reid Baker and Charlotte Bliss; siblings, older brother John M. "Jack" Reid, Seattle, Wash. and "baby" sister, Betty (Reid) Kuechle, Chanhassen, Minn, and nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his wife of 47 years, Elie, in 2009.

Fritz and Julie would like to thank the warm and supportive staff at Colonial Manor for taking such loving care of Bob over the past year. A funeral will be at 11 a.m. on Saturday, April 7 at St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church, 330 McClellan Street, Wausau, with The Rev. Meredyth Albright officiating. Visitation with Fritz and Julie will be at 10 a.m. until the time of the service at the church, with a reception to follow. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum or St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church. To share online condolences, please visit brainardfuneral.com
Spring Has Sprung A Big Joke On Outdoor Sports 4/2/2018
April has arrived, which means it’s time for warm sunshine, green grass and outdoor sporting events, right? Wrong. In much of the state we can glance out the window and see swirling snow, mushy ground and very little reason for optimism based on the weather forecast.

Spring has sprung a joke on us all, it seems.

Monday was the first official day of practice for MSHSL girls and boys lacrosse teams. Having reached this point, all spring sports are now underway … or at least they should be underway. But here we sit, with baseball, softball, track and field, golf, lacrosse, and boys tennis teams searching for indoor practice spaces.

I’ve gathered some reaction to all this from coaches and athletes around Minnesota, and it can best be summarized with two words: frustration and fun.

St. James High School softball coach Sam Baumgartner wrote in an email, “I’ve tried to be creative about mixing practice activities up. You have to make it fun and break the routines. This past week, we took the girls outside to the staff parking lot and hit fly balls in a light rain and 40-degree weather. There were huge snowbanks behind our players and a few balls drifted a little deep. The girls took those opportunities to make diving catches while landing in the snow. They had a blast! One of our B Squad players, Teresa Tobar, made three incredible catches in full layouts. Some of the balls we hit were too far back into the snow and they just sunk into the soft snow piles. We had girls in shorts trying to dig them out and several times they ended up sinking in up to their waist. It’s hard to remember most practices over the years but this one will stick with us for a long time.”

Someone sent me a photo of St. Paul Como Park assistant track coach Marv Rousse working with a hurdler on her form … in a school hallway instead of outdoors on the track (pictured here.)

Terry Sadler, softball coach at Warroad High School, posted to Twitter a short video of the Warriors “jousting” in the gymnasium, with players on all fours, teammates sitting on top of them wearing helmets and slow-speed jousting with bats at another team of “horse and rider.”

Pelican Rapids softball coach Dan Beck wrote, “With over a foot of snow on our field in Pelican Rapids, we took a break from the bats and gloves and brought out the sticks and the goals!” He added a photo of the girls in the gym, having fun with plastic hockey sticks.

On Facebook, the Moose Lake/Willow River baseball team posted a fun message about what the team is doing to have fun:

The baseball season is well under way, and after two weeks of working on just about everything that can be done in a gym practice for baseball, and with the foreseeable forecast looking grim to say the least, it was time to let loose a little...

Tonight the boys took part in the first annual Baseball Bracket Madness Challenge. The night was filled with five different competitive events, plus music, pizza, trash talk, and most importantly team bonding. The inaugural night began with brief opening ceremonies and positioning of the newly dubbed Ultimate BBMC Trophy, and later concluded with the crowning of champions and the opportunity to pose with their winning bracket of fallen soldiers as well as the aforementioned trophy. (pulled from the ashes of yesteryear).

Your 2018 BBMC event champions are:
Brendon Fogelberg and Danny Whited in the Team Bunting competition
Cooper Bexell in the One Hop competition
Brendon Fogelberg in the Think Small Miss Small competition
Ian Coil and Andrew Burn in the Team Spike Ball competition
Danny Whited in the Cage Bomb competition

The champions have won bragging rights for the entire year in their respective events.... or at least until Spring decides to show up.

Dear Spring,
Please come soon.
-MLWR Baseball


In an email, Moose Lake/Willow River assistant baseball coach Bryce Rushmeyer wrote, “The Moose Lake/Willow River Rebel baseball team is starting to hit the wall when it comes to indoor practices. We're practicing in the old school's gym (the lone occupants) and the fields and parking lots are too covered in snow to even try to take a few fly balls or long-toss sessions. This week, we had our “end of fundraising” celebration with a hot dog feed (over 150 hot dogs on a grill outside the main doors) for our 30-40 or so 7-12 baseball players (ending with attempting to send a hot dog through a pitching machine where one of our players was able to make contact).”

When the Minnesota Twins opened their season at Baltimore last week, the baseball team at Onamia High School used the televised game as an opportunity to learn and bond. Coach Jason Runyan wrote, “We watched the Twins game on a projector and talked about different situations. It was one of my better opening days! We went crazy when the Twins came back in the top of the ninth. They didn't win, but we had a fun time!”

Peyton Greve, a senior at Centennial High School, is a track and field athlete who competes in the shot put and discus. As you can imagine, training in these events is extremely difficult when you can’t use the outdoor throwing areas because of snow and cold. Peyton wrote last week…

“Let me start by saying, the struggle is real for us throwers right now. We have been inside for practice for three weeks and dedicated our practice on Thursday to shoveling the shot put and discus areas. We found our discus circle covered with two inches of ice and lots of snow. To make things even worse, we will likely not be outside all of next week due to the snow we got today. So while all of the runners go outside and run on the track, we will be inside, doing workouts and form with no shot put or disc. Hoped you enjoy hearing about our throwing struggle. Thanks, Peyton Greve.”

Hang in there, Peyton. Spring will come, the sun will shine, the ground will dry and everything will be perfect.

I hope.

Follow John on Twitter: @MSHSLjohn
In The Wake Of Tragedy, Redhawks Stick Together 3/24/2018
Minnehaha Academy repeated as the Class 2A boys basketball state champion Saturday at Target Center, defeating Caledonia 73-60 in the title game. The Redhawks had a record of 26-5 last season and 28-4 this time around, but what happened in between those two sets of numbers was horrible, remarkable, and changed everything.

On the second day of August, Minnehaha Academy was rocked by a natural-gas explosion. Receptionist Ruth Berg, 47, and custodian John Carlson, 82, were killed and nine people were injured in the explosion on the schools’ upper campus in Minneapolis (the upper campus serves grades 9-12 and the lower campus, a mile and a half away, serves pre-kindergarten through eighth grade).

The buildings that were destroyed included the gymnasium. That left the school’s basketball teams without a home for the entire season. The Redhawks boys were the most well-traveled team in the Twin Cities, for games and practices.

They played “home” games at St. Thomas Academy in Mendota Heights, Trinity School at River Ridge in Eagan and Mounds Park Academy in St. Paul. One of their practice sites was the gymnasium at Minneapolis-St. Paul Air Reserve Station (connected to Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport), where all the players and coaches had to go through a full military security clearance. There were bus rides and car pools to practices and games, often at odd hours. They had T-shirts made that read “No Gym. No Problem.”

“We had to sit around after school for about three hours (before practice),” Redhawks sophomore guard Jalen Suggs said after Saturday’s game. “We would group up and a lot of us would do homework. We’ve spent a lot more time together than we did last year, and you could tell, just by the way we played on the court. Everyone’s had each other’s backs since day one and it’s led to this moment.”

The explosion put basketball into perspective for everyone. Life is precious and basketball is a game.

“This is just basketball,” Suggs said. “There were people in the building that exploded who went through far, far worse than we did, just having late practices.”

Senior JaVonni Bickham said, “It’s bigger than just basketball, it’s bigger than all of us. We knew that and we just came out with everything we got for this season. We’re thankful that we got the chance to win the state championship for our community.”

Hustle-Smile-Ruthless Is 1A Champ

When I gave the team from Russell-Tyler-Ruthton the nickname Hustle-Smile-Ruthless in the previous installment of John’s Journal, some witty folks from those little towns ran with it. There were three signs in the stands during the Class 1A championship game -- reading “Hustle” “Smile” and “Ruthless” – and they were held up as the R-T-R fans chanted those three words several times.

The Knights defeated North Woods 59-55 to capture their third title in six state appearances. North Woods has been to state twice – last year and this year – and has finished second both times.

After the game, someone texted me a photo of the R-T-R team posing with the three signs. I love small towns.

Unseeded Delano Wins 3A Championship

On Feb. 8, the Delano basketball team had a record of 10-9. They ended the season with a record of 21-11 and owners of the Class 3A state championship. The Tigers defeated Columbia Heights 64-61 Saturday night to win their first title in three trips to state, the last one in 2013.

Their 11 defeats ties the tournament record for the most losses by a state champion. Austin Pacelli won the 1992 Class 1A title with 11 losses.

Cretin-Derham Hall Is 4A Champion

In a game that can only be described as an instant classic, the basketball season closed with Cretin-Derham Hall claiming a 79-78 victory over Apple Valley in the 4A title game. Both teams shot better than 56 percent, with Apple Valley’s Tre Jones scoring a game-high 35 points in his final high school game.

It was Cretin-Derham Hall’s third state title and first since 1993, when current coach Jerry Kline Jr. was a team member.

Tournament Tidbits

--At halftime of the Class 1A championship game, eight individuals were honored with awards by the MSHSL for their decades of service and commitment to officiating. Those honored with distinguished service awards were Becker’s Tracy Bertram, Jack Coombe of Tower, Tom Goetz from Bloomington, Bill Hafner of Maplewood, Roseville’s Roy Tutt, Jim Weinzierl from Park Rapids, Pat Whalen of New Brighton and Clark Worthington of St. Louis Park.

--At halftime of the Class 3A game, Bill Bentson of KFIL Radio in Preston and John Sherman of Sun Newspapers in the Twin Cities were honored as recipients of the 2018 MSHSL Outstanding Media Service Awards.

Wells Fargo All-Tournament Teams

Class 1A:
Travis Visser, Hinckley-Finlayson; Noah DeLapaz, Cass Lake-Bena; Garrett Tjernagel, Baden Noennig, Mayer Lutheran; Westin Kirk, Garrett Kern, Carter Hansen, Russell-Tyler-Ruthton; Cade Goggleye, Trevor Morrison, Tate Olson, North Woods.

Class 2A: Quinn Fischer, Esko; Lu’cye Patterson, Brooklyn Center; Mitchell Plombon, Michael Schaefer, St. Cloud Cathedral; Martin Morem, Owen King, Noah King, Caledonia; Jalen Suggs, Terry Lockett, JaVonni Bickham, Minnehaha Academy.

Class 3A: Sam Vascellaro, St. Thomas Academy; Duoth Gach, Austin; Tyrell Terry, Gabe Kalscheur, DeLaSalle; Calvin Wishart, Derek Techam, Keegan O’Neill, Delano; Wendell Matthews, Quentin Hardrict, Deundra Roberson, Columbia Heights.

Class 4A: Zach Theisen, Osseo; Connor Christensen, Eden Prairie; Tyler Wall, Tommy Jensen, Lakeville North; Jacob Prince, Ryan Larson, Sy Chatman, Cretin-Derham Hall; Tre Jones, Luke Martens, Zach Korba, Apple Valley.

Boys State Basketball Tournament

Class 1A

Fifth-place game: Hinckley-Finlayson 56, Rushford-Peterson 49
Third-place game: Mayer Lutheran 67, Cass Lake-Bena 51
Championship game: Russell-Tyler-Ruthton 59, North Woods 55

Class 2A
Fifth-place game: Esko 57, Breckenridge 46
Third-place game: St. Cloud Cathedral 75, Brooklyn Center 70
Championship game: Minnehaha Academy 73, Caledonia 60

Class 3A
Fifth-place game: St. Thomas Academy 68, Mankato East 62
Third-place game: DeLaSalle 82, Austin 61
Championship game: Delano 64, Columbia Heights 61

Class 4A
Fifth-place game: Osseo 64, Forest Lake 61
Third-place game: Lakeville North 63, Eden Prairie 52
Championship game: Cretin-Derham Hall 79, Apple Valley 78

Follow John on Twitter: @MSHSLjohn
Hustle-Smile-Ruthless Makes An Impression In Class 1A3/23/2018
A number of basketball fans, me included, looked at the teams warming up before Friday afternoon’s Class 1A boys state semifinals at Target Center and made a statement that was worded along these lines: “Oh geez I don’t know if R-T-R can stay with those tall guys from Mayer Lutheran.”

R-T-R is Russell-Tyler-Ruthton, but you can also refer to them as Hustle-Smile-Ruthless. The Knights, champions of Section 3 in southwest Minnesota, indeed hustle, they smile when you least expect it and they play ruthless defense. They proved it by defeating Mayer Lutheran 49-38 during a tactical game in which both teams made fewer than 30 percent of their shots.

Mayer Lutheran is the top seed in Class 1A with a record of 28-3 before Friday. Hustle-Smile-Ruthless is the No. 4 seed and will take a record of 32-1 into Saturday’s 11 a.m. championship game against No. 2 seed North Woods (31-1).

The Knights outrebounded the taller Crusaders 52-33, which is a mark of how little height meant in the game. And R-T-R played hardnosed defense from one end of the court to the other, disrupting Mayer Lutheran’s ability to work the ball inside. The Crusaders averaged almost 70 points this season, so seeing them score barely half that was quite something.

“R-T-R is a great team, a lot of credit to them,” Crusaders coach Patrick Buchanan said. “They did a lot of things to stagnate our offense, slow us down from what we like to do.”

Mayer Lutheran’s Baden Noennig, a 6-foot-6 junior, said “They played with so much hustle, so much heart.” And Garrett Tjernagel, a 6-foot-7 senior, added, “It seemed like they were always in the right spot. Wrong spot for us, right spot for them.”

That was the plan for the boys from Hustle-Smile-Ruthless. They knew if they could keep the basketball away from the big fellas and play scrap-iron defense everywhere, they had a chance.

“Defensively, you can’t change what got you here,” said R-T-R coach Ted Kern. “We’re a pressure team. We rebounded extremely well, and we’re not big but we work hard. We’re not always the most talented team on the floor, but given the chance we’ll work even with you or outwork you.”

They also might out-smile you. There was some minor confusion among the officials at one point in the first half. While two officials met with the table crew, official M.J. Wagenson held the ball at the spot where it would soon be inbounded and clarified to a few players from both teams what was being discussed.

Russell-Tyler-Ruthton’s Carter Hansen, a 6-foot, zero-inch junior, said with a smile, “Thanks for explaining it to us.”

In the postgame news conference, Kern and Hansen sat at a raised table in front of the gathered media. There was a pause before the first question was posed, which Carter filled by waving, grinning and saying, “Hey guys!”

Hustle-Smile-Ruthless is the smallest school in the tournament with an enrollment of 130 in grades nine through 12. There must be some manner of mathematical equation afoot: Small school x small players = big success and big fun.

--North Woods, last year’s Class 1A runner-up, has won its first two games at state by margins of 38 and 20 points; including Friday's 67-47 win over Cass Lake-Bena. Cass Lake-Bena had played a double-overtime game against Rushford-Peterson in Thursday’s quarterfinals. Panthers coach John Wind said that lengthy game affected his players’ stamina against North Woods.

“We didn’t play very well. … I think yesterday’s game probably took more out of our legs than we thought.”

Class 2A: Minnehaha Academy and Caledonia Advance

Defending state champion Minnehaha Academy will play for a repeat title after the Redhawks defeated St. Cloud Cathedral 77-51 in Friday night’s Class 2A semifinals. Minnehaha is at state for the sixth time, winning the championship in 2013 as well as last year.

Their opponent in Saturday’s 5 p.m. championship game will be Caledonia, which defeated Brooklyn Center 73-67. Caledonia is playing at state for the fourth time in five years and trying to win its second state title. The Warriors were 2A champs in 1997 and finished second in 2015.

Tournament Tidbits

--Mementos and memories are a wonderful part of high school activities, including state tournaments. Someone on Twitter posted to my attention a great piece of history Friday from the 1988 boys state basketball tournament.

Jerry Chiabotti was the coach of the Bigfork High School team that went to state that year; Jerry is now an assistant coach at North Woods. Posted was a sheet of paper, with instructions for the team during the tournament (pictured here as sent to me from a player on that team).

It started with “6:30 a.m. Pack at school” and included details such as “Free Time” and “Lights Out – Bed Check.”

Listed under “PERSONAL” on the packing list: “Shirt, tie, dress pants … Toiletries … Extra jocks and game socks.”

--Here’s a salute and a big thank you to KDHL Radio, the Mighty 920 in Faribault, for 70 years of broadcasting the boys state basketball tournament. Since the station first went on the air in 1948, listeners have heard games involving teams from all over the state on KDHL and its sister stations.

The list of sports directors over 70 years is legendary: Tom Bachrach, Jim Lundquist, Tom Hartman, Tom Albrecht, Steve Skogen, Mike Morrissey and current sports director Gordy Kosfeld. The late Mike Morrissey called state tourney games for 44 years until retiring in 2013, Gordy has been working the tournament for 30 years and Roy Koenigsberg is in his sixth year.

Boys State Basketball Tournament

Class 1A


Friday’s semifinals at Target Center
Russell-Tyler-Ruthton 49, Mayer Lutheran 38
North Woods 67, Cass Lake-Bena 47

Saturday’s championship game
11 a.m.: Russell-Tyler-Ruthton vs. North Woods

Class 2A

Friday’s semifinals at Target Center
Minnehaha Academy 77, St. Cloud Cathedral 51
Brooklyn Center vs. Caledonia

Saturday’s championship game
1 p.m.: Minnehaha Academy vs. Caledonia

Class 3A

Saturday’s championship game
5 p.m. at Target Center
Columbia Heights vs. Delano

Class 4A

Saturday’s championship game
8 p.m. at Target Center
Cretin-Derham Hall vs. Apple Valley

Follow John on Twitter: @MSHSLjohn
From Way Up North, North Woods Is Back At State 3/22/2018
One of my winter excursions took me way up north for a boys basketball game at North Woods school, which is a few miles northwest of Cook in the sprawling wilderness of St. Louis County. The Grizzlies were one of the stars of the state tournament last year, qualifying for the big show for the first time and advancing to the Class 1A state championship game before falling short against Minneapolis North.

North Woods is no short hike from the Twin Cities; it’s much closer to the Canadian border (73 miles) than downtown Minneapolis (232 miles). The Grizzlies defeated International Falls on the night I spent in their spectacular, brightly-lit gym. One of the issues all season was keeping their fans calm, fans who were absolutely sure that the team – with four starters back – would return to state.

“The expectations are so high, it’s unbelievable,” coach Will Kleppe (pictured) told me that night. “It’s been kind of surprising, all the talk of getting back to where we were.”

Current junior Cade Goggleye became a star one year ago when he made a half-court shot at the buzzer to beat Central Minnesota Christian in the quarterfinals at Williams Arena. When I spoke with Cade on that bitter February night in the North Woods gym, he said the players felt like they were underdogs, just as they had during the 2016-17 season.

“We don’t feel pressure because we think we’re still the underdog, because we’re from up north,” he said after the win over International Falls. “We’ve just got to get down there and play hard again.”

Down here they are, defeating Heritage Christian 74-36 Thursday in the 1A quarterfinals at Williams Arena. The Grizzlies will face Cass Lake-Bena in Friday afternoon’s semifinals at Target Center. The Panthers advanced with a 63-61 double-overtime win over Rushford-Peterson.

Goggleye had a game-high 23 points Thursday, making eight of 11 shots (four of six from three-point range) and picking up eight assists. After the game, Kleppe made a reference to Cade’s comments in mid-February.

“I think Cade summed it best up earlier this season,” the coach said. “We still felt like underdogs through this season, knowing when we get down here there are not a lot of representatives from the north. So we still feel like we kind of have that role. Even with the expectations; we haven’t played a game this year without people saying, ‘You’re going back to state.’ That’s never a guarantee and I believe the boys believed firmly that there was a lot of work to be done to get a chance to come back here.”

--Cass Lake-Bena’s quarterfinal victory came after Rushford-Peterson forced the first and second overtimes on last-second shots. Payton Hahn hit a three-pointer as regulation ended and Ben Ansell scored on a rebound as the horn sounded to end the first overtime.

--There are no unbeaten teams in the tournament, and three teams with just one loss; all three are in Class 1A, which will make for some interesting semifinal games. Top-seeded Mayer Lutheran (28-3) will meet fourth-seeded Russell-Tyler-Ruthton (31-1) and second-seeded North Woods (30-1) will face No. 3 seed Cass Lake-Bena (30-1).

Fashion, Part II

Following up on yesterday’s story about well-dressed Hermantown coach Andy Fenske, let’s talk about shoes. Specifically, the shoes worn by Mayer Lutheran coach Patrick Buchanan.

They are black and red, which also happen to be Crusaders school colors. Buchanan, in his first year coaching at Mayer Lutheran, last wore the shoes at his wedding. Yes, his wedding. On that day four and a half years ago when he married Staci, he also wore a black suit with a red vest and red tie.

After the Crusaders defeated Springfield in last week’s Section 2 championship game, Buchanan pulled the shoes out of a bag and told the players he was going to wear them at state.

“They think they’re cool. They like them,” he said. “They had asked me right away, ‘Coach what’s your favorite color?’ and I said you may not believe this but it is red. So this was my proof in the pudding, my red and black shoes.

“Four and a half years ago I got these bad boys, and I wore them on the happiest day of my life. And right now, this is a joy for me to be with these young men.”

Tournament Tidbits

--Streaks are made to be broken, and DeLaSalle’s run of six consecutive Class 3A state championship came to an end Thursday when the Islanders lost to Columbia Heights 71-69 in the semifinals at Target Center. At state a year ago, DeLaSalle defeated the Highlanders 86-60 in the semifinals. And during Tri-Metro Conference play this season, the Islanders beat Columbia Heights by 36 and 15 points. The Highlanders will meet Delano in Saturday’s 5 p.m. championship game.

--Delano is the surprise team of the tournament, coming in unseeded with an 18-11 record and knocking off third seed Mankato East 79-64 in the quarterfinals and No. 2 seed Austin 80-68 in Thursday’s semifinals.

--Quote of the day: Heritage Christian Academy came to state with a record of 13-17 before losing to North Woods. Afterwards, Heritage coach Tim Herman said, “The last Cinderella has died. So go get ‘em North Woods.”

--There was news on the girls basketball front Thursday when Minnehaha Academy head coach Josh Thurow stepped down after 14 years. He coached 11 teams to state tournaments, including the 2010 2A state champs and the 2011 runner-up team. Minnehaha Academy alum Matt Pryor, who has been the head coach at Concordia Academy for last four years, is the new Redhawks coach.

Boys State Basketball Tournament

Class 1A

Quarterfinals
Mayer Lutheran 71, Mahnomen/Waubun 40
Russell-Tyler-Ruthton 87, Hinckley-Finlayson 70
North Woods 74, Heritage Christian 36
Cass Lake-Bena 63, Rushford-Peterson 61 (2 OT)

Friday’s semifinals at Target Center
Noon: Mayer Lutheran vs. Russell-Tyler-Ruthton
2 p.m.: North Woods vs. Cass Lake-Bena

Class 2A
Quarterfinals
Minnehaha Academy 65, Jordan 45
St. Cloud Cathedral 64, Esko 60 (3OT)
Brooklyn Center 63, Breckenridge 48
Caledonia 80, Minnewaska 41

Friday’s semifinals at Target Center
6 p.m.: Minnehaha Academy vs. St. Cloud Cathedral
8 p.m.: Brooklyn Center vs. Caledonia

Class 3A
Quarterfinals
Columbia Heights 75, St. Thomas Academy 62
Austin 64, Sauk Rapids-Rice 55
Delano 79, Mankato East 64

Semifinals
Columbia Heights 71, DeLaSalle 71-69
Delano 80, Austin 68

Saturday’s championship game
5 p.m. at Target Center
Columbia Heights vs. Delano

Class 4A
Quarterfinals
Cretin-Derham Hall 70, Wayzata 48
Eden Prairie 65, Osseo 38
Apple Valley 67, Forest Lake 60
Lakeville North 89, Maple Grove 71

Semifinals
Cretin-Derham Hall 60, Eden Prairie 56
Apple Valley 58, Lakeville North 45

Saturday’s championship game
8 p.m. at Target Center
Cretin-Derham Hall vs. Apple Valley

Follow John on Twitter: @MSHSLjohn