The Minneapolis boys basketball team remained unbeaten on Friday evening and also took home its first championship of any kind since 2015 by beating Halstead, 76-42.
The Lions and Dragons both entered Mabee Arena in Salina on Friday at 2-0 in the Tri County Classic and had blown out the same two teams–Bennington and Ell-Saline.
However, Minneapolis made it known early that they were the superior team immediately getting ahead 11-0 out of the gate.
Minneapolis’ Jonah Ausherman led the Lions early as the senior was active offensively, flashing open for easy buckets and relentless on the offensive glass helping MHS sprint out to the lead.
Meanwhile, it was the same story for Halstead as it was for Minneapolis’ previous three opponents, the Dragons struggled to get out of the back court against the constant press of Minneapolis.
The Lions led 18-0 at the 3:17 mark in the first quarter before Halstead was finally able to find the bucket–by way of free throws. Minneapolis held Halstead without a field goal in the first stanza and led 27-3 at the end of the quarter.
Halstead found its rythm though, in the second quarter. The Dragons and Lions both scored 18 points, each going in to halftime with Minneapolis ahead 45-21.
Led by Lakin Farmer, the Halstead Dragons did not quit in the second half. After Minneapolis had a lead as large as 29 points in the first half, Halstead slowly widdled the lead inside of 20 points a couple of times inside of the third quarter before Minneapolis took a 57-35 lead in to the final quarter.
Farmer and Halstead had one last gasp to start the fourth. The Dragons get the lead down to 17 points early in the quarter, however, after some adjustments by the Minneapolis coaching staff, the Lions snatched momentum and sailed away for their fourth-straight win led by its post production from Spencer Davidson.
Halstead (2-2, 0-0 CKL) finishes second in the Tri County Classic. Farmer led the Dragons with 18 points.
Minneapolis (4-0, 1-0 NCAA) wins the Tri County Classic for the first time since 2014 and had its first win over Halstead since 2015. Davidson led the Lions with 19 points–the second time he has reached the mark this year. Ausherman collected a season-best 15 points and Nolan White reached double-figures for the fourth time this year with 10 points.
Minneapolis hosts Ellsworth on Tuesday.
Halstead Girls 45, Minneapolis 15
Minneapolis’ girls team competed with Halstead for a half, however, ran out of steam in the second half as Halstead took home the Tri County Classic hardware.
Minneapolis led for the majority of the first quarter, as Halstead missed several open looks in close. However, the Dragons ended the period on a 7-0 run to take an 11-5 lead to the second quarter.
Halstead would take a 23-10 halftime as the Lady Lions hung tough but couldn’t produce enough offense with the Dragons beginning to pull away.
Halstead completely dominated the third quarter as they held the Lady Lions to just two points, while heating up from behind the arc to tally 14 points in the period.
Minneapolis’ thin roster ultimately ran out of gas allowing Halstead to score the most points Minneapolis has allowed on the year.
Halstead (4-0, 0-0 CKL) was led by Karenna Gerber with 18 points. The Lady Dragons take home the Tri County Classic championship with the win.
Meanwhile, Minneapolis (1-3, 0-1 NCAA) finished third in the TCC with the loss. Minneapolis had just two players score more than two points as both Kersti Nelson and Courtney Forte scored three points, each to lead the way.
Minneapolis hosts Ellsworth on Tuesday as live game coverage is on 92.7 The New Zoo. Pregame at 5:45 p.m. with tipoff of the girls’ game at 6 p.m.