Top-seeded Maple Grove broke out of a nearly two-week-long scoring slump, using inside, outside, and transition scoring to down 4th-seed St. Michael-Albertville 71-59 Saturday morning at St. Cloud State University’s Halenbeck Hall.
The Crimson jumped out to a 3-0 lead on Mac Wilner‘s 3 from the left corner, but STMA would come back to take a 15-10 lead at the 10:00 minute mark. The Crimson then went on a 9-0 run to grab control of the game, and a lead they would never give up. They held a 32-27 advantage going into halftime.
Early in the second half, the Crimson held a 34-31 margin and blew it wide open with another 9-0 run with a fast break from Jared Rainey, pick-and-roll by Alex Battist, steal by Nate Adams, and another five points from Wilner. Maple Grove’s lead peaked at 19 in the second half as the Crimson carved through the Knights’ pressure trapping.
Adams led all scorers with 21 points, including a three-pointer that tied him for first all-time with Crimson great Brad Davison with 67 for the season. Rainey added 17, and Battist 10. In all, eight Crimson players scored in the game.
The victory sets the Crimson (20-8) up a showdown with 6th-seeded Buffalo (15-13) on Thursday for the Section 8AAAA championship, and a possible third consecutive trip to the Class AAAA state tournament. The Bison held on for a 72-70 victory over Moorhead in this morning’s other semifinal.