High school basketball started in Minnesota, and in related news I’m still dreaming about my last high school game. Had a good one two nights ago, though that game didn’t make an appearance. Made like 10 straight 3-pointers on picture night.
In preparation of the new season, a look back at some old games and highlights, found while crawling through the depths of YouTube.
Your friendly correspondent makes an appearance in this one. This video commemorated the 20th anniversary of Maple River’s 1993 Class A title. That last high school game I still dream about? It came against Maple River, which defeated us 73-67 in the playoffs, one of their closest games of the postseason and a game we had to play without our second-leading scorer because of a terrible referee’s decision a game earlier (not that I’m still bitter or anything). Anyway, Maple River did deserve to win state and was a great team. JWP makes brief appearance starting at 1:10 (I commit a foul at 1:24, though traveling should have been called earlier). Great, now I’ll probably dream about this game tonight.
Duluth Central’s Greg Downing, who shared Mr. Basketball honors in the state with Randy Breuer in 1979, throws down the type of dunk you probably didn’t see a lot of at the state tourney during the 1970s.
I have no idea what the Milaca boys basketball team was like in 1992. Different part of the state. But they had a great video. Somewhat terrifyingly, I found at least two other videos for Milaca from that year. I do know they didn’t win a state title so it seems like two videos too many. I feel like one gave us a sense of that year’s squad.
Audio from Luverne against Worthington in 1965. Luverne had won the one-class title in 1964 and again had a powerful team, though they didn’t repeat as champions (the Fulda Raiders and bespectacled senior Pat Fury did not win state either).
Faribault battles Owatonna in a (probably) key matchup in 1967. I like the crowd on the baseline. Some bad basketball. No. 52 in white just threw up another airball.
There’s a great YouTube channel by user l’Etoile du Nord. Take a look around when you have some time. Many cool games, including this one from the state finals in 1995.
For two years Minnesota went to a Sweet 16 format and, again, crowned just one champion. Minneapolis North and its star guard, Khalid El-Amin, won both years. In 1995, North defeated Staples-Motley and superstar guard Blaine Joerger (who went on to a nice career at Mankato State. His brother, Dave, now coaches the Memphis Grizzlies). North defeated Staples-Motley 54-52 on a late offensive rebound.
That same YouTube user has another game from that 1995 season, when Staples defeated Morris for the section crown. Gopher fans will remember Morris star Kevin Loge. And yes, this is Ed Schultz on the play-by-play. Morris was the top-ranked Class A team in the state at the time (and expected to challenge North during the Sweet 16 portion).
Here, the Minnesota State High School League’s look back at the 1960s.
The ’60s were certainly the golden age of high school hoops in Minnesota, a time of one-class champions, teams many people still remember today. Fans filled Williams Arena. Those days are gone. But every basketball season remains special. All I ask is that today’s teams take a page from the past — and set their highlight videos to Patty Smyth’s lyrics.