With the possible closing of Minneapolis North, I wanted to give a historical perspective on their dominance in boys’ and girls’ basketball. The Polars were so dominant that they can claim six players who have been named the state’s top player following their senior seasons.
REDD OVERTON (1981), BRETT MCNEAL (1985), DEREK REUBEN (1988) and KHALID EL-AMIN (1997) all won Mr. Basketball.
Overton led the Polars to the Class AA crown in 1980 and another appearance in ’81. McNeal helped North to three consecutive appearances from 1983-85 with runner-up finishes in ’84 and ’85. Reuben led them to a fourth-place finish as a sophomore and top state rankings in 1987 and ’88, but the Polars didn’t make the tournament. El-Amin, who started playing varsity as an eighth grader, led the Polars to three consecutive state crowns in 1995, ’96 and ’97.
TAMARA MOORE (1998) and MAURI HORTON (1999) were named Miss Basketball while representing the Minneapolis North. Both led the Lady Polars to state championships during their senior seasons as well. Moore went on to a stellar career at Wisconsin, while Horton led Rutgers to the NCAA Final Four in 2003.
Johnson City champs again
St. Paul Johnson, led by ESTAN TYLER, ROOSEVELT SCOTT, MARCUS MARSHALL, and ROOSEVELT SCOTT, has the Governors headed for the eighth consecutive City Conference title (they shared with Central in ’05 and ’08).
Before Johnson became a force in this past decade, they last won the title in 1983 behind WAYNE ELLIS, BARRON CHAPMAN, DARRIN CHAPMAN, MONTE DEBERRY, COY SUGGS, CHRIS GARRETT, SCOTT ACKERSON, SCOTT MARX and TONY ADKINS. The Governors made it all the way to section finals but lost to eventual Class AA champ Woodbury.
McCoy back with former coach
MARLON MCCOY, who teamed with JAHMAI PHIPPS, CHAR DAVIS, LESTER JACKSON, JUAN TAYLOR and CRAIG VAUGHN in 1994 to lead St. Agnes to the Class A state crown, is an assistant coach at Hill Murray. Head coach DICK GHIZONI was St. Agnes’ coach during the 1994 run.
Mitchell Palmer McDonald welcomes reader responses to firstname.lastname@example.org.