With the prep basketball season over, here are some teams that deserve a little recognition. I call them the Sweet Sixteen:
1. Como Park (Girls): Andrayah Adams — with the help of teammates Raiyne Adams, Elaina Jones, and Mikayla VanNett — led the Cougars to their second consecutive St. Paul City Conference crown and first-ever state tournament appearance in Class AAA. Adams finished with over 3,000 points for her career.
2. Minneapolis North (Boys): The Polars captured the Class A boys’ title with Tyler Johnson, Jamil Jackson Jr., Isaac Johnson, O’Dell Wilson IV leading the way. Coach Larry McKenzie earned his fifth state championship.
3. DeLaSalle (Boys): It was 5-peat in Class AAA for the Islanders, who got outstanding play from Goanar Mar, Gabe Kalscheur, Sage Booker and Samm Jones.
4. Hopkins (Boys): Led by Metro Player of the Year and Mr. Basketball winner Amir Coffey — along with Xavier Johnson, Vinnie Shahid and Ishmael El-Amin — captured the Class AAAA championship.
5. Minnetonka (Girls): Chrissy Carr, Lizzie Odegard and Courtney Fredrickson led the Skippers to their first-ever state championship in Class AAAA.
6. Hopkins (Girls): The defending state champs placed second in Class AAAA led by Nia Hollie, Ashley Bates, Dee Dee Winston, Angie Hammond, Paige Bueckers and Reana Suggs.
7. Apple Valley (Boys): The defending Class AAAA champions placed third in this year’s tournament behind the outstanding play of Gary Trent Jr., Tre’ Jones, Brock Bertram and Cameron Kirksey.
8. Osseo (Boys): The Orioles — led by Allan Anderson, Damario Armstrong, Mar Mar Hughes, Kameron Bettie and John Bezdicek — carried an undefeated record into the Class AAAA state tournament before placing fourth.
9. Park Center (Girls): Despite moving up to Class AAAA competition, Mikayla Hayes, Ann Simonet, Danielle Schuab, Sommer Blakemore and Feyisayo Ayobamidele led the defending AAA champs back to the state tournaments.
10. Minnehaha Academy (Girls): The Red Hawks made it back to the Class AA tournament behind the play of Avery New, Nevaeh Galloway, Sara Kaminski, Mia Curtis, Terra Rhoades and Taytum Rhoades.
11. Fridley (Boys): The Tigers made it to the Class AAA state tournament with Teacthloach Pal, Tyree Caruthers and Shyheem Murray leading the way.
12. North St. Paul (Boys): Goodnews Kpegeols, Adrean Washington, Bryce Phillips, Jake Weber, Joe Johnson and Thomas Acquois led the Polars to their first Class AAAA state tournament appearance since 1999.
13. Minneapolis Southwest (Girls): Keyia Parker, Khalilah Holloway and Sophia Holien led the Lakers to the Minneapolis City Conference title.
14. St. Paul Johnson (Boys): The Governors captured their thirteenth consecutive St. Paul City Conference title with Carlin Clarke, Derek Siedschlag, Andre Smith and Lorenzo Smith.
15. St. Paul Central (Boys): With Sam Gubbrud, Jon Gubbrud, Abdikalak Muse and Jamal Galato leading the way, the Minutemen tied the St. Paul City Conference championship.
16. Osseo (Girls): Kiara Russell, Mikayla Homola, Azaria Reed and Mina Porte helped the Orioles finish second in the Northwest Suburban-West Conference.
Mitchell Palmer McDonald welcomes reader responses to email@example.com.