Five state tournament highlights

Former basketball officiating pioneer Jim Robinson was given a moment of silence before the Class 4A state boys’ basketball championship.
Photo by Lamarr Sullivan

An unprecedented prep basketball season recently ended. Here are five highlights of the girls’ and boys’ state tournament.

All-Black officiating crew makes tournament history

Lamarr Sullivan, Craig Laird and Ricky Spencer made history when the all-Black officiating crew worked the Class 4A state boys’ basketball championship between Wayzata and Cretin Derham Hall game a week and a half ago.

It was the first time in state tournament history that an all-Black crew officiated the game.

The move was made to honor longtime Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL) coordinator of officials Jim Robinson, who passed away at the age of 88 in November. Robinson was the first Black official to work a state tournament in 1971.

Robinson honored throughout tournament

During the semifinal and final rounds of the state tournament, a moment of silence was given for fans and spectators to reflect on the contributions Jim Robinson gave the sport of basketball as a game official and later, MSHSL coordinator of officials.

During the tournament, all officials wore a JR3 (Jim Robinson III) commemorative patch, designed by Teron Buford. Himself a tournament official, Buford worked the Class 3A championship game between Minnehaha Academy and Alexandria.

Starks, Hopkins will be back

When Tara Starks took over as Hopkins’ girls’ basketball coach this past season, the Royals rarely missed a beat. Hopkins finished the season with a 16-1 record and was ranked No. 1 in the nation until losing 67-62 to Chaska in the state tournament semifinals.

With juniors Maya Nnaji, Alayna Contreras and Amaya Battle and sophomore Taylor Woodson returning, the future only gets brighter.

Holmgren wins fourth title

It’s been quite the career for Chet Holmgren. In addition to being the No. 1 prep player in the nation and winning every local and national award, the 7’1” senior captured his fourth state championship after the Red Hawks defeated Alexandria 80-29 in Class 3A competition.

He recently added Mr. Basketball to his numerous honors.

Holloman one of the state’s best

Junior Tre Holloman put everyone on notice for next year after leading Cretin-Derham Hall to the Class 4A state championship game, where the Raiders lost 75-61 to Wayzata.

The 6”3” guard, also one of the state’s top football prospects as a defensive back, averaged 20 points, nine assists and four steals per game this past season.

About Dr. Mitchell Palmer McDonald

Dr. Mitchell Palmer McDonald is a contributing columnist to the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder. He can be reached at mcdeezy05@gmail.com.

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