For the Andover boys basketball team, the newly-implemented consolation rounds at the state tournament was greatly appreciated. After winning the Section 7AAAA tournament as the seventh seed, the Huskies looked to keep the magic alive at state.
They faced a Maple Grove squad seeded No. 2 and lost 73-50 on March 22 at the Target Center. But the Huskies were guaranteed one more game in the consolation bracket. There, Andover had one of the more exciting games in its seasons in an 89-80 double-overtime loss to Cretin-Derham Hall on March 23.
Against Maple Grove, the Huskies held a 16-15 lead with 8:55 left in the first half. But the Crimson began heating up and responded with a 16-0 run.
“We’ve had similar situations this year where we stall offensively and it does take the wind out of your sails,” Andover head coach Matt Aune said. “That’s where you need to battle defensively.”
Behind Brad Davison’s 22 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds, Maple Grove cruised to the 73-50 win.
Logan Rezac scored 18 points for the Huskies and Austin Schumacher added 12.
“I feel like we truly did believe that we could’ve kept it a little closer,” Aune said. “But I tell you what, playing Maple Grove at the end of the regular season versus the first game of the state tournament was a bit different. They came out and won the game and played really well. They were focused and determined and took it to us.”
The next day, Andover found itself in a battle with the Raiders for a shot in the consolation championship game.
Down 41-34 at halftime, the Huskies made it a close game down the stretch. Jacob Paul gave Andover a 68-66 lead with 27 seconds remaining, but Cretin-Derham was able to tie the score with four seconds left.
The first overtime period ended in a 75-75 tie. In the second overtime, the Raiders got the upperhand, outscoring Andover 14-5.
Rezac led the Huskies again with 35 points to finish off his stellar high school career.
The consolation bracket let the group of seniors play together one more time. It also allowed for extra practices and game experience for the underclassmen, something Aune hopes carries over to next season.
“We’ve had great practices,” Aune said. “For our junior kids coming back to get a taste of this and our practices the last three weeks from the sections, we’ve been so focused and have gotten a lot better. That’s the sad part, I felt like we’ve been getting better and better, but it’s coming to an end. It’s great to have a consolation for a team like us.”