The Caledonia High School boys basketball team is a game away from a state championship berth.
That’s something it hasn’t done since head coach Josh Diersen, and assistant Jeremy Leis, helped it win back in 1997.
The Warriors put a 73-53 beat down on St. Paul Academy (20-9) in the first round of state.
At 6 p.m. tonight at the Target Center in Minneapolis, Caledonia (28-2) now gets a crack at top-seeded Annandale (24-6).
The Warriors may be playing with a bit of a chip on its shoulder. They were unranked in the final AP poll and, despite having the best record in the class, and then were given the lowest of the four seeded teams at state.
Annandale, which took third at state last year, is led 6-foot-3 senior forward Matt Miller, who averaged 16.9 points, 8.4 rebounds and 4.2 assist heading into the tournament. He had 16 points, seven rebounds and four steals in the 76-70 win over New London-Spicer (19-11) in the opener, while teammate Chase Knickerbocker hit four 3s and scored 23 points with nine rebounds.
Caledonia counters with a balanced, yet high-scoring attack. The Warriors averaged 79.5 points a game heading into the tournament and were led by the foursome of Kyle Sorenson (14.9 points), West Spier (12.1), Josh Nord (11.7) and Austin Bauer (11.1).
In Caledonia’s opening win, Bauer was on fire, nailing 7 of 9 from deep in scoring 28 points, while King tried to keep up, going 5-for-9 from beyond the arc in adding 21 points.