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Huge 2nd half propels Caledonia to state semifinals

Huge 2nd half propels Caledonia to state semifinals


ST. PAUL — It was a battle until halftime but then the Caledonia High School boys basketball team shut down Minnewaska Academy in the state quarterfinals.

In winning the Class 2A matchup 80-41 over Minnewaska Area, the Warriors (27-4) went on an early second-half, 20-2 run and never looked back Wednesday night at Williams Arena in Saint Paul.

The fourth-ranked Warriors play at 8 p.m. Friday night against fifth-ranked Brooklyn Center (22-8) at the Target Center to get to the state championship.

In the Class 1A quarterfinals at 5 p.m. tonight, unranked Rushford-Peterson (23-7) — which hasn’t been to state since winning the title in 2015 — will play fourth-ranked Cass Lake-Bena (29-1) at WIlliams Arena.

The Warriors have been to the state tournament now four of the past five seasons but have yet to win it all. During that run, they’ve made it to the state championship once, losing 63-51 back in 2015 to Melrose Area.

In the win, Caledonia outscored the Lakers 30-2 on points off turnovers, as the Lakers (21-8) gave the ball away 28 times. The Warriors, which also outscored the Lakers 16-0 on fastbreaks, had just 7 turnovers.

The big turnover discrepancy led to a big shot discrepancy. The Warriors were 30-for-69 from the field while Minnewaska was 12-for-38. In other words, the Lakers shot 31 less times. The Warriors held them to 5-for-20 shooting in the second half.

Senior Marten Morem led Caledonia with 18 points, going 8-for-8 from the field. Teammate Noah King had 14 points and seven of the Warriors’ 17 assists. Eli King had eight points and seven steals — all in the first half.

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