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Boys’ Basketball Takes Third at State

The+Eagles+pose+for+a+picture+with+their+third+place+trophy.
The Eagles pose for a picture with their third place trophy.

The Eagles pose for a picture with their third place trophy.

Pete Buesgens

Pete Buesgens

The Eagles pose for a picture with their third place trophy.

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The Apple Valley boys’ basketball team closed their season with a 93-82 win against the Osseo Orioles in Saturday’s third place game at Concordia University.

Apple Valley’s hopes of a repeat were crushed on Thursday in a heartbreaking loss to Hopkins at the Target Center. The Eagles were looking to beat an Osseo team that went undefeated during the regular season.

The Eagles had a tough start against the Orioles early in the first half. Their defense allowed too many paths to the hoop and offered too many open jump shots. Not to mention that the offense did not capitalize on easy chances for points, including a pair of easy dunks.

Apple Valley, however, stormed back in commanding fashion, thanks to the play of Gary Trent Jr. and Tre Jones. The Eagles went into the locker room with the momentum after a buzzer-beating layup by Jones, capping a 16-2 run, giving them a 43-39 lead.

Gary Trent Jr. with the ball in the first half.

Leigh Rosenthal
Gary Trent Jr. with the ball in the first half.

Apple Valley continued their strong work in the second half. The Eagles held the Orioles off by five points for most of the early second half before jumping out to a twelve-point lead halfway through the second.

For the rest of the game, Apple Valley was unstoppable. Led by Brock Bertram, the defense came up with numerous blocks and stops on defense, and along with some big three pointers by Trent Jr. and some huge dunks and layups by Cameron Kirksey, the Eagles proved that they were truly the better team.

Kirksey led the way in the scoring column with 26 points, adding four blocks to his totals. Bertram finished with thirteen points and two blocks. Trent Jr. had 22 points and three steals.

But Jones was the leader for the Eagles, ending the game with 22 points, nine assists, and four steals. When the Eagles were down, it was Jones that took charge and got his team back in the game.

“You know, coming into today’s game, after losing to Hopkins, we just wanted to come out strong, play our hardest, our strongest, and I just wanted to give the boost we needed,” said Jones.

Tre Jones going up against an Osseo defender.

Leigh Rosenthal
Tre Jones going up against an Osseo defender.

The Eagles ended their season 30-2. The team will lose seniors Jordan Reddick, Aaron Ertz, Levi Oberg, Cameron Kirksey, Brock Bertram, and Miles Hendrickson next year. It will be tough for the Eagles to have the same success next year, but coach Zach Goring still believes that they can still compete at the same level.

“Next year will be hard to top this, but there’s a lot of young guys that are ready to go, looking to fill those shoes, and that’s the beauty of high school basketball, that when kids graduate more kids get a chance the following year,” said Goring.

The seniors have played a huge role for this team. Many of them have contributed to the Eagles two previous state titles, and helped put Apple Valley basketball on the map. Hopefully the Eagles will be able to continue their success without them. With Jones and Trent Jr. returning to the Eagles next season, the Eagles may still have a chance to win another state title.

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Boys’ Basketball Takes Third at State