The high flying Champlin Park Rebels entered the 2017 MSHSL Boys’ Basketball Tournament undefeated, going a perfect 29-0 in the regular season and featured Mr. Basketball finalist McKinley Wright IV and fellow senior, Theo John. Champlin Park entered the 2017 tournament with a 25 point average winning differential, although since the section finals, that winning differential dropped to just 5 going into the final game.
The Apple Eagles have been led by a Jones since the 2009-2010 basketball season when, as an eighth grader, Tyus Jones burst on the scene. Tyus’ brother, Tre, now leads the team as a junior and has won his second state title. The Eagles have won state titles in 2013, 2015 and now in 2017.
The game was a great example of what a championship game could be with a total of 13 lead changes and the final score being decided in the final 50 seconds.
In a feature popularized by our sister channel – MN Dance News – the Sweet Kicks award goes to Apple Valley number 2 Nathan Macho.
At the end of the day, the Apple Valley Eagles dominated the paint, outscoring the Rebels 36-28 in the paint, but the most important stat of the evening was rebounding. The Eagles scored 23 second chance points and out-rebounded the rebels 45-25. Tre Jones swiped 18 rebounds by himself.
Neither offense was great with the teams combining for just four three point shots made on 25 attempts. Champlin Park’s Theo John blocked eight blocks (the Rebels blocked a total of nine shots) and the teams were about equal in the turnover department with the Rebels turning the ball over 12 times to the Eagles’ 11.
Next year should be interesting as the Eagles have just two seniors and their team leader is coming back next year for a ninth season of Apple Valley being led by a Jones.