The Class 3A finals of the 2017 MSHSL Boys Basketball Tournament featured the perennial finalists from DeLaSalle against the Austin Packers in a familiar finals rematch. The Islanders have won five consecutive Class 3A Championships and defeated the Packers in 2013 and 2014.
The Islanders led 31-23 at the half and seemed to score and drive at will. Their up-pace style of play is taught and spurred on by the high octane personality of head coach Dave Thorson, who stands the entire game, directing players and pointing out seemingly every play’s missed call to the officials. Senior Goanar Mar is scheduled to play next year for George Mason University and is among the top 150 players in the country.
The Islanders play an up-tempo free-wheelingly disciplined style of basketball that, combined with their athleticism, is a force not easily stopped.
In the end, DeLaSalle’s juggernaut-like style of play could not be stopped and the team went on to win their sixth consecutive state title. That means that the current seniors have never tasted the disappointment of not winning the state title in their high school career. Most impressive, there are only four seniors on the Islanders and only two of them start.
With less than two minutes left in the game, DeLaSalle led 69-43 and still had their starters playing a full court press defense…The starters came out with 1:06 left.
With the win, the DeLaSalle Islanders win their sixth straight state title, the 23rd in school history. For head coach, Dave Thorson, the championship is the ninth of his career. Look to see the Islanders back in the 2018 MSHSL Boys Basketball Tournament…the only question that should be asked is in what division will the DeLaSalle Islanders be competing.