March 25, 2023 at 5:40 a.m.
Albany boys advance to title game
A quirk in the scheduling meant Albany had 72 hours to prepare – and wait -- for the semifinal game against Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton. Knowing his team had more than just enjoying the state tournament experience on their minds, head coach Cory Schlagel opted for a couple days of normalcy and brought the team home for two nights.
Turned out to be a wise decision.
Albany looked both calm and rested when they returned to the court Friday night. The Huskies did pretty everything they have done all season in a 79-64 win over the Rebels at Target Center in Minneapolis to advance to the state championship for the first time in school history.
“I convinced the team if we won our first game if we won Tuesday we’d come home and sleep in our own beds,” Schlagel said. “It also gave us the best chance to prepare for games back in our own school and our own gym. This a group that is very focused and was coming down here for business. We had time for fun, as well. The connectedness that we have is why we’re down here.”
The second-seeded Huskies (31-1) will face fifth-seeded Minnehaha Academy (23-8) for the Class AA title at 1 p.m. Saturday, March 25, at Target Center. The Redhawks stunned top-seeded Holy Family 76-72 in the other semifinal. Minnehaha lost Holy Family 101-56 Jan. 16. Minnehaha has won four state championships since 2017 while producing two top-five NBA draft picks in Jalen Suggs and Chet Holmgren.
Four Albany players scored in double figures, led by Tysen Gerads with 31 points. Sam Hondl had 14 points, 11 assists and nine rebounds, Zeke Austin scored 12 and Ethan Borgerding added 10 for the Huskies, who shot 56% from the field while limiting DGF to 33%.