KDHL AM 920 is celebrating 70 years on the air and 70 years of covering the MSHSL State High School Boys Basketball Tournament.  16 games are part of the coverage and a bonus contest of Lakeville North and Maple Grove will be aired on POWER 96 Radio, 95.9 FM.  The best way to listen is online.  Download the FREE KDHL app and POWER 96 Faribault app and listen on your favorite mobile device.

Roy Koenig will have games from Williams Arena on the University of Minnesota Campus and I will be at the Target Center in downtown Minneapolis.  Our first game features a David vs. Goliath situation with the six time defending Class 3A Champion Minneapolis DeLaSalle Islanders (24-4), the top seed and top ranked team all season facing the unrated Hermantown Hawks (14-15).

Coverage begins at 10:00 a.m. from Williams Arena.  The Hawks record is a bit deceiving due to injuries experienced throughout the season.  Second year Head Coach Andy Fenske says the injuries meant more people saw playing time that otherwise more than likely would not have and that has provided depth to the team.

It's the second trip to state in boys basketball for Hermantown known for their hockey and softball teams.  Their first appearance occurred in 2015 so the wait has not been long for the Hawks.  They average 69 points per game and have allowed an average of 70 points per contest.  Hermantown loves to shoot threes and that could be a problem in The Barn with it's different shooting background.  They have shot 40 percent from beyond the arc and have 231 triples coming into the State Tournament.  Hermantown also shares the ball well, averaging 16 assists a game but they are averaging a minus three on the glass.

The Hawks leading scorer is 6'2 senior David Birkeland, 46 points away from 1,000 for his career.  He's averaging 17.6 points per game, 6.7 rebounds and is a 76 percent free throw shooter.  He has 53 three point baskets but knows how to get to the charity stripe with 121 points scored there.  Five of Hermantown's players average in double figures.

6'6 junior Connor Bich has 66 three point baskets to lead in that department, averaging 14.1 points and just under 7 rebounds a game.  5'10 sophomore Peter Soumis averages 12.1 points per contest and has 43 three point baskets and 6'1 senior Kevin Bauman adds 11 points per game.  Soumis is also averaging 3.6 assists a game.

The Islanders are led by future Golden Gopher 6'4 senior Gabe Kalscheur a Mr. Basketball finalist.  In nine state tournament games over the past three seasons (all ending in titles) Kalscheur is averaging 16 points a game.  This season he has averaged 22.2 points, 4.9 rebounds and just under 3 assists a game.

6'7 junior Jamison Battle has added 13.7 points and 4.9 rebounds.  6'2 junior Tyrell Terry has a 16.8 points per game average with 4.6 boards per contest and 6.1 assists a game.  Head Coach Travis Bledsoe was a player at DeLaSalle under longtime coach Dave Thorson.  He graduated in 2005 and spent the last three seasons as Head Coach of Centennial.  Bledsoe was a Mr. Basketball finalist in 2005 and All-State selection and scored over 1,000 points at the University of North Dakota.  Finished his career the all-time best percentage at shooting three pointers.

At Noon the Class 4A #4 seed Eden Prairie Eagles (22-7) will fly up against the #5 seed Osseo Orioles (23-6).  Eden Prairie was ranked #9 in the final Minnesota Basketball News ratings and Osseo #12.   The Eagles are coached by Cannon Falls native David Flom who was an assistant for Gustavus Coach Mark Hanson.

Eden Prairie averages 74 points and gives up 63 points per game and has 271 three point baskets on the season.  They are a plus five on the glass and average 19 assists a game while averaging 11 turnovers.  6'0 sophomore Drake Dobbs averages 17.8 points a game and has 97 three point baskets.  6'5 sophomore Austin Andrews is averaging 18.3 points and 7.2 rebounds.  6'4 sophomore John Henry has a 12.9 points per game average with 78 three point baskets.  6'6 sophomore (notice a trend here) Connor Christensen has a 10.8 points per game average.  6'1 senior Kyler Kluge already owns the single season assist record for Eden Prairie with 195 coming into the state tournament.

Osseo is averaging 68.5 points per game while allowing 56.4.  They are a plus 4 on the boards but average more turnovers than assists.  6'2 senior Emmette Paige averages 23 points a game and set the Osseo record for three point baskets in a game with 9 this season.  Paige has 71 three point baskets and has scored 105 points from the free throw line where he is a 74 percent shooter.  6'0 senior Zach Theisen averages 19.8 points per game with 75 three point baskets and 106 points from the charity stripe where he is an 85 percent shooter.

Roy will have the #2 seed Austin Packer (26-2) opener against #14 ranked Sauk Rapids-Rice (21-8).  The Packers were the Co-Champions of the Big Nine Conference with Rochester John Marshall and lost to the Rockets and Owatonna during the regular season.  Head Coach Kris Fadness has built a solid program that seems to reload each season.  The Packers have had the fortune of being in the finals three times in the past six year run by the Islanders to state titles.

Austin averages 78 points a game while allowing 57.  They have 297 three point baskets this season and are a minus three on the glass.  Assists per game are an impressive 19 and they only average 13 turnovers a game while playing a run and gun style.

6'5 senior Duoth Gach is a dunking machine for the Packers and has 68 three point baskets this season.  He averages 16.3 points per game while shooting 51 percent from the field.  6'0 junior Medi Obang set the Austin school record for three point baskets in a game this season with 10 against Albert Lea on February 24th.  Obang has a 13.1 points per game average with 72 three point baskets.  6'2 senior Moses Issa averages 12.3 points per contest with 44 three point baskets and is also averaging just under 5 rebounds a game.  5'11 senior Tate Hebrink adds 10.6 points per game and is averaging about 5 assists a game with 50 three point baskets on the season.

Sauk Rapids-Rice averages 65 points and gives up 62 points per game this season.  They are averaging about the same number of turnovers as assist per contest.  The Storm are very balanced on offense just like Austin.  Their top scorer is 6'7 senior Cody Landwehr with 464 points on the year.  The stats provided don't have a number of games played to figure the averages.  6'6 senior Deng Deang has 384 points and and 6'1 senior Anthony Massman has 376 points with 61 three point baskets to lead the team in that statistic.

I will have the #3 seed and #4 rated Lakeville North Panthers game against the #19 ranked Maple Grove Crimson at 4:00 p.m. on POWER 96 Radio, 95.9FM and www.power96radio.com.

The Panthers are in their 7th straight State Tournament , winning in 2014 and finishing second in 2012 and 2016.  The South Suburban Conference team finished second in their league just a game in back of defending State Champion Apple Valley.  They split with the Eagles this season.

Lakeville North 6'7 junior Tyler Wahl can do it all and does.  He is their leader in virtually every statistical category averaging 17.2 points, 11.9 rebounds per game and 5.6 assists per game.  5'11 junior Tommy Jensen averages 10.8 points per game while knocking down 69 threes this season and 6'6 senior Tyler Lewko has a 10.7 points per game average.

The Panthers average 73 points and allow 54 per game and are a plus 10 in rebounds while averaging 19 assists and 13 turnovers a game.

The Crimson average 63 points and give up 56 per contest.  6'1 junior Jerod Rainey leads in scoring with 13.2 points and 6'2 junior Nate Adams has 13.0 points per game.  Rainey  also has 5.5 assists a game.  Leading rebounder 6'6 senior Alex Batttist averages 9.5 boards while pouring in 12 points per contest.

I will have the last game of the day from Target Center to wrap up our first day of coverage when the #4 seed and #13 rated Class 2A Esko Eskomos go up against #5 seed and #14 ranked St. Cloud Cathedral Crusaders.

Ekso averages 68 points and gives up 48 per contest while shooting 55 percent from the field.  They are a plus 3 in rebounds and average 16 assists a game and 8 turnovers.  7'3 senior Adam Trapp has a 16.6 points and 6 rebounds per game average.  6'5 senior Quinn Fischer averages 16.3 points, 5.3 rebounds and about 3.5 assists per game.  6'1 senior Ryan Pantsar has 75 three point baskets and pours in 11.5 points per game.

The Crusaders average 74 points and allow 55 points per game this season and have 245 three point baskets.  They are a plus 9 in rebounds and average 21 assists a game while turning the ball over 10.8 times per contest.6'6 senior Michael Schaefer is averaging 22.1 points per game and 12.1 rebounds.  He has 36 threes and has scored 157 points at the free throw line.  6'7 senior Michael Plombon has a 16.5 points and 7.8 rebound per game average.  6'3 junior Nick Schaefer chips in 10.1 points, 4.3 rebounds and approximately 3 assists a game.  6'2 sophomore Jacob Stolzenberg is their top three point shooter with 64 three pointers this season.

state tournament
2017 State Tournament KDHL Coverage.
Roy Koenig photo

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