The Lakeville North Panthers put on a defensive clinic in their 73-48 victory over the Eden Prarie Eagles at Target Center today.  The Class 4A opener for each team in the State Tournament featured the Minnesota Basketball News #4 ranked Lakeville North (25-4) and #11 Eden Prairie (20-9).  The coaches in the tournament seeded Eden Prairie #4 and the Panthers #5.  The Eagles defeated Lakeville North by 4 points in December and I’m sure that’s why they were seeded that way.

Panthers Head Coach John Oxton told KDHL they would need to control tempo and defend to win.  Mission accomplished.  Lakeville North started the game on a 8-0 run and never trailed.  The game was never tied either.  Eden Prairie trailed at the half 35-31 with both teams shooting very well.  The Eagles 52 percent and the Panthers 57 percent.  The reason Lakeville North was ahead was a 6-0 advantage at the free throw line.

Senior 6’7 Tyler Wahl set the tone for the Panthers in the second half scoring a couple baskets, collecting 4 rebounds and blocking a shot in the first 3:30.  He finished the game with 15 points, 12 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 blocks in 27 minutes.  Classmate 6’0 Tommy Jensen had 23 points on 5 of 8 shooting from three point range.  Senior 6’6 Tate Staloch added 11 points 6 rebounds in 23 minutes.  6’5 senior Jack Rusch came off the bench to contribute 10 points and 6 rebounds in 19 minutes.

Jensen,Wahl and Rusch were named our Tatge Jewelry Players 9f the Game for their efforts.

Eden Prairie has one senior on their team.  The Eagles had two players score double digits.  Junior Drake Dobbs had 13 points and classmate Austin Andrews 12.

Lakeville North had 45 rebounds, Eden Prairie 31.  The Panthers were 11 of 17;from the free throw line.  Eagles 3 of 11.  Eden Prairie shot 33 percent from the field for the game.  Lakeville North 50 percent.

The Eagles (20-10) play 10:00 a.m. Thursday at Concordia University St. Paul against Maple Grove (23-7) in Consolation action.

Top seed Park Center (29-1) rolled to a 77-56 win over the Crimson.

Lakeville North (26-4) plays against Park Center 6:00 p.m Thursday at Target Center on KDHL Radio 920 AM and FREE KDHL app.  With the app it’s static free.

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