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Tribune photo by Tom Larson Litchfield boys basketball players leap from the bench and celebrate as the horn sounds on their Section 6AA championship game victory over Long Prairie-Grey Eagle on Friday at St. Cloud State's Halenbeck Hall.

Boys basketball: Litchfield wins 6AA, state tourney berth

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sports Willmar, 56201
Willmar Minnesota 2208 Trott Ave. SW / P.O. Box 839 56201

ST. CLOUD -- Determination. Unselfishness. Awareness of each other.

Those are the building blocks of good character, and they're also the building blocks of a state tournament basketball team.

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The Litchfield boys basketball team exemplified those characteristics all season and they were all on display Friday night in the Dragons' 74-57 victory over Long Prairie-Grey Eagle in the Section 6AA championship game at St. Cloud State's Halenbeck Hall.

"This team has displayed that unselfishness all year," said Dragons head coach John Carlson, who will bring a team back to the Class AA state tournament for the first time since 2003. "They know what their strengths are and finding a spot where they can be successful."

The Dragons (24-5) won't know their first round opponent until the top four of the eight Class AA teams are seeded. They will play on Wednesday at either Target Center of Williams Arena.

Against LPGE (25-3), the Dragons blistered the nets, hitting eight 3-pointers in the first half and shooting 57 percent from the field overall to take a 10-point halftime lead. They didn't cool off much in the second, and finished hitting 14 of 29 3-pointers and shooting 53 percent.

Jon Terning scored 16 points, Zach Whitchurch had 14 and Zach Kinny had 13 points and 8 assists.

Litchfield made three state tournament appearances in four years from 2000 to 2003. Three of those years the Dragons won the Class AA title. After that came the dry spell that this year's team felt confident it would end.

"You can always dream about this at the beginning of the season," Terning said, "but it can't beat the feeling of actually doing it. This is unreal."

Section 6AA Championship

Litchfield 74, LPGE 57

Litchfield (24-5) 27 47 -- 74

LPGE (25-3) 17 40 -- 57

LITCHFIELD - 27-51 FG (14-29 3-pt); 6-10 FT; 28 rebounds; 13 fouls ... Scoring: Zach Whitchurch 14, Zach Kinny 13, Mitch Wollin 5, Dylan Koll 8, Jon Terning 16, Trevor Park 3, Tyler Larson 9, Quinn Anderson 2, Joel Madsen 2, Riley Pater 2 ... 3-point shots: Whitchurch 4, Kinny 1, Koll 2, Terning 4, Larson 3 ... Rebound leaders: Kinny 8, Wollin 7 ... Assist leaders: Kinny 8, Koll 7 ... Steal leaders: Whitchurch 1, Koll 1, Terning 1, Larson 1

LONG PRAIRIE-GREY EAGLE - 21-47 FG (9-23 3-pt); 6-11 FT; 26 rebounds; 12 fouls ... Scoring: Austin Kaiser 8, Stanley Harvey 6, Duane Miller 27, Cody Sprenger 9, Dylan Warner 5, Jeremy Becker 2 ... 3-point shots: Miller 4, Sprenger 3, Kaiser 1, Warner 1 ... Rebound leaders: Miller 10, Kaiser 7 ... Assist leaders: Kaiser 4, Miller 4 ... Steal leaders: Kaiser 1, Miller 1, Sprenger 1

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