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Boys Basketball: Notes from 100th state tournament

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The Minnesota State High School League website lists the best of 100 years of state basketball tournaments. The lists have been compiled with the assistance of a committee of basketball historians and experts from around Minnesota. Here some Tribune Area mentions, dominated by 1981 Hengstler-Ranweiler award winner Barry Wohler.

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Boys Top Game -- Bird Island-Lake Lillian 78, Lake of the Woods 74 (2 OT), 1980 Class A Championship: Barry Wohler made an 18-footer with 23 seconds left in regulation to force the first overtime. He and John Koller traded free throws inside of one minute to force the second. Wohler and John Clouse scored for Bird Island early in the second overtime, and Lake of the Woods never caught up. The final was 78-74 as Wohler scored 25 and Clouse 23 to offset Koller's 33 points.

Girls Top Coaches (Top 5)-- Mike Dreier, New London-Spicer, 14 appearances, 2 championships AA (1997, 2002): Dreier has accumulated more victories than any girls' basketball coach in Minnesota history, beginning the 2011-12 season with a record of 749-129. Half of the teams he has guided to state tournaments have played in championship games, with New London-Spicer finishing as state runner-up five times. The native of Burnsville and graduate of Hamline University began his teaching and coaching career at New London-Spicer right out of college. His first team won only three games, but it didn't take long before the Wildcats became one of the dominant teams in the state, with Dreier stressing fundamentals, hard work and togetherness.

Boys Top Players -- Bob Bruggers, Danube, 1961, 1962: Scored 2,364 points, which ranked second all-time when he graduated. After leading Danube to consecutive state tournaments, Bruggers played for the Minnesota Gophers, where after his freshman year he decided to play football for the Gophers instead. In 1966 Bruggers entered the NFL draft and was selected by the Miami Dolphins. Bruggers played linebacker in the NFL for five seasons.

Boys Top Players -- Barry Wohler, Bird Island-Lake Lillian, 1980, 1981 Class A champions: Coached by his father Jerry, Barry played on teams that won back-to-back Class A championships. Barry Wohler also played on state championship football teams in 1979 and 1980. Now coaches Orono, which won the Class AAA title in 2011 with his son, Brady, a starter.

Boys Top Games -- Bird Island-Lake Lillian 78, Lake of the Woods 74 (2 OT), 1980 Class A Championship: Barry Wohler made an 18-footer with 23 seconds left in regulation to force the first overtime. He and John Koller traded free throws inside of one minute to force the second. Wohler and John Clouse scored for Bird Island early in the second overtime, and Lake of the Woods never caught up. The final was 78-74 as Wohler scored 25 and Clouse 23 to offset Koller's 33 points.

Boys Top Shots -- Barry Wohler, BI-LL, 1981 Class A Championship: The Panthers and Winona Cotter battled into a second OT in the 1981 Class A final. With the score tied at 47-all and just five seconds remaining, Wohler hit a 23-footer to win a second straight title for Bird Island-Lake Lillian. He finished the game with 28 points.

Boys Top Finishes (Top 5)-- Bird Island-Lake Lillian, 49 Winona Cotter 47 (2 OT), 1981 Class A Final: Bird Island-Lake Lillian and Winona Cotter battled back and forth into a second overtime. With the score tied at 47-all and just five seconds remaining, Barry Wohler hit a 23-footer to win a second straight title for Bird Island-Lake Lillian.

Boys Top Finishes -- New London-Spicer 50, Maple River 49, 2008 Class AA Semi-Final: At no time over the final 12 minutes was this more than a one-possession game, and with 14 seconds left Logan Drager made the unlikely three-plus-one play to give Maple River a 49-48 lead. Then with seven seconds remaining, Wade Powers hit a jumper to put New London-Spicer back ahead. Powers then blocked a Maple River shot at the final buzzer.

State records

Matthew Pederson at Starbuck is doing a remarkable job as the unofficial record keeper for state hoops. He's compiled extensive records for both girls and boys. His 2012 Boys State Tournament Edition contained 16 pages of up-to-date records on every aspect of the game, individual and team.

Here is a few area names that pop up in the 16 page report -- Most Points Game: Ron Johnson, Starbuck, Feb. 17, 1953, 69 points; Jonas Holte, Starbuck, Dec. 19, 1919, 58 points; George Borgerding, Belgrade, Dec. 18, 1945, 50 points; Gary Hagemeyer, Clara City, Feb. 25, 1966, 55 points; Ken Haskamp, Belgrade, Feb. 2, 1968, 52 points; Leland Christensen, Atwater, Fegb. 12, 1982, 52 points; Larry Maurice, Danube, Feb. 15, 1966, 51 points; Tim Piechowski, Raymond, Jan. 24, 1984, 50 points.

Overall Field-Goal Percentage: 100 percent, Kevin Loge, Morris, March 8, 1996, 16 of 16; Aaron Johnson, New London-Spicer, Dec. 16, 1908, 15 of 15.

Quadruple Doubles: Jeff Nordgaard, Dawson-Boyd, Feb. 25, 1991 (37 points, 14 rebounds, 11 assists, 12 blocks).

3-point Field Goal Percentage (Min. 150 attempts): Forrest Witt, Morris, 1998, 43..81 (145/331); Hans Hoeg, Litchfield, 2003, 42.86 (132-308)

Overall Field Goals Made Game, Team: Atwater, 67 on Dec. 2, 1958.

List of 1000 Point Scorers as of 1954 (Minn. BB News): Omar Larson ('53), Granite Falls, 1,401; Bob Robinson ('54)), Bird Island, 1,182; Dave Hegna ('47), Granite Falls, 1,025; Ronald Hood ('52), Paynesville, 1,007.

Sons and fathers

BBE coach Dave Montbriand and his assistant Brad Goodwin both played high-school basketball in the 1970s. Brad played for the Bemidji Lumberjacks who lost to St. Louis Park at the 1978 state tournament. SLP, coached by 1954 Willmar grad Augie Schmidt, starred sophomore and future Gopher Jim Petersen and would finish AA runner-up to Prior Lake. Goodwin went on to play four years at Bemidji State and then found his way to a teaching and coaching job in Brooten in 1984. His sons, Connor and Brian, have been a big part of the Jaguars success.

Montbriand played basketball for Bloomington Jefferson which lost to St. Louis Park in the 1979 Section 6AA Tournament in 3 overtimes. His son Kirby, a senior, joined the brothers Goodwin on the Class A All-Tourament Team.

Montbriand, Swansson earn MBCA honors

BBE coach Dave Montebriand is the Class A Coach of the Year, the Minnesota Basketball Coaches Association announced on Tuesday.

Scott Swansson of Woodbury and Tim Theisen of Osseo were selected in Class AAAA. Swansson is a 1974 Willmar High School graduate.

Bob Brink of Rocori is the Class AAA Coach of the Year. Brink announced that he is retiring this year.

Ron Vorwald of Worthington is the Class AA Coach of the Year.

Thirty-two Section Coaches of the Year were announced, including one Tribune-area head coach, John Carlson of Litchfield (6AA).

Academic ssection champions included Montevideo (3AA).

Named A/AA MBCA Academic All-State are Corey Abbas and Riley Aeikens, both MACCRAY; and Jake Douglas, Brett Bergeson, both Montevideo; and Sam Peterson, Benson.

A Century of Area Boys Basketball Champions

1980: Bird Island-Lake Lillian, Class A

1981: Bird Island-Lake Lillian, Class A

1997: Hancock, Class A

2000: Litchfield, Class AA

2001: Litchfield, Class AA

2003: Litchfield, Class AA

2008: New London-Spicer, Class AA

2010: New London-Spicer, Class AA

2012: Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa, Class A

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Rand Middleton
Tribune photographer/videographer. Began working in radio and at weekly newspaper in Munising, Michigan, in 1972. Started parttime at West Central Daily Tribune Sept. 1974. Fulltime news/sports beginning Feb. 1979. Married to Tribune news clerk Donna (Miller) Middleton, formerly of Kerkhoven. 2 grown children. 
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