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Shooting for three

MA boys’ basketball looks to repeat success with a third straight state title

The Minnehaha Academy boys’ basketball team is looking to defend their back to back state titles. Coming off a 28-3 season, the Redhawks have some shoes to fill with the departure of two key starters due to graduation, JaVonni Bickham and Lorenzo Smith. The team also lost junior Terry Lockett who transferred to SPIRE Institute a prep school in Geneva, Ohio.

“To be successful like previous years we need to continue to do what we’ve been doing,” said junior guard Jalen Suggs.

“All 5 players on the court playing as 1 and all 15 players on the team becoming 1 unit. Even with missing pieces, we’re moving on and focusing at the task at hand which is trying to be 1-0 after each game played. We still have the talent, the experience, and the coaching to accomplish our goals. None of it is going to be handed to us, but I know me and the guys are up to the challenge.”

The Redhawks have a difficult schedule again this year with contests against class AAAA powerhouses Hopkins and Eden Prairie, and difficult match-ups against St. Louis Park, Caledonia, La Crosse Central, Austin, St. Cloud Apollo, Minneapolis North and DeLaSalle.The tough schedule is nothing new to this Redhawks basketball team, though. They have gone through the gauntlet before. Even after losing key components of the previous year’s team, the Redhawks are confident going forward.

“We have to figure out where we are as a team after losing a couple key pieces and work to fill those roles to become the best team we can be so we can play at a high level and compete with the high level of competition on our schedule,” said sophomore center Chet Holmgren.

It will be a difficult task for the Redhawks to win a third consecutive state championship, but a solid group of returning players and a winning mentality will guide Minnehaha through the season.

“To maintain success we need to stay healthy and develop depth off the bench,” said head coach, Lance Johnson. “As a team we need to continue to have the same competitive attitude that we have had in the past two years and don’t become satisfied with where we are.”

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