MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) - Only powerhouses remain in Class AA boys’ basketball.
The final four are a combined 74-10, as far as wins and losses are concerned, heading into the state semifinals.
One-seed Waseca enters the battle at Target Center 21-2 up to this point and will face 16-7 Fergus Falls who edged out Annandale in the quarterfinal.
The Bluejays make their return to the big stage since falling short to DeLaSalle in the state championship in 2019.
Four of five current starters played big roles on that exact team.
“We’ve got such a good group of seniors that have been in big games before. The spotlight isn’t new to them, they’ve had a target on their back for a long time here as being one of the top ranked teams in the state. The nice thing is, nobody has to carry the team on a certain given night. We’ve got five guys that have really carried the scoring load at different points during the year, it doesn’t take just one great individual performance to win, it just take five guys playing good ball and making the right pass and taking a shot confidently to advance, so I know none of them feel pressure that they have to be above and beyond their ability level for us to advance,” head coach of the Bluejays Seth Anderson said.
Fergus Falls stands in the way of Waseca and another shot at the championship.
The Otters have size in the paint and are coming off of a thrilling buzzer-beater finish to take town a strong Annandale squad.
“Nothing’s given and you gotta work your butt off in practice, these four days we’ve got practice we’ve got to keep going and never give up. Fergus Falls is a good team, they’ve got a 7-foot center in the middle, they’ve got a couple guards who are quick, I’ve played them in summer ball a couple times, so they’re good players and we’ve got to just keep going and hopefully we can get that win,” senior Ryan Dufault said.
In turn, the Bluejays are playing their best basketball of the season, right now.
Senior Matt Seberson has put in 27 of his last 28 shot attempts, while averaging 20-points a game.
Dufault and top-5 Mr. Basketball finalist Andrew Morgan had a combined 49-points in the first round win over Morris Area/Chokio-Alberta.
“Our three captains are really good leaders on the court. They’ll let you know if you mess up, but they’re good to let you know when you make good plays too. I think our bench is really good, always supportive at the games and they’re loud. And, two coaches over there, they’ve been coaching for a long time, one of them is a hall of famer, so they’re always good to pick us up too and get us going in games,” Seberson said.
“I’m not going to take anything for granted. I’m going to go out there and work my butt off, not take one possession off,” Dufault said.
It all goes down inside the Target Center at 5 p.m., Wednesday.