Prep basketball: Minnesota sweeps Border Battle for the first time
Duluth East's Jobe Juenemann and Pine City's Sophie Lahti were named the boys and girls MVPs.
DULUTH — For the first time, Minnesota teams ruled the day at the Duluth Area Youth Basketball Association’s 13th annual Border Battle Tuesday at Romano Gym.
The Minnesota boys team jumped out to a big lead and topped Wisconsin 115-86 and the Minnesota girls won 95-78.
Despite the lopsided scores, both games featured plenty of excitement from a collection of the best players from both sides of the border.
The Minnesota boys jumped out to a 62-40 lead at halftime on the strength of 17 points in the first 20 minutes from Two Harbors’ Trent Gomez.
The kids from Wisconsin wouldn’t go away, however, chipping away at the lead in the second half and eventually cutting it to nine points with about 10 minutes to play, but Gomez and Duluth East’s Jobe Juenemann found some chemistry.
Gomez found Juenemann on the perimeter twice late in the second half to begin to build the lead again and Cherry’s Isaac Asuma slammed the door with a thunderous dunk in the final minutes of play.
Juenemann scored a team-high 22 points and was named the game’s MVP. Cumberland’s Jax Effertz scored a game-high 29 points and Northwestern’s Cole Lahti was the highest local scorer for Wisconsin with five points.
Hamling, Raye duel in girls game
Grand Rapids' Taryn Hamling and Superior’s Emma Raye went back and forth in the girls game, with Hamling finishing with 22 points and Raye a game-high 25 points.
Hamling hit five 3-pointers and the Minnesota team hit 10, where Wisconsin hit just two the entire game.
In February, Hamling overcame some early shooting woes to lead Grand Rapids to a 59-50 win over Superior for the Lake Superior Conference title, the second time in the past two seasons the Thunderhawks and the Spartans have met for the LSC championship.
The State A Champion Mountain Iron-Buhl girls basketball team was honored between games at the @DAYBAbasketball Border Battle at Romano Gymnasium on the campus of UMD.@MIBBASKETBALL @duluthnews @DNTSportsTeam @Malcomb_DNT pic.twitter.com/vFVLSdmWvW— Dan Williamson (@Dan_Williamson) March 29, 2023
Northwestern’s Tieryn Plasch finished with five points and Superior’s Savannah Leopold scored three, with the pair combining for Wisconsin’s only two makes from the perimeter.
Fresh off their run to the Class A state title, Mountain Iron-Buhl’s Sage Ganyo scored 11 points for Minnesota and the Rangers were honored for the triumph in Minneapolis in between the games.
Pine City’s Sophie Lahti scored 13 points and was named the game’s MVP.
MVP honors for @sophie_lahti2 of Pine City in the @DAYBAbasketball Border Battle! She helped Team Minnesota to a 95-78 win over Team Wisconsin in the girls game at Romano Gymnasium on the campus of UMD.@DNTSportsTeam @duluthnews @Malcomb_DNT pic.twitter.com/3pIssM01jr— Dan Williamson (@Dan_Williamson) March 29, 2023