Seniors Caleb Scharber scored 30 and Jack Sinkel finished with 19 points, but it was host Hermantown defeating Princeton 87-68 in the Section 7AAA boys basketbal quarterfinals Feb. 28.
“Caleb did an excellent job of attacking the hoop against the Hawks’ pressure defense. He kept us in the game with his 17 first-half points, which put us in a great spot down just four at halftime given the foul trouble that plagued us in the first half,” said Tiger Coach Brett Cloutier.
Additional Princeton scoring came from Brady Peterson (9), Eric Norman (5), Tanner Kinney (3) and Reed Mitchell (2). The Hawks were led by 36 points from Kole Zuidmulder.
“All year, we have been a shooting team that shot 38 percent from three-point range coming into the game. Unfortunately, our shots didn’t fall on Friday night as we shot just 7-for-27 from the arc,” said Coach Cloutier. “Hermantown’s 9-2 run that took the game from 48-44 with 10:00 left to 57-46 really hurt. I thought we did well handling the Hawks’ pressure, but their size and rebounding was ultimately the difference.”
Sinkel finished the season with 638 points, and Scharber closed with 122 assists this winter for the Tigers (9-17).
“Jack leaves the program as the second all-time leading scorer, while Caleb Scharber leaves as second all-time in assists. Ryan Derrick is a 4.0 student who has been a phenomenal team player throughout his career,” said Coach Cloutier of his seniors. “These three student-athletes are great kids and will be successful in whatever career path they take. I really enjoyed being able to coach Jack, Ryan and Caleb.”
• No. 2 seed Hermantown (19-9) defeated six-time defending champ Grand Rapids 53-47 in the March 4 Section 7AAA semifinals in Hibbing. In the other semis it was top-seed Cloquet (23-4) defeating No. 5 North Branch 66-40.
The 7AAA championship will be March 6 back in Hibbing. The Class AAA tourney then begins March 12 at Williams Arena.