Sartell’s state tournament opponent was a random draw, but it was an unfortunate one.
The Sabres play top-seeded Minneapolis DeLaSalle at 10 a.m. Wednesday at Williams Arena in the state Class 3A boys basketball tournament.
Sartell (17-12) learned its opponent Saturday. DeLaSalle (27-1) is the defending state champion. The Islanders have qualified for 18 state tournaments since 1975, when they joined the Minnesota State High School League.
Their website notes that, besides the six state high school league titles, they also have 12 Catholic school state championships to their credit.
DeLaSalle is led by senior guard Luke Scott and junior forward Reid Travis. Both are receiving heavy college interest. Travis, 6-foot-7, is the team’s leading scorer and rebounder. He also was starting quarterback for the Islanders’ state playoff football team that was upset by Becker in the state quarterfinals at Hopkins.
DeLaSalle head coach Dave Thorson is well-regarded statewide. The Islanders are known for their defense, allowing 53.2 points per game.
They beat a very good Spring Lake Park team in their section final, 61-51.
Sartell is the classic underdog, making its first state appearance under head coach Dave Angell, who is in his 29th season with the Sabres after two as head coach at Milan.
Sartell plays tough defense, as well, and has three players scoring in double figures: guards Tom Bearson (13.4 ppg) and Patrick Fischer (12.9 ppg), and 6-7 center Tim Immelman (11.3 ppg).
Fischer accepted a basketball scholarship from Bemidji State before the season.
Sartell is in the same bracket with fifth-seeded St. Paul Johnson and No. 4 Delano. No. 2 Austin plays Blake and No. 3 Marshall faces Grand Rapids in other Class 3A quarterfinal games Wednesday at Williams Arena.
The semifinals are set for noon and 2 p.m. Friday at Target Center. The final is at 6 p.m. Saturday at Target Center.