MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Forced into an uncharacteristic slow-down offense, DeLaSalle scored its lowest point total of the year Saturday night.
Yet because it also played stellar defense and dominated on the boards, the Islanders emerged as state champions.
Reid Travis scored 17 points and grabbed 12 rebounds to lead DeLaSalle past Austin 50-33 to win the Class 3A state boys basketball championship.
Luke Scott added 10 points, including a pair of 3-pointers early in the second half, for the Islanders (30-1), who won their second straight title.
Only three times this season did the Islanders score fewer than 70 points, including 52 in their lone loss of the season.
“The coaches do a great job of preaching that we’ve got to have different kind of tempos,” Travis said. “We have great players so we can kind of switch it from tempo to slow it down strategically. That’s been one of our biggest strengths this year. We wanted to go full speed, but the way they wanted to play defense we had to notch it back a little bit.”
Austin kept three players down low to watch Travis, forcing the Islanders to keep the ball on the perimeter.
Tom Aase led the Packers (30-1) with 14 points. Austin shot 36.8 percent but was just 2 of 13 from 3-point range.
“When the ball’s not going in the basket, it’s just tough to win,” Austin coach Kris Fadness said. “DeLaSalle played great defense, and I thought they were a little bit better tonight than we were.”
Austin turned the ball over 20 times. DeLaSalle had nine turnovers.
Travis, one of the nation’s top juniors, capped a 23-6 Islander run spanning two halves with a thunderous dunk to put DeLaSalle up 36-19 early in the second half.
Back-to-back baskets by Aase and a jumper from Zach Wessels got Austin within 10 with 6:35 to go, but that’s as close as they got.
“I thought we had a good shot to win it, but we just missed some shots,” Fadness said. “They weren’t exactly stellar from the free-throw line.”
With the game comfortably in control, DeLaSalle began to pass the ball around to work time off the clock. Austin was forced to foul, a tactic that almost worked. DeLaSalle did not have a basket in a 10-minute stretch and was just 8-of-16 from the line. But the Islander defense limited the Packers to just 12 points during the stretch.
Largely because of Travis, DeLaSalle had a 36-22 rebounding edge, including 13-3 on the offensive end.
“Reid is the kind of player that lays it on the line every possession, whether it be a focus of our offense or someone we ask to play defense,” DeLaSalle coach Dave Thorson said. “We’re asking him to defend, we’re asking him to play offense … and that’s why there are so many colleges interested in him.”
That includes Michigan State, whose coach, Tom Izzo, was in attendance.
Marshall beat St. Paul Johnson 71-62 for third place.
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