It took Champlin Park boys basketball over five minutes to score, but once the first point went on the board, the second-seeded Rebels were hard to stop in a 59-38 win over sixth-seeded Roseville.
Champlin Park (23-5 overall) went on a 15-2 run in the first half of the first 5AAAA section semifinal game on Tuesday, March 12, inside Coon Rapids High School, and the Rebels’ lead was at least eight points for the rest of the game.
Roseville (8-18) led 6-0 until a free throw by senior forward Alex John.
Champlin Park took its first lead a few minutes later. Junior forward Cooper Olson picked up a steal and found senior forward Kato Seley for a basket inside.
Senior guard Jacob Johnson later hit a 3-pointer to make it 10-8 Rebels, and after Roseville tied it, the offense really got going.
Junior forward Jaice Miller started the run with a driving layup, and senior guard Bennett Otto and Seley each knocked down two free throws.
Otto then found Johnson for another 3-pointer, and John added a dunk to make it 21-10. Otto later finished the run with two more free throws.
There was a scary moment before the end of the first half when John was fouled hard on a rebound attempt, and he smacked his head on the floor. John was in obvious pain, but he walked off on his own.
Otto took the free throws for John and hit them both, and John never returned to the game.
Even without John, Champlin Park’s offense was hitting on all cylinders in the second half.
Roseville senior forward John Briggs hit back-to-back 3-pointers early in the second half to cut the Rebels’ lead to 33-25, but that was the closest that the Raiders would get.
Olson knocked down a 3-pointer on pass by Johnson, and Miller followed with a dunk to make it 38-25.
Junior guard T.J. Moberg later knocked down a 3-pointer to build the lead to 15 points, and Johnson followed with another triple to make it 47-29.
Sophomore forward Francis Nwaokorie added a couple of free throws and a basket inside to built the lead to 55-35, and the starters were pulled with 1:30 to go.
Johnson led the Rebels with 16 points, and Seley added 10. Otto and Nwaokorie chipped in eight and six points, respectively.
Senior guard Yohanes Gebeyehu led Roseville with 10 points, and Briggs added eight.