AREA BASKETBALL: Cass Lake-Bena Girls, Nevis & Deer River Boys Punch Tickets To State Tourney

A trio of area high school basketball teams secured berths in the Class A state girls and boys basketball tournaments with section title victories on Friday evening.

Section 8A Girls

East #2 seed Cass Lake-Bena defeated West #1 Stephen-Argyle 65-55 on Friday evening at the Ralph Engelstad Arena in Thief River Falls to ensure a first trip to the Class A state tournament since 2005.

Taryn Frazer’s 19 points led the charge for the Panthers, who had four players score in double figures.

Cass Lake-Bena has been seeded #3 among the four “North” teams in the Class A field for this year’s regionalized state tournament. The Panthers will square off with North #2 Mountain Iron-Buhl in a state quarterfinal at Pequot Lakes on Tuesday at 4:30pm. The winner will face the winner of a quarterfinal between Minneota and Houston on Apr. 6 at the Target Center.

Section 5A Boys

Nevis returns to the Class A state tournament for the first time since 2017 after rallying to defeat Upsala 54-48 in the Section 5A championship on Friday in Wadena.

Derek Lindow had 15 points to lead the Tigers, while Ty Warrington scored 14. The Tigers closed the game with an 11-2 run to secure the title.

Nevis has been selected as the top seed in the North for the Class A boys field, setting up a quarterfinal matchup with #4 Hancock on Wednesday at 5pm in Perham. With the Class A field crossing over in the semifinals, the winner will meet the winner of South #2 Central MN Christian and South #3 Sleepy Eye Saint Mary’s on Apr. 7 at the Target Center.

Section 7A Boys

For the first time in school history, Deer River has advanced to the state basketball tournament following a 60-42 triumph on the road at #1 Nashwauk-Keewatin on Friday.

The victory was the 18th in a row for the Warriors, who were led by a team-high 24 points from Ty Morrison.

On the other side of the Class A state bracket, Deer River is the North’s #2 seed and will play #3 Badger/Greenbush-Middle River in the quarterfinals at 6pm Wednesday in Pequot Lakes. The winner will play either South #1 Legacy Christian Academy or #4 Hayfield on Apr. 7 at the Target Center.