Prep basketball: Minnesota sweeps border battle for first time – Reuters Sports News
DULUTH — Fans packed Romano Gym Tuesday in Minnesota Duluth for the 14th annual Duluth Area Youth Basketball Association Border Battle High School All-Star Game.
For the first time in the game’s history — the event has been canceled for the past two years — Minnesota teams swept the boys’ and girls’ games.
Conner Barney of Cloquet and Taryn Hamling of Grand Rapids each had a game-high 27 points en route to earning respective MVP honors.
Northwestern’s Monte Mayberry was Wisconsin’s top homegrown player with 17 points.
The Minnesota Girls outscored Wisconsin 70-64 and the Minnesota Boys edged their opponents 121-93.
The win was just the third in 12 tries for the Minnesota girls, but it was their second straight win after winning the 2019 game 95-56.
Grand Rapids coach and Taryn’s mother, Kris Hamling, was on hand to watch and said the best part was watching all the rivals come together at the end of the season.
“You get Ashlynne Guenther from Duluth East and Payton Rodberg from Proctor,” Kris said. “There are all these players that I’m scouting against and we’re trying to quit and now they’re working together. It’s a huge, amazing thing to see.
After the two-year hiatus, DAYBA added a few new features to the game, according to board member Jim Schwarzbauer.
First, DAYBA awarded two $500 scholarships to Jasper Timm from Duluth Marshall and Brynn Olson from Rice Lake. Both had to write an essay on the impact of basketball on their lives and get a letter of recommendation.
Schwarzbauer noted that although Timm and Olson participated in the border battle, it is not a requirement for the scholarship.
Second, with mental health concerns that have emerged during the pandemic, DAYBA has partnered with “Smiles for Jake,” a Brainerd-based nonprofit dedicated to suicide prevention. It was started by Jake Haapajoki’s family after he took his own life in 2018.
“It was brought on by the ever-escalating mental health issues that plagued us as we went through this thing,” Schwarzbauer said. “Smiles for Jake just has a very clear distinct message. They had a number of people here tonight and they’re helping out however they can.