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Heading North to northeast

By Tim Kolehmainen, Breakdown Sports Media, 01/08/15, 1:15PM CST


Top-ranked Polars headline our 2nd annual MLK Jr. Classic in Duluth

The 2nd annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Classic showcases the best of northeastern Minnesota…and more…

The one-day, seven-game showcase at the University of Minnesota-Duluth features some of the top boys’ basketball programs in the region, as well as a top girls’ game

DULUTH, Minn. (Jan. 8, 2015) – After a successful first year of bringing together top basketball teams in the northeastern corner of the state, BREAKDOWN SPORTS returns with its second annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Classic. The one-day showcase at the University of Minnesota-Duluth’s Romano Gymansium on Monday, Jan. 19, 2015 features seven games between top teams from northeastern Minnesota going head-to-head, as well as a few interlopers from the Twin Cities, and a top girls’ game.

We’ve pulled together a terrific lineup that is highlighted by two top-ranked teams in their respective classes, the Minneapolis North boys (ranked No. 1 in Class 1A) and the Mt. Iron-Buhl girls (also ranked No. 1 in Class 1A).

Youth will be served when top-ranked Minneapolis North takes on the fourth-ranked team in Class 2A, Braham. The Polars’ squad, which features a lineup loaded with talented youngsters such as juniors Patrick Dembley, Jamil Jackson, and Tyler Johnson, and sophomores Isaac Johnson and DJ Hunter, faces a stern test against Braham, which also has a terrific junior class with point guard John Larson, Chris Olson, and post Connor Tschumper. Freshman Ryan Larson has made a big impact after scoring 6.4 points per game as an eighth-grader, as well.

Our other great matchups on the boys’ side include: No. 2AA Barnum and high-scoring Brandon Newman starting off the day against Hibbing and Dylan Takkunen; a resurgent Duluth East team anchored by Khalil Green and point guard Joey Zwak versus St. Francis and rugged Blake Moreno; Edina with Ben Boone, Max Lynch and Walt McGrory leading the way against Cambridge-Isanti’s dynamic backcourt duo of Nate Cox and Kyle McDonald; Hermantown’s high-scoring combo of Thomas Madison and Kole Zuidmulder versus Princeton with shooting guard Brady Peterson; and Grand Rapids’ balanced rotation against defending state champion Esko, led by point guard Jaxson Turner.

In the girls’ game, top-ranked Mt. Iron-Buhl’s outstanding backcourt of sophomores Mya Buffetta and Chelsea Mason and senior Lissy McCulloch has led the Rangers to the top of the polls. But Braham has its own guard combination of juniors Jaclyn Hollenkamp and Angela Bendickson and sophomore Liz Altendorf who can make life tough on opponents.

All in all, the entire field of seven games features numerous college prospects and great northeastern Minnesota high school programs.

Jan. 19, 2015 at the University of Minnesota-Duluth’s Romano Gymnasium

Varsity Schedule

Time — Team1 vs. Team2

  • 10:00 a.m. — No. 2AA Barnum vs. Hibbing
  • 11:30 a.m. — Duluth East vs. St. Francis
  • 1:15 p.m. — Edina vs. Cambridge-Isanti
  • 2:45 p.m. — No. 1A Mt. Iron-Buhl vs. Braham (girls’ game)
  • 4:15 p.m. — No. 1A Minneapolis North vs. No. 4AA Braham
  • 6:00 p.m. — Hermantown vs. Princeton
  • 7:30 p.m. — Grand Rapids vs. Esko

The MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. CLASSIC is the newest of our special annual basketball events. In mid-January every year, we bring teams from across the northeastern corner of the state on the campus of the University of Minnesota-Duluth. The BREAKDOWN will host the 2nd annual event on Jan. 19, 2015 at Romano Gymnasium — and it promises to be a highly-anticipated and exciting time for basketball fans from across the state. 

BREAKDOWN SPORTS USA and its annual publications are Minnesota's No. 1 resource for players, coaches, fans and sports enthusiasts.  The BREAKDOWN is a full-service high school sports company, offering season preview publications, in-season premier events, off-season leagues, great photography and an extensive website with news and notes. 

We’re in our 14th year of covering boys’ and girls’ basketball, eighth in girls’ volleyball and boys’ hockey, and first in boys’ baseball.  The goal of the BREAKDOWN is simple: We want to offer players, coaches and fans a complete sports resource for high school sports.

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