No. 1 Cherry boys basketball wins first-ever state title toppling Fertile-Beltrami in Class A championship

On Saturday afternoon the top-seeded Cherry boys basketball team made program history toppling third seeded Fertile-Beltrami 78-40 to win their first-ever Class A state championship at Williams Arena in Minneapolis. It also marked the Tigers’ first-ever appearance in a state title game.

“After last year’s state tournament, losing in the second round for the second year in a row, that year we were down to win it. So it was definitely a disappointment last year, but this year everyone worked hard in the summer. We were ready to bounce back, came down here, knew if we play the best of our abilities what we can do, and we came out here and showed it,” senior Isaac Asuma said.

The Tigers would go on an 11-0 run to start the game before allowing a Falcon basket. With 7:10 left in the first half Cherry would take a 20 point lead with Noah Sundquist putting them up 26-6. At halftime Cherry led the Falcons 43-21.

“We knew it wasn’t over. We were going to come out hot like we did the second day, but we knew we were going to give a punch,” freshman Isaiah Asuma said.

At the break the Tigers’ Noah Asuma led all scorers with 15 points and six rebounds, while Noah Sundquist posted 13 points with six rebounds.

“They don’t care about stats. I’ve said it before, they really don’t care. I mean Ike [Isaac] today, you had six points with like 8 minutes left? He doesn’t care, he’s not going to go hunt shots, he’s going to keep playing defense and keep moving the ball,” head coach Jordan Christianson said.

Five minutes into the second half Cherry would near a 30 point advantage taking a 53-26 lead. They would hit that 30 point lead with under 6:30 left in the game going up 67-36. The Tigers would complete their state tournament running winning 78-40.

Noah Asuma finished with a game leading 22 points, adding eight rebounds. In the end, four Tigers breached double-digits with Noah Sundquist adding 15 points and nine rebounds, Carson Brown scoring 14 points, and Isaac Asuma scoring 12 points.

“I think a lot of our offense starts from our defense with getting our running in transition, getting our hands in passing lanes, contested all the shots, finish the plays with rebounding,” Isaac explained.

Cherry finishes their 2023-2024 season on a 24 game winning streak with a 31-2 overall record as Class A state champions.

“We used to pretend scenarios on the driveway, like ‘down two to win the state championship’ and just to grow up and to see it finally come true. Playing in these big games is just, it’s just a blessing,” sophomore Noah Asuma said.

This marked the third straight state tournament for Cherry; they finished the last two seasons in fourth place. For the full Class A bracket, Click Here.

How to watch:

  • Championship games are televised on WDIO2 MeTV. For other ways to watch, Click here.