Edina splits in boys playoffs

John Sherman
Sports Editor

Hornets finish 18-10 overall

Edina High’s boys basketball season ended last week with a 1-1 split in the Class 4A, Section 2 Tournament.

After beating Prior Lake 75-69 in the opening round March 8, the fourth-seeded Hornets fell to No. 1 Chaska 73-51 in the semifinals March 11.

Edina senior guard Walt McGrory (12) is fouled by Prior Lake’s Brandon Collins (22) during the Hornets’ first-round victory in the Section 2 playoffs March 8 at the Edina Community Center gym, McGrory led Edina to an 18-10 record this season. (Sun Current staff photo by John Sherman)
Edina senior guard Walt McGrory (12) is fouled by Prior Lake’s Brandon Collins (22) during the Hornets’ first-round victory in the Section 2 playoffs March 8 at the Edina Community Center gym, McGrory led Edina to an 18-10 record this season. (Sun Current staff photo by John Sherman)

The playoff split gave Edina a final overall record of 18-10.

“It was nice to have a home game in the first round,” said Edina head coach Joe Burger. “The biggest takeaway from that one was that everybody got involved.”

Edina’s 1-2 backcourt scoring punch was dominant in that game with senior Walt McGrory scoring 26 points and junior Anders Nelson adding 21. Luke Glenna, another junior guard, hit back-to-back three-point shots in the second half on the way to an eight-point night. Senior posts Matt Hofrenning and Derek Graf each chipped in with six points. Senior forward Jimmy Connell and sophomore guard Jack Middleton each scored four.

In the Edina-Chaska game, the big story was the explosive scoring of Chaska senior forward Myles Hanson, who finished with 46 points.

“We threw everything at him that we could,” said Burger. “But he found a way. He was hitting three-point shots from the volleyball line.”

Hanson was the only Chaska scorer to reach double figures, although Alex Strazzanti (8) and Andrew Kallman (7) came close.

Kallman is the son of former Edina assistant and current Chaska head coach Dana Kallman.

Edina senior Walt McGrory, left, greets Gophers senior and former Hornets player Reggie Lynch. (Sun Current staff photo by John Sherman)
Edina senior Walt McGrory, left, greets Gophers senior and former Hornets player Reggie Lynch. (Sun Current staff photo by John Sherman)

Edina put three scorers in double figures – Nelson with 20, McGrory with 15 and Middleton with 13. Connell added six points.

The loss to Chaska marked the end of McGrory’s five-year varsity career. He finished as the only 2,000-point scorer in Edina basketball history and basically put his mark on every page of the school record book.

“Next season we will need to fill in the 25 points per game that Walt scored,” said Burger. “I don’t know if we’ll ever see another 2,000-point scorer at Edina.”

Nelson, who is well on his way to becoming a 1,000-point scorer, will return to lead the Hornets in 2017-18. Edina will have a good guard contingent with Middleton and Glenna also set to return.

Most of the players on Edina’s frontline are seniors, so there will be opportunities for younger players to move up next season.

Chaska and Eden Prairie will play for the Section 2 title in a 7 p.m. game Friday, March 17, at Hopkins Lindbergh Center. Eden Prairie, the third seed, defeated No. 2 Bloomington Jefferson 72-55 in the other section semifinal game played March 11.

Contact John Sherman at [email protected]