Saturday, March 29, 2008

Winona State Wins D-II Championship

I'm sure if you're a loyal reader to this blog (and if you are, I thank you, also tell your friends!), you're not coming here for Winona State updates. But after their accomplishment today, I'm compelled to give them a little attention. And since I currently live just a few hundred yards from the Wisconsin / Minnesota border, I'd be lying if I didn't say I've become a fan of the Warriors Men's Basketball team from Winona, MN over the last few years. There's some Wisconsin connections on this team too. Nine of the players on Winona State hail from Wisconsin, including Madison LaFollette alumns Quincy Henderson and Jonte Flowers (brother of Wisconsin's Michael).

Jonte Flowers was the star of today's game, as he scored 25 second half points (30 total) to lead the Winona State Warriors to a 87-76 victory over Augusta State. It's their second Division II title in the last three years. In 2006, they beat Virginia Union 73-61, and last year they lost a heartbreaker to Barton 77-75. In coach Mike Leaf's four years with the program, three of them have ended in the title game in Springfield, Mass.

This was an outstanding game if you missed it. Winona State was down 16 at one point and rallied back to the victory. The Division II championship games are usually entertaining from start to finish, and a nice addition to the March Madness we've all come to know and love. I remember when I was younger it was teams like Kentucky Wesleyan and UC Davis that would always grab my attention before I settled in and watched the Elite Eight of Division I. I never intended to watch the full game when I sat down, but always stayed til the finish because of the excitement surrounding the game. It may not be Division I hoops, but a championship game is still a championship game, and today's was an outstanding one.


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