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Boys’ basketball beats Washburn in Section playoffs

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Senior+guard+Richard+Green+defends+Washburn%27s+Cortez+Adams+in+the+second+half+of+Park%27s+Section+6AAAA+game+against+Washburn+March+8.+The+team+won+61-59+and+will+face+Wayzata+March+11.
Senior guard Richard Green defends Washburn's Cortez Adams in the second half of Park's Section 6AAAA game against Washburn March 8. The team won 61-59 and will face Wayzata March 11.

Senior guard Richard Green defends Washburn's Cortez Adams in the second half of Park's Section 6AAAA game against Washburn March 8. The team won 61-59 and will face Wayzata March 11.

Mira Swartz

Senior guard Richard Green defends Washburn's Cortez Adams in the second half of Park's Section 6AAAA game against Washburn March 8. The team won 61-59 and will face Wayzata March 11.

Advances to play top seed Wayzata

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With less than a second left in the second half, Park regained possession as the buzzer sounded having won their first Section playoff game.

Park boys’ basketball won their March 8 Section 6AAAA playoff game against Washburn 61-59. Park is the fourth seed in the Section; Washburn was number five.

Junior forward Aidan Doherty said near the end of the game nerves were high but the team felt ready.

“We were all probably pretty nervous but I mean we prepared for it so well it was just natural, it came natural,” Doherty said.

Junior guard Joey Whitlock said the motivation to keep up their hard work during the game came from the seniors.

“I mean it’s win or you are done so we just had to keep focused and put everything out there,” Whitlock said. “Knowing how much work (the seniors) put in and just like we didn’t want to let them down.”

Senior forward Connor Cornell led the team with 14 points.

Doherty said the crowd helped the team stay hyped throughout the whole game.

“I think the crowd was great, they brought a good atmosphere and it was intense and they helped us big time,” Doherty said.

I thought we were totally prepared and did what we needed to do but this is what March basketball is all about.”

— David Breitenbucher

Coach David Breitenbucher said toward the end of the game, his mission was to keep the team motivated during a stressful time.

“We had a couple turnovers and couple missed free throws near the end there but my job is to keep them feeling calm and I thought we got a little anxious at the end, but we did it,” Breitenbucher said.

Whitlock said to prepare for the game, the team had to put in more work during practice this week.

“We just practiced harder, the coaches got in on practice to push us better and we just focused all through practice this week,” Whitlock said.

Breitenbucher said the team was ready to play against Washburn.

“I think we were ready for it. I give (Washburn) a lot of credit. They played really hard, I thought we were totally prepared and did what we needed to do but this is what March basketball is all about,” Breitenbucher said. “You just survive and advance, and we did it.”

In the last six seconds of the second half, Park led 61-59 and Washburn had the ball, but Park’s strong defense kept Washburn without a shot before the final buzzer.

The team’s next Sections game will take place March 11 against Wayzata in Osseo at 5 p.m. Wayzata is the top seed in the Section, coming off a 97-41 win against Minneapolis South.

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Boys’ basketball beats Washburn in Section playoffs