Historic Three-Year Turnaround Leads to State Semi-Final Appearance for Cherry Boys Basketball

The Tigers went from a winless season to picking up their first-ever playoff win.

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – Back in 2019, the Cherry boys basketball finished their season 0-22. They lost every game on their schedule. Three years later, the Tigers are playing in their first state tournament in 25 years and on the way picked up their first-ever playoff win.

Cherry topped Nevis Wednesday in the Class A quarterfinals, exacting some revenge from an early season loss. The Tigers were led by sophomore Isaac Asuma, who scored 31 points to go along with 17 rebounds.

“When it comes to tournament time, you’re trying to get the highest percent shots you can possibly get. So during a time out I’m like it’s not a bad shot but we can get one better. It’s kind of been our motto all year: pass up a good one for a great one. And as you saw from like the second half of the first half on, he was getting to the rim. He was 67% from two, a lot of that’s at the rim,” said head coach Jordan Christianson.

And Isaac isn’t the only Asuma on the team. His brother Noah and cousin Isaiah have also been part of the ride to the state tournament.

“Since I was in like elementary school, I’ve been talking with my brother and cousin about like oh we’re gonna go to state this year and this year and this year so it’s actually cool to be here and actually just like I had to take in the moment. Once I stepped on the court I’m like this is sweet. I’m playing on Minnesota’s court. Then I had to lock in back into the game and just take care of business,” said Isaac.

The Tigers will face top-seeded and defending state champs Hayfield Friday in the state semi-finals. Tip-off at Williams Arena is set for noon.

Categories: High School, Sports