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BP’s season ends a day after its big win

Less than 12 hours after their biggest win in the last 50 years, the Awesome Blossoms boys basketball team found out its season was over.

BP was still basking in the light of its 59-51 win over Hayfield in the Section 1A title game to win its first section title since 1966 when it found out that the Minnesota State High School League has cancelled the state basketball tournament due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

“It’s very surreal. Everyone’s euphoric after the win last night and excited to get up and go this morning and things started to spin out of our control,” said BP head coach Nate Piller. “I feel terrible for the boys that they can’t play this out. That there’s no closure. No ‘state basketball experience.’ We take solace that we qualified for the state tournament and won a hard-fought game against a conference rival to win the section championship.”

The Awesome Blossoms finished with a 25-3 overall record this season and seniors Kaden Thomas and Gabe Hagen each joined the 1,000-point club. BP’s 25 wins were the most the team had put up in history and the three losses were tied for the fewest with the 1964-1965 time.

Most of the Awesome Blossoms had been working hard since the middle of August when football season began and they came to the court with all of the energy they could muster throughout the Section 1A Tournament. The team stayed focused, even after senior Karson Vigeland went down for the year with an ACL injury.

Besides all of the winning they’ve done, Piller will mostly remember the quality relationships he had with this year’s team.

Blooming Prairie’s Kaden Thomas is hassled by Hayfield’s Luke Dudycha and Isaac Matti in Mayo Civic Center Thursday. Herald File Photo

“These are really great guys who I’ve gotten to spend a lot of time with,” Piller said. “Many of them are friends with my son and hang out at the house when we’re not practicing together, or at Wisconsin Dells together for games, Wednesday night leagues, tournaments in Bloomington, Winona, or Mankato. It’s not much of an exaggeration to consider these guys family.”

BP had eight seniors on the team this year and Piller said all of them have great attributes.

“They’ve been very successful in life already and they have great experience to draw from that nobody can take away,” Piller said. “It’s been an historic season.”