St. Paul Central finished off their perfect 31-0 season by finishing off Minneapolis South 81-63 in an inner-city showdown for the Class 4A State Championship.
The name, or abbreviation of the game was PIP (points in the paint) and SCP (second chance points). The Minutemen dominated in both of these categories. They scored 58 PIP to South's 20 and won the SCP battle 15-3. But it was more about the depth of Central that was the telling tale.
Kiara Buford (19 points), Ebony Black (18), Angel Robinson (16), Thearria Taylor (11) and Georgie Jones (11) all scored in double figures as Central controlled most of the game. But there were a few scares early on.
After trailing 8-0 and 15-6 early, the Tigers clawed back into the game. Sophomore Tayler Hill led the charge as South scored eight straight, cutting the lead to one. But Central proved to be too strong, with too many weapons.
They grew the lead to 11 at the half and kept it that way through the final 18 minutes. The closest South came was within nine, the largest lead was 20, before the game was decided by 18.
This game meant a lot to both cities. There hasn't been an inner-city team in the big school championship game since St. Paul Harding took second in 1991. And nobody has won it since Central did it in 1979; they won their first title in 1976. The one exception is Minneapolis North, who won five 3A titles from 1998 to 2005.
The second place trophy is a first for Minneapolis South. They made their only other appearance in 2005.