A state title rematch demanded the best from defending Class 4A boys basketball state tournament champion Park Center and runner-up Wayzata alike.
Only this time, the Trojans shed their second-place finish for a champion's trophy. And they got there on the back of Jackson McAndrew.
Listed as a 6-9 guard, McAndrew fueled Wayzata's 75-71 victory by scoring 13 of his team's final 14 points in regulation and overtime on Saturday at Target Center.
"He is a heck of a player," Park Center coach James Ware said. "You name it, he can do it. I'm excited as a Minnesotan to be able to watch him continue growing as a player."
No. 3 seed Wayzata (27-4) was making its third consecutive championship game appearance. The Trojans won in 2021 and lost last season.
Saturday's rematch with Park Center started with a 6-0 Pirates advantage. Not to worry for Wayzata, which lost the first three games of the season, then won 17 in a row. The Trojans' only loss since Dec. 13 was to Eden Prairie on Valentine's Day.
"We had to attack," Wayzata coach Bryan Schnettler said. "If we were going to play on our heels, we weren't going to win tonight."
Park Center had built a sizable first-half advantage fueled by superior rebounding. When the Pirates led 28-19 with 6:44 remaining, they held an 11-4 rebounding advantage.
Resilient Wayzata found its footing, allowing just four points the rest of the first half and scoring 17 points of its own. The Trojans converted nine Park Center lost possessions into a 12-0 advantage in points off turnovers. They also cranked up the pace, scoring 10 points on fast breaks compared to just two for the Pirates.
Wayzata held a 36-32 halftime lead. As the second half wore on, Park Center constructed another big lead. But Wayzata simply wouldn't allow its championship-game streak to go out with a whimper.
Sure enough, the Trojans drew even. McAndrew hit all three of his free-throw attempts after being fouled on a three-point shot and tied the game 64-64 with 3:52 remaining.
No. 1 seed Park Center (28-3) had no answer for McAndrew down the stretch. He led all players with 25 points.
"He's a stud," Trojans senior Hayden Tibbits said. "He's been doing this all year in big moments. He had a lot of confidence and made some really nice plays when we needed him."
Schnettler meant no offense to Park Center when he discussed a lack of Pirates-centric game-planning going into Saturday's game. He challenged Trojans players instead.
"It was going to come down to, 'Are we going to compete like crazy? Are we going to make what we call winning plays in March?' " Schnettler said. "That's what we had to do."