PREP BOYS BASKETBALL: Minneota issues suspensions to three players

MINNEOTA – The Minneota boys basketball team has been dealing with a situation that has resulted in the suspension of three of its players.

As a result, the Vikings, who had held the top-ranked position in the Class A Rankings all season long, have been completely dropped from the polls, according to Minnesota Basketball News.

During the Vikings’ game against MACCRAY on Jan. 31, the Wolverines fouled sophomore Jacob Hennen. Before the free throws were shot, Minneota senior Thomas Hennen went to the line instead and shot the two free throws. A few possessions later, the Vikings were fouled again, as junior Logan Sussner was supposed to head to the line. MACCRAY would call a timeout before Sussner’s first free throw attempt and out of the timeout, Thomas Hennen stood at the line in Sussner’s place and shot the two free throws.

MACCRAY boys coach Lucas Post said they weren’t aware at the time on how the players were switched out at the free-throw line and they hadn’t noticed it in either scenario.

“We talked to the officials when Sussner was at the line, but we didn’t know how they were switched,” Post said. “We took a timeout before he went to the line, but out of the timeout, we didn’t notice it before.”

Minneota won the game 87-83, but after the game, the situation was brought to the attention to the Minnesota State High School League and the Minneota School District. Minneota then self-imposed a suspension on all three players. Thomas Hennen was suspended for two games and will return tonight against Lakeview. Jacob Hennen and Sussner received one-game suspensions and returned to the court Monday against Adrian.

The Marshall Independent reached out to Minneota coach Dave Busselman, who declined to comment and left messages with school administrators, but didn’t hear back by press time.

On Sunday, Thomas Hennen issued a public apology that was later published on the Minneota Mascot website.

“In our varsity boys’ basketball game against MACCRAY on Jan. 31 in Clara City, I took it upon myself to violate a Minnesota State High School League rule by shooting free throws on two separate occasions when it was a teammate that had been fouled and should have gone to the free-throw line,” Thomas Hennen said. “As a result of my actions, I was suspended for two games while each of those two teammates received a one-game suspension. I whole-heartedly accept the penalty given to me by my administrators. In the heat of the game, my competitiveness emerged and I failed to think about the repercussions of my actions at that time.”

Hennen continued, “I would like to apologize to those two teammates, as well as to the rest of my team and coaches, the fans, the school, and the community for my actions. I would also like to apologize to the MACCRAY players, coaches and fans; and also to the Minnesota State High School League. I know moving forward that I have learned from my inexcusable actions, and that it will never happen again.”

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